Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 11 November 2020
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Disability Matters
National Disability Inclusion Strategy: Discussion (Resumed)
The witnesses are welcome and I thank them for their contributions. The implementation of the CRPD is something that screams common sense. As a sister of someone with a disability, I have seen at first hand how she is put down at every step. Senator Seery Kearney mentioned employment rights and every step along the way, she is disabled and my sister is very abled in every sense of the word.
This is transformative and we need as a committee to look at each article. As a new Member of the Oireachtas and of this committee, the witnesses' submissions really helped me to focus on what we can do and need to do in this committee. I really appreciate that input from policy professionals.
Dr. McDonagh touched on many things in her comments. I also have heard that people who are frustrated think that because they are frustrated with the whole situation, they can take out their frustration on vulnerable people who are disabled. There is incredible injustice in this country regarding people with disabilities so I thank Dr. McDonagh for her contribution.
I have a general question. On a note which just came from the Seanad, we had the Minister of State, Deputy Anne Rabbitte, speaking on disability day services and her priorities in trying to get them reopened and increasing capacity. She also noted that by January, she hopes to start the implementation of the optional protocol, so we got some sort of timeline from her. I think her officials were pulling her back but she said they hope to start the implementation from January, so there was some positive news today.
An issue for me is employment. From the witnesses' point of view, is there one thing from a policy direction - not even a legislative direction - that we can push here which would have a quick effect on increasing numbers of people with disabilities in employment? I have ideas but I am not a policy professional. In transport, is there an immediate policy we could work on in that area?