Newsletter April 2012
Issued on May 9 2012
We welcome Minister Lynch”s commitment to the development of an Implementation Plan for the National Disability Strategy. This is greatly welcomed in the context of the recent Budget cutbacks to welfare supports, funding for essential services and the loss of therapists, counsellors, advocates and other supports. It has been a time when people faced increasing levels of uncertainty about the future. Although we have just recently learnt that this Plan, due to be completed by the end of May, has been pushed out for another three months we would encourage the Minister to prioritise this work which can be used to inform the development of Budget 2013.
This Plan offers us the opportunity to respond to what we know are the needs and wishes of people with disabilities. These are clearly spelled out in the 402 recommendations of the Report of the Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities (1996) and more recently in the Department of Health”s (DoH) Report of the Disability Policy Review (2011). They are also strongly articulated through a number of government documents, including those on congregated settings, day services, neuro-rehabilitation reports,and the housing needs of people with disabilities, all of which are replete with recommendations.
The publication of the Implementation Plan offers us a genuine opportunity to fully operationalise the vision for people with disabilities “to lead full and independent lives, to participate in work and society and to maximise their potential”. We would encourage the Minister to publish this Plan and support the timely implementation of its commitments.