Thursday, 22 November 2018

Questions (169)

Michael Healy-Rae


169. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the case of a person (details supplied) will be examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48803/18]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department has responsibility for delivering a wide range of schemes and services to its many customers. Many of these schemes are, by their very nature, complex and the Department aims to ensure that the needs of all its customers, including people with learning difficulties are met and that the rights of equal treatment are upheld in the delivery of services. 

In accordance with Section 26(2) of the Disability Act 2005, I have appointed two Access Officers in my Department, who are available upon request, to provide assistance and guidance to persons with disabilities in accessing services provided by my Department.

In addition to the Access Officers, Department officials are available in all regions to provide assistance to applicants who have questions or concerns on any scheme operated by the Department.  My Officials have a detailed knowledge of the relevant schemes and services and are in a position to respond to customer queries.  

Bearing in mind the need to communicate clearly in both written and verbal communications, my Department also provides step by step guidelines, user friendly explanatory manuals, question and answer sheets and working examples for most schemes, as well as telephone help lines to deal with queries.

Officials in my Department have previously been in contact with the person concerned and have put in place several measures to meet his particular needs.

In relation to spraying, the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive requires all Professional Users (i.e. anybody who applies/sprays products authorised for professional use) to be appropriately trained.  

As part of the validation contract of every accredited training provider, there is an undertaking to make skills/competency-based courses, such as those required by the Department for the registration of professional users, accessible to all.

The person concerned was informed by the Department of a number of training providers who were willing to meet with him in order to put in place the specific support that would have been required for him to complete the necessary training.

The person concerned should contact the accredited training providers to agree what supports are required. If there is any difficulty in this regard the person concerned should either contact the relevant awarding body or officials in my Department again.