Wednesday, 24 November 2021
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
We have obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, UNCRPD, to ensure that disabled people are treated equally in society. We ratified the UNCRPD in 2018 but from what I can see, no progress has been made on this issue since then in the area of transport. It is a vicious circle. The Minister of State mentioned the free travel scheme and access to public transport, which is all well and good and welcome, but if a disabled person does not live near a bus stop, how will he or she get to the bus? How can such people access the transport? People need personal transport supports and if disabled people do not have access to them, they cannot work. If they cannot work, they cannot afford to buy an adaptable car that is specially constructed to support their needs. It is a vicious circle.
I welcome the fact that there is a review of the disabled drivers and disabled passengers scheme but that needs to happen immediately. It needs to bring in real concessions. I do not know why publication of the Indecon report is taking so long. It is completed and should be produced.