The Disable Inequality Campaign has launched a new virtual opinion poll to allow people with disabilities and their supporters to vote on which party leader they feel best responds to issues concerning people with disabilities. This poll is being run through Disable Inequality’s Facebook and Twitter pages and will remain open until the polling stations close on Friday 26th February. The purpose of the poll is to act as an ongoing barometer to measure the impact of the commitments on disability made by the respective party leaders.
Launching the poll today, John Dolan, Disable Inequality Campaign Director, said that although the election campaign in the media had not overly focused on disability, it would be a defining issue for many families in casting their vote. He said:
“Disability may be the silent demographic in this election, but it is a huge issue nationwide. Today, there are 600,000 people living in Ireland with a disability and when one considers that each person is a family member – a son or a daughter, a brother or a sister, a mother or a father – it is clear that the supports and services for people with disabilities are huge issues for thousands of families around the country.”
Mr Dolan explained the background to the poll – –the Disable Inequality Campaign had been inundated with requests from people asking about the positions of all of the parties on disability issues. He continued:
“As a result we decided to offer a space on our website to leaders of all of the political parties to address key issues related to disability. In particular, we asked the party leaders to explain their programme of action for the 600,000 people with disabilities living in this country over the lifetime of the next Dáil under three distinct headings – 1. The appointment of a full Minister for Disability Inclusion; 2. A fair income for people with disabilities and 3. Access to the same supports and services for people with disabilities as everyone else.”
Mr Dolan said that the responses of the party leaders are available to view on the Disable Inequality website (www.disableinequality.ie) he encouraged everyone to read these responses before casting their vote. The online poll offers people an opportunity to given instant feedback to the Party Leaders. He concluded:
“Our campaign has been born out of a frustration that people with disabilities in this country shouldn’t have to continue to wait to be afforded the same opportunities as every other Irish citizen. In this landmark year of 2016, we have an opportunity to fundamentally tackle disability exclusion, which has always been at the heart of discrimination in our society. We are asking everyone to engage with our poll to send a message to the political parties that, irrespective of the permutations, disability must be at the core of the next Government’s agenda. Ireland’s 600,000 people with disabilities and their families need more than stability from the next government. They urgently need strong whole of government action delivered consistently over the next five years if there is to be any hope that they can participate and play a valued part in their local community.”
Jacqueline Grogan, Communications Officer, Tel: 086 388 2600 John Dolan, Campaign Director, Allen Dunne Operational Manager Tel: 086 8502112
Note to editors:
Disable Inequality is supported by Disability Federation of Ireland – working with people with disabilities to achieve their equal inclusion. It is also supported by many well-known activists including Louise Bruton, Legless in Dublin blogger; Tom Clonan, advocate for active citizenship; Marian Maloney, disability activist; and Ellen Keane, Paralympian Swimmer and double world bronze medallist.
Recent research by DFI, carried out by ireach, shows that one out of two people agree that people with disabilities don’t have the same opportunities to participate in Irish society as everyone else. This was backed up by qualitative research to test the fundamental principles of equality at the centre of the Disable Inequality campaign.