Inclusion Ireland part of Oireachtas Disability Group Manifesto launch

Oireachtas Disability Group launch Election Manifesto 2020.

Inclusion Ireland, along with other members of the Oireachtas Disability Group (ODG), launched their joint election manifesto demanding a stop to worsening living conditions and services for people with disabilities.

The Oireachtas Disability Group, (ODG) is a cross-party/non-party group of Dáil Deputies, Senators community and voluntary representatives from the disability sector. This statement is on behalf of the following members of the ODG: Disability Federation of Ireland, Inclusion Ireland, Independent Living Movement Ireland, and the National Federation of Voluntary Service Providers.

As poverty levels for people with disabilities doubled in the last decade (to 24%) the Group stressed the need for immediate, all-government action to address the deepening crisis.   

In the past week and ahead of the election we can see a broad consensus forming that we cannot continue with business as usual for the 643,131 people with disabilities who have seen no improvement since the dark days of the recession.

We are also inviting the spokespeople from all the political parties to a National Disability Husting in the Mansion House on Friday, 31st to outline their vision to lead us out of crisis. On the same day the members of the Disability Action Coalition will hold regional husting all over the country.

There will be a Q & A session at all the hustings as we engage constructively with all candidates in a search for solutions.

We want candidates to commit to the following:

  1. End disability poverty and unemployment
  • Introduce a cost of disability payment in 2020. As an interim measure, increase Disability Allowance by €20 per week pending Indecon’s ‘Cost of Disability’ research.
  • Fully implement the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for persons with disabilities.
  • Introduce assistive technology passports, at a cost of €1.5m.[1]
  • Publish a plan to fully commence the EPSEN Act. 

 

  1. End the housing crisis facing people with disabilities
  • Fund housing adaptations and supports, at a cost of €128m.[2]
  • Ringfence funding to the HSE for community support packages so that people have a pathway to housing.
  • Accelerate the de-congregation process.
  • Commit 10% of social housing to accessible housing for people with disabilities.

 

  1. Fund services and supports
  • Fund a multi-annual investment programme of €211m per annum for 5 years to services that allow people with disabilities to live independently in their community.[3]
  • Introduce legislation guaranteeing the right to a Personal Assistance Service.
  • Resolve the growing deficits of €40m + across disability services.
  • Establish a transport support scheme.

 

  1. Make disability rights a priority
  • Taoiseach’s Department to lead on disability.
  • Establish a Joint Oireachtas Committee on implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, UN CRPD.
  • Fund the Decision Support Service and implement the Assisted-Decision Making (Capacity) Act without delay.

Commit to direct engagement and resourcing of Disabled Persons’ Organisations so that they can engage effectively in policy development.

 

[1] See DFI and Enable Ireland (2016). Assistive Technology for People with Disabilities and Older People: A Discussion Paper.

[2] €28.38m to restore housing adaptation grant funding to 2010 levels and €100m funding for the Capital Assistance scheme.

[3] Based on HSE (2018), Transforming Lives: Report on the Future Needs for Disability Services, Working Group 1 estimates.