Councillors recognise the right to independent living

Cllr Catherine Slattery
Cllr Catherine Slattery

LIMERICK City and County Council is to seek the introduction of legislation for a Personal Assistance Service (PAS) for disabled people.

It follows the unanimous adoption of a motion from Fianna Fáil councillor Catherine Slattery requesting the local authority to ask Minister of State for Disabilities Anne Rabbite to provide the necessary legislation.

“In November 2019, a motion was passed in the Dáil recognising the right to Personal Assistance Service (PAS) for disabled people to have freedom, choice and control over all aspects of their lives to enable them to fully participate in an inclusive society as equals,” Cllr Slattery explained.

“Since this motion was passed, numerous local authorities have voted to support it and we need to do the same and call on Government to provide legislation on this motion for people with Disabilities so they can live independently,” Cllr Slattery said.

“A right to a personal assistant is about equality fairness and choice.  Independent living is about the freedom to have the same choices as everyone else in housing, transport, education and employment. Independent living is about having control over your life, to have a family to get a job, to participate socially.

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“For many disabled people, independent living cannot be achieved by the employment of personal assistants to provide supports where needed in Ireland. Those in need of this support often find the application process problematic as there is no standard procedure and those in receipt of this support, do not have any security regarding the continuation or extent of their service due to lack of legislative protection.”