Council launches ‘A.I.M. For Better Access’ Toolkit
20th March 2023
The ‘A.I.M. (Access Inclusion Model) for Better Access’ Toolkit is a free resource, produced by people with disabilities and older people, that aims to make public buildings, local businesses and community groups more accessible. It is part of the Council’s Access Inclusion and Age-Friendly Programmes and has been supported by the Public Health Agency (PHA).
The toolkit provides some top tips for businesses and community organisations to help make accessing services easier for people with disabilities and older people. The content has been created by people with disabilities and older people through consultation with the Council’s Access Advisory Group, Age Sector Network- South West Age Partnership and Regional Support Organisations, including the following; Shopmobility Enniskillen, Shopmobility Omagh, Mencap, Autism NI, RNID, deafblind NI, Guide Dogs NI, RNIB, Angel Eyes NI, Headway, WHSCT, Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia NI, Equality Commission for NI, Now Group, and Developing Healthy Communities.
It’s important that people with disabilities and older people have access to as many services as possible. By making services more accessible, there are opportunities for people to get out and socialise more, which has been proven to help improve physical and mental health and wellbeing. People with disabilities have also highlighted that businesses miss out on the ‘Purple Pound’. The ‘Purple Pound’ describes the £20 billion that businesses lose out on each year by not catering for people with disabilities.
Launching the new Initiative, Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Barry McElduff, said:
“One in five people having a disability. In addition to this, there is a projected 28% increase of people aged 65 years old and above from 2020 – 2030.
In light of this, it is vital that we all take responsibility to learn more about how to support people with various disabilities and older people.
This initiative provides people with a quick guide to potential adjustments that businesses, public buildings and community venues can put in place. They can also find more information about other organisations that provide advice, support and training.
The Council’s Shared Vision is ‘A welcoming, shared and inclusive Fermanagh and Omagh District, where people and places are healthy, safe, connected and prosperous, and where our outstanding natural, built and cultural heritage is cherished and sustainably managed.’
The toolkit will help to achieve some of these aims and lead to more positive outcomes, including the improvement of the District’s accessibility, improved levels of disability awareness among the community and more engagement from residents and visitors with disabilities and who are older.
I want to thank all the partner organisations and volunteers who helped to create the toolkit and I encourage all public venues, businesses and community groups to reach out to the Council and get involved.”
Fiona Teague, Head of Health Improvement (West), at the PHA added:
“The AIM for Better Access Toolkit is a welcomed resource that demonstrates how removing barriers, promoting inclusive practice and making services, programmes and the physical environment more accessible we can not only ensure that older people and people with disabilities can fully participate in civic life but also help reduce health inequalities and achieve better health and wellbeing outcomes”.
To learn more about the project or to take part in the project please contact Corporate and Strategic Services by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org , telephone 0300 303 1777 or visit www.fermanaghomagh.com