Archive for the category: ‘Disability’

Focus On - Disability

As full citizens, people with disabilities have equal rights and are entitled to dignity, equal treatment, independent living and full participation in society. Enabling people with disabilities to enjoy these rights is the main purpose of the European Union's long-term strategy for their active inclusion.

Legislating equal opportunities for people with disabilities is the responsibility of national governments but promoting and protecting the rights of disabled people should, I believe, be engrained in the fabric of our work as European legislators.

The centre piece of Europe's disability strategy is its Disability Action Plan (DAP) that has as its objective "to make equal opportunities for disabled people a reality" and aims to see improvements in employment prospects, accessibility and independent living. Disabled people are involved in the process on the basis of the European principle: 'Nothing about disabled people without disabled people'.

The European Commission will set out a new European Disability Strategy for the period 2010-2020 in the autumn.

In Ireland, I have expressed concern that people with disabilities are being disproportionately hit by Government spending cuts. The Government's National Disability Strategy is unravelling with cutbacks in funding and services and the non-implementation of planned services, particularly within the HSE. It is sometimes the case that services denied, particularly health services, cost the exchequer more in the long run. I would caution against blanket cuts that might ending costing more in the longer term.

Locally, I support the work of the Irish Wheelchair Association, Downs Syndrome Ireland and SNAP (Special Needs Active Parents). The lack of real progress in many of these areas is one of the frustrations of politics - it is so hard to translate political statements from Government into delivery of appropriate services to people who need them.

I have visited Romania and witnessed the situation for children and young adults with intellectual disabilities living in state run institutions. I support the policy of deinstitutionalisation and would like to see it implemented across the whole of the EU. But here too, progress is far too slow.

I support agencies that work on the ground in EU countries to achieve deinstitutionalisation by raising the issue of deinstitutionalisation in the European Parliament and other fora whenever possible. I have facilitated meetings between agencies and EU decision makers and I am encouraged by the progress, albeit slow, in this area.

July 14th, 2015

SUSTAINED EFFORT NEEDED TO CHANGE CULTURE OF INSTITUTIONALISATION OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES – MAIREAD MCGUINNESS

Sustained efforts by the international aid community working with the EU are needed to address persistent problems of institutionalisation of […]

March 27th, 2015

MEP SUCCEEDS IN ESTABLISHING PRINCIPLE THAT SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS RETAIN ALLOWANCES WHILE STUDYING ABROAD

Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament has received clarification from the European Commission that students […]

December 11th, 2014

EU Budget 2015, National Dementia Strategy

EU Budget 11th December 2014 There was good news this week with a provisional agreement on the European Union’s budget […]

April 30th, 2014

Disability Expert Praises Mairead’s work

Professor Gerard Quinn, Director, Centre for Disability Law & Policy, National University of Ireland, Galway (Ireland) commenting on Mairead’s work […]

September 17th, 2013

Back to business.

September 17th, 2013 The first session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg took place last week. As an MEP for […]

May 27th, 2013

Participation in Public and Political Life by People with Disabilities

Article 29 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is about the opportunity for people […]

July 20th, 2012

Inclusion for all

      July 20th, 2012  Around 45 million EU citizens of working age have a disability and 15 million children have […]

June 13th, 2012

Call for Action

13 June 2012 The practice of placing children in institutions across Europe still exists, despite evidence showing that institutions are […]

June 6th, 2012

CHILDREN BEHIND BARS: MAIREAD MCGUINNESS MEP LEADS CALL TO DE-INSTITUTIONALISE EUROPE

Ridding Europe of the social apartheid that keeps people in institutions was the primary focus of an expert roundtable discussion […]

May 8th, 2012

An Inspirational Environment

8th May 2012 Some of the most inspiring people we meet in life are not found in ‘high profile’ positions […]

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