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88% of assessment of need complaints under the Disability Act upheld – Nolan

9 May, 2017

Sinn Féin TD for Offaly and North Tipperary, Teachta Carol Nolan has said that the Government must ensure that the disability act is implemented in full. Teachta Nolan raised the matter today in the Dáil after parents of three children have taken high court proceedings on the matter.

Teachta Nolan said:

“Page 70 of the Programme of Government makes a clear commitment to improve services and increase supports for people with disabilities, particularly for early assessment and intervention for children with special needs.

“The families of three young children have launched high court proceedings over the delay in accessing an assessment of need. One of the children involved has been waiting for an assessment since January 2016.

“This is a disgrace. I received figures from the HSE last month that showed that over 1,000 complaints were filed under the Disability Act for failure to carry out an assessment within the stipulated timeframe. 88% of the processed complaints were upheld, with just 17 deemed to be invalid.

“Under the Disability Act 2005, children are entitled to an assessment of need within six months and the number of complaints received by the Disability Complaints Officer is likely to be only the tip of the iceberg.

“It is clear that there needs to be action on this matter and the resources need to be put in place to ensure that children can access the supports they need in a timely manner.

“I raised this matter with the Taoiseach in the Dáil today and his response demonstrates a clear lack of urgency on this issue.

“I am calling on the Government to ensure that the rights of children with special needs are upheld and that the provisions of the Disability Act are implemented in full.” 

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