Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Questions (603)

Carol Nolan

Question:

603. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Health if the financial resources will be provided to introduce a subsidised taxi transport scheme for persons with sight loss; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4553/20]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

It is recognised that a whole of government approach in relation to transport policy for people with a disability, including sight loss, is desirable.

Under the National Disability Inclusion Strategy 2017 - 2021, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has responsibility for the continued development of accessibility and availability of accessible public transport. There has been considerable ongoing progress by that Department in providing accessible public transport nationally including a public consultation launched in November last, to review active travel and public transport policy, including accessible public transport.

As part of Budget 2019, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection commissioned a Cost of Disability Study which is currently underway. The research, when complete, will inform policy direction in relation to the provision of adequate supports to meet the needs of people with disabilities, including transport costs, from a whole of Government perspective.

A Working Group, chaired by the Department of Justice and Equality, has been convened to progress Action 104 of the National Disability Inclusion Strategy. Action 104 provides for ‘a review of transport supports encompassing all Government funded transport and mobility schemes for people with disabilities, to enhance the options for transport to work or employment supports for people with disabilities and will develop proposals for development of a coordinated plan for such provision. This plan will have regard to making the most efficient use of available transport resources. Importantly, this Working Group brings together the key stakeholders and it is hoped that the work of the Group will also inform policy development to enable the most efficient use of available transport resources for persons with disabilities.