I propose to take Questions Nos. 1833 to 1835, inclusive, together.
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection provides a wide range of work related supports for people with disabilities, which are voluntary in nature.
One of the principal supports is the EmployAbility service, which provides job coach support to people with disabilities in accessing jobs in the open labour market. The service is currently delivered nationwide by 23 limited companies, each with a specific geographical remit and each fully funded by the Department. Cavan, Monaghan and north Meath is serviced by two EmployAbility companies: EmployAbility Cavan/Monaghan and EmployAbility Meath.
Other employment supports available to people with disabilities in the Cavan, Monaghan and North Meath area include the provision of employment subsidies through the Wage Subsidy Scheme, Workplace Adaptation Grants and specialist training courses that are specifically designed for people with disabilities. Furthermore, participation in community employment (CE) schemes and the rural social scheme is also open to people with disabilities.
The Department has rolled out its full Intreo service to people with disabilities who wish to avail of the service on a voluntary basis. In such cases, people with disabilities who present at an Intreo Centre will be offered an interview by an employment support officer with a view to agreeing a suitable action plan. People with disabilities in the Cavan, Monaghan and North Meath areas who wish to access the service can do so at their local Intreo Centres located in Cavan and Navan.
Since June 2015, one of the four pilot projects participating in the Integrating Employment and Mental Health Support Project (IEMHS) was located in Cavan/Monaghan. In this project, my Department has collaborated with the HSE, Genio and Mental Health Reform, with the aim of demonstrating how existing mental health and supported employment (EmployAbility) services can fulfil the best practice Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model of supported employment. Although this project is currently coming to an end, the project has demonstrated good outcomes through improved integration between mental health services and employment support services. An evaluation report is currently being completed, which will provide lessons for the mainstreaming of this approach.
In relation to the level of investment made by my Department since March 2016 in the Cavan, Monaghan and north Meath area, statistics on expenditure at county level are not compiled by my Department.
The Government remains committed to facilitating increased participation in employment for persons with a disability. The challenge now is to improve on the programmes for people with disabilities by focusing on ability rather than disability and to enhance their potential and achieve greater independence through education, training and employment.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.