Inclusion Ireland – Election 2016 update

All the latest news from our friends at Inclusion Ireland.

Inclusion Ireland will be launching a comprehensive information pack for the upcoming General Election which will take place in early 2016.

Inclusion Ireland has already produced an Election Manifesto called ‘A Disability Manifesto for Equality and Human Rights – Intellectual disability issues for the 32nd Dáil.

This Manifesto includes information on the following: Advocacy Supports, Therapy Services; Inclusive Education Supports; Life-Long Education and Training; Direct Payments; Recognising the Cost of Disability; Assisted Decision-Making Supports; Disability Hate Crime; and Employment Opportunities.

In addition to this, the organisation has also collaborated with Down Syndrome Ireland and the Center for Independent Living on a manifesto called ‘A Manifesto for Community Inclusion’.

The final version of the collaborative Manifesto will include sections on the following: Ensuring Equal Rights; A Life in the Community; Right to an Adequate Income; Education; Services to Children; and Advocacy.

The finalised documents reflect the views of parents, members, persons with disabilities, advocates, self-advocates disability experts and practitioners.

Both documents have been circulated to in excess of 30,000 people in mid-2015 and recipients were asked to offer their feedback using social media, website, email, direct correspondence and focus groups. Both documents will be launched in early 2016.

In addition to these documents, Inclusion Ireland will be producing Election Q&A sheets, Fact Sheets, Guide to Voting documents and case studies from around the country.

Inclusion Ireland will also be updating the Easy Read Guide to Voting booklet which contains information on the following: Why Should I Vote; How Should I Vote; Are There Any Supports for Voters; Checklist; and Useful Contacts.

The Easy Read Guide to Voting can be downloaded from the following link: www.inclusionireland.ie/sites/default/files/attach/basic-page/512/updatedvotingbooklet2008.pdf

For updates information on Inclusion Ireland’s election information pack please follow this link: www.inclusionireland.ie/content/page/elections-2016

Inclusion Ireland send strong delegation to 4th National Summit in Croke Park
Inclusion Ireland sent a delegation of over 20 people – including family members and self-advocates – to the HSE’s 4th National Summit which is taking place in Croke Park on Wednesday, November 18th.

The Summit, which was called ‘Embedding Values in the Workplace and Safeguarding Vulnerable People in Residential Centres’, was attended by Minister of State Kathleen Lynch TD along with 250 delegates from statutory and voluntary service providers.

This was the fourth in a series of summits which provides a forum for people to feedback as well as hear of progress on implementation of the six-step programme of change across the HSE’s Social Care Services, which was established in the wake of the RTE Prime Time Investigations Unit programme about Aras Attracta care home in Swinford, Co Mayo.

The National Summit was opened by Minister Lynch and there was also a presentation and workshop from international disability advocate John Armstrong on Engaging People to Achieve Good Lives.

Inclusion Ireland CEO Paddy Connolly also addressed the National Summit and spoke about the failure of the Government to deliver meaningful reform.

To read Inclusion Ireland CEO Paddy Connolly’s Statement at the National Summit follow this link: www.inclusionireland.ie/content/news-items/1377/inclusion-ireland-send-strong-delegation-4th-national-summit-croke-park

Inclusion Ireland CEO Paddy Connolly appears before Health Committee
Inclusion Ireland CEO Paddy Connolly appeared before the Joint Committee on Health and Children to discuss Advocacy Services in Ireland on Thursday, November 26th.

Paddy delivered his opening statement in Session 1 along with presentations from SAGE manager Mervyn Taylor, Chairperson of the Citizens Information Board (CIB) Eileen Fitzgerald and Ombudsman Peter Tindall.

HSE Director General Tony O’Brien made his opening statement in Session 2 at 11.15am.

Inclusion Ireland submitted an Opening Statement and Written Submission to the Committee and outlined our position on the current system.

The current system can be summarised in a number of points:

  • There is urgent need for a broad spectrum of advocacy supports.
  • There are no national guidelines or standards for advocacy provision.
  • There is no national information campaign on the right to advocacy or how to access advocacy services.
  • There is a little or no coordination of advocacy services.
  • No funding exists for the development of a range of advocacy models.
  • Funding for patient advocacy services has been cut in recent years.

With this in mind, Inclusion Ireland has made a number of recommendations that it would like the Committee to consider:

  • Inclusion Ireland proposes the establishment of a National Advocacy Authority. This new body would have responsibility for coordination and oversight for all advocacy services to persons in receipt of public services. Working alongside the existing public bodies (HIQA, Citizens Information Board, Ombudsman, Children’s Ombudsman and the Irish Human Rights Equality Commission).
  • Inclusion Ireland recommends that such an authority would have responsibility for setting standards and developing codes of practice for advocacy services. Coordination and resourcing advocacy would be its remit.
  • Inclusion Ireland recommends that one of the first tasks of such an authority would be to develop a national strategy for advocacy. This strategy would include provision of a broad range of advocacy models.
  • Inclusion Ireland would recommend the introduction of a national signposting service under the aegis of the new body.

To read Inclusion Ireland’s Written Submission and Opening Statement follow this link: http://www.inclusionireland.ie/content/news-items/1379/inclusion-ireland-ceo-paddy-connolly-appears-health-committee

Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill 2013

The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill 2013 is now in the final stages of the legislative process with enactment very much in sight and with it, the repeal of the Lunacy Regulation (Ireland) Act 1871.

In recent weeks, the Bill was in the Dáil for the Report and Final Stages in October and then Senators engaged in a robust and energetic debate during the second stage in the Seanad on in early November.

The Bill now proceeds to the Report Stage in the coming weeks, and should it pass the Seanad on this day, it can be signed into law.

During the Report and Final Stages of the Bill, Minister of State at the Department of Health Kathleen Lynch told the Dail during that we were “now at the point where we need to do the business” and hoped that the legislation would be “in place before Christmas”.

Inclusion Ireland welcomes the recognition from Government of the urgent necessity for enactment.

The repeal of the Lunacy Regulation (Ireland) Act will begin the process of discharge for the two thousand adults currently under the Ward of Court System. There were 322 people made Ward of Court in 2014 alone, an increase on the previous year’s totals.

In particular, Inclusion Ireland welcomes the removal of ‘informal’ decision-making or ‘acts in good faith’. The existence of these provisions allowed an undermining of the support structures envisaged by the legislation.

Inclusion Ireland calls now for an expedient enactment and commencement of all aspects of the legislation so that people with intellectual disabilities and others whose decision-making capacity is called into question can avail of the support they need to articulate their decision-making on an individual basis.

For more information on the Assisted-Decision Bill please go to our dedicated webpage www.inclusionireland.ie/content/books/1363/assisted-decision-making-capacity-bill-2013-enactment-edges-closer

Making a Will event to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3rd


Inclusion Ireland is organising information sessions on Making a Will for persons with intellectual disabilities or support needs to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Thursday, December 3rd.

The information sessions will be taking place in Mason Hayes & Curran Solicitors, Barrow Street, Dublin 4 between 12.00pm-2.00pm.

This is an opportunity to meet a solicitor, talk about making a will and arrange to have the Will made in a follow-up meeting.

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities has been commemorated since 1992 to promote awareness and mobilise support for critical issues relating to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society and development.

The theme for 2015 is ‘Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities’.

To reserve your place, call Inclusion Ireland Training & Development Officer Sarah Lennon on (01) 855 9891 or email sarah@inclusionireland.ie.

For more information follow this link: www.inclusionireland.ie/content/event-notices/1374/making-will-event-mark-international-day-persons-disabilities-december

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