Launch of the National Disability Inclusion Strategy 2017-2021

July 16 2017


The Disability Federation of Ireland, DFI, welcomes any strategy with the stated aim of “significantly improving the lives of people with disabilities1” especially as the government’s own sources show a worsening situation.

For example:

  • The disposable income of people with disabilities fell by 7.4%, a drop of €1,047 between 2010 and 2015. This effectively means that people’s income is down by €20 a week2.

  • 4,456 households qualified for social housing in 2016 linked to an enduring physical, sensory, mental health or intellectual disability. This is an increase of 13.7% on the 2013 figures.3

  • 31% of working-age people with a disability were at work compared to 71% of those without a disability.4

  • Over 1,000 people with disabilities under the age of 65 are living inappropriately in nursing homes for older people.5 This is an unambiguous sign that community supports are not in place to allow these people to live in the community.

DFI CEO, Senator John Dolan said: “A disabled person sees no targets in this Strategy for reduction or elimination of poverty, increase in employment, social housing or supports to live in the community. These are the real issues and no hope is offered as there is no specific or concrete targets over the five-year life of this plan.

"I find it incredible that this Strategy does not reference the commitment made by An Taoiseach to the Dail, on reappointing Minister of State Finian McGrath, that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, UN CRPD,will be ratified by end December this year6.“

1 Minister of State, Finian McGrath on 14/07/17 Launch of the Strategy.

2 CSO 2011

3 The Housing Agency (2016) Summary of Social Housing Assessments 2016 pp. 10 and 16

4 Watson, D., Lawless, M., and Maitre, B. (2017) Employment transitions among people with disabilities in Ireland. An Analysis of the Quarterly National Household Survey.

5 Per HSE data. In particular, as of August 2015, 1,047 people under the age of 65 are in receipt of NHSS funding (i.e. are in nursing homes)

6 This is all the more odd as the preparatory areas set out by government are committed to in the Strategy in time to meet that deadline.