New ‘Accessibility Guides’ to improve access to Council venues
27th October 2023
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council has launched a range of new ‘Accessibility Guides’ for a number of its venues for people with a disability and their families.
Funded by the Public Health Agency (PHA), the ‘Accessibility Guides’ include Visual Guides and Social Stories to help people to research and plan their visit to some of the Council’s most popular leisure and recreation facilities.
The Visual Guides will help people with disabilities and their families find out about the support available at each venue and make them aware of what they can expect to see, hear and smell when they visit.
The Social Stories, which have been developed in consultation with parents and Positive Futures, supported by Children in Northern Ireland’s Parent Participation Service, illustrates the various steps needed to take part in an event or activity at the venue, such as going for a swim at a leisure centre or attending a workshop at an arts and culture venue. The Social Stories also have space available for people to add additional symbols and words to help them during their visit, as well as a tick box to check off each step when completed.
‘Accessibility Guides’ are now available for the Council’s four leisure centres: Fermanagh Lakeland Forum, Enniskillen; Omagh Leisure Complex; Bawnacre Centre, Irvinestown and Castle Park Leisure Centre, Lisnaskea; as well as the Strule Arts Centre, Omagh; The Ardhowen, Enniskillen; Enniskillen Castle Museums and the Marble Arch Caves, Florencecourt.
Launching the eight new ‘Accessibility Guides’, Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Thomas O’Reilly, said:
“Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is committed to making the district as accessible as possible for people with disabilities. To help achieve this, we must ensure visiting Council venues is as easy and as supportive as possible. These Accessibility Guides will help people with disabilities and their families to visit our venues and participate in a whole range of activities helping to promote access and inclusion and supporting overall physical and mental wellbeing.
We are grateful to the Public Health Agency for providing funding to support the development of the Accessibility Guides.”
Fiona Teague, Head of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement (West) at the PHA said:
“The launch of the new Accessibility Guides is a welcome resource that demonstrate how removing barriers, promoting inclusive practice and making services, programmes and the physical environment more accessible we can not only ensure that people with disabilities can fully participate in civic life but also help reduce health inequalities and achieve better health and wellbeing outcomes. It’s great to see the guides being distributed to various local venues within the district area and they will be invaluable in promoting improvements in accessibility and inclusion for those with disabilities.”
The ‘Accessibility Guides’ will be reviewed regularly and members of the public are encouraged to provide feedback on the guides and the level of access provided at Council venues. ‘Accessibility Guides’ for other venues operated by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council will be developed in the future.
To view the ‘Accessibility Guides’ for any of the eight Council venues, please visit the ‘Venue Accessibility’ webpage on the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council website at or email firstname.lastname@example.org.