Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 11 November 2020
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Disability Matters
National Disability Inclusion Strategy: Discussion (Resumed)
It is the start of a good relationship.We must ensure whatever we do, we do it right. I said last week at our previous meeting that, as a politician, when I meet people I sometimes come across matters that I am not proud of. That is something I want to change, as does every member of the committee. We can do it with our guests' input, experiences and in light of the fact that they know what they are talking about because they are living through the experience. We need to hear all of that. As Deputy Tully noted in respect of education and children seeking services, getting the assessment right and then trying to meet the consultants and so on, it is a battle from day one. I have come across children who have been diagnosed as having a condition from birth but still they have to prove they have it every time they apply for something. They have to do it again and again and it is a grind. I have a bee in my bonnet about that.
Having listened to our guests' presentations, I will not ask them any questions. A plethora of legislation needs to be enacted. Some of it was mentioned in the presentations and spoken about. As legislators, we have a hell of a job to do. Under the chairmanship of Deputy Michael Moynihan, we will do what we can. The Minister and the Minister of State appeared before the committee last week and they too have an attitude of wanting to make a difference. We are working with them, as opposed to anything else, but we will also keep everybody accountable. I will not hold up our guests further other than to say we will talk to them all again. It is important that we do that because it is not a case of them just having their day in the sun before the committee, telling us what is wrong and then going away, where it would fizzle out. This is a relationship that is only beginning to develop between us as a committee and our guests, and I look forward to working with them in that regard.