Information and Policy
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Healthcare Structures in Ireland
Community Healthcare Organisations
The Health Service Executive (HSE) has established nine Community Healthcare Organisations (CHOs) across the country as a new means of delivering health services. The new arrangement aims to make it easier for people to access local services, improve management and accountability, and allow stronger local decision-making.
Entitlements for People with Disabilities in Ireland
Guide to Entitlements for People with Disabilities | 2015
The Citizens Information Board has produced a booklet giving a brief but strong overview of the entitlements for people with disabilities in Ireland, ranging from education and training, health services, employment, housing and more. This online versions allows you to click on each of the services and supports, highlighted in bold, so that you can quickly get a lot more detailed information.
Disability Policy in Ireland
Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities | 2015
The Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities (CES), launched in October 2015, aims to provide a cross-Government, coordinated approach to support people with disabilities to progress into employment over the ten-year period of 2015 to 2024. It sets out six strategic priorities: to build skills, capacity and independence; to provide bridges and supports into work; to make work pay; to promote job retention and re-entry to work; to provide co-ordinated and seamless support; and to engage employers.
National Disability Strategy Implementation Plan | 2013
The National Disability Strategy Implementation Plan, published in July 2013, provides the framework for the disability agenda in Ireland. It is designed to progress the implementation of the National Disability Strategy between 2013 and 2015.
National Housing Strategy for People with a Disability 2011-2016 | 2011
The National Housing Strategy for People with a Disability sets out the framework for the delivery of housing for people with disabilities in Ireland through mainstream housing policy. It aims to promote equality of access, address the specific housing needs of people with an illness, and to encourage co-operation between Government departments on this issue, among other aims.
New Directions | 2012
The Health Service Executive (HSE) published New Directions, its policy for non-residential or day-care supports for adults with disabilities, in 2012. The report states that such supports should be individualised and responsive, providing people with disabilities with wide choice on how to live their lives, enabling them to live in the community according to their own wishes and needs, and challenging providers to deliver stronger outcomes from their services.
Click the following link to read the New Directions Easy-to-Read Newsletter | July 2015
Time to Move on from Congregated Settings – A Strategy for Community Inclusion | 2011
Published in June 2011, the Time to Move on from Congregated Settings report, prepared by the HSE, examines how people who live in congregated settings should be “actively and effectively supported” to move into community living. A congregated setting is defined as a setting in which ten or more people with disabilities live together.
Value for Money and Policy Review of the Disability Services Programme | 2012
The Value for Money (VfM) and Policy Review of the Disability Services Programme was initiated by the Department of Health, and published in 2012.
Value for Money and Policy Review of Disability Services in Ireland | National Implementation Framework | 2013
The National Implementation Framework was published by the Department of Health in 2013; it describes how the recommendations from the Value for Money (VfM) and Policy Review of the Disability Services Programme will be translated into concrete actions.
International Disability Policy
United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) | 2006
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol was adopted on 13 December 2006 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, and was opened for signature on 30 March 2007. Ireland has yet to ratify the UNCRPD; a “roadmap” to ratification, now expected in 2017, was published by Government in October 2015.
European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 | 2010
The European Disability Strategy was adopted in November 2010, and protects the rights of people with disabilities to participate fully and equally in society and the economy. It aims to build a framework to remove everyday barriers in life and to empower people with disabilities to enjoy their full range of rights.
Disability Legislation in Ireland
Equal Status Acts 2000-2012
The Equal Status Acts 2000-2012 outlaw discrimination outside the workplace, particularly in the provision of goods and services, the selling, renting or leasing of property, and certain aspects of education.
Discrimination is defined as treating one person in a less favourable way than another person, based on nine grounds, including disability. The term “disability” comprises people with physical, intellectual, learning, cognitive or emotional disabilities and a range of medical conditions.
Citizens Information Act 2007
The Citizens Information Act made provision for a National Advocacy Service for people with disabilities (NAS). NAS, an independent, confidential and free representative advocacy service, was finally established in 2011.
Disability Act 2005
The Disability Act 2005 makes a number of key provisions:
- Independent assessment of individual health and education needs for people with disabilities over 18 years of age.
- Access to public buildings, services and information, as far as practicable. This includes a commitment to making public buildings accessible to people with disabilities by 2015!
