Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

National Disability Strategy

Pauline Tully (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
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125. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the actions he has taken to support to support entrepreneurship and self-employment for persons with disabilities as outlined in action 116 of the mid-term review of the National Disability Inclusion Strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43945/20]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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Enterprise Ireland has worked closely with the National Disability Authority (NDA) on this issue and in line with NDA and best practice advice, rather than delivering separate disability services, the Agency provides inclusive services while promoting awareness of entrepreneurship to the disability community.

Enterprise Ireland has developed a draft “Disability Inclusion Strategy – Supporting Entrepreneurship” which will be put forward for approval by Enterprise Ireland's Senior Management team early in Q1 2021. This draft strategy has been developed in line with best practice and has been developed in consultation with a number of disability bodies and people with disabilities.

Enterprise Ireland in partnership with IDA Ireland also promote by way of seminars ability within the neurodiverse community. For example, a seminar was developed in conjunction with Specialisterne Ireland and "As I Am" (Irelands Autism Charity) to promote the ability and talent of those with neurodiverse conditions and to help address the high levels of unemployment experienced within this community. Enterprise Ireland has further collaboration scheduled with "As I am" in January 2021.

The second session in the Ability series is planned for February 2021 and is being developed again in conjunction with the National Disability Authority. The session will showcase how Inclusive/universal design principles provide opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship for people with disabilities.

Following the introduction of the Web Accessibility Directive, key staff members from Enterprise Ireland have undergone “Creating Accessible Digital Content” and accessibility standards training. Enterprise Ireland is currently completing a Content Services Tender for a range of online services and content providers for its client facing platform on which an emphasis has been placed on raising the accessibility of the Agency’s client facing platforms.

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