DUBLIN - April 5, 2012 - The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD) is the first Irish venue to win the ‘Access Excellence’ award. This award acknowledges organisations that are embracing an inclusive and integrated approach in creating accessible events.

Comments about The CCD from the award judges, “Staff are passionate and driven to make this venue excellent in its access offer for all visitors. This manifested itself throughout the site visit and includes staff training, step-free environment, Braille signage on all meeting rooms, three fireman lifts, loop systems in all public spaces, concierge on hand to help all visitors, the evacuation plans etc. all make for a brilliant environment and, in my opinion, a destination exceeding compliance and achieving excellence in so many areas.”

“We were delighted to be recognised as the first Irish venue to win an award for Access Excellence,” said Nick Waight, CEO, The Convention Centre Dublin. “As we developed the venue, we had the opportunity to incorporate equipment and features to ensure that The CCD is accessible by all. Moving forward, we will continue to lead the industry in making our building even more user friendly.”

From the start, The CCD was focused on creating a venue which would provide a similar experience to every guest and user regardless of ability. To assist with this goal, an access consultant from Buro Happold joined The CCD design team during the construction phase. In addition, consultations took place with a variety of Irish disability organisations, such as Inclusion Ireland, Irish Wheelchair Association, Irish Guide Dogs, Disability Group of Northern Ireland and National Council for the Blind.

“I would like to congratulate The CCD on its Access Excellence award, said John Keogh,” Operations Officer of Dublin Fire Brigade. “I carried out a research project on the evacuation capabilities of thirty two mobility impaired occupants at the venue, which was a very efficient and successful evacuation during a simulated explosion and fire. The experience showed that the involvement of mobility impaired persons in evacuation exercises benefit participants, staff, Principal Response Agencies and the community at large. I would like to thank The CCD for their forward looking approach to the evacuation of occupants who may have difficulty accessing or evacuating their premises.”

The CCD has also completed a number of Emergency Evacuation Drills since occupation of the building. These have included exercises with members of The CCD staff and members of the public to test the venue’s evacuation procedure. In April 2011, the venue worked with a senior officer from Dublin Fire Brigade as a case study for his MSc Thesis entitled, ‘An empirical case study on the evacuation capability of mobility impaired occupants from The Convention Centre Dublin during an evacuation exercise’.  This involved the evacuation of 20 wheelchair users from the Irish Wheelchair Association, a member of Dublin Fire Brigade who was wheelchair bound, 2 members of Dublin Fire Brigade who had visual impairments and CCD Staff members and contractors from the building. The exercise incorporated the use of refuge areas and refuge call point communication with the Security Control Room, the evacuation lifts, the Fireman lifts, evacuation chairs and emergency call points in toilets.

The CCD received the Gold award at the Meetings and Incentive Travel (M&IT) Industry Awards 2012. The winners in this category were selected by a panel of judges appointed by M&IT.

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About The CCD

The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD) is situated in Spencer Dock on the banks of the River Liffey. Ireland’s first purpose-built international conference and event venue is positioned to become the best convention centre in Europe by 2014.  With a strong commitment to sustainability and best practices, The CCD recently secured accreditation for quality (ISO 9001) and environmental (ISO 14001) management systems. The award-winning venue is configured to accommodate conferences from 8 to 8,000 participants in 22 purpose-built meeting rooms. Its iconic design includes a 2,000-seat auditorium, 4,500 square metres of exhibition space and banqueting facilities for up to 3,000 guests. The CCD offers the latest technology throughout its sophisticated, flexible and delegate-friendly venue with an experienced and passionate team. For more information, please visit www.theccd.ie.