The Disability Federation of Ireland launches its DisableInequality.ie campaign today to make equality for persons with disabilities an election issue for the general election.
DFI are asking citizens to tell their stories of inequality. The aim of the campaign is to “disable inequality” – one story at a time.
Here are two stories featured on the website. Read Tom and Eoghan Clonan's story here.
Lorraine Cooke (27)
I live on Dublin’s north side. I live on my own, with the support of a personal assistant, however this was after a lot of fighting to be moved out of a residential service. I would love to work or access an activation scheme, but due my disability, I am ineligible for a number of schemes that would be of interest. I am also anxious about losing a number of the benefits and supports that I currently receive if I started paid employment, like my medical card, rent allowance, loss of disability allowance and blind pension.
I would love to contribute to society rather than rely on taxpayers, and I believe that people with disabilities should be given adequate supports to work. In the meantime, I volunteer with different disability and mental health organisations to gain work experience.
When I don’t have my personal assistant with me I have to rely on taxis to get around and to be independent, a cost which can be hard to meet. However, if I didn’t spend this money, I would become isolated in my own home.
There needs to be more investment in the disability services and the community supports that are needed to ensure that I can live the life that I want to live and to contribute to society in a meaningful way.
Owen Columb (42)
At the age of 21, I was in a road traffic accident and became a person with a disability. Immediately after the accident, I lost my job and was unable to live in my family home. I ended up living for the next eight years in a residential institution for people with intellectual and physical disabilities.
That was 1994 and this is still the situation for many people with disabilities who have a tragic accident and have no suitable accommodation to meet their needs.
Does this seem fair to you?
Stories taken from disableinequality.ie