Dáil Éireann - Volume 323 - 21 October, 1980

Written Answers . - Year of the Disabled .

456. Dr. O'Connell asked the Minister for the Environment the new measures, if any, he intends to introduce for the International Year of the Disabled to make our environment more accessible to disabled persons.

Minister for the Environment (Mr. R. Burke): It is my policy to encourage local authorities to have regard to the requirements of the disabled in planning and carrying [332] out their various programmes particularly in relation to access to and facilities in their buildings, and in the consideration of planning applications for building to which the general public will have access. In connection with the United Nations International Year of Disabled Persons I have asked local authorities to give particular attention to facilitating ease of access and circulation within buildings. The National Rehabilitation Board's leaflet “Access for the Disabled—Minimum Design Criteria” has been made available to all authorities. It is also the intention that my Department will co-operate with the National Rehabilitation Board in a “Design Award Scheme” relating to public and private buildings, to mark the year.

With regard to disabled drivers, I have asked the National Road Safety Association to consider including material in the next edition of the “Rules of the Road” which will make drivers generally more aware of the special needs and problems of disabled drivers.