Wednesday, 18 January 2023
Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
1016. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the timeline for the working group to publish proposals in relation to Government-funded transport and mobility schemes, including the disabled drivers and disabled passenger schemes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2310/23]
The issue of mobility supports for people with disabilities is a key priority for me as Minister of State with responsibility for Disability.
Action 104 of the National Disability Inclusion Strategy contains an important cross-Government action to review transport and mobility supports for people with disabilities and to advance proposals for the enhancement of these supports going forward. The Action 104 Transport Working Group was established in 2020 to make progress in this regard.
I have chaired meetings of the Transport Working Group since January 2022, from which point the participation of the Department of Finance in the work of the Group was facilitated for the purposes of including the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers Scheme in the Group's holistic considerations. This was arranged following correspondence between Minister Donohoe and Minister O'Gorman on the matter.
The discussions at the Transport Working Group have been particularly enriched by the contributions of Disability Stakeholder Group representatives, and other disability organisations, who have ensured that the lived experience of people with disabilities remains at the centre of considerations.
The Group's work has now concluded, and the final report which synthesises submissions made by members of the Transport Working Group for this purpose is presently being finalised. Once this is concluded I will be in a position to consider next steps.
It will be incumbent on colleagues across Government with responsibility for transport and mobility supports to carefully consider how the recommendations of the Transport Working Group ought to be advanced.