I’m Lorraine and I live in Dublin’s North side. I live on my own, with the support of a personal assistant, however this was after a lot of fighting to be moved out of a residential service. I would love to work or access an activation scheme, but due my disability, I am ineligible for a number of schemes that would be of interest. I am also anxious about losing a number of the benefits and supports that I currently receive if I started paid employment like my medical card, rent allowance, loss of disability allowance and blind pension. I would love to contribute to society rather than rely on taxpayers, and I believe that people with disabilities should be given adequate supports to work. In the meantime, I volunteer with different disability and mental health organisations to gain work experience.
When I don’t have my personal assistant with me I have to rely on taxis to get around and to be independent, a cost which can be hard to meet. However, if I didn’t spend this money, I would become isolated in her own home.
There needs to be more investment in the disability services and the community supports that are needed to ensure that I can live the life that I wants to live and to contribute to society in a meaningful way.