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Garda Headquarters lit up purple for UN International Day for Persons with Disabilities.

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  • 643,131 people in Ireland are living with disabilities
  • ½ million, or 80% of those disabilities are invisible

Today, 3 December 2020, marks the United Nations International Day for Persons with Disabilities #IDPwD20. This year’s theme ‘Not all Disabilities are Visible’ will focus on spreading awareness and understanding of disabilities that are not immediately apparent, such as mental illness, chronic pain, brain injuries and learning difficulties, among many others.

An Garda Síochána have partnered with the Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) and Gary Kearney, Brain Injury Survivor and Founder of Purple Lights to show their support for over 643,100 people living with a disability in Ireland by lighting up purple the Garda Headquarters, Phoenix Park. #PurpleLights20

Now more than ever during this pandemic, An Garda Síochána wish to raise the importance of being aware that not all disabilities are visible, in fact as many as 80% of disabilities are invisible. This means over half a million people in Ireland like Purple Lights Founder Gary Kearney, who suffered a brain injury after an unprovoked attack in Dublin city, are potentially at high risk of contracting COVID-19.

Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman, National Roads Policing and Community Engagement Bureau, An Garda Síochána, said: “During this pandemic, it is even more important to be aware that not all disabilities are visible. Remember to wear a face covering and keep your 2 metre distance in order to protect over half a million people in Ireland with disabilities that are not immediately apparent. Don’t judge a disability by its visibility”.

An Garda Síochána has a close working relationship with the Disability Federation of Ireland for many years and have supported them in recent times with successful initiatives such as ‘Operation Enable’ targeting the misuse of disabled parking bays and parking permits.

An Garda Síochána have also made numerous changes to www.garda.ie to show our commitment to making it accessible to all. These changes include providing an accessibility assistive toolbar solution called ‘Recite Me’ which allows our website users to customise their experience on our site in a way that suits their needs.

Recite Me provides numerous features to enable accessibility on our website such as text to speech functionality, customisable display and styling features, reading aids and a translation tool with over 100 languages, including 35 text to speech voices.

Some photographs of the Garda Headquarters lit up purple and Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman with DFI's Clare Cronin and Purple Lights Founder Gary Kearney in support of #PurpleLights20.

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Garda Headquarters, Phoenix Park, Dublin 8

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From L to R - 

Superintendent Michael Corbett, Garda National Community Engagement Bureau.

Clare Cronin, Communications Manager, Disability Federation of Ireland

Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman, National Roads Policing and Community Engagement Bureau

Gary Kearney, Brain Injury Survivor and Founder of Purple Lights

Inspector Peter Woods.

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Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman, National Roads Policing and Community Engagement Bureau and Purple Lights Founder Gary Cronin.

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Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman, National Roads Policing and Community Engagement Bureau

Clare Cronin, Communications Manager, Disability Federation of Ireland

Superintendent Michael Corbett, Garda National Community Engagement Bureau

Gary Kearney, Brain Injury Survivor and Founder of Purple Lights

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From L to R - 

Superintendent Michael Corbett, Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman, National Roads Policing and Community Engagement Bureau

Sergeant Geraldine Green and Inspector Peter Woods, Garda National Community Engagement Bureau.

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Purple Lights Founder, Gary Kearney and Inspector Peter Woods.