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IWA Pre-Budget Submission 2019

As Ireland’s leading representative organisation, IWA works with, and on behalf of, people with physical disabilities to drive positive change in Ireland through the influencing of public policy, the provision of quality services and enabling accessibility to all aspects of society.

In advance of the announcement of Budget 2019, IWA on behalf of our members and their families have called on the Government to act on fairness and equality, by investing in vital services that will dramatically change the lives of people with disabilities.

IWA Budget Recommendations:

  • Increase Personal Assistant (PA) Hours by investing in an additional 500,000 hours.
  • Mainstream Housing Supply; immediate frontloading of all housing action plans to produce a supply of fully wheelchair accessible housing.
  • Relaxation of the Housing Adaptation Grant Means Test back to pre-2013 levels.
  • Nationwide Accessible Transport System for all.
  • Reinstate Motorised Transport Grant and Mobility Allowance.
  • Pay Restorations for Section 39 Disability Organistations

IWA has produced three videos to highlight the needs of people with disabilities living in Ireland and the lack of Government action.

PA Services video thumbnail image

Housing video thumbnail image

Transport video thumbnail image

Personal Assistant Services

#isitcosofmywheels

IWA is one of the largest providers of services for people with physical disabilities in Ireland.The largest of our services is the Assisted Living Service (ALS) which provides Personal Assistants to people in their own homes and communities.

Every year our 1,600 personal assistants provide over 1.2 million hours of support to help those with physical disabilities and other mobility impairments in their journeys towards independent living. As the organisation that pioneered the development of PA services in Ireland we continue to set the standards for person centred services, tailoring every service to meet the individual requirements of people with physical disabilities.

The quality of our service has been recognised over the last number of years through the achievement of the Q Mark accreditation and also in 2018 by our nomination for the Home Care / Assisted Living Provider of the Year in the Irish Healthcare Awards.

Recommendation

Irish Wheelchair Association on behalf of our members and their families recommends the Government address fairness and equality and invest in Personal Assistant Services that will dramatically change the lives of people with disabilities.

Additional hours urgently required

Additional hours urgently required

An extra 500,000 personal assistant hours are urgently required so that people with disabilities are not isolated in their own homes or left in emergency situations.

IWA is a Voluntary Housing Association with 52 houses across the country providing accommodation which is designed to give people with physical disabilities an opportunity to live independently within their local community. 

One of the single biggest issues facing people with physical disabilities is finding suitable and affordable housing.  As the housing and homeless crisis continues, it is having a greater impact than ever on people with disabilities. Housing stock has been depleted, fewer wheelchair accessible houses are being built, and supply is a very serious issue.

IWA has considerable expertise in both designing and delivering wheelchair accessible housing.

IWA has a long established housing advisory and support service, and are actively involved as an advisor to the Department of Housing and to various local authorities in the implementation of the National Housing Strategy for People with a Disability.

In the 2016 Triennial Housing Needs Assessment People with Disabilities show as the single largest group of people having a specific type of housing need i.e. 4,500. 

Recommendation

Irish Wheelchair Association on behalf of our members and their families recommend the Government address fairness and equality by delivering wheelchair accessible homes which will dramatically change the lives of people with disabilities.

People with disabilities needing housing

People with disabilities are 3.3 times more likely to report discrimination when looking for housing compared to those who are not disabled.

Transport

#isitcosofmywheels

Mobility is very important for people with disabilities. Access to transport is recognised as a vital component for people with disabilities to achieve full participation in the economic and social life of society.

Due to the lack of accessible public transport, IWA offers a wide range of Motoring and Transport services that support people in gaining increased independence and mobility. Advances in technology and design have supported changes to open up access to transport for disabled drivers and passengers.

  • We have our own fleet of 120 accessible buses across the country.
  • We work with transport operators to ensure that buses, trains and taxis are wheelchair friendly.
  • IWA is the largest enabler of disabled parking facilities, and manages the Disabled Persons Parking Permit scheme throughout Ireland.
  • We operate 10 driving schools, organise driving assessments and work with car companies on the provision of appropriately adapted cars for people with physical disabilities.

Recommendation

Irish Wheelchair Association on behalf of our members and their families recommend the Government address fairness and equality by delivering a fully wheelchair accessible transport system which will dramatically change the lives of people with disabilities.

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IWA demand 15% of all taxis to be accessible by 2020

I can’t jump into a taxi like everyone else, is it cos of my wheels?