Written answers

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Disability Services

Photo of Violet WynneViolet Wynne (Clare, Sinn Fein)
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319. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth if he will consider implementing a mechanism that would allow for disabled person’s organisations to be prioritised in securing some of the disability participation and awareness fund through the local authorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53945/21]

Photo of Roderic O'GormanRoderic O'Gorman (Dublin West, Green Party)
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The Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Disability, Ms. Anne Rabbitte TD, recently launched, in October 2021, a new annual Disability Participation and Awareness Fund (DPAF).

The purpose of DPAF 2021 is to provide funding for Local Authorities across Ireland to support the participation of people with disabilities in local activities, to help remove barriers to community involvement, and to support the promotion and implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in communities.

A total of €2.5m will be made available in 2021 to Local Authorities to fund projects in their local area. Grants under the Fund will be to a maximum of €80,000.

Clear assessment criteria have been set for the allocation of funding under the 2021 Fund and these have been communicated to local authorities in guidance documentation for the making of applications.

Assuming that projects align with the aims and goals of the Fund, and are of a sufficiently high standard having regard to the other applications received, the guidance material makes clear that projects which provide funding to Disability Organisations and in particular to Disabled Persons Organisations (DPOs) will be given priority this year.

Photo of Violet WynneViolet Wynne (Clare, Sinn Fein)
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320. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth if consideration has been given for some core funding stream to be made available to disabled person’s organisations directly as opposed to local authorities as per Article 4(3) of the UNCRPD; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53946/21]

Photo of Roderic O'GormanRoderic O'Gorman (Dublin West, Green Party)
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Ireland ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in 2018 and continues to progressively realise its obligations under the Convention.

In progressively realising the obligations arising from Article 4(3) of the UNCRPD, my Department funded the development of the Disability Participation and Consultation Network (DPCN). It was formed in late 2020 to build capacity within the disability community so that people with disabilities and their representative organisations can participate fully in the development of policies and programmes.

One of the Disability Participation and Consultation Network’s first tasks has been to bring the voices of people with disabilities into consultations on Ireland’s first State Report to the UN on our progress in implementing the Convention. The Disability Participation and Consultation Network facilitated a consultation process amongst its membership to complete that task and I expect that they will continue to feed into policy-making across Departments.

In addition to capacity building via the DPCN, the Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Disability, Ms. Anne Rabbitte TD, launched a new annual Disability Participation and Awareness Fund (DPAF) on 18 October this year.

In this first year of the Fund, resourcing is being provided through the local authority system in order to focus efforts and build capacity at local and community level. It is intended that the 2021 Fund will inform a further funding call in 2022, and in that regard I note the Deputy's suggestions regarding core funding.

Under DPAF 2021, it is open for community and local organisations, including DPOs, to partner with local authorities and bring forward proposals that will support the participation of people with disabilities in local activities, to help remove barriers to community involvement, and to support the promotion and implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in communities.

A total of €2.5m will be made available in 2021 to Local Authorities to fund projects in their local area. Grants under the Fund will be to a maximum of €80,000.

This funding can be used for both once-off initiatives and short to medium term projects. Projects and initiatives should promote the rights of people with disabilities by removing barriers to the participation of people with disabilities in their local communities, raising awareness of the UNCRPD, and increasing accessibility.

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