PRESS RELEASE 26th July 2012
Thursday, 26th July 2012
RESPONSE TO THE VALUE FOR MONEY AND POLICY REVIEW OF DISABILITY SERVICES IN IRELAND
This press release is in response to the Value for Money and Policy Review of Disability Services in Ireland. The Center for Independent Living Carmichael House Dublin (CIL CMH) is concerned about further budget cuts on top of a number of stealth budget restrictions that have occurred over the previously budgetary year and also the commitment by the HSE to tie future disability service planning in to the health of the economy.
Of note the report recognises that independent living is still a strategic goal, but this has not transformed into an operational goal. They outline that this change needs to happen, but do not provide specifics as to how it is to occur. Overall there is recognition of the importance of personal assistance services but no commitment as to how it can be mainstreamed as a model within the wider disability services. In addition direct payments are not outlined as a specific aim - it is mentioned but not as a central piece of future disability services. CIL CMH is greatly concerned that any future planning of the disability services does not have a commitment to either direct payments or personal assistance services.
CIL CMH is also concerned about the use of the term person centered, and would have preferred the adoption of independent living as a central theme. Person centered approaches, do not in our opinion, extend the same rights as independent living and neglect the key elements of choice, independence, autonomy and equality.
Finally, we question the exclusion of our figures from the report. “There may be some inconsistencies in the data particularly in the early period when these records were first collected on a consolidated basis. Certain organisations were excluded for this reason, e.g. Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Headway, Sisters of Charity, Centres for Independent Living and others.”
The recent budget cuts and proposed changes leave CIL’s, an organisation that provides on the ground services to people with disabilities, by people with disabilities, in a position that we are severely curtailed in the provision of Personal Assistance and employment services to our members. CIL highlight that at this stage that the demand for our services has not dropped and we have huge concern over how people with disabilities will be impacted on over the coming years.