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Case Study: Enhancing accessibility in Galway’s westend

May 15, 2024

Galway’s westend sought to improve accessibility to ensure inclusivity and equal access for everyone. With the support of grant funding from Galway City Council, the community embarked on a project aimed at enhancing accessibility through various initiatives, including the procurement of accessibility ramps, installation of a public defibrillator unit, provision of handrails for additional support, and the creation of inclusive signage. This case study delves into the success and impact of these endeavours.

Objective:

The primary objective of the project was to create a more accessible environment within Galway’s westend, thereby fostering inclusivity and enhancing the quality of life for individuals with disabilities or mobility challenges. The project aimed to achieve this by addressing key barriers to accessibility and promoting awareness of available amenities and facilities.

Initiatives implemented:

Procurement of accessibility ramps:

The grant money facilitated the purchase of additional accessibility ramps to be strategically placed in key locations throughout Galway’s westend. These ramps were designed to provide wheelchair users, individuals with mobility aids, and those with strollers or heavy luggage easier access to buildings and public spaces. By increasing the availability of ramps, the project aimed to remove physical barriers and promote independent mobility.

Installation of a public defibrillator unit:

Recognising the importance of emergency preparedness, a public defibrillator unit was installed in a central location on the canal.

Provision of handrails for additional support:

In collaboration with local businesses, handrails were installed to provide additional support for individuals with mobility impairments. These handrails were strategically positioned in areas where steps or uneven surfaces posed challenges to accessibility. By enhancing stability and support, these handrails promote confidence and independence among individuals with varying mobility needs.

Creation of inclusive signage:

To raise awareness and improve navigation for individuals seeking accessible facilities, inclusive signage was designed and implemented across the westend. These creatively crafted stickers designed by local artist Paul James Kearney , in harmony with the area’s aesthetic, indicate the presence of accessibility ramps within buildings. By incorporating visually appealing design elements, the signage not only serves a functional purpose but also adds a touch of creativity to the urban landscape.

Through strategic planning and collaboration, the grant-funded initiatives have significantly enhanced accessibility within Galway’s westend, making it a more inclusive and welcoming community for all. By addressing physical barriers, promoting awareness, and creatively integrating accessibility features, the project exemplifies the positive impact of community-driven initiatives supported by local authorities.

Galway’s westend serves as a model for other communities striving to create environments that are accessible, safe, and inclusive for everyone.

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