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Rights of People with Disabilities in crisis must be priority- Anderson

6 December, 2012 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has addressed the European Parliament on the Rights of People with Disabilities in crisis.

 Speaking after the meeting Ms. Anderson said,

 “The Rights of People with Disabilities in crisis has been ratified by 154 countries including 24 from the EU.  Tonight’s meeting is intended to foster a dialogue between Reps of organisation of persons with disabilities MEPS and EU decision makers.

 “While there has been much work done on the rights of people with disabilities there is still a lot of work to be done in order to bring equality to their lives.

 “I was truly staggered to find that in the entire of the Brussels city centre only TWO restaurants were able to offer disability access for both restaurant and toilet facilities

 “This hard to believe as we end the year 2012 that people with disabilities are still denied choice and access to many public places, we must ensure in 2013 that we open up our entire society so that everyone able bodied and disabled have equal opportunities and access to facilities.

 “It is an also incredibly worrying trend that the economic crisis is being used as an excuse to implement a series of savage austerity cuts often encompassing vital funding for persons with disabilities.

 “In the North of Ireland, Disability Living Allowances (DLA) are being sliced and diced with privately owned Assessment Centres removing much need income for people with disabilities preventing many living independently. Not only is the Tory Government intent on lowering the amount of money they pay to disabled people they are also intent in stopping access to many benefits.

 “It is essential that in times of economic crisis, and NOT in spite of, that we that we seek to ensure that the most vulnerable and often marginalised sections of society are protected and not targeted for cuts.

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