Young people from Foyle Down Syndrome Trust pictured with the Mayor, Councillor Michaela Boyle and Santa Claus at the launch of DCSDC’s International Celebration of Persons with Disabilities Week.
Young people from across Derry gathered at the Guildhall on Monday to mark the start of a seven day programme of events to celebrate International Celebration of Persons with Disabilities Week.
Derry City and Strabane District Council in partnership with the Western Health and Social Care Trust and the Public Health Agency hosted the special launch event.
The event showcased the Council area’s commitment to access and inclusion and included performances from Dance Inclusion, Stage Beyond and presentations from stakeholders.
The aim of the day was to empower people with information and break down barriers to develop working relationships that will contribute to create positive outcomes for individuals with a disability and their carer’s.
The week programme of events this week a signed performance of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in the Millenium Forum and a relaxed performance of Aladdin in the Waterside Theatre.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Michaela Boyle, reiterated the Council’s commitment to access and inclusion across the City and District.
“International Celebration of Persons with Disabilities Week is the largest event of its kind in the North to promote access and inclusion with six strategic partners involved,” she said.
“As a Council we are committed to ensuring this issue is at the forefront in all that we do so that we promote and facilitate equal opportunity for all.
“I would encourage the public to access the programme and get involved in the events that are being hosted throughout the City and District.”
Dr Anne Kilgallen, Chief Executive of the Western Trust speaking at the International Celebration of Persons with Disabilities event at the Guildhall said: “A key ambition for us is to make this a great place to live for people with a disability and in order to achieve this we must work together.
"By connecting our systems together I know we all can make a real difference and improve the health and wellbeing of our citizens.
"Whilst there are many challenges in health and social care at the present time we must take time and remind ourselves today that we have a lot to celebrate! We are making real progress in achieving positive change in people’s lives and we will continue to do so.”
Access and Inclusion Officer at Derry City and Strabane District Council, Louise Boyce, thanked all the partners including the Department For Communities and WHSCT who are also supporting the delivery of the programme.
“We want to take this opportunity to congratulate all venues, businesses and initiatives that are highlighted within the programme for their ongoing work to ensure our pan disability community, their families and their carers have the opportunities to make informed choices for their wellbeing and day to day life experience,” she said.
“This year saw the highest ever recorded use of our access and inclusion provisions at our world renowned Halloween celebrations with over 1,200 queries received.
“This is the second programme compiled to promote disability arts and ensure that cultural venues are continuously improving their access and inclusion provisions within the Council area.”
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