24 September 2019
By Bryan Smyth
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Disability Margaret Murphy O’Mahony TD has called on Government Ministers to ensure that warnings of a funding crisis in essential disability services are taken on board.
The Cork South West TD was expressing her concerns following a recent meeting with the Cope Foundation, the Cork non-profit organisation which supports over 2,300 children and adults with intellectual disabilities and/or autism.
“It is very clear to me that there is an unparalleled crisis in the disability sector, with many people with intellectual disabilities and their families experiencing major unmet needs. From my discussions with Cope it is obvious that steps must be taken to meet the needs of people with intellectual disabilities and their families to address this predicament in disability services,” said Deputy Murphy O’Mahony.
“We are all aware of how long waiting times for children’s disability supports have become, and the knock-on effect that these delays have on intervention milestones being irretrievably missed.
“There has been zero progress on Children’s Disability Network Teams over last three years. There are also major shortfalls in residential support and no avenue to access residential funding except via emergency measures. This means adults with intellectual disabilities are not being given any choice as to how they want to live their lives. This completely undermines the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which we ratified last year.
“Cope also highlighted how many parents are providing support well into their old age and without any security or peace of mind as to what will happen to their loved one into the future.
“These issues are fundamental for us as a society and groups like the Cope Foundation must be listened to when they highlight difficulties they are experiencing with funding.
“Disability services are often forgotten with all of the demands that are placed on our healthcare system. However, people with intellectual disabilities and their families deserve our support and must be remembered when funding is being allocated,” she concluded.