A Minute Matters – Disabled Parking Awareness Raising Campaign

Monaghan County Council were absolutely delighted with the success of the “A MINUTE MATTERS” campaign which took recently.

The project which is about awareness rising, advocacy and empowerment engaged the skills of young adults with a learning disability from Drumlin house Training Centre and the Monaghan Latch on programme to make a short film about the difficulties that are caused for people with a disability when people park illegally in designated disabled parking bays. A consultation carried out by Monaghan County Council with local communities highlighted the ongoing problem of people parking in disabled parking bays illegally. This causes a lot of problems for people who need those spaces.

Access officer for Monaghan county Council Bernie Bradley said ” We came up with the slogan “A Minute Matters” because many people think it’s ok to park in disabled parking bays for “a minute” but what this project is saying is “A Minute Matters” to someone who needs that space!

The overall aim of this project is to raise awareness among the people of county Monaghan of the problems people with a disabled driver badge face when people without a badge park in accessible parking bays.

Monaghan County Council approached Drumlin House and Monaghan Latch on Project and asked the participants if they would be involved in the project. We were delighted when 22 young adults with a learning disability signed up to take part. The project took place over two days. The project participants will firstly took part in a training workshop on how to make a film. Each participant took on a particular role in the area of film making. Learning skills in using a camera, sound engineering, roadies, interviewers and hair and make- up artists. Following the training, which was delivered by BNL productions the project participants, hit the streets of Monaghan town to assess the situation on a typical shopping day in the town. A small camera was placed on three disabled parking bays to see how many people without a badge attempted to park in the designated parking bays. Anyone caught trying to park without a permit was politely discouraged by the movie makers and asked to park somewhere else. The participants also interviewed members of the public on their views on people parking in disabled parking bays.

This project will empower young adults with a learning disability will media skills that will then allow them to advocate on behalf of people with a disability with regard to Disabled parking.

End result: A five minute you-tube video recorded by the participants that will raise awareness of the problems of people parking illegally in disabled parking bays which was launched in December 2014 both locally and nationally in time for the Christmas shopping period.

The project was a huge success, with had great support from the local Gardai and Traffic wardens who greatly welcomed the initiative. The gardai and traffic wardens have zero tolerance for people abusing disabled parking bays and anyone parking in a designated disabled parking bay will be issued with an €80 fine. In 2015, 59 people were issued with fines for parking illegally in disabled parking bays. Monaghan town has almost 1200 parking spaces and 43 disabled parking bays, so it is really important to badge holders that the spaces are available to them when they need them.

Margaret Flack co-ordinator of Monaghan Latch on project said “the group have spent this week going over all the excitement of being involved in the project; it was a really great experience for everyone involved”

Jeanine, Job Coach in Drumlin house “said this was a great project, everyone got so much out of it and it has created a real buzz around Drumlin house”

Bernie Bradley from Monaghan County Council, said “This project was a fantastic event for everyone involved, the participants were very empowered with the opportunity to stand up for people with a disability in the county, while also learning new skills and making a very positive contribution to their community.”

Launch of the Film

The end result of the project will be the production of a five minute movie A Minute Matters which will be used as an awareness raising promotional movie as part of the Christmas shopping period. The A Minute Matters film as produced by the participants was officially launched by Monaghan County Council . The film was then uploaded the film to YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and forwarded other county councils and disability awareness groups with the hope that the message “A Minute Matters” spreads right across the country.

YouTube Link to Minute Matters Video