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Local elections must focus on disability
[Posted: Thu 04/06/2009 by Joanne McCarthy www.irishhealth.com]
Local election candidates need to put disability into the centre of local government, the Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) has stressed.
The DFI has sought commitments from the main political parties ahead of the forthcoming local elections that disability will be top of the agenda for local government in the years ahead.
“There are close on 500,000 people with disabilities and disabling conditions living throughout the local authority areas. The DFI has been in contact with the candidates and with the political parties to remind them of their responsibilities to ensure that the needs of people with disabilities is placed as a priority for all local authorities,” said John Dolan, chief executive of the DFI.
The DFI has sought a commitment from each of the local authorities that they implement the National Disability Strategy at local level.
“Decisions taken by local authorities and local politicians directly affect the lives of people with disabilities. Their decisions decide on when and how the services available to the rest of the community are made available appropriately to people with disabilities,” said Mr Dolan.
Mr Dolan added that the DFI is available at local and national level to meet with politicians and officials to discuss the most effective way forward.
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