The Access Directory 2002/2003 is the first edition of what is intended to be an annual Irish directory providing information on businesses, suppliers and service providers for people with a physical disability—much of the information is also applicable to those with multiple disabilities. The directory aims to eradicate the difficulties faced by organisations and service users in accessing information on available aids, appliances and services in Ireland. Occupational therapists and physiotherapists will welcome these eighty pages, which are crammed full of comprehensive contact details of businesses supplying a wide range of products—from walking aids to adapted cars. And service users and their families will enthusiastically greet the information on available services and resources. The Directory has a user-friendly, easy-to-access format. Suppliers are listed under category headings such as ‘hoists’—making it an essential quick reference guide for occupational therapy and physiotherapy departments. Service users should be aware that suppliers may only be aware of their own products, being naturally biased towards selling those, so individuals should contact their therapist before purchasing equipment for themselves, or for a family member; as their therapist will be able to advise on the suitability of an aid or appliance to meet the individual’s needs. There is an impressive ‘transport and mobility’ resource section which is invaluable in covering all aspects of transport for those with a disability—from how to apply for a VAT rebate, to buying an adapted car and learning how to drive it. All the details are laid out in easy-to-read information sheets.
The Access Directory also advertises a large number of organisations that provide education, training, information and advocacy services for people with physical or multiple disabilities, with a contact list of personal helpline numbers. The Directory website was still under construction at the time of publication, but that promises to be a helpful companion to the book.
Overall, the Access Directory 2002/2003 is a very useful resource for people working with or caring for a person with a physical disability.