Written answers

Thursday, 2 December 2021

Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Disability Services

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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146. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the degree to which he and his Department propose to address the extent to which children with disabilities can expect a high level of equality, which is some cases may also be affected by homelessness; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59739/21]

Photo of Roderic O'GormanRoderic O'Gorman (Dublin West, Green Party)
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The Equal Status Acts 2000-2018 prohibit discrimination in the provision of goods and services, accommodation and education, including against people who are in receipt of rent supplement, housing assistance, or social welfare payments.    

In June of this year I announced my intention to conduct a review of the Employment Equality and Equal Status Acts to examine the functioning of the Acts and their effectiveness in combatting discrimination and in promoting equality, including awareness of the legislation and whether there are obstacles to taking an action under the Acts. The first phase of the public consultation process has commenced and the views of the public and interested organisations are being sought on their own experience of the legislation and whether, in their view, legislative amendments are required. Submissions were also invited on the scope of the current definitions, including in relation to disability.  

In addition to the legislative protections in place, my Department co-ordinates the National Disability Inclusion Strategy (NDIS) which is whole-of-government strategy for policy and action to address the needs of persons with disabilities in Ireland and support effective progress in delivering on the obligations set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).  My colleague, Minister of State Anne Rabbitte T.D., chairs the NDIS Steering Group.  My Department is also developing an UNCRPD Implementation Plan and this will be finalised in 2022. 

My colleague, the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O'Brien T.D., leads on housing and homelessness, and his Department is represented on the NDIS Steering Group.


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