Comprehensive Employment Strategy launch within six months of the conclusion of this government’s term in office must cause a credibility issue for Government

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2nd October 2015 – The Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) today acknowledged the publication of the Comprehensive Employment Strategy, however they have raised concerns that the strategy is arriving four years too late for this Government to deliver on the strong commitments made by the Taoiseach and Ministers at this morning’s launch.

John Dolan, CEO of DFI stated “We have been waiting for the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for a long time.  It’s launch within six months of the conclusion of this government’s term in office must cause a credibility issue for Government when the Taoiseach promised during the election campaign that disability would be his number one social justice priority and a month later in the Programme for Government there was a specific commitment to training and employment for people with disabilities. We do welcome the vision of the Comprehensive Employment Strategy to move more people with disabilities into the labour market, allowing them to contribute to society and the economy but that is a statement and we don’t see the current strategy being able to make that come true in a timely fashion for people and their families”

Mr Dolan continued “Employment for people with disabilities has been effectively side-lined with many employment activation programmes excluding disabled people from eligibility to participate. I cannot see parents of disabled young people or adults with disabilities and their families taking hope that this strategy will deliver.”   

Mr Dolan also highlighted the need to make work pay. “People with disabilities have a number of extra costs associated with their disability, and not enough has been put into the strategy to address this. Added to this is the range of practical supports that will be needed, things like job coaching, personal assistants, accessible transport etc. There is no package of funding for these to get the strategy off to a good start”   

He concluded “The Taoiseach stated at the launch, “This is about all of us as a society, we must make sure you get that opportunity to work. There is a Government commitment to make this happen.”  Many disabled people and their families will be wishing that was said this four years ago and that he was now reporting on the progress made”

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Contact:

John Dolan, CEO 086 795 7467

Allen Dunne, Deputy CEO 086 850 2112

Joan O’Donnell, Support Officer 086 383 4587

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