LISBURN Access Group, which aims to achieve the best possible access for those with a disability to public buildings and open spaces across the city, has launched new literature and logo to mark its 25th anniversary.
The launch was carried out by the Mayor, Cllr Ronnie Crawford, at an event where guests included local MP Jeffrey Donaldson, Councillor Jenny Palmer, who sponsored the event, as well as representatives from business, public and voluntary services. Also present were the President and members of Lisburn Soroptimists, the group who held the public meeting which led to the founding of the Lisburn Access Group 25 years ago.
A grant from the Lottery Fund Awards for All made the publication of the new leaflet possible to help the work of the group to improve access for those with a disability, to all buildings in Lisburn and try to make it easier to get about the streets of the city. Introducing the event Vice Chairman David Mann stressed the need for attention to be drawn not only to continuing access difficulties but also to the issue of promoting a more positive attitude towards people with a disability to achieve fair and equitable treatment from service providers.
The chairman of LAG, Irene Orr, said that while they had achieved much over the past quarter century, there is still more to do. The group said that whilst there is now anti discrimination legislation which has helped physical access to a degree, they are now finding barriers of minimum compliance and a lack of respect of the person with regard to customer service.
Over the past 25 years the group is able to point to major changes to the layout of the approach to the Lisburn Island Centre, steadily increasing number of dropped kerbs across the City, an increasing number of rotating cones at some pedestrian crossings, improvements in pedestrianised City centre, support for the setting up of Shopmobility Lisburn and acceptance of advice on access to and within many public buildings and open spaces.
To achieve this they carried out a survey of all crossings in the then town centre (1980s), conducted a full survey of public buildings resulting in the publication of a disability access guide for the Borough (1990s), held discussions with, and or lobbied, the DOE, Roads Service, Council, architects, SEELB etc. and presented to the Roads Service a major survey conducted in 2002 of the hazards found on our City's pavements.
Lisburn Access Group would be delighted to hear from anyone with an interest in its work. They can be contacted on telephone: 07759818694 ; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website www.lisburnaccess.com