Dáil debates

Thursday, 11 November 2021

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate

Disability Services

6:05 pm

Photo of Anne RabbitteAnne Rabbitte (Galway East, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I again thank the Deputy. Under the national disability inclusion strategy, issues facing people with disabilities such as transport issues must be addressed on a cross-Government basis. These issues do not, and should not, fit into the Department of Health alone. There should also be conversations with the Department of Transport to ensure that, when a national transport policy is being rolled out, inclusion is part of it. It should criss-cross right across the country to ensure that people can use it.

The Deputy also brought up the idea of a national audit. In 2022, I plan to do a national mapping exercise to see where we have day services, rehabilitative training services and residential and respite services so that we can see where the gaps are. This will enable us to ensure we can meet the needs of individuals.

We do not have a one-stop shop for issues relating to disability nor do we have a one-stop website in that regard. I would like to break down the barriers between community healthcare organisations. If one lives in Cork but near Waterford, one might not get funding because of X and Y. We need to break down those barriers because parents do not know how to navigate them, although they probably do by the time their children have reached 18 years because they have been battling for 18 years. We need a one-stop shop that is accessible and that allows for integration. Regardless of people's location, they should be assured that they can attend a training centre and can have access to transport. We should support people who want to progress and who can be assisted. We also need to support young people for whom day services are the best option. I acknowledge the work the providers do in trying to cut what is already very thin cloth even more thinly. They do this incredibly well but, since 2015, the funding has not been there to support them.


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