Accessibility is not purely physical access
It is anything that hinders a persons ability to interact in society.
Definition -The Disability Act 2005 defines disability as: "Disability, in relation to a person, means a substantial restriction in the capacity of the person to carry on a profession, business or occupation in the State or to participate in social or cultural life in the State by reason of an enduring physical, sensory, mental health or intellectual impairment".
The term 'disability' covers a wide range of circumstances including, physical disability, mobility issues, sensory, hearing and visual impairments, cognitive difficulties including specific learning difficulties and also mental health issues.
Part 3 of the Disability Act 2005 places significant responsibilities on public bodies to make their buildings and services accessible to people with disabilities, while Part 5 of the Act gives a statutory basis to positive action measures for the employment of people with disabilities in the public sector.
Additionally, the Local Government Sectoral Plans set out national objectives and guidelines for access to critical areas of service for people with disabilities. The Plan is geared to developing services that encourage maximum participation in society.
(See below for information on Disability Access Certificates)
Request for Meath County Council Documents / Application forms in Alternative Format.
What information is available in alternative format?
All information available to the public can be made available in alternative format, where it is practical and where funding permits. Such documents may include application forms, information leaflets, reports, explanatory documents and other such public interest/service documents.
Examples of Accessible Formats available
- Accessible format such as HTML and other electronic formats such as Plain Text.
- Large Print Version in English (at least 16 point)
- Easy-to-Read version
- Audio version in English
- Other alternative formats as may be requested
It may also be possible to have certain documents translated into core foreign languages, where requested.
Sign Language Interpreters will be provided for public events, meetings, interviews and other events where necessary and where requested in advance.
It should be noted that each request will be dealt with on an individual basis and level of availability will depend on document requested.
How to make a request for information in an alternative format.
- In writing, at any public counter or posted directly to the Access Officer.
(Requests should be signed and dated by the person making the request where possible)
- By emailing the Access Officer Directly on email@example.com
- By phoning any of the public counter staff at branch offices. (Please see Contact Meath Local Authority for further details) Ask the staff member there to record details of your request.
- Online on relevant page of Meath County Council Website, where available.
Information needed on request:
- Name, Address and contact details of person requesting information.
- Specific details of document/information being requested.
- Time frame in which information is required and reason for any specific deadlines.
- If request is for a sign-language interpreter please specify full details of event/meeting.
In cases where the person making the request is unable to complete the request in writing, the assisting staff member should complete same on their behalf.
Receipt of Requests
- All requests received by staff members should be forwarded by internal post to the Corporate, Community & Economic Development Directorate.
- All requests will be acknowledged within 7 working days of receipt of same and will be dealt with within 21 working days of receipt of same.
- Where a delay in providing information exists, the person making the request will be made aware of a date in which they can expect to receive the information.
- Where necessary, reasons for not being able to provide information requested will be explained fully in writing to person making request.
Any further queries or complaints regarding non-compliance with this procedure should be forwarded to:
(See below for Alternative Format Request Form.)
Meath Local Authorities Draft Disability Implementation Plan 2008-2015 has been prepared and was placed on public display from 17th June to 10th July 2009. Accessibility Audits have been carried out in the 5 electoral areas of Navan, Kells, Trim, Slane and Dunshaughlin and in the towns of Navan, Kells and Trim.
The Implementation Plan is to cover the period from 2008 to 2015. This plan sets out a prioritised work programme based on the actions and recommendations of the Audits. The objective of the Plan is to ensure that people with disabilities can access the same level of services as all customers, where practical and appropriate.
Process to date:
- Disability Awareness Training given to staff – 2007, 2009 and 2010.
- Draft Plan prepared
- Internal Departments/Areas consulted and submissions received.
- Draft document brought to:
- (MDAC) Meath Disability Advisory Committee (External Committee) – November 2008
- MLA, Disability Implementation Plan Committee (Internal Staff Committee) - January 2009
- Social Community & Cultural SPC – December 2008
- Full Council – January 2009
- Town Councils of Navan, Kells and Trim – Jan/Feb 2009
- Public consultation evening – 17th June 2009
Implement effective consultation and liaison arrangements with other relevant bodies and representative organisations to facilitate access by people with disabilities.
To support consultation and liaison arrangements the following structures are in place:
- A Disability Advisory /Consultation Committee i.e. MDAC
- Access Representatives within internal Departments – all Departments made submissions to Draft Plan and will liaise with Access Officer for future work programmes.
- IT Department will monitor accessibility content of data placed on internet.
- Access Officer to be in place with the role of co-ordinating, monitoring and reviewing policies and procedures in relation to accessibility and the Disability Act 2005.
- An Inquiry Officer - based in Corporate Services Department of Meath Local Authorities deals with customer complaints procedure.
These structures in place ensure that the awareness and commitment to accessibility/disability remains firmly embedded in the organisation and it services.
Further information is available from:
Alternative Format Request Form / Disability Access Certificates Information
Alternative Format Request Form doc, 97kb
Disability Access F.A.Q. pdf, 49kb
Disability Access Certificate pdf, 61kb
Revised Disability Access Certificate pdf, 51kb
Kells Arch Club has been established since 2005 and enjoy great success in the area. Arch clubs provide a secure social environment for those with special needs, to learn, form friendships and, above all, to have fun.
If you, or someone you know, would benefit from membership or would like to become a volunteer, please contact Maurice Mallon, Kells Arch Club on 085-1217142.
National Disability Authority
Read Disability Federation of Ireland Newsletters at http://www.disability-federation.ie