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Programme for Government – Disability

March 7th, 2011 · 1 Comment · Disability, Equality

Given that Fine Gael and Labour had the most extensive commitments in the area of disability in their manifestos, it is no surprise that the Programme for Government section on the subject was extensive enough.

The commitment to put the standards on Residential settings for people with disabilities on a statutory footing and ensure inspections by HIQA is long overdue.  I note that it is proposed that HIQA will also be given responsiblity for setting standards and inspecting Home Care services for older people – as many of these service providers provide similar services for people with disabilities I assume that these will be extended here also.  I also hope people with disabilities will be to the fore in setting the standards and supported to see them enforced.

There is a heavy legislative programme contained in the document, things will really have to change in the Oireachtas if it’s going to be implemented.  The legislative record of the previous government was appalling in terms of the number of bills passed/enacted. The Mental Capacity Bill has been drafted for debate for over two years – get on with it!

Next to see how they organise the Departments and who they give the jobs to. Maybe we’ll see a new disability movement independent of vested interests and the ‘sector’ form to seek change on a rights basis.  Then again ‘the sector’ are busy organising.

People with Disabilities
We will ensure that the quality of life of people with disabilities is enhanced and that resources allocated reach the people who need them. To achieve this, we will reform the delivery of public services to bring about back office savings that will protect front line services.
We will also facilitate people with disabilities in achieving a greater level of participation in employment, training and education.
We will publish, following wide consultation, a realistic implementation plan for the National Disability Strategy, including sectoral plans with achievable timescales and targets within available resources. We will ensure whole-of-government involvement and monitoring of the Strategy, in partnership with the disability sector.
We will seek to get best value for money for investment in services and to ensure that services meet the needs of users. A Comprehensive Spending Review will examine all provision for people with disabilities with a view to determining how users can get the best services. We will also ensure that money spent on disability services under the National Disability Strategy is clearly laid out and audited.
As part of this Review we will move a proportion of public spending to a personal budget model so that people with disabilities or their families have the flexibility to make choices that suit their needs best. Personal budgets also introduce greater transparency and efficiency in funding services.
We will put the National Standards for Residential Services for People with Disabilities on a statutory footing and ensure that services are inspected by the Health Information and Quality Authority.
We will examine different mechanisms to promote the recognition of Irish Sign Language.

We will reform the law on mental capacity to ensure the greatest degree of autonomy for people with itellectual disabilities or suffering with mental illnesses in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

In planning legislation, we will promote and support universal design whereby all environments can be used to the greatest extent possible by all people, regardless of age, ability or disability.


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