National Disability Authority's Strategic Plan 2019-2021
Mr Finian McGrath T.D., Minister of State with special responsibility for Disability Issues, formally launched the National Disability Authority’s Strategic Plan 2019-2021 at a well-attended event on 5 December 2018. Guests in attendance included representatives from Government Departments and public bodies, disability organisations and wider National Disability Authority and Centre for Excellence in Universal Design stakeholders.
The Minister of State noted the timely launch of the new Strategic Plan during the same week as the United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which this year, focused on empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality; principles that are at the heart of the NDA Strategic Plan. The Minister of State was impressed by the breadth of the Strategic Plan and its goal to support major elements of Government policies on disability and mental health such as the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Comprehensive Employment Strategyfor People with Disabilities and the National Disability Inclusion Strategy 2017-2021. He went on to particularly compliment the work that the NDA is doing in the areas of employment, personalised budgets, attitudes, monitoring and the promotion of Universal Design.
The Minister of State also formally launched the National Disability Authority’s suite of guidance documents designed to assist people with autism when they come in to contact with justice professionals, local authority housing officers and line managers/HR professionals. The suite emerged from consultation with autism groups and individuals which recognised that an increased understanding of autism across the public sector is required to ensure that the needs of persons with autism can be met on an equal basis to other persons with disabilities. The National Disability Authority, therefore, undertook to develop guidance for specific professions and sectors to contribute to this goal.
The publication of these guidance documents is timely as the Minister for Health has recently committed to publishing a new autism plan which would be included in the HSE's Service Plan for 2019
Left to right: Siobhan Barron, Director of National Disability Authority, Helen Guinan, Chairperson National Disability Authority and Finian McGrath T.D., Minister of State with special responsibility for Disability Issues