Carol Nolan TD



Ireland still falls short of its commitment to implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Each week in my clinics, I meet people with disabilities as well as their carers and family members. They often feel frustrated by a lack of services and are tired of their voices being ignored.

I am committed to ensuring that the rights of people with disabilities are fully upheld so they can live independent and active lives as equal members of the community. It is additionally critical that carers receive full support.

Sight Loss
The government must address the crisis in the allocation and provision of respite care services for those with a disability. There is an urgent need for immediate solutions and robust accountability to ensure demand is met in a fair manner. The lack of adequate home help also needs to be addressed.
Unacceptably long waiting lists for assessment of needs under early inspection and speech and language therapy must be addressed. Parents and carers should not have to fight tooth and nail for these basic and essential services. I will fight to ensure greater access to therapists, special needs assistants, and children’s disability networks.
I have advocated for funding allocation for children with Down’s syndrome aged three to six years of age in preschool; for children with disabilities to be provided with access to immediate assistive technology; for special educational needs organisers (SENOs) to be put in place for Laois and Offaly to plan for children and allocate resources; for an increase in the number of Autism Spectrum Disorder units at primary and post-primary schools; and for the adoption of a national transition year programme for students who are blind or vision impaired with ring-fenced funding.
Ireland has one of the lowest employment rates for people with disabilities in the EU. Less than 5% of adults with Down’s syndrome secure meaningful employment due to barriers in accessing further education. Poverty rates for people with disabilities are 10% higher than the EU average. To be truly inclusive, we need to ensure that substantial practical and financial support is provided. I will continue to do so until Ireland becomes to campaign tirelessly to support giving people with disabilities greater opportunities.
Accessibility standards should be embedded into the design of all new stations and bus stops. Funding should be made available for public transport providers to undergo mandatory standardised disability awareness training; public transport vehicles which lack an alert vehicular acoustic system should be retrofitted. All public transport should have audible announcements at stations and stops for the benefit of those with insufficient vision. It is important people with disabilities do not feel excluded from public transport.