The introduction of a personal advocacy service aimed specifically at people with disabilities is provided for in the Comhairle (Amendment) Bill 2004 which was published last September in conjunction with the Disability Bill 2004 and outline sectoral plans and as part of the Government's national disability strategy.
Under the provisions of the Bill, the new personal advocacy service would be administered by the national information agency, Comhairle. The new service would provide for the assignment of a personal advocate to a person with a disability who is unable or who has difficulty in obtaining a social service without the assistance or support of the personal advocate. The main function of the personal advocate would be to assist, support and represent the person with a disability in applying for and obtaining a social service and also in pursuing any right of review or appeal in connection with that service. The new service will be available initially from Comhairle's head office and from its regional offices in due course.