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People With Disabilities Must be Supported into Workforce – Social Democrats

The Social Democrats have today pledged their support to the Disability Federation of Ireland’s ‘Make It Work Campaign’ which is aiming to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by those with disabilities trying to find employment.At the Social Democrats’ National Conference on Saturday the party highlighted this issue in the main Leaders’ Address saying that people with disability and mental health issues are at significantly greater risk of experiencing poverty, social exclusion, unemployment and lack of opportunity in education and training.  The party called for the immediate ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which was agreed back in 2006 but never ratified by Ireland.Speaking today Róisín Shortall TD said:

“We included this issue in our Leaders’ Address because it is an issue of such grave concern. How can we strive to be a nation of equals if we continue to make it difficult for people with disabilities to engage fully in the workforce?   At one time the public sector quota for disabled people ensured many people had the chance of a fulfilling career but with the current embargo on public sector recruitment that option has become far more difficult and alternative solutions must be identified.”

“Everyone in our society must be afforded the opportunity to partake in a career which is both fulfilling and provides the financial means to live with dignity. 150 other countries have ratified the UN Convention yet shamefully Ireland is not one of them. That ratification must happen as a matter of urgency but it must be followed up with practical measures which will provide equality to our citizens with disabilities.”