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Sinn Féin call on Ballymena Council to enshrine Disability Rights

3 April, 2006

Sinn Féin Councillor Monica Digney has said that Ballymena Borough Council should enshrine the rights of people with disabilities in the area by signing up to the Barcelona Declaration. Councillor Digney has tabled a motion to Ballymena Council for tonight's monthly meeting (Monday 3rd April) asking that Council adopt the manifesto.

Cllr Digney said:

"The Barcelona Declaration advocates the right of disabled people to equal opportunities and recognises their contribution to the society and the environment they live in. By adopting this motion Ballymena Borough Council will undertake to consult people with disabilities and their advocates. Furthermore, the Council shall agree to devise a plan of action for the implementation of the Barcelona Declaration.

"The Barcelona Declaration is divided into three parts. The first part consists of a five point statement highlighting barriers in our society that impacts on the status of people with disabilities and outlines actions to be taken in order to improve the worth, dignity and independence of everyone. The second part is a preamble with four points concerning rights and entitlements.

"The third part lists seventeen agreements which outline actions to be undertaken by local councils in pursuit of inclusive design in all environments. The Barcelona Declaration enshrines the principle that every person has a value and a right to be treated with dignity. The declaration recognises that disability affects society as a whole and not only individuals and their families.

"There is a responsibility on Ballymena Council to provide more favourable conditions for the full development of people, and thereby avoiding or removing the causes that hinder or prevent such development. Thus, there is an onus on us to provide the necessary supports and resources that will promote equal opportunities for inclusion, integration and environmental access for all its citizens." ENDS

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