Clon Access Group and Chamber Of Commerce meet to discuss improving access for the disabled

Posted on: 8th September, 2014

Category: News

Contributor: West Cork People

The Clonakilty Access Group welcomed the positivity of their recent meeting with Clonakilty Chamber of Commerce; a number of its officers, along with two local visually-impaired people and one wheelchair-user, met with three directors of the Chamber.

The Access Group had sought the meeting and thanked the Chamber reps for taking time to meet with them. The meeting started with a five-minute video compiled by TY students at Sacred Heart Secondary School; the students had borrowed a standard wheelchair and recorded obstacles on footpaths and crossing points.

The video and subsequent discussion clearly illustrated the problems of these footpath hazards, many of which are placed by businesses as forms of advertising. It was acknowledged by all that times are difficult for businesses and whilst they are striving to attract customers, none intended to cause obstructions for people with physical or visual impairments. It was simply a lack of awareness in most cases.

As well as obvious items, such as large sandwich boards and menu boards that can physically impede a wheelchair user, pot plants, wheelie bins, beer barrels and goods on display are also problematic on narrow footpaths – not just for those with disabilities and sight difficulties but also for people with prams and buggies.

The input of the four people who are directly affected by these issues on a daily basis was gratefully acknowledged. The meeting also raised the problem of low-level floral displays, which those with poor or no sight constantly bump into.

The Chamber representatives pledged to circulate to their members a request to keep the footpaths in front of premises free of obstructions and to be conscious of the height of flower baskets.

They emphasised however that not all businesses in the town are affiliated members and they suggested that the Access Group compile an information leaflet highlighting the issues of concern generally and to circulate it amongst all businesses on the town.

The meeting also discussed how Clonakilty could become an attractive town for disabled tourists in the future by highlighting the positive aspects for people with disabilities, when current issues were resolved and the resurfacing of the main thoroughfare next Spring was completed – something that will be further discussed at future meetings.

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Visiting restrictions in place at Bantry General Hospital due to Flu Presentations

Strict visitor restrictions have been put in place with immediate effect at Bantry General Hospital due to the number of patients who have presented with flu like symptoms.

In the interest of patient care and in order to restrict the spread of the flu virus within the hospital, it is necessary with immediate effect to ban all visitors to Bantry General Hospital, with the exception of following: critically ill patients are restricted to one visitor per critically ill patient and confined to visiting times only, and attendance at the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) and Local Injury Unit (LIU) should only take place if absolutely necessary, only one relative per patient attending these areas.

The elderly, children, pregnant women or young adults, those with chronic illnesses or vulnerable others are advised not to visit. Outpatient, Day care services and routine hospital admissions are not affected.

All infection control measures are in place and every effort is being made to manage and contain the spread of the flu virus.

People with flu like symptoms are advised to contact their GP by phone in the first instance and avoid presenting at the Emergency Department at Bantry General Hospital.

Bantry hospital staff are asking people to think about all their care and treatment options and keep ED services for the patients who need them most. Others with a less serious illness can be treated by their GP or out of hours GP service where their GP can refer them to an Assessment Unit the following day if required.
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