Beyond legislation we need a sea-change in how disability is viewed within Irish society. People with disabilities are no different than the general population – they want to live autonomous lives with the care and support needed to achieve this. One important step towards full rights for the disabled would be a universal health service free at the point of delivery, funded through progressive tax. This should be democratically planned by health workers and service users with an emphasis on prevention and social support. Carers also need much better support. Below we offer some important social policies that are currently needed.
- Provide people with disabilities with the right to choose the services which best meet their needs.
- Implement regulations that ensure all homes and public buildings are accessible and built in accordance with the needs of people throughout their lifespan.
- Protect the wages and conditions for social care workers.
- Offer full support for home carers, including proper provision for respite.
- Introduce workable schemes to replace the mobility and transport grants.
- Ensure publically owned and funded disability services and oppose privatisation as this will work against the social model and lead to the reintroduction of a medicalised system.
- Disability proof all schools to make sure as many children as possible can access education though mainstream channels. This includes autism proofing our schools and communities