Funchion welcomes motion to ratify UN Convention on Disability Rights
Sinn Féin TD Kathleen Funchion has welcomed a motion that would mean Ireland would ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Teachta Funchion did raise some concerns in relation to the Motion.
Speaking at the Dáil today, Teachta Funchion said:
“I welcome this important step forward in ratifying the UNCRPD challenges us all to understand disability as a human rights issue.
“While I welcome this step, there are a number of concerns; in particular I find it is worrying that the legislative amendments that are needed to underpin the UNCRPD have not yet been completed.
“The Convention provides the framework to promote, protect and ensure the rights of people with disabilities but the rights of people with disabilities have yet to be met, in many areas, in our society.
“For example in my constituency of Carlow Kilkenny, there have been no overnight respite services since 2015 for children with disabilities.
“Families who provide 24/7 care for children who have often very complex care needs find respite services invaluable, just that one break means the world for them and their families and no one in Carlow Kilkenny has had overnight respite in almost three years.
“I also have found that there is no transparency in the allocation of any services for children with disabilities that I can see.
“Parents have so many hoops to jump through just to secure an assessment in some cases, let alone securing follow up services or supports and it seems like parents begin to get a handle on the system and then the criteria is changed – there is no guidelines for parents and every step is a battle.
“These are the very families who need these services, who need their energy and time to provide care for their children, not fight a battle daily with red tape and bureaucracy.
“Their children need to be able to avail of supports that would allow them to fulfil their potential and all they seem to meet at each turn are barriers and waiting lists of months or even years.
“School places for children with special and additional needs are completely insufficient in the whole constituency, with some children expected to complete a journey of up to an hour and a half just to get to school.
“We are nowhere near the provision of equal rights for people with disabilities and the ratification of the UNCRPD is hopefully some welcome progress in improving conditions for people and not just a tokenistic gesture.”