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Derry-Strabane’s Access and Inclusion Project to host Disabilities conference

29 November 2018

Derry City and Strabane District Council will host its third annual conference to celebrate people with disabilities next week.

The conference, which will be held at the Guildhall on Tuesday 4th December, is being organised to coincide with Annual European Day of Persons with Disabilities. It will take place from 11.00am until 2.00pm, and include a light lunch, with opportunities to network and information available at a number of information stands.

The European Day of Persons with Disabilities is celebrated every year and this will be Council’s third year hosting a conference which is part of the European Union’s wider efforts to promote the mainstreaming of disability issues in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, John Boyle said it is a real honour to be able to host this event in the Guildhall. He said:” It is highly important that we support and promote this day to not only raise awareness of the issues affecting people with disabilities, but to highlight the ongoing work that continues to be developed promoting the effectiveness of working together. Our Council has been taking the lead in many initiatives to improve quality of life experience for our pan disability community. We will endeavour to leave no-one behind and ensure all our residents and visitors can make informed choices regardless of ability.

“I am pleased that the event is inclusive and will feature various speakers and performers, with many joining us to inspire and encourage those attending to continue speaking about leading and supporting the needs and policies that affect people with disabilities,” he added.

Louise Boyce, Derry City and Strabane District’s Council Access and Inclusion Officer said: “This is our third annual celebration, and we can’t wait to highlight our developing partnerships with Public Health Agency, Department for Communities and Equality Commission NI. There has been huge strides taken since our last conference and this year’s celebration is a great opportunity to celebrate work to date, such as cultural venues working towards becoming autism friendly and the continued improvement of accessibility in Council’s festivals and events such as Halloween and synergy identified between age friendly, autism friendly and dementia friendly initiatives.

She added: “Within the last year, through a co-produced approach many cultural venues have achieved grant aid to make capital improvements in their premises to ensure there are opening opportunity to our pan disability community to attend arts and cultural activity, which in turn will reduce barriers, isolation and increase health and wellbeing.

“We are also working in partnership with a number of organisations to continue creating innovative and motivational programming to support people with disabilities. A number of showcases to promote this work will be available at the conference.”

For those interested in attending, a small number of spaces are currently available. For more information please contact: [email protected] phone: 02871253253 extn 4349 or text 07713707912.