Mid Ulster District Council is encouraging users of Mid Ulster Sports Arena and other Council facilities to think before they park in accessible parking bays on site.
Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Martin Kearney supported the initiative
He said: “On International Day of People with Disabilities, we are reminding motorists to respect the accessible parking bays on this site (and others across the district) and are asking our citizens to help us make it easier for people with disabilities to access our facilities.
“Although the majority of people are considerate about not parking in disabled bays, it’s something that still occurs. We are asking users of Mid Ulster Sports Arena to think about who might need the space, and if you don’t have a blue badge, don’t use an accessible parking space – leave it free for someone who might need it.”
Mark Farquhar from Mid Ulster Disability Forum, who are also supporting the initiative said, “There can be any number of reasons why people use disabled parking spaces, because there are any number of disabilities – laziness is not one of them.
“Disabled bays are there for people with disabilities. Perhaps they use a wheelchair and need to be able to wheel alongside the car door.
“Or perhaps their disability simply means they need the extra space. Perhaps they have a serious medical condition and their disability may be hidden. Or perhaps, because of age or other types of disability, they might use a walking frame. Do not park in a disabled bay unless you have a valid blue badge and genuinely need the space.”
This year’s theme for the Day of People with Disabilities is ‘the future is accessible’ and aims to encourage actions towards a future where the barriers which stand in people’s way no longer exist.