June 2009 Disability Federation of Ireland Newsletter
Issued on June 1 2009
DFI has sought commitments from the main political parties in the context of forthcoming local elections. We must ensure that commitments to disability are understood, deepened and localised, especially in relation to the work of each Local Authority. Government prioritised disability in its own Programme and this commitment is under pressure. It is imperative that priority is given to disability at all levels of government.
We have sought the following commitment from the main political parties.
- That the National Disability Strategy (NDS) be protected and advanced during the recession, while acknowledging the current economic challenges.
- That implementation of the NDS takes place at local and community levels to ensure necessary supports to people with disabilities and their families.
- That each Local Authority recognises its unique leadership position in developing, delivering and otherwise supporting delivery of the necessary services and facilities, through maximising its relationship with the voluntary disability sector and statutory agencies locally.
- That each Local Authority develops a plan with routine evaluation with the intention of maximising the availability of services and supports for people with disabilities in line with the NDS.
- That each Local Authority will routinely engages with the voluntary disability sector in a structured fashion to measure and discuss progress with NDS.
- That each political party informs its local candidates that it is committed to the above approach.
Quite incredibly, the disability sector has experienced extremely severe funding cuts in the past year and this is now impacting in different ways on close to 500,000 people all around the country. Local Authorities and local politicians must always take an informed lead role in seeking to improve local disability services, and current local election candidates will be hearing this on the doorstep.