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  • Northside West

Local election candidates urged to support disabled

Friday, 19th April, 2019 8:00am
Local election candidates urged to support disabled

The Disability Federation of Ireland is calling on local election candidates to set out plans in their election manifestos. Photo: Bigstock

Local election candidates urged to support disabled

The Disability Federation of Ireland is calling on local election candidates to set out plans in their election manifestos. Photo: Bigstock

THE Disability Federation of Ireland is calling on local election candidates to set out plans in their election manifestos for improving the lives of constituents with disabilities.

Census figures show 15 percent of Dublin’s population are living with a disability or chronic illness while the figure for Fingal is 11 percent.

Four out of every five people with disabilities acquired their disability during their working lives. This year alone, over 56,000 people, nationally, will be diagnosed with a disability for the first time.

Census statistics show that of people with a disability aged 15 years and over in Fingal, 29 percent were at work, compared to 60 percent of the general population of the same age. In Dublin the figure is 24 percent.

Every person living with a disability is a family member – a son, daughter, sibling, or parent. The lack of supports and services for people with disabilities encompasses a far larger percentage of the population than assumed.

Locally, access to services, including physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, personal assistants and other key supports are totally insufficient.

Furthermore, people with disabilities are not entitled to participate in many employment programmes and are further excluded from the labour market. 

Dublin City Council and Fingal County Council are responsible for services that are of crucial importance to those with disabilities. 

They include housing, planning, public facilities, education and training. 

The Disability Federation of Ireland is now calling on the local community and local authorities to put supports for people with disability at the top of the public agenda.

Mary McDermott, Disability Federation Ireland Support Officer for Dublin City said people with disabilities are a core element of community life.

“Their voice must be heard. Providing necessary supports to enable them to live as equal citizens will benefit every one of us,” she said.

“These citizens, their families and supporters are a sizeable electoral demographic and they will remember those candidates who place disability at the centre of their political agenda.

“Since 2008, there has been a steady erosion of services and supports for people with disabilities. 

“As a result, people with disabilities are more likely to live in poverty than others. They are in a far weaker position than before the recession.”

The Disability Federation of Ireland is calling on local election candidates to set out their plans in their election manifestos for improving the lives of constituents who have disabilities.

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