Minister of State McGrath publishes mid-term review of the National Disability Inclusion Strategy

·         Review sets a framework for action on disability from now until the end of 2021
·         Outcome of consultation process with stakeholders places focus on implementation of strategy objectives and obligations under UNCRPD
·         Emphasis to be placed on awareness raising, strengthening rights and improving services to those with disabilities
7 March 2020
Today, the Minister of State with special responsibility for Disability, Finian McGrath, announced the publication of the mid-term review of the National Disability Inclusion Strategy (NDIS) 2017 – 2021.
The Review, which sets out a framework for actions on disability from now until the end of 2021, was completed following detailed consultation with disability stakeholders, relevant departments and agencies. The work carried out as part of this period of consultation confirmed that stakeholders want the emphasis for the remaining years of the Strategy to be on the implementation of existing commitments within the Strategy, and a particular focus on fulfilling obligations that arise from Ireland’s ratification, in 2018, of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
In response to this consultative process, the Department agrees that the focus for 2020 and 2021 should be the implementation of outstanding actions within the strategy, and on the obligations arising for Ireland under the UNCRPD. The approach, as set out within the mid-term Review, will be focused on the following elements:
·         Raising awareness of the lived experience of people with disabilities
·         Strengthening the rights of people with disabilities
·         Expanding into new areas
·         Implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
·         Improving services to people with disabilities through better implementation and collaborative approaches
Noting the details of the mid-term Review, and particularly the fact that it reaffirms the original vision for the Strategy, Minister McGrath said:
“This work has always been a particular passion of mine, and will continue to be. When the Strategy concludes in 2021, my hope and my aim is for Ireland to be a better place for people with disabilities to live in and a place where people with disabilities are involved and consulted with on matters and decisions that affect their lives.
“Ireland should be a country where people with disabilities have complete equality, can participate fully in our society, and enjoy a quality of life on a par with the rest of the population.
“The NDIS provides a framework in which we can work to achieve this aim. Work must now begin to ensure that actions are implemented so that those changes that are still needed, are realised.”
The review is available on the Department of Justice and Equality website at this link:
Notes for Editors:?
(Please Note – The Mid Term Review will be available at the link above from tomorrow. The PDF of the Mid Term Review is attached to this Press Release and is embargoed until 12:01am, Saturday 7th March)
·         The Government launched the National Disability Inclusion Strategy (NDIS) in July 2017. The Strategy is a four year, whole-of-Government approach to the realisation of 114 specific, practical and measurable recommendations in areas such as education, equality and health. It is the key framework for policy and action to address the needs of people with disabilities and it is intended that it will make a significant difference over its lifetime to the position of people with disabilities in Irish society.
·         The Strategy was developed on foot of a broad three-phase consultation process which provided interested parties with the opportunity to make recommendations in key areas such as service provision, accommodation, health, employment, transport and education.
·         The overarching aim of the Strategy, which was developed on foot of a broad and comprehensive consultation process, is to improve the lives of people with disabilities both in a practical sense and to create the best possible opportunities for people to fulfil their potential.
·         The Strategy is a ‘living document,’ with consultation on a mid-term review, an annual report, and revised iterations of the Strategy being published periodically, containing revised and more ambitious actions in the light of progress to date and ratification of the UNCRPD.
·         It contains eight themes as follows: Equality and Choice; Joined up policies and public services; Education; Employment; Health and Wellbeing; Person centred disability services; Living in the Community; and Transport and Accessible Places.
·         Implementation of the Strategy is overseen by the NDIS Steering Group (NDISSG) and is also supported by independent analysis and advice from the National Disability Authority (NDA) and by periodic review and oversight by the Cabinet Committee on Social Policy as appropriate. The NDISSG meetings are held quarterly and are chaired by Minister Finian McGrath. The Steering Group includes representatives of Government Departments, the NDA, other agencies and members of the Disability Stakeholder Group (DSG). The DSG comprises 24 individuals appointed by the Minister to represent the interests of people with disabilities and to monitor the implementation of the NDIS.
·         Government Departments are tasked with progressing the advancement and monitoring of relevant actions of their actions under the Strategy at local level through their Departmental Consultative Committees.
·         Significant progress has been made on key areas of the Inclusion Strategy since its launch. Notable achievements include:

  • The ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (April 2018);
  • The publication of the Make Work Pay Report;
  • Introduction of new ballot papers for referendum to facilitate private voting;
  • Implementation of AIM supports for children accessing ECCE;
  • Enactment of the Irish Sign Language Act 2017;
  • The publication of the Report of the Taskforce on Personalised Budgeting;
  • Significant improvements in transport accessibility, including reductions in the notice period for DART and train users, together with improved accessibility in train and bus stations; and
  • Reduction in the number of people with disabilities living in congregated settings.