Historic Cabinet Meeting on Disability

January 9 2020


The Oireachtas Disability Group, ODG, welcomes the disability focused Cabinet meeting taking place today (Thursday, Jan. 9th  2020) and here outlines urgent actions that need to be taken.

One stark indicator of this crisis is that 24% of adults with a disability live in consistent poverty compared to 11% in 2011. So clearly people with disabilities have been left behind by the recovery. The services they rely on have been starved of funding and for them the recession has deepened. People with disabilities in Ireland now have living standards in line with the poorest EU States. Clearly it is time for this Government to act. 


Urgent actions;

  • Cost of disability funding needs to be provided in order to address and stem the shocking doubling in poverty over the past decade. 
  • People with disabilities are four times more likely to be unemployed. This is linked to poverty and social exclusion, so the time is overdue when we tackle unemployment with a range of measures.2
  • We must invest in community services for people with disabilities. This will involve an initial investment of €211m each year from 2020-2024.
  • Address the housing crisis for people with disabilities by funding support packages and providing a clear pathway for people to access these supports from the HSE. 
  • The State must ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to GP, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and other mainstream health services.   
  • Each Department must commit to ensuring accessibility. Accessibility includes the built environment, transport, communications, audio-visual announcements, information in Braille, wheelchair ramps, etc.  


It is essential that the Cabinet is aware that for people with disabilities there remain huge obstacles and barriers. People have to struggle every day to access vital healthcare, housing, education and supports. This is not in line with the Articles of the UN CRPD - which Ireland ratified in 2018.


Two years on from ratification of the Convention the Cabinet must show it is ready to get serious about the UN CRPD by establishing a Joint Oireachtas Committee on the implementation of the UN CRPD.

Read the full briefing to Cabinet here