Transport training facility to help people with disabilities unveiled

by Alison O'Hanlon
0 comment

The Wayfinding centre is a first of its kind facility in Dublin that assists people with disabilities to navigate public transport and teaches authorities how to design more accessible services.

The Wayfinding Centre, a training facility in Glasnevin is focused on making public transport more accessible to people with disabilities, was officially launched this week by Minsters Eamonn Ryan and Anne Rabbitte. The centre will will open in April and is a joint venture between Vision Ireland and the National Transport Authority (NTA).

Based in the former Smurfit Kappa Ireland Printworks in Glasnevin in Dublin, the centre houses an Airbus A319, a DART carriage, a LUAS module, a Bus Eireann coach, a double decker bus and a taxi.

It also features an airport journey zone, platforms, cycle lanes, bus shelters, and pedestrian lights.

There are currently 1.1 million people in Ireland with a disability. However, Vision Ireland has said that as little as 6% use public transport on a regular basis. 

Jake Kinneear from Dublin, Madeline McNamara from Maynooth with Paddy Madden from Dublin. Picture Andres Poveda

The centre is aiming to increase that figure by simulating real-world public transport scenarios and providing familiarisation training aimed at boosting the confidence of people with access needs. 

It is designed to simulate real-world public transport scenarios and provide confidence and familiarity training for people with access needs.

Chris White, CEO of Vision Ireland is pictured with Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan. Picture Andres Poveda

Chris White, CEO of Vision Ireland, said “The Wayfinding Centre will provide an opportunity to familiarise users, which include people with reduced mobility, physical and learning difficulties, sensory impairment, young adults and those older adults who have lost confidence in navigating their way through public transport, or acquiring public transport skills.

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said that there are over 1.1m people in Ireland with a disability, including 300,000 with some sort of impaired vision.

Helena Mollaghan from Lietrim pictured with Chris White, CEO of Vision Ireland.
Picture Andres Poveda

Matt McCann, founder of Access Earth, said that he has had “negative experiences on public transport”. He said “Whilst some of these experiences can be put down to inadequate systems and infrastructure, some of them have been caused due to a lack of knowledge and awareness of transport staff o

Featured Image: Stephen Cluskey, Co-Founder Mobility Mojo, disability advocate pictured with Chris White, CEO of Vision Ireland and Matt McCann, CEO, founder of Access Earth and IAAG Member at the preview of The Wayfinding Centre, the world’s first transport training facility dedicated to inclusive mobility for all. Picture Andres Poveda

Related Articles