Thursday, 12 July 2012

Questions (116)

Dominic Hannigan

Question:

116 Deputy Dominic Hannigan asked the Minister for Social Protection her plans for the advocacy for persons with disabilities; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34058/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Social Protection)

The National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities (NAS) was established under the Citizens Information Board (CIB) in January 2011. NAS provides an independent, confidential and free, representative advocacy service to vulnerable people with disabilities who cannot self advocate, while supporting others to use mainstream services.

The budget assigned to the National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities in 2012 is €3.2 million.

During 2011 the service was established in locations across the country. The service is managed by five Citizens Information Services in Dublin (Clondalkin), Westmeath, Offaly, Waterford and Leitrim and staffed by five Managers, 35 advocates (full-time equivalents) and five administrators.

The aim of the National Advocacy Service is to ensure that the voices of people with disabilities are heard and their rights safeguarded. The Service has a particular remit for people with disabilities who are isolated from their community and services, have communication differences, are inappropriately accommodated, live in residential services, attend day services and have limited informal or natural supports.

As a new service NAS has been targeting promotion of the service to residential institutions. In 2011 all five regions conducted an extensive programme of visits and presentations to management, staff and service users in residential services.

The list of advocates, their contact numbers and the counties which they cover can be accessed by following the NAS link on www.citizensinformationboard.ie.