Disable Inequality Key Asks:
1. The appointment of a full Minister for Disability Inclusion.
2. That people with disabilities have a fair income.
3. That people with disabilities have the same access to supports and services as everyone else.
The Social Democrats recognise that Ireland is not a society of equals. A number of groups are unfairly treated, including disabled people. The 13% of the Irish people who have disabilities and/or mental health difficulties are at significantly greater risk than non-disabled people of experiencing poverty, social exclusion, unemployment and lack of opportunity for education, training and retraining. Ten years ago the United Nations agreed on global action in the form of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Ireland took a leadership position when it signed the Convention on the first day possible in 2007 but the State has regressed in the intervening years. To date, Ireland has not ratified the UNCRPD and this failure means that the convention is not yet in force in this country. So the primary action to which the Social Democrats are committed is to ensure that any incoming government provides dignity and opportunity to people with disabilities by ratifying the UNCRPD as a matter of urgency. Ratification would then be followed by the development of a national implementation plan accompanied by monitoring, reporting and enforcement processes.
THE AREAS FOR PRIORITY ATTENTION FOR THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATS FOR REAL AND CONCRETE CHANGE ARE
- Ensuring that personal assistants and other individualised social care services are restored and improved so that the policy of independent living is honoured.
- Ending barriers to disabled people entering or remaining within the paid work force such as inadequate educational provision, continuing benefit traps, discriminatory access rules and attitudes.
- Recognising the extra costs of living for disabled people and helping them to stay out of poverty through a specific cost of disability payment, as has been promised but not delivered.