Oireachtas Disability Group Manifesto

Issued on January 16 2020

 Oireachtas Disability Group logos

There is a crisis for people with disabilities and their families:

  • 13.5% of the population have a disability.[1]
  • By 2026, the number of people with disability will have increased by around 20%.[2]
  • 24% of adults with a disability live in consistent poverty, compared to 11% in 2011.[3]
  • Just 31% of working age people with a disability are at work, compared to 71% of the general population.[4]
  • 27% of the homeless population have a disability- double the rate of the general population.[5]
  • 2,136 people with disabilities remain living in residential institutions for people with disabilities.[6]
  • Over 1,400 people with disabilities under the age of 65 are inappropriately placed in nursing homes.[7]
  • Only 0.3% of all people with disabilities get a Personal Assistance Service.[8] Currently, there is no legal right to personal assistance in Ireland.
  • Across 38 services, at least 1,250 parents over the age of 70 are the primary carers of an adult with a disability. Close to 400 of these parents are over 80.[9]
  • Services are carrying €40m+ deficits[10] and were informed of a €20m cut to their budgets in 2020.[11]

To address this crisis, commit to:

End disability poverty and unemployment

  • Introduce a cost of disability payment in 2020. As an interim measure, increase Disability Allowance by €20 per week pending Indecon’s ‘Cost of Disability’ research.
  • Fully implement the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for persons with disabilities.
  • Introduce assistive technology passports, at a cost of €1.5m.[12]
  • Publish a plan to fully commence the EPSEN Act.

End the housing crisis facing people with disabilities

  • Fund housing adaptations and supports, at a cost of €128m.[13]
  • Ringfence funding to the HSE for community support packages so that people have a pathway to housing.
  • Accelerate the de-congregation process.
  • Commit 10% of social housing to accessible housing for people with disabilities.

Fund services and supports

  • Fund a multi-annual investment programme of €211m per annum for 5 years to services that allow people with disabilities to live independently in their community.[14]
  • Introduce legislation guaranteeing the right to a Personal Assistance Service.
  • Resolve the growing deficits of €40m + across disability services.[15]
  • Establish a transport support scheme.

Make disability rights a priority

  • Taoiseach’s Department to lead on disability.
  • Establish a Joint Oireachtas Committee on implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, UN CRPD.
  • Fund the Decision Support Service and implement the Assisted-Decision Making (Capacity) Act without delay.
  • Commit to direct engagement and resourcing of Disabled Persons’ Organisations so that they can engage effectively in policy development.

[1] Census 2016.

[2] NDA (2018), Disability Statistics.

[3] CSO (2017), Survey on Income and Living Conditions.

[4] ESRI (2017), Employment Transitions Among People with Disabilities in Ireland.

[5] Census 2016.

[6] HSE (2018), Time to Move on from Congregated Settings. Annual Progress Report.

[7] DCU and DFI (2018), The situation of younger people in nursing homes in Ireland- phase 1.

[8] HSE (2017), Service Plan 2018.

[9] National Federation of Voluntary Service Providers (2019).

[10] Estimated from deficit across National Federation of Voluntary Service Providers and Disability Action Coalition organisations.

[11] HSE (2019), Service Plan 2020.

[12] See DFI and Enable Ireland (2016). Assistive Technology for People with Disabilities and Older People: A Discussion Paper.

[13] €28.38m to restore housing adaptation grant funding to 2010 levels and €100m funding for the Capital Assistance scheme.

[14] Based on HSE (2018), Transforming Lives: Report on the Future Needs for Disability Services, Working Group 1 estimates.