Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Disability Matters

National Disability Inclusion Strategy: Discussion (Resumed)

Photo of Jennifer Murnane O'ConnorJennifer Murnane O'Connor (Carlow-Kilkenny, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

It is so important that we listen to the concerns and deliver on them. Covid-19, in particular, has been very hard on people with disabilities as services have been cut. Availing of services and going to work are part of one's life and routine so it is important that we realise the hard time people have gone through. It is important that we make sure all the services are up and running again at full capacity as soon as possible.

Transport, including buses, was spoken about. This came up before. We need to ensure that we deliver in this regard. The Minister of State, Deputy Rabbitte, was before the committee last week and she spoke about the funding available. There is a lot of funding available and we must ensure we deliver with it because there are huge challenges. Whether it is through providing housing, independent living or access to an old building for a wheelchair user, we need to ensure we have policies on the small things in life. We need to consider reform. We need to make sure that when we are delivering here, we are listening to all the concerns. Awareness is so important. It is not until a family member or another person one knows is affected that one becomes more aware of the issues that arise. Communication and awareness will be key. We need to consider research and guidelines. We need to determine what we can do to improve access and living conditions and to deliver a service needed by people with disabilities. It is our duty to do that.

On listening to the discussion, I thought of families, in particular. They may be fighting for carers or supports they should automatically get.

Everyone is affected, and we have a duty of care to everyone. We need to deliver on that.

I was glad to see the point made that issues specific to the rights of women with disability and children with disability need to be looked at. That is something we need to look at seriously. It is something we need to work on. There can be major changes. All of us can make changes. This committee, with all of us working together, can achieve that. We need to do that. I want to say well done to everyone. I am listening to all the concerns.

The Mental Health Act 2001 was mentioned. That really needs to be addressed. Many people have gone through hard times. We need to ensure the Mental Health Act 2001 is addressed as it is out of date. This is achievable and we need to do it. All of us here will deliver.

We are all committed to giving the best quality of life and the best help we can to people who are probably more vulnerable and who need more help. We need to deliver that. I was listening today and what I heard puts things in context. We need to ensure that we improve the proper services and deliver, whether through employment, independent living, access or whatever. We need to do that. I am delighted that I can feel that I am listening. I know that I can work - all the committee members will work - to ensure we achieve as much as we can for the sector.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.