Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Health

Disability Support Services

Photo of Fergus O'DowdFergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael)
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727. To ask the Minister for Health his views on a project by a person (details supplied) in relation to outcomes in respect of the deaf community and a proposal on the measures to help create a more integrated society. [6152/20]

Photo of Finian McGrathFinian McGrath (Dublin Bay North, Independent)
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I want to acknowledge the great work undertaken for this project, and I note that it has also been forwarded to Ministerial colleagues, who have policy remit for Education and Employment supports.

As Minister for Disabilities I have always believed that Disability is not a health issue, nor is it an education issue, or employment issue. It is an equality issue. Government has had a whole of Government approach to disability for a number of years. The Department of Justice and Equality is the lead for policy coordination for disability and equality.

Our National Disability Inclusion Strategy captures a wide range of actions across Government Departments that will impact on the lives of people with disabilities and is to be viewed as a blueprint for an inclusive, accessible and equal country that incorporates issues that affect quality of life, health, education and transport;

Underpinning the Strategy is a vision of an Irish society in which people with disabilities across the lifecycle enjoy equal rights and opportunities to participate in social and cultural life, can work if they want to do so, have choice and control over how they live their lives, and can reach their full potential.

Earlier this year, I published a mid-term review of the Strategy. When the Strategy concludes in 2021, my aim is for Ireland to be a better place for people with disabilities to live in, a place where people with disabilities are involved and consulted with on matters and decisions that affect their lives. It should be a country where people with disabilities can enjoy full equality, participate fully in our society, and enjoy a quality of life on a par with the rest of the population.

The NDIS provides a framework in which we can work to achieve this aim.

The Strategy is available on the website of the Department of Justice and Equality.

Photo of Thomas ByrneThomas Byrne (Meath East, Fianna Fail)
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728. To ask the Minister for Health the position regarding the proposed reopening of disability services and centres. [6167/20]

Photo of Finian McGrathFinian McGrath (Dublin Bay North, Independent)
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The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities. 

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

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