22 Sep 2021, 17.55

The Joint Committee on Disability Matters will discuss the participation of people with disabilities in political, cultural, community, and public life when it meets this morning, Thursday, 23 September 2021.

The meeting is meeting this morning at 9:30 am in Committee Room 2 of Leinster House will hear from:

  • Representatives from Disability Stakeholders Group, Renee Dempsey-Clifford, Independent Chairperson, Dr Vivian Rath and Annette Costello
  • Councillor Carly Bailey, South Dublin County Council
  • Councillor Gabe Cronnelly, Galway County Council

In advance of the meeting Committee Cathaoirleach Deputy Michael Moynihan said: “The UNCRPD requires meaningful participation, consultation, and involvement of people with disabilities across political, cultural, community and public life. Persons with disabilities still face significant attitudinal, physical, legal, economic, social and communication barriers to participate in public life. These barriers in extension also impact participation in cultural and community life.

Everyone has the right to take part in the conduct of public affairs, the right to vote and to be elected, and this political activity also includes being members of political parties, attending political meetings and contacting elected officials.”

The Cathaoirleach went on to say: “And although some actions came from the National Disability Inclusion Strategy (NDIS) which details how we progress the accessibility of voting and voter information to every Citizen, the Committee hopes the States Initial Report on the UNCRPD which will go to inform the UNCRPD Implementation Plan, due to be published early 2022. As the Disability Stakeholder Group (DSG) will have input on this we look forward to an update and discussion with the representatives.

The Committee is looking forward to hearing from Councillors Bailey and Gabe on this important topic, insight shared may go in some way to highlight the barriers to be dismantled to allow great engagement by persons with a disability. The Committee welcomes the opportunity to continue to explore these topics and moreover the coming weeks.”

The meeting in Committee Room 2 can be viewed live on the Oireachtas website.

The Joint Committee on Disability Matters has 14 Members, nine from the Dáil and five from the Seanad.

More information can be found on the dedicated Committee Webpage. Committee proceedings can also be viewed on the Houses of the Oireachtas Smartphone App, available for Apple and Android devices.

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