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Leaders reminded about disability promises
[Posted: Thu 03/03/2011 by Deborah Condon www.irishhealth.com]
The Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) has written to the leaders of Fine Gael and Labour reminding them of the key commitments they made during the election campaign to prioritise people with physical and mental disabilities.
According to the federation, both Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore confirmed their intention to prioritise the disability issue during the final debate before the election on February 25. The organisation is now keen to have these intentions articulated in the next Programme for Government.
"Both parties are in agreement that disability and mental health is the priority social justice and equality area to be progressed by the new government. Over 18% of Irish people have some level of disability and it is imperative that the incoming government has detailed plans to provide services and income supports for these people as required," said DFI chief executive, John Dolan.
He noted that the National Disability Strategy provides all the guidance necessary for the development of these plans.
"It is now just a matter of leadership and commitment and both leaders have also confirmed their intention to deliver a plan to protect disability," Mr Dolan commented.
He emphasised that disability is an issue for all of society and it requires strong leadership at government level if the desired outcomes are to be achieved.
"It is important that the new government appoints a minister with specific responsibility for this issue and that all departments involved co-ordinate their efforts to maximise cohesion and outcomes," Mr Dolan added.
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