People with disabilities are among those most at risk of poverty, social exclusion and unemployment and regularly face barriers to transport, housing, education and training. State supports, which should help disabled people lead full lives and reach their full potential, are fragmented and threadbare.
Children with disabilities and their families must battle from the day they are born. It is shameful that their biggest battle is often with the State – to try to get basic services, like an assessment of need, essential therapies or a school place.
In our first month in office, the Social Democrats would sign the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) – which would allow disabled people to make complaints directly to the UN when the State fails to provide services.
We pledge to put the UNCRPD at the heart of our disability policy, with a focus on four key objectives:
- A rights-based approach, which recognises the role of Disabled Persons Organisations, or DPOs
- Reform in the governance and accountability of the provision of disability services
- Implementation, enactment and commencement of key legislation and strategies to promote and protect the rights, quality of life, and independence of disabled people
- Investment in disability inclusion
Our Disability Priorities
- Address the waiting lists for an assessment of need and issues around staffing of Children’s Disability Network Teams (CDNTs)
- Use the findings of the Disability Capacity Review to provide the investment necessary to put the sector on a sustainable financial footing
- Address recruitment and retention issues in Section 39 organisations by ensuring their funding reflects the pay and conditions required to carry out their vital work
- Implement a weekly Cost of Disability payment to reflect the higher costs of living with a disability
- Ensure that the right of every child to an appropriate education can be exercised, and increase the number of Special Needs Assistants (SNAs), as well as improving their rates of pay
Find Out More
You can read more about our policies and plans in our Disability policy document, linked below.