"A Strategy for Equality"
Posted by: Jamal Mazrui
Date Mailed: Thursday, July 17th 1997 04:12 PM
Date Mailed: Thursday, July 17th 1997 04:12 PM
Thanks to Gerry Ellis (Gerry.Ellis@itd.boi.ie), I obtained a complete electronic copy of a major report on disability policy in Ireland. Below is the table of contents and foreword. I've made the complete, roughly 700K document available at the address http://www.empowermentzone.com/equality.txt Here is an opportunity to learn from Irish experience and thinking on public policy affecting people with disabilities! ---------- A Strategy for Equality Report of the Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities October 1996 CONTENTS Foreword Preface Part One: Introduction Chapter 1: Overview The Commission's Recommendations Part Two: Policy and Structural Changes Chapter 2: Legal Status of People with Disabilities Chapter 3: Policy Development and Implementation Chapter 4: Delivering the Necessary Services Chapter 5: Costs: Budgeting for Equality Part Three: Economic Rights Chapter 6: Income and Disability Chapter 7: Work and Training Chapter 8: Insurance Part Four: Social and Civil Rights Chapter 9: Access Chapter 10: Health Chapter 11: Education Chapter 12: Housing and Accommodation Chapter 13: Transport and Mobility Chapter 14: Technology and Communications Chapter 15: The Law and The Legal System Chapter 16: Political Rights Chapter 17: The Inclusion of Women with Disabilities Chapter 18: Sexuality and Relationships Chapter 19: Religion Chapter 20: Arts and Culture Chapter 21: Media Chapter 22: Sports, Leisure and Recreation Part Five: Vulnerable People with Disabilities Chapter 23: Vulnerable People Part Six: Research Chapter 24: Research Appendices Appendix A:Statistics Appendix B: Equality, Status and Disability - A Paper prepared for the Commission by the Equality Studies Centre, University College, Dublin Appendix C:Outline Principles of a Disabilities Act Appendix D:Definitions of Key Positions Appendix E:Membership of Working Groups ---------- FOREWORD "We, as people with disabilities, are shouldering our responsibility to ensure that disabled people are "included" as full citizens in Ireland. It is now time that everyone else joins this process, so that we can all live and participate together as equal members of society". - excerpt from a submission It is with great pleasure that I present the Report of the Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities to Government and so honour the pledge we gave to the many people with disabilities, their families and carers we met at our "Listening Meetings" held throughout the country and to those who made written submissions to us. From the outset, the Commission made consultation and participation our highest priority. I hope that this approach will become part and parcel of the way in which policy will be formed in the future. This Report is an equality strategy which will, if implemented, set about removing the barriers which stand in the way of people with disabilities who want to live full and fulfilled lives. It will also benefit greatly the parents and carers of people with disabilities. The Commission's strategy involves legislative solutions, proposals for new policy initiatives and new structures for delivery of equality services within a framework of rights, not charity. The Commission has developed a model of service which places the user of those services at the centre of the process of service delivery, from the planning stage right through to implementation. While the Commission recommends that a reasonable time frame be set for the implementation of our recommendations, there are, however, a number of recommendations which require immediate attention. These are as follows:- Recommendations 23.20 - 23.23 in relation to a special programme to replace sub-standard facilities for people with disabilities, with St. Ita's Hospital, Portrane receiving priority attention. Recommendation 1.24 in relation to the provision of funding to the new Council for the Status of People with Disabilities. Recommendation 2.5 in relation to the revision of the EU Treaties. Recommendation 7.31 in relation to the acute shortage of sheltered workplaces and Recommendations 3.6 and 3.7 in relation to the retention and resourcing of the Department of Equality and Law Reform. I firmly believe that if these recommendations are implemented immediately, then a good start will have been made to tackling the gross in-equalities experienced on a daily basis by people with disabilities, their families and carers. I would like to thank the members of the Commission for their dedication and commitment to our work and, in particular, to compliment our Secretary, Mr. Pat Wylie and the other members of the Secretariat without whose resourcefulness and forbearance this Report would not have been possible. ___________________________________ The Hon. Mr. Justice Feargus M. Flood Chairperson to the Commission PREFACE The Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities was established on the 29th November, 1993 by the Minister of Equality of Law Reform, Mervyn Taylor, TD., with the following terms of reference: 1. To advise the Government on practical measures necessary to ensure that people with a disability can exercise their rights to participate, to the fullest extent of their potential, in economic, social and cultural life. 2. To examine the current situation of people with a disability and the organisation and adequacy of existing services, both public and voluntary, to meet their needs. 