28/03/07 - Deputies and Senators briefed on Disability Sector Needs

March 28 2007


Serious under funding and lack of confidence in the system still affecting people with disability

The Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) hosted a briefing for all members of the Oireachtas today in Dublin (1pm, 28 March, at Royal College of Physicians) - to highlight the urgent needs of the sector in the run up to the General Election.

John Dolan, Chief Executive of DFI said today,

"Our briefing document issued to politicians today is entitled - 'A Lot Planned - All To Do'. All the needs of the sector are contained in the National Disability Strategy (NDS) and 'Towards 2016', however, we lack confidence they will be effectively delivered. Essentially we want all Political Parties in this Election to outline in their Manifestos how exactly the aspirational plans for the sector are to be implemented. In relation to delivery, we have been badly let down in the past and we need our confidence restored in the sytem and those who manage it."

(Copy of briefing document attached)

"We are not wishing to become part of the current 'auction politics' scenario but we do want firm decisions and timelines on all that has been promised. To signal commitment to deliver the NDS, we want the next Estimates and Budget to introduce a Cost of Disability Payment and comprehensively address under funding of existing services by voluntary disability organisations"

People with disabilities incur additional day-to-day living costs simply because they have a disability and we must have a financial mechanism to respond to this injustice. This is a matter we have raised time and again - and yet we await a solution.

The disability sector still experiences serious under funding for existing services and this affects the capacity of voluntary disability organisations to deliver core services. This sector is about people, people who need a wide range of services and supports. Continuing under funding of existing services undermines the effective delivery of the NDS commitments to new services and supports for people with disabilities.

DFI has serious concerns about the delivery of the National Disability Strategy. People with disabilities urgently need the delivery of this Strategy, but it is a massive challenge to our public service. John Dolan went on to say,

"...to successfully deliver the agreed Strategy we need comprehensive operational plans, effective monitoring and review procedures and year on year targets. I believe it is necessary for all Parties in this forthcoming Election to outline to the sector how they envisage the National Disability Strategy will become a reality and to deliver a Cost of Disability Payment and comprehensively address under funding of voluntary disability organisations services in the next Estimates and Budget."


Attached hereunder:

-Address by John Dolan at today's briefing, 28 March

- Full briefing document for TDs, Senators - issued today, 28 March

For contact,-

John Dolan, Chief Executive, DFI - 086-8370072
Allen Dunne, DFI - 086-8502112
Wally Young, Young Communications - 01-6680530 / 087-2471520