Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 11 November 2020
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Disability Matters
National Disability Inclusion Strategy: Discussion (Resumed)
I thank the representatives for their submissions and contributions which have been most informative. It is ironic that we have been for some time in an age where information is at our fingertips but at the same time we are frustrated by the long periods of time which have been wasted, such as the 11 years it took for the ratification of the convention.
On the optional protocol, it is good to know and promising that the Minister of State, Deputy Rabbitte, announced today that she intends to begin implementation in January. IHREC mentioned a roadmap to that and I am interested in hearing further comment on it. I tried to press the Minister, Deputy O'Gorman, at our meeting last week but unfortunately it is not due to commence until after the first report. I seek some more practical information on a roadmap because it is very useful and is something that could be brought forward as well. I am happy that the topics which have been mentioned, especially by Dr. McDonagh, were raised so early in the meeting. Access for persons with disabilities in County Clare is very difficult because a lot of the county is rural. Consequently, transport and even access to housing are a major issue there. Do the witnesses have an input regarding congregated settings? At present, I know of five young adults who are in nursing homes and should not be. They do not want to be there and in a way they are confined to their rooms from morning to night because they cannot access the treatments or even activities because of their disabilities. I wanted to mention that because it is of deep concern within the county and I am trying my best to work with the agencies to see if a solution can be found.
The witnesses touched on the attitudinal issues we have in this country. That is hugely important because information and awareness is great but the question of how we tackle the attitudinal issues we have in this country remains. There is also the question of how we tackle invisible disabilities and how we break through on that. Do the representatives have any ideas on those matters?