3. To make recommendations setting out necessary changes, in legislation, policies, organisation, practices and structures to ensure that the needs of people with disabilities are met in a cohesive, comprehensive and cost effective way. 4. To establish the estimated costs of all recommendations made, and 5. To report to the Government within a period of two years from the date of its establishment. The Commission received some 600 written submissions, a majority of them (327) from individuals with disabilities. A further 111 submissions came from parents and others close to people with disabilities while 162 submissions were received from organisations. In addition, the Commission held 30 "listening meetings" at ten centres around the country as well as at a number of locations in and around Dublin. Members of the Commission heard at first hand at these meetings of the frustrations and problems facing people with disabilities. Between the submissions and the listening meetings, the Commission drew up a comprehensive picture of the lifestyles of people with disabilities. The Commission appointed a number of Working Groups and individuals to examine and develop proposals on various issues. Their reports, a number of which the Commission is making available publicly, provided an extremely valuable input into the Commission's deliberations. These reports represent the views of the Working Groups which produced them, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Commission. The membership of the individual Working Groups is contained in Appendix E. Public life does not stand still while a Commission deliberates. During the lifetime of the Commission, several important issues arose which were of great significance to people with disabilities, and these were taken up by the Commission. A comprehensive submission was made, under the chairmanship of Commission member Dr. Gerard Quinn, to the Constitution Review Group, recommending specific amendments to the Constitution to ensure equal rights to people with disabilities in all aspects of Irish life. Submissions were made to the Minister for Equality and Law Reform, Mervyn Taylor, T.D. concerning the content of proposed Equality Bill and the Equal Status legislation. As well as making general proposals as to the manner of securing equal rights for people with disabilities, the Legislation Working Group made a technical submission regarding the important matter of the definitions of disability which would be appropriate to this legislation. The Report of the Special Education Review Committee, published by Minister for Education was followed by the White Paper "Charting our Education Future". The Commission's Education Working Group made a comprehensive submission to the Department of Education, focusing on the need for new education legislation which would ensure equality of opportunity, access and participation for disabled students, by creating entitlements to services and by providing for reasonable accommodation for all disabled students in mainstream schools. Members of this Working Group had the opportunity to meet with senior officials of the Department of Education on this issue. A delegation from the Commission met with the Irish Minister for European Affairs to stress the importantance of including a non-discrimination clause in the E.U. Treaty. A comprehensive submission was made to the Working Group on a Courts Commission, highlighting the problems which people with disabilities face in securing access to one of the most fundamental rights in a democratic state, the right of access to the Courts and the legal system; proposals were made to the Working Group on Taxicab provision, dealing with this most important aspect of transport provision for people with disabilities; consultations took place with the Insurance Federation of Ireland, in respect of inequalities in the right of access to insurance provision; discussions took place with Aer Rianta and Aer Lingus regarding access to air travel. The Secretariat of the Commission was provided by the Department of Equality and Law Reform and comprised of: Mr. Pat Wylie - Secretary Mr. Breandan _ Cathasaigh Ms. Anne Colgan and Ms. Ann Casey The Commission would also like to acknowledge, with thanks, the support and assistance they received from the following: Ms. Lucinda MacMahon Ms. May McCarthy Ms. Irene O'Keeffe Ms. Eileen Bowden Ms. Betty Ann Carroll and Ms. Collette Deely One of the most important aspects of the Commission itself was the fact that 60 per cent of its members were people with disabilities, their carers or family members. Its members were: Mr Justice Feargus Flood, Chairperson Sr. Angela Magee Mark Blake-Knox Frank Mulcahy Jacqui BrowneSeamus _ Cinniide Anne Coogan Allen O'Connor John A. Cooney Kathleen O'Flaherty Paddy Doyle Margaret O'Leary Frieda Finlay Arthur O'Reilly Michael Gogarty Colman Patton David Leydon Gerard Quinn Paul McCarthy Annie Ryan Conn Mac Cinngamhna Fidelma Ryan * Anne McManus ** Frances Spillane * replaced by John Bohan who in turn was replaced by Paula Lyons ** replaced by John Collins -- TNET Mail to News Gateway For information about this gateway, email email@example.com