Will Government Ministers Listen to People with Disabilities?

  • Adrian discusses important topics such as medical cards and charges
  • He thinks the government and ministers dont understand people with disabilities and their families
  • He thinks a proper dialogue and understanding needs to be had by all parties

Will Government Ministers and TDs listen properly to the needs of People with Intellectual Disabilities & their Families?

I don’t think so, because Government and most TDs don’t think the needs of people with intellectual disabilities and their families are important enough.

The Government and TDs  just don’t understand how hard life is for us as people with intellectual disabilities and our families, with the constant cuts to services and secondary benefits/allowances like the phone allowance and the mobility allowance.

The prescription charges are a tax on people’s medication and has to be removed, and this prescription charge is hard on people with disabilities who are taking medication. It has jumped since this government came to power From 50 cent to €2.50, and is a very low blow, to tax medication which is vital for people with disabilities to take. If you have to take five different medications the bill could reach to €20 euro a month.

With news of the abuse of People with Intellectual Disabilities in services breaking nearly every month, it looks like the disability sector is in a mess. This is due to the lack of action from government / previous governments to make sure these services are protecting the clients’ human and civil rights, by making sure the clients’ needs come first and not that of the management or service.

Government agencies (i.e. Social Welfare, HSE to name two) seem to work against people with Intellectual disabilities & their families and friends. That is a view of a lot of people with Intellectual Disabilities.

The amount of forms and meetings and phone calls you have to make or give information or sign just to get your disability, invalidity and domiciliary benefits/allowances and apply for medical cards is ridiculous and should be made easier.

Even when you sign and give all this information, you might not get your benefits or medical card, if your mother and father are working, or your disability is not on their list of certain disabilities you don’t come under.

Just because your mum or dad is working you should not be punished. Your disability allowance and your medical card are yours, not your parents’. That should be looked at in the way they look how much you earn, and not take your parents wages into consideration.

The amount this stress causes to people with intellectual disability and their families & friends can be very hard. This is why the process of access to government services/agencies should be easier to access, and look at the person with intellectual disability and their needs – see the person, not how much it will cost the state.

This is why we need Government Ministers and TDs, and agencies to be given disability awareness training, and listen to people with intellectual disabilities and their families’ needs on how to make our life better.

We as people with intellectual disability and our family, friends and Self/Peer Advocates want Government, TDs and their agencies to look behind the Form or the PPS Number and see the Person with intellectual Disability and our family, friends and Self/Peer Advocates and to listen to our needs properly, by sitting down and speaking to us face to face and show us and our family and the self-advocates/peer advocates the respect we deserve.

This is what Government TDs and other party TDs need to do if they want my vote.

Adrian-NoonanAdrian Noonan is a Disability Self Advocate/Peer Advocate. He is P.R.O. of Seasamh, the Inclusion Ireland Self-Advocacy sub-Committee, and also of The National Platform of Self-Advocates.