What is Galway city like for the wheelchair user? Is it easy to get around? Is there enough disabled access in our public buildings? What is daily life like for those with wheelchairs?
These and other questions will be examined in a new 30 minute film, Welcome To Our World, which will be screened in the Radisson Blu Hotel on Wednesday July 11 at 2.30pm, as part of the Galway Film Fleadh.
The film is directed by Margaretta D’Arcy and produced by Laurie Allen and Finn Arden. It is fast moving and funny with moments of anger, frustration, pain and courage.
It uses a wide range of interviews and other footage to provide a real insight into what everyday life is like for local wheelchair users and the common difficulties that they face in terms of simply getting around Galway.
The genesis of the idea was when the late writer John Arden and the filmmaker Frank Stapleton found themselves seated together in the only two wheelchair spaces available a Galway Film Fleadh event.
They could not go upstairs to the discussion which ensued after the film as there was no access for their wheelchairs.
Welcome To Our World has been a labour of love for Margaretta as John Arden, her husband, passed away during the filming. Margaretta has a unique insight into the lives of wheelchair users as her husband John spent his final years in a wheelchair.
Following the film screening there will be a panel discussion on the issues raised in the film. The speakers will be Mary Tierney (campaigner ), Ronnie Conlon, (founder member of Independent Living ), Nollaig McGuinness (Access For All ), Margaretta D’Arcy, and Dr Mairin Ní Nullain. The chair will be Lelia Doolan.
Admission is free and there will be wheelchair access. For more information on the film see www.welcometoourworld.org