ILMI eBulletin 22nd of September 2023

ILMI Logo Independent Living Movement Ireland. Freedom Rights Empowerment
In this Issue:
Government publishes Green Paper on Reform of Disability Payments
Sligo and Leitrim DPO came together this week
NCSE Consultation Forum Appointment
Celebrating Success: Sligo Disabled Person’s Organisation’s Spectacular Launch!

Government publishes Green Paper on Reform of Disability Payments: Need to create strong ILMI response.
IMAGE: Graphic red poster with text that reads “ILMI Consultation Green Paper on reform to Disability Payments have your voice heard”

On Wednesday 20th September, ILMI attended a briefing led by Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD, s and as she published a Green Paper on reform to Disability Payments.

What is a Green Paper?
This green paper is not an agreed policy. It is a proposal by the Department to create a focussed discussion on how disability payments could be changed in the future. No decision has been made yet, and the Department did say that through consultation it is possible that no changes would be made.

What does this Green Paper propose?
The Minister and Department officials were keen to point out that there needs to be action based on the research from the Cost of Disability report but that the measures proposed alone would not be enough to meet the costs of disability. They pointed out that costs such as transport, medical supports and so on needed to be delivered by other Departments, but that in terms of reducing risk of poverty these proposals would look at changes to payments and measures to try and support more disabled people into employment.

The Green Paper sets out that the main aims are:
1. To encourage a higher level of employment for disabled to enhance their participation in society and reduce the risk of poverty and deprivation.
2. To better protect disabled people who cannot work from poverty and deprivation.

The green paper makes three changes to disability payments as follows:

1) Introduction of a Three-tiered Personal Support Payment:
 2. Introduction of new in-work supports
 3. Addressing inconsistencies in eligibility

ILMI have published a short blog on our website  providing some analysis of the details of the Green Paper.

Concerns raised at the Green Paper launch:
Whilst there is an increase in payment in Tier one and Tier two, neither come close to the cost of disability in the Department’s report.

The “obligation” to engage with INTREO and take up training or work immediately raised concerns as ILMI raised that this sounded not dissimilar to the “Work Capacity Assessments” in the UK which used the language of “welfare reform” to make savings in the welfare budget and push disabled people into work, with huge human costs and suffering.

ILMI also raised concerns about the current capacity of mainstream employment services such as INTREO and the systemic barriers to inclusion of disabled people in the workforce, including the low expectations that systemic exclusion from employment has had on disabled people themselves.

Next steps for ILMI?
It is vital that as a national cross-impairment Disabled Persons Organisation that we create a strong collective submission into this process.

We are going to have a discussion online to discuss the proposals and develop a clear sense of how to respond as a DPO.

These will take place on Wednesday 18th October at 11am and Tuesday 24th October at 7pm. Both will be on Zoom with agenda and information to follow.

To sign up for the discussions, email and please indicate which session (daytime or evening) work best for you.

More about the Green Paper
The Green Paper can be accessed here, which includes details of how the Department will create public consultations.

Sligo and Leitrim DPO came together this week
IMAGE: photo shows a group of 14 people, mixed impairments standing behind and sitting in front of each other in a semi circle with Peter.

On Wednesday, the 20th of September, in Sligo Northside, ILMI continues its support of local DPO development with a shared workshop with the North West Drugs & Alcohol Taskforce alongside members of Sligo DPO. For the past two years, Peter Kearns, ILMI’s DPO Development Officer and member of the Drugs & Alcohol Taskforce has been working with Christina McEleney, Coordinator of the NW Taskforce and HSE Tracey Mitchell, to identify and start exploring the unique lived experiences of disabled people and prescribed legal drugs use to, but not ‘with’, disabled adults. Peter and ILMI have delivered Disability Equality Training (DET) with members of the Taskforce alongside our partners of the Disability Equality Studies Centre at ATU St. Angela’s College Sligo.

Following the DET workshops, the negative role of the medical model and its obsession with cure and rehabilitation with our bodies has been recognised as a narrative for the Taskforce to explore with DPOs in research and consultation for northwest prioritising of support and education in 2024 and onwards.

Sligo and Leitrim DPO came together to explore what the North West Drug and Alcohol Task Force is working on and how disabled people can be involved In research and consultation.

Wednesday morning started with a presentation from Tracey Mitchell of the HSE explaining what the task force is working on, what support services are available, and who to contact. It was an informative presentation with lots of engagement. As a Group of disabled people, we had a question: how accessible are support services to disabled people if they need to avail of them?

Leitrim DPO then acted out two situations. The first one showed how medical professionals talk down to a disabled person, and the second was the complete opposite. It showed the disabled person being involved in the conversation and informed after treatment options.

We look forward to future engagement with the drug and alcohol task Force.

NCSE Consultation Forum Appointment

ILMI’s Policy person, James Casey, was recently appointed to the National Council for Special Education for a period of three years.

The Consultative Forum, appointed under section 22 of the Education of Persons with Special Educational Needs (EPSEN) Act 2004, is a forum that the NCSE engages with on special education matters. The Council appoints up to 17 members following a prescribed consultation process. In addition, three members are appointed by the Minister for Education.

An appointment process was undertaken in spring 2023 for a term of office to December 2026.

James is excited to learn about the work of the NCSE and from the vast expertise of the other members of the forum and staff and to be of help with advice in any way, this is especially relevant to the disability collective as the CRPD is now cross governmental policy and it is vital that DPOs that are at the forefront of shaping and informing his process. James was nominated by the NDA and he has a background in teaching in addition to his work in critical disability studies.

Celebrating Success: Sligo Disabled Person’s Organisation’s Spectacular Launch!

The Sligo Disabled Person’s Organisation (DPO) recently curated an extraordinary event, marking the successful launch of a remarkable initiative. A big shout out to everyone involved in making this event a resounding success, including our own esteemed colleague Peter Kerns our DPO Co Ordinator.

“With great partners, great things happen,” and in collaboration with ILMI and the Sligo Public Participation Network (PPN), this event truly demonstrated the power of unity and collective effort. The Sligo DPO has proven itself to be a driving force in their local community.

To capture the essence of this incredible evening, we encourage you to take a look at the wonderful photos  (by Sligo PPN) that beautifully encapsulate the energy and impact of the event. It’s a testament to the dedication and passion of all those who contributed.

A special shoutout goes to our very own Peter and the brilliant John Owens, who make an exceptional duo when it comes to creating authentic productions that leave a lasting impression. Your hard work and commitment are truly appreciated!

This event marked the debut of the “Navigating Ordinary Things” video series, a project close to our hearts. Sligo DPO is taking the lead in discussing critical topics such as physical barriers, the intersection between parenting and disability, and the imperative need for universal design. This is just the beginning, with five more insightful videos to come.

Stay tuned to the Sligo DPO Facebook page for what promises to be an enlightening series, sparking conversations that matter.

Once again, congratulations to everyone involved in making the launch of “Navigating Ordinary Things” a resounding triumph. Together, we’re making positive change happen, one conversation at a time.

Post Disclaimer

We try to bring you news items that may be of interest to our readers. And while Cork CIL makes every reasonable effort to provide information that is as comprehensive, accurate and clear as possible, the information provided on this site is of a general nature. The news and stories shared on this page are often from third party organisations. The ideas and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the original authors and are not necessarily shared or promoted by Cork CIL. Responses to articles and queries about third party information should be addressed to the original author.