Minister of State Finian McGrath launches the National Disability Inclusion Strategy 2017-2021

14 July 2017

The Minister for Disabilities, Finian McGrath T.D., today launched the new National Disability Inclusion Strategy 2017-2021.  The development of the Strategy involved a comprehensive public consultation process, including two rounds of regional public meetings and engagement with the Disability Sector.

In launching the Strategy, Minister McGrath said that: This is an all of Government Strategy which is aimed at significantly improving the lives of people with disabilities in a practical sense, and also in creating the best possible opportunities for people with disabilities to fulfil their potential.”

Arising from the consultation process, eight themes were identified as central to the success of the Strategy:

  • Equality and Choice
  • Joined up policies and public services
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Health and well-being
  • Person centered disability services
  • Living in the community
  • Transport and accessible places

Minister McGrath emphasised that “The Inclusion Strategy is intended as a living document, and further actions will be added where necessary over its lifetime.” He added“As Chair of the Steering Group, my aim will be to ensure that the Strategy results in real and concrete change for the better for children and adults with disabilities.”

Minister McGrath also announced that he had secured additional funding, as and from 2018, for the Sign Language Interpreting Service so that it will be in a position to increase the number of trained Sign Language and Deaf Interpreters, put a quality-assurance and registration scheme for interpreters in place, and provide on-going professional training and development.

Other key commitments in the Strategy include:

  • A review of transport supports to determine the type of cross departmental transportation options that will best help people with a range of disabilities getting to and from their workplace and implementation of the most viable proposals
  • Development of proposals to address access to, or affordability of, necessary aids, appliances and assistive technologies required for everyday living, for those people with disabilities whose entry, retention or return to work could be jeopardised due to being unable to afford these items
  • Development of proposals in relation to attaching conditions regarding wheelchair accessibility on passenger licensed services and notification times of travel to transport service providers for people with mobility difficulties who require assistance
  • Full implementation of the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) of supports for children with disabilities to allow every child to participate meaningfully in the Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme
  • Full implementation of the Transforming Lives programme
  • Examination of the recommendations of the Make Work Pay Working Group with a view to introducing meaningful reforms that make it financially worthwhile for a person with a disability to take up employment
  • Implementation of the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for Persons with Disabilities
  • Examination of the recommendations of the report of the Personalised Budgets Task Force, with a view to introducing the option of availing of a personal budget as one approach to individualised funding
  • Development of Codes of Practice to support implementation of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015

Minister McGrath also highlighted key achievements since his appointment, which included:

  • Securing an increase in Budget 2017 of €92 million for Disability Services bringing the annual total to €1.654bn
  • Publishing Making Work Pay Report
  • Providing Medical Cards for nearly 10,000 children in receipt of Domiciliary Care Allowance at a cost of €10M
  • Launched the Taskforce on Personalised Budgets which will report by end 2017

Minister McGrath concluded “When I was honoured with my appointment as Minister for Disabilities, my immediate and continuing focus was, and is, on the person with the disability. I have listened to the concerns which they have raised with me regarding the many challenges they face on a daily basis. As a Government, we must do all we can to address these challenges and that is why I am excited by this Strategy which aims to bring about improvements for people living with a disability to allow them achieve their full potential in life”.

National Disability Inclusion Strategy 2017-2021

National Disability Inclusion Strategy 2017-2021 (Easy to Read Version)

Launch of National Disability Inclusion Strategy 2017 - 2021