Wednesday, 19 February 1997
Dáil Éireann Debate
24. Mr. E. Byrne asked the Minister for Equality and Law Reform the steps, if any, being taken to implement the recommendations of the Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4488/97]
35. Ms Keogh asked the Minister for Equality and Law Reform if he has appointed the monitoring committee to oversee the implementation of the recommendations of the Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4505/97]
The recommendations of the report of the Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities impact on a wide range of policy issues which are the responsibility of many Government Departments and agencies. The Government has decided to prepare a plan of action on the rights of people with disabilities, based on the report. An interdepartmental task force, chaired by my Department, has been set up to work on the preparation of that plan. The task force held its first meeting on 21 January and met again yesterday. It is expected to complete its work by the middle of the year.
The issue of disability-proofing and the question of introducing a Disabilities Bill are addressed in the commission's report and, accordingly, will be considered by the task force in its work. When the task force has drawn up its plan of action, I will bring it to Government for consideration by my colleagues.
At its final meeting in January, the Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities, in response to my request, nominated five of its members to the monitoring committee which will oversee the implementation of the commission's recommendations. This committee will comprise representatives of people with disabilities, their families and carers as well as service providers, social partners and Government Departments and I propose to establish it in the near future.
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