Written Answers. - Services for People with Disabilities.

Breeda Moynihan-Cronin

Ceist:

94 Ms B. Moynihan-Cronin asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the total amount of funding allocated by his Department for the provision of payments, facilities or services for those with physical or intellectual disabilities in 2003, giving the heading or sub-heading in the estimates under which the allocation has been made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19517/03]

My Department facilitates the employment of persons with disabilities and has developed specific facilities including specialised software for PC users with sight impairment, mini-com telephone systems and larger print tapes to assist staff with disabilities. It also provides sign language facilities for training courses when required, dedicated parking spaces and doors/toilets which are wheelchair accessible. All lifts are also adapted for wheelchair users and those with hearing and sight disability.

At present my Department employs 127 people with disabilities which comprises 2.6% of the total number of employees. A further 30 employees come within the scope of section 2(b) of the Employment Equality Act 1998 which brings the total to 3.21%.
Payments, facilities and services for the staff with disabilities employed by my Department is funded from the administrative budget.