Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (377, 378)

Seán Crowe

Question:

487 Mr. Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Science his views on the fact that all schools should be wheelchair accessible; the support he intends to provide to make schools in the State accessible to students and members of the public who use wheelchairs. [1741/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Science)

It is policy of my Department to provide all new schools with access facilities and special toilets to cater for disabled students and teachers. In the architectural design of emergency evacuation routes, account is also taken of the requirements of students and teachers with disabilities. New schools with two stories or more are provided with lifts. The school authorities are advised of accessibility requirements by my Department and the relevant design teams during the architectural planning process. Priority is given to applications from existing schools which make application for grant-aid towards the provision of access and other facilities for the physically disabled.

Seán Crowe

Question:

488 Mr. Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Science if his attention has been drawn to the fact that St. Dominic's national school, Tallaght, Dublin 24, located in a disadvantaged part of Dublin, is without wheelchair access; and if he will consider providing the school's board of management with resources to undertake this work. [1742/04]

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The management authority of St. Dominic's national school may apply for funding for the works identified as necessary through the summer works scheme. I announced details of this new scheme in December 2003. An advertisement regarding this scheme was posted in all national print and principal or chief local-provincial print media in December. Full details of the scheme are published on my Department's website atwww.education.ie. The closing date for receipt of applications is Friday next, 30 January 2004.