Centre for Independent Living Dublin, Press release

May 7, 2010


Centre of Independent Living, Dublin
The document below was presented to Minister John Moloney TD at a meeting beween the Center for Independent Living Dublin and the Minister in Dail Eireann on Thusday 29th April 2010. The Minister has agreed to meet wih CIL Dublin again in June  to hear the views of CIL on the necessary policy framework for the implementation of direct payments.

 

CIL CALLS FOR INTRODUCTION OF PERSONAL ASSISTANCE ACT

The Center for Independent Living calls on the Minister of State for Disability Issues, John Moloney TD, to introduce a Personal Assistance Act which will set out who qualifies for personal assistance, the purpose of such assistance inside and outside of the home, how such assistance is to be organised, and the right of people with disabilities to be part of their assessment for personal assistance. The Act would have regard to all models of service delivery including direct payments to people with disabilities for the purpose of employing, directly or indirectly, personal assistance, and provide the necessary policy context for the delivery of such services.

The Center for Independent Living welcomes the statement by the Minister that he intends to bring proposals to Cabinet, before the end of 2010, on direct payments to people with disabilities for the purpose of purchasing support services.

CIL calls on the Minister to enter into negotiations with the Center to hear directly the views of people with disabilities on this important issue. CIL have a unique experience of how direct payments can impact on the lived experience of people with disabilities when set within the correct policy framework. This experience arises from over twenty years of ongoing formal and informal contact with disabled colleagues within the European Union, some of whom have been instrumental in shaping legislation on personal assistance and direct payments in their own countries.

CIL believes that choice and control for people with disabilities over how their services are organised, delivered and commissioned, is a prerequisite to self determination. This social model of disability is endorsed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities which upholds the right to the personal assistance necessary to support living and inclusion in the community. Within this context of the social model of disability it is the view of CIL that any legislation or policy on personal assistance or direct payments should reside outside the jurisdiction of The Department of Health.

In order that direct payments succeed, in the context of employing personal assistance, CIL believe that concurrent policies on capacity building measures for individuals and User Led Organisations must also be implemented.

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