17th Sept 2012 Five and a half years ago, Margaret Kinnane from Co. Clare, was assessed by the HSE as being in immediate need of Personal Assistance Service yet to date she has not received a single hour.
17th September 2012
Center for Independent Living, Carmichael House
Five and a half years ago, Margaret Kinnane from Co. Clare, was assessed by the HSE as being in immediate need of Personal Assistance Service yet to date she has not received a single hour. “I have to rely on family and friends to help out, if I had Personal Assistance Service I would have my independence” said Margaret, “for me it’s the difference between existing and really living.”
According to the Health Research Board’s figures for 2011 almost the same number of people are on the waiting list for Personal Assistance Service as are in receipt of it. Supporting people with disabilities to live independently in the community is central to Government and EU policy, Personal Assistance Service is the key that unlocks many barriers to independent living.
The Center for Independent Living (CIL) welcomes the launch of a joint Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) statement concerning their pre-budget submission today. CIL fully supports DFI in this campaign and acknowledges their support in agreeing its contents.
The statement recognises the double impact of the recession on people with disabilities, and makes the argument for making decisions on a social and economic basis. The recent attempt by Government to effectively scrap Personal Assistance Service for the rest of the year was both socially unjust and economically unsound. CIL members along with other leaders came out in protest as a reaction to this savage attack on a service that is fundamental to making independent living a reality for so many.
Personal Assistance Services underpins independent living, and are essential services that cannot be done without. This must be understood by those in government, as it has a direct impact on people’s lives. We must not return to a situation where living in an institution is a reality and accepted part of life for people with disabilities nor must we allow people to become prisoners in their own homes.
CIL Executive Director Gary Lee stated, ‘CIL calls upon Government not alone to guarantee that existing funding for Personal Assistance Service is ring-fenced but that additional funding be made available to tackle the waiting list. How long more must Margaret Kinnane and others wait?’
Note for Editors
Established in 1992, The Center for Independent Living which introduced Personal Assistance Service to Ireland is comprised of 22 user-led organisations around the country working in partnership with others, committed to all people with disabilities being recognised as equal citizens and achieving equal membership in society.
CIL believes that people with disabilities should be able to make informed decisions about their own lives in accordance with their own choices, to design and develop their own services, and to achieve equality of experience, through consensus, respect and value for all.