Meet Declan the Activist...

'In his introductory blog for MS Ireland Declan Groeger talks about accessibility and raising awareness so everyone can live independent lives'

This is the first time I have been publically described as an activist. I would never have thought of myself as one, always considering activists to be ‘bolshie’ and loud. A niece of mine raised the issue recently and after thinking about it I kind of like the idea that an activist is someone who does something about an issue rather than sitting back and expecting others do it for them. If that description is accepted then I am properly, and happy to be, described as an activist and the issue that exercises me most is accessibility. There are many issues to be addressed but my hobby-horse at the moment is accessibility or more correctly, inaccessibility.

There are so many types of disability that I am not qualified to comment on but I am qualified to comment on inaccessibility through mobility impairment. I was diagnosed with MS way back in 1988 and now through the passage of time I find that I use a wheelchair when I am outside the home and it really annoys me that some places and facilities are inaccessible through sheer thoughtlessness and then to compound matters when a problem is pointed out the issue is not rectified.

It would be unrealistic to think that everywhere will be accessible to everyone regardless of ability or disability. We, therefore, need to make people aware of the venues that are accessible and the ones that are not.

Last February I started blogging about accessibility, it is largely based on my own experiences and I hope to grow it to a ‘Tripadvisor’ type site for people with disabilities. To that end I am looking for bloggers from all over the country to contribute. We can make this into a great resource but I need help. Will you help?

I am married with 2 adult children and a loving and supportive wife. I had a very varied career until I retired in June 2010. Texts and tweets were the limit of my writing before I started my blog!

I still have a lot to learn about writing and blogging, so please bear with me as this is a work in progress.

Thanks for reading my blog

Declan

Don't forget to check out able2access.wordpress.com

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