Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Justice and Equality
Disability Activation Projects
414. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the supports or grants available to small business owners with disabilities whose specific needs dictate they need to employ persons to enable them to carry out their work; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5980/20]
The Deputy will be aware that the Department of Justice and Equality has a co-ordination role in relation to disability issues. In this regard, it oversees the implementation of the National Disability Inclusion Strategy (NDIS) 2017 – 2021 and the Comprehensive Employment Strategy (CES) 2015 - 2024.
The NDIS is the key framework for policy and action to address the needs of people with disabilities while the CES sets out a ten-year approach to ensuring that people with disabilities who are able to, and want to work, are supported and enabled to do so. The CES Implementation Group, which monitors the implementation of the Strategy, has an independent chair, Mr. Fergus Finlay, and is co-ordinated by the Department of Justice and Equality.
The second Action Plan (2019 – 2021) for the CES, published in December 2019, provides a focus for the work of the Implementation Group for the next period in the lifetime of the Strategy and sets clear deliverables and milestones for each action so that implementation can be monitored by the Implementation Group. The Government regards the new plan as a vital building block in the overall implementation of the Strategy.
Accessing and staying in employment for people with disabilities is difficult but can be achieved with appropriate supports. It requires many Government services to work for that individual and importantly to work together to provide a joined-up service. If the Action Plan can make improvements in the area of employment it can lead to improvements across all areas.
The Department does not provide grants to businesses but the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection does offer a number of workplace supports schemes for people with disabilities and their employers or prospective employers, including the Reasonable Accommodation Fund (which offers a workplace equipment/adaptation grant, an employee retention grant and a personal reader grant) and the Wage Subsidy Scheme.
More information is available at this link: