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WeCanAccess is a social enterprise with the aim of enabling people to come together to share lived experiences, find solutions and demonstrate that accessibility and inclusivity are vital for a more economically and socially sustainable future. The organization is a certified social enterprise, a partner of the World Health Innovation Summit, and a UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Champion. They believe that disability is not sufficiently included in language learning and that the structure of the education system is not enabling. Using their platform, they aim to build a knowledge base and a community of knowledge sharing, where children come up with and share their solutions.
They are excited to announce two initiatives for young people:
1. Every Pupil is a Changemaker: online workshops about creating accessible and inclusive urban spaces and homes
Aimed at pupils aged 13-18, these 45-minute sessions will include presentations by global engineering firm, Arup; Former Paralympian gold medallist, Geoff Trappett; and Pulitzer Prize nominee and award-winning writer on disability, Steve Wright.
The first session was on 22nd March 2021 about Town Planning for Accessibility and Inclusion. An experienced expert from a global engineering company and 'Infrastructure Architect of the Year 2020', Arup spoke about what factors need to be considered when planning town or open spaces and thinking about the diversity of our communities, to make them accessible for people with a range of different needs.
Some reflections from David Bara, Co-Founder and CEO:
"The session went really well. We had 3 people from Arup and they had planned out a fantastic activity where they started with an inaccessible venue, a cinema, and asked the participants, who comprised students and teachers, to make suggestions on how it could be improved. Then they used their CAD tool to change the cinema to adopt those changes as people suggested them. We finished with a fully accessible cinema. It was an excellent activity, which everyone enjoyed, including the Arup team.
People attended from all over, including Ireland, Nigeria, and Portugal. Feedback from all participants has been lovely. One 17 year old from Portugal, who reportedly usually avoids activities in English, attended the whole thing and is looking forward to the next one! So we are very proud and will be holding more events this year and next."
2. WeCanAccess Student Challenge:
WeCanAccess has teamed up with the Disability Review Magazine to challenge university students to write articles that will inspire better inclusion and accessibility. The winning article and author will be featured in Disability Review Magazine Winter 2021, and all shortlisted articles will be published on the WeCanAccess Blog space.
The closing date is 31st September 2021 – challenge rules and how to enter can be found here.