A report published by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) yesterday (Tuesday, January 17th) found that Travellers were more likely to experience all forms of disability than non-Travellers, writes Inclusion Ireland Advocacy Project Worker Sandra McCullagh.
The report, entitled ‘A social portrait of Travellers in Ireland’, was launched at the ESRI by David Stanton, Minister of State for Justice at the Department of Justice and Equality with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration, and Integration.
The report shows the poor outcomes that Travellers experience in the areas of education, health, employment and accommodation.
Using data from Census 2011 as well as other sources, the researchers were able to compare health and disability status of Travellers in a specific age group (those aged 35-54 years) with non-Travellers from the same age group.
The report finds that Travellers in the 35-54 age group are nearly three times more likely than non-Travellers of the same age to experience disability or difficulty with daily activities related to their disability (31% versus 11%).
Some of the key findings include:
- 5% of Travellers have an intellectual disability compared to 1% of non-Travellers;
- 10% of Travellers have a learning disability compared to 2% of non-Travellers;
- Travellers are more likely to experience mobility limitations than non-Travellers (13% compared to 4%);
- Travellers are two or three times more likely to be blind (1% versus 2%) or deaf (1% versus 3%) and are three times more likely to experience a psychological or emotional disability or condition (9% compared to 3%);
- 11% of Travellers experience difficulty getting to school or work due to a long-term condition or disability compared to 4% of non-Travellers.
The research points to the need to ensure that disability services and supports are accessible to Travellers and inclusive of their needs.
The research is also a timely reminder that people with disabilities are not a homogenous group. They have many different identities, among them, women, men, migrant, child, LGBT, prisoner, asylum seeker and Traveller.
Public policy needs to be inclusive of all people with disabilities, regardless of who they are or what supports they require.