06 October 2021 A review of the National Development Plan was originally planned for 2022 but in June 2020 the Government decided to bring it forward to 2021 in light of Covid-19 in order to enable an infrastructure led economy.

This revised National Development Plan sets out the what the government will spend on infrastructure between 2021 and 2030. It incorporates an investment package of 165 billion euro.

There are many plans that have been published in recent months and years which will have an impact on people with intellectual disabilities. At Inclusion Ireland we feel it is important to offer an analysis and summery of the particular aspects of any government plan which relates to people with an intellectual disability and the likely affect it may have on their lives .

According to the plan, the major public investment proposed will play a significant role in addressing the opportunities and challenges faced by the nation in areas such as Covid-19, Brexit, housing, health, climate action and a  growing population, projected to increase by one million people between 2016 and 2040.

Some of the key areas include of the National Development Plan Review include

Social Housing

The Capital Assistance Scheme provides funding to support the development of housing and accommodation for a range of individuals and families including those with an intellectual disability. The NDP includes all of the targets set out by the recently published “Housing for All” in which objective 7 relates specifically to disability.

“Decongregation” and Disability Services

In line with Government policy,  Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as the published findings of the regulator HIQA, there is a recognised need to “move on” from “congregated settings” as a  housing model for people with disabilities. There is a planned programme to replace remaining congregated residential settings with appropriate housing in the community.

Aligned to this, work is also being undertaken in relation to people with disabilities inappropriately “placed” in nursing homes.(of which there are 1300 people under the age of 65 meeting this criteria)

Community-based housing is provided in conjunction with the Department of Housing and related agencies.

The NDP makes reference to the Disability Capacity Review and how primary care services and health and allied services should be provided in the community.

Transport

the National Disability Inclusion Strategy (NDIS) 2017-2022 and the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities (CES) 2015-2024, commit to the provision of public transport services that are accessible for all, and especially for persons with disabilities. This includes both investing in older infrastructures as well as the ongoing maintenance of existing facilities, such as lifts and transport fleets. The Department of Transport funds a multi-annual, ring-fenced programme, managed by the NTA, towards meeting these commitments.

Inclusion in Sport

The Sports Capital and Equipment Programme (SCEP) delivered by the Department, supports the development of sports and physical recreation facilities. It focuses on improving female participation and supporting projects utilised by people with a disability and/ or minority groups.

Our CEO states:

The National Development Plan is an important one, affecting the lives of people with disabilities in multiple ways. We are pleased to see mention of housing, transport and inclusive sports as part of the plan. At Inclusion Ireland we are calling for plans to be urgently turned into action and translated into real life, positive change for people. Our members tell us that housing is one of the biggest issues facing people with intellectual disabilities today. For far too long the focus on disability has been narrow and based on “needs and services” rather than rights, citizenship and valuing people.

“We recognise at Inclusion Ireland the need for cross departmental working around issues like housing if people with intellectual disabilities are to have their rights met as equal citizens.  A house without  the supports to live there is useless- we have been calling on government to work on the development of a one stop shop for housing -where the home and the supports to live there come on stream at the same time to enable the person to live and participate in the community. The proposed developments in the NDP will only work for people with intellectual disabilities if their voice is at the centre and government departments(housing, health, justice, social protection) come together in collaboration to ensure that the rights of people with disabilities are realised as per our commitments under the UNCRPD.”

You can read the National Development Plan 2021-2030 at https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/774e2-national-development-plan-2021-2030/

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