Enable Ireland have just published the results of a survey “Access All Areas” as part of their Action Week and I’ve just taken a quick read of it, and some of the media reports on it. You can find the survey here, but I’m just pulling out the things that struck me on reading it.

“Infrastructure was viewed as the biggest barrier to access in the daily lives of people living with a disability in Ireland who partook in our Access All Areas survey. The biggest proportion (28%) of contributors voted this their biggest access barrier out of the five options. This was followed…by employment (21%)”

Surely if infrastructure is a problem then getting to anything is going to be difficult – if you can’t get around without difficulty then that’s a barrier to employment before you even get to the interview. This survey corroborates what we knew from our experience & research, reinforces the anecdotal evidence, and each survey, each piece of research backs up the other which is both useful and frustrating. But it comes up time and time again – access (or rather lack of it) is a huge barrier to employment. Policy makers need to take a long hard look at these facts – because as long as basics like transport and access to shops & buildings are challenging for some disabled people, as long as “it’s easier to stay at home” for some people, then figures like these are going to remain the same:

“Adults with a disability had struggled with employment; with over two thirds (70%) saying they had not found the process very accessible. While just under a quarter (23%) had found it quite accessible, only seven percent had found it highly accessible.”

And I don’t think that’s good enough.