DFI presented to the Oireachtas Disability Matters Committee on Tuesday 20th April. 

April 22 2021, 11:40am


DFI presented to the Oirechtas Disability Matters Committee on UN CRPD implementation challenges for Government, Tuesday 20th April.


John Dolan, CEO, informed the committee that the successful implementation needed a different approach. “DFI has been involved in the implementation processes of successive national disability strategies. If Ireland uses the same approach to implementing the UN CRPD it will not succeed. Project management of the implementation needs to operate from the Department of An Taoiseach.” 


He reminded the committee that “the Programme for Government commitments to implement the CRPD came after the arrival of the Covid pandemic” and that “an ambitious and well-funded implementation programme is needed, and we expect it, for the remainder of this Dail term. The upcoming Budget will tell a lot.” 


John concluded by saying “The current reality of poverty and exclusion needs to be replaced by people with disabilities having sufficient income and full inclusion to live life with dignity in Ireland.” 


Dr. Joanne McCarthy, Director of Policy, Advocacy and Engagement, highlighted the devastating effects of Covid on peoples' lives, “The fear, anxiety, and stress that Covid brought to people, their families and carers cannot be overstated.” She went on to say that “prior to Covid people with disabilities were experiencing long delays accessing essential health and neurological services” and that “this has worsened since Covid.” 


Joanne highlighted the need people with disabilities and family carers to now be a priority for vaccination and went on to say, “People who attend residential and day services have been vaccinated. There are still questions regarding whether this will be extended to people in all disability services including those who receive PA and home support services.” 


Joanne also highlighted the chronic underfunding of services. “even before Covid disability services were carrying combined deficits of over €40m, and that these issues will have been exacerbated as a result of Covid and remain to be addressed.”


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