The Disability Act must be reviewed to ensure our legislation is up to date and in keeping with the human rights grounded approach within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a Senator has said. Speaking recently, when the government’s Disabilities portfolio fully transfers from the Department of Health to the Department of Children, Disability, Equality, Integration and Youth, Senator Mary Seery-Kearney, Seanad spokesperson on Children, Disability, Equality, Integration and Privacy Rights said: “This is an important and significant statement for the rights of people, and in particular, children with disabilities across the country.
“This marks the day when the Disabilities portfolio falls completely within the Department of Children, Disability, Equality, Integration and Youth. While Minister Anne Rabbitte has been working out of the Dept of Children for some time now, today brings legal and administrative closure to that transitional period and the transfer from Dept of Health. “The move is a statement by the State to align disability with equality, to move from a purely health model perspective of disabilities to a more holistic perspective ensuring that people with disabilities, or disabled people, have equality in our society.
“I believe now is the time to review the Disability Act 2005 to ensure that the approaches within the Act are fully in keeping with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) obligations on our State. “The Disability Act was always meant to work in conjunction with the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004. We are currently undertaking a review of its operations, so it makes sense that we review both to ensure a whole of person, whole of life and whole of Government approach to persons with disabilities is grounded on a full and extensive statutory footing.”
“Aligned to that, the Government now needs to ratify the optional protocol under the UNCRPD, this has been promised once the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity)(Amendment) Act 2022 became law. This bill was signed by the President on 17th December 2022. “This marks a new beginning, this needs to be done in a comprehensive way by ensuring that our legislation is up to date and in keeping with the human rights grounded approach within the UNCRPD,” Senator Seery-Kearney concluded: