Irish Wheelchair Association’s strategy 2022 – 2025 was launched on Tuesday 12th April 2022 by Anne Rabbit T.D., Minister for Disability.

Exclusion from housing, transport and public amenities have been rated as the most important issues for people with physical disabilities according to new research by Irish Wheelchair Association.

The organisation launched its new strategic plan 2022 – 2025 in the Aviva Stadium announcing an increased focus on advocacy and rights for people with disabilities. Minister of State with Responsibility for Disabilities, Anne Rabbitte T.D opened the event.

In a recent national survey, 2,885 people with physical disabilities and Irish Wheelchair Association workers were asked to rate the importance of nine areas ranging from transport to education on a five point scale.

The research revealed that lack of suitable housing, poor access to public transport and issues with public spaces such as footpaths and the built environment, continue to present barriers for people with physical disabilities. A lack of overall funding for disability services was also cited as an issue, alongside a general lack of public awareness on disability.

According to Rosemary Keogh CEO of Irish Wheelchair Association:

“Our members are clearly telling us that access is the single biggest barrier that is preventing people with physical disabilities from living more independent lives. Like everyone else, our members have seen the global upheaval of the past few years and even the last few weeks with Covid. But as things change, many things stay the same for the people we support with disabilities.

“So many of our members and their families simply cannot use the same services and facilities as the rest of society such as public transport, social housing and local community amenities. People with physical disabilities need to be heard and included in Government planning across all departments, particularly around transport and housing.”

Irish Wheelchair Association is Ireland’s largest support service for people with physical disabilities with over 20,000 members nationwide. The association delivers Ireland’s largest assisted living programme, funded by the HSE, with over 1,500 homecare workers providing assistance for individuals with disabilities at home to live the lives they choose.  

Rosemary Keogh CEO of Irish Wheelchair Association said:

“Our new strategy is grounded on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ratified by Ireland in 2018 to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of human rights by people with disabilities. We are calling on the Government to do more to implement the UNCRPD. Rather than viewing disability as a healthcare issue, the Government must include people with disabilities in planning around transport, housing, education, employment and much more, and make greater progress in building a society that includes people with disabilities as equals.”

-ENDS-

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Meabh Smith
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Email: meabh.smith@iwa.ie

Learn more about IWA's Strategy 2022 - 2025


IWA Strategy 2022 - 2025

Listening, supporting and empowering disabled people to live the life they choose.

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