Improving Life For People With Disabilities

What is the Assembly doing to combat the marginalisation and isolation of people with disabilities?

Mickey Brady from Sinn Fein began by pointing out that, having worked in the advice sector for 26 years prior to becoming an MLA, he was very aware of the marginalisation of people with disabilities. As a member of DSD committee, he realised that changes to legislation were not possible but it was possible to simplify claims, and the DSD Committee had called for a review of its administration.

Referring to National Disabled Week, the DUP’s Simon Hamilton pointed to the fact that the Assembly Committees were taking on people with disabilities to shadow them at work.

The inclusion of people with learning difficulties on the electoral register gave the SDLP’s Declan O’Loan hope that society was improving its treatment of people with disabilities and realising the contributions that people with disabilities could make.

Are you aware of areas where disability discrimination still exists – let us know what could be done to improve things.

One Response

  1. Lack of services and long term support for individuals with an ASD is a big issue. As a mother of six children, three of whom have been diagnosed with an ASD and another two under review I have a fair idea of the current situation as to how the people of Northern Ireland with ASD disabilities and indeed their carers have not had their needs addressed.
    Whatever way you may wish to look at it, autism is a disability of mind, it remains forever, there is no cure.
    Does it matter that Johnny can count to one hundred, sing songs, eat toast etc…. Yes it does, I will tell you why.

    Autism is a complex neurological disorder which is still little understood, even by professionals.
    Even though parts of Johnny’s mind are functional and he can successfully do these things, he has no useful intelligence to apply these snippets of robotic skills to the practicalily of everyday circumstances. He zones in and out like a radio that loses it’s signal at times. At times like this Johnny won’t see the car coming straight for him, he won’t see that he is going to fall out the window if he tries to catch the bubbles he blowing if they blow in the wrong direction.

    I can assure each and anyone who wishes to learn about autism that it is very very real, frighteningly so, and what’s more frightening is the lack of awareness and education surrounding the whole issue. It encompasses mental health, education, social care and every aspect of life you may care to mention. It affects an affected individual’s whole life! It affects their families whole lives too.
    It therefore has to be recognised for what it is. A condition which needs committed input from all Government departments. It cannot be categorised for convienience into pockets. It needs a wholesome approach for successful management and integration of autistic people into society. We need legislation to ensure that this happens.

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