Disappointing turnout of candidates to “Disable Inequality” – Mayo CIL Hustings
Disability Voluntary Organisations of Mayo today Monday 15 February 2016 held a joint election husting to highlight the issues faced by the 17,710 people living in Mayo who have a disability.
Every candidate in the Mayo region were invited and welcome to attend. It was with great disappointment that only 3 candidates stayed the duration to hear the concerns of people with disabilities in Mayo.
It is with thanks to the following candidates who gave their time and participation in discussing disability with us today:
Lisa Chambers, Michael Farrington, Michelle Mulherin, and with thanks to Margaret Sheehan who came but had to leave early due to a radio debate.
Left to Right Ann Moran Toni Gleeson (DFI), Cathy Mc Grath (DFI), Deirdre Fahey (Mayo CIL), Ann Marie Healy, Ber Hoban
Attending members of the public had the opportunity to raise the concerns of people with disabilities within Mayo. Key issues of concern raised include:
- The lack of an accessible public transport service and any real adequate rural transport service. Across Mayo Rural Transport is so under resourced that for example one individual living in Ballina, having a significant disability, with no public transport incurs a cost of €180 to travel for one appointment in UCHG by private taxi with extra charges if there was a delay or wait. – Address the inaccessibility of public transport in rural areas and ensure that any new transport subsidy scheme provides for people with disabilities’ mobility needs, including those who would have been eligible for the Motorised Transport Grant and Mobility Allowance Schemes prior to their closure.
- The substantial cut of €136m that taken from essential disability services such as Personal Assistance Services, Mobility Allowance and the Motorised Transport Grant since 2008, making everyday life extremely restrictive for many. – Meet the unmet need for the Personal Assistant service by increasing the budget by over €7 million each year from 2016 -2019, and increase Home Support Services by almost €10m each year. Invest in a Community Services and Self-Directed Living Supports Approach to make the current disability services programme ‘fit for purpose’.
- The significant cost of disability which is estimated to be an additional €207 per week. – Increase Disability Allowance by €20 to help support the income needs of people with disabilities and restore the budget for disability services to its former level prior to the recession, by increasing it by €50m each year from 2016 as an initial measure.
- In 2016 children with disabilities are still being denied entrance to their local school because of the lack of supports, segregating them from their brothers, sisters and play-mates. – Publish a comprehensive strategy for equity of access to further education and training (FET) for people with disabilities by end of 2017. This strategy must establish systems, supports and outcome targets to ensure people with disabilities have equal opportunities to access and participate in mainstream FET courses.
- The lack of ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD). – Establish a Cabinet Minister for Disability Inclusion to drive and coordinate all of government measures, including ratification and implementation of the UNCRPD;
- Castlebar new Swimming Pool – concern raised by attendees in relation to the accessibility of the Castlebar New Swimming Pool
In follow up organisations called for candidates to commit to the Disable Inequality campaign and to stop ignoring the significant electorate cohort of people with disabilities living within the Mayo Region. http://www.disableinequality.ie./