Thursday, 16 December 2021
Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
460. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the intended use and roll-out of disability awareness programmes and their regulation for use for workplaces and educational settings; and the way that his Department is planning on ensuring increasing public awareness. [62771/21]
My Department has a commitment to awareness raising activities within the context of the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities 2015-2024 (CES). It is also intended to conduct awareness raising activities around the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
The CES is a whole-of-government strategy which seeks to address and break down the barriers and challenges to employment for people with disabilities. The CES Implementation Group is independently chaired and includes representatives of the Disability Stakeholders Group and of relevant Government Departments and Agencies.
An awareness raising campaign, designed to encourage the employment of persons with disabilities, was due to be launched in 2021 but has been postponed to 2022 because of the disruption to the labour market resulting from Covid-19. The Department is considering how to develop the campaign. and funding has been secured in Budget 2022 for this purpose.
In terms of existing measures under the CES, my Department funds the "Employers for Change" service, which serves as an information and advice service for employers in becoming "disability confident".
In relation to wider awareness raising, my Department will develop an information and awareness programme around CRPD as part of the development of the CRPD Implementation Plan. This is currently being progressed in parallel to a number of matters to further realise the Convention.