Written answers

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Department of Health and Children

Services for People with Disabilities

10:00 pm

Photo of Peter KellyPeter Kelly (Longford-Westmeath, Fianna Fail)
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Question 249: To ask the Minister for Health and Children the number of people here with deaf blindness; and if there are policies or strategies in place to address this condition specifically. [23490/07]

Photo of Jimmy DevinsJimmy Devins (Minister of State, Department of Health and Children; Minister of State, Department of Education and Science; Minister of State, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Sligo-North Leitrim, Fianna Fail)
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Government policy in relation to people with a disability, is to put in place the most effective combination of legislation, policies, institutional arrangements and services to support and reinforce equal participation for people with a disability. The framework includes provision for health and personal social services for people with a disability and special educational needs arising from those disabilities. The policy framework includes:

The National Disability Strategy;

The Disability Act 2005

The Education for Persons with Special Education Needs Act 2004 and the National Council for Special Education

The Sectoral Plans for 6 Government Departments and

The Multi Annual Investment Plan

The National Physical and Sensory Disability Database has 85 people registered as having a combination of hearing and visual disability. In addition, the database has 239 people registered with hearing and visual disability along with some other type of disability also.

It should be noted that registration on the database is voluntary in nature therefore it cannot claim to capture all people with a particular type of disability. In addition one of the key registration criteria is that an individual must be currently in receipt of specialised health or personal social services or require them in the future (over a 5 year time period from date of registration). As such, not all people with a visual and hearing impairment would be receiving or requiring specialised services. Finally, people who are aged 66 years or over are currently not eligible to register on the database and the database does not report on people who have been registered on the database once they turn 66 years of age.

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