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Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth | Addressing the issues of access to jobs, housing, or social services affecting persons with disabilities

To ask the Minister for Children; Equality; Disability; Integration and Youth the extent to which he proposes to address issues affecting persons with disabilities, whether in relation to access to jobs, housing or social services; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


As the Minister of State with responsibility for Disability, I am wholeheartedly committed to ensuring that people with disabilities are supported to live the lives that they want to live and are provided with equal opportunity to do so. This is in line with the State’s commitments under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which Ireland ratified in 2018.

To date, the National Disability Inclusion Strategy (NDIS), has been the national framework for coordinating policy and action on disability issues. The NDIS covered the period from 2017 – 2022 and concluded in December of last year.

Following the conclusion of the NDIS, the focus of my Department is now on the development of an ambitious successor strategy. The new national disability strategy will also satisfy the Programme for Government commitment to develop a plan to coordinate continued implementation of the UNCRPD in Ireland.

The development of the new national disability strategy is complex, as it needs to provide the blueprint for further comprehensive realisation of the UNCRPD. It needs time at development stage in order to produce the best possible framework for UNCRPD advancement.

With this in mind, my Department is conscious of the need to ensure that, in line with our UNCRPD obligations, the voices of people with disabilities and their representative organisations inform the scope and focus of the strategy. The phrase ‘nothing about us without us’ is very important to the Government. Inclusive strategy development is the key to ensuring that we take action to address the challenges and barriers that would make the most significant difference in the lives of people with disabilities in Ireland.

In the interim, both I and my colleagues in Government continue work to advance disability rights and issues. I will, on April 26th, commence the Assisted Decision-Making Acts, bringing wardship to and end and replacing it with a system of rights based supported decision-making. That legislation will also advance a number of key elements for further compliance with the UNCRPD, such as increasing the statutory minimum target for the employment of people with disabilities from 3% to 6%.

It should be highlighted that implementation of the UNCRPD requires a whole-of-government approach. This aligns with Ireland’s long-standing mainstream-first approach to disability policy. All Government departments and agencies are responsible for implementing the UNCRPD, and action, where it relates to employment, housing and social inclusion will continue in to be led on by relevant Ministers and Departments.

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