- Assurance from six key Departments that their Sector Plans are inclusive of people with disabilities. The Departments identified are the Departments of Health and Children; Social and Family Affairs; Transport; Environment, Heritage and Local Government; Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; and Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
- Protection for people affected by genetic disorders against any unreasonable requirements from an employer, or an insurance or mortgage provider.
- Obligation on public bodies to be proactive in employing people with disabilities. The Act identifies a 3% target for employees with a disability and gives the National Disability Authority (NDA) the responsibility of monitoring and ensuring compliance and implementation.
- Establishment of the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design within the NDA.
Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004 (EPSEN)
The 2004 Education of Persons with Special Educational Needs Act (EPSEN) states that children with special educational needs are to be educated in mainstream schools, unless this would not be in the best interests of the child or the effective provision of education for other children in mainstream education.
Education for children with special needs may be provided in mainstream classes in mainstream schools, in special classes in mainstream schools or in special schools.
Employment Equality Acts 1998-2011
The Employment Equality Acts outlaw discrimination at work in relation to recruitment and promotion, equal pay, working conditions, training or experience, and dismissal and harassment, including sexual harassment. Employers are obliged to make ‘reasonable accommodations’ for candidates and staff with disabilities.
Discrimination is defined as treating one person in a less favourable way than another person based on nine grounds, including disability. The term “disability” comprises people with physical, intellectual, learning, cognitive or emotional disabilities and a range of medical conditions.
Research and Reports
Access to Life: Personal Assistant Services in Ireland and Independent Living by People with Physical and Sensory Disabilities | DFI | 2014
Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) produced this vital piece of research which looks at the situation of Personal Assistant (PA) services in Ireland in 2014.
An Evaluation of Personalised Supports to Individuals with Disabilities and Mental Health Difficulties | University of Ulster | 2013
This report by the University of Ulster presents an overview of the findings from an evaluation of 23 projects funded by Genio in 2010 and 2011 to facilitate personalised housing and support arrangements for persons with intellectual disabilities, mental health difficulties and physical disabilities.
Awareness of and Attitudes towards Human Rights and Equality in Ireland | Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) | 2015
This poll, commissioned by the IHREC, explored the public understanding of human rights and equality, and people’s knowledge of their rights and the routes open to protecting them. It revealed that 83% of people in Ireland agree that people with disabilities should have the right to make their own decisions about their lives and care. 29% also disagree that people using disability services are treated with respect for their dignity.
Concluding Observations of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights review of Ireland | 2015
The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (UNESCR) undertook a review of Ireland’s protection of these rights in June 2015. In its Concluding Observations, the UNESCR recommended that Ireland ratifies the UNCRPD, enhances access to services and reverses cuts to social benefit programmes for people with disabilities, and makes more community-based support programmes available.
Disability through the Lifecourse | Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) | 2014
The ESRI undertook research on a range of current disability policy issues in 2014, including children and disability, work and adulthood, mental health, and the cost of disability. These topics were explored from both social and economic persectives, with the research presented at a conference in Dublin in September 2014.
Educational and Employment Experiences of People with a Disability in Ireland: An Analysis of the National Disability Survey | ESRI | 2015
This report by the ESRI outlines the experiences of people with disabilities in employment and education in Ireland. It found that people with disabilities were more likely to live in poverty and rely on social welfare payments for income than the wider population, and that just 29% of people with disabilities in Ireland are in employment.
Independent Living: making choice and control a reality | ESRI | 2013
The European Social Network (ESN) published a report examining the promotion of choice and control among people with disabilities in six European countries.
Living in the Community: Services and Supports for People with Disabilities | DFI and Not for Profit Business Association | 2013
DFI and Not for Profit Business Association commissioned this report which details the supports and services provided by 15 disability organisations. It identifies the level and quality of community-based services.
Report on the Implementation of Policies Supporting Independent Living for Disabled People in Ireland | Academic Network of European Disability Experts | 2009
The Academic Network of European Disability Experts (ANED) produced a country report on issues on Independent Living in Ireland. The report examines developments in Irish disability law and policy, and how these have contributed to providing choices for people with disabilities. It provides data and statistics on the number of people with disabilities living independently in the community and in institutions, as well as information on the resources and supports available to people with disabilities at the time of reporting.
Good Lives – Research on Self-Direct Lives: Perspectives of People with Disabilities and Families | Self Direct Living Research Group|2015
Click here to access the Good Lives Report