€207 — the cost of a disability every week for the average disabled household

The cost of disability is €207 a week for the average disabled household, according to research launched today.

The Inclusion Ireland conference on the cost of disability will hear that the direct costs of disability equate to 35.4% of disposable income, with households that experience disability also at heightened risk of poverty.

The conference takes place in Kilmainham and delegates will hear that people with a disability are twice as likely to experience poverty and deprivation.

It will hear that it is almost impossible for disabled people to attain the same standard of living as people without disabilities unless there is “real action from the Government” to address inequality.

Dr John Cullinan, an economics lecturer at NUI Galway, will present his findings on the cost of disability and the €207 average figure.

An Inclusion Ireland spokesman said: “The analysis shows that the economic cost of disability in Ireland is large and has a significant negative impact on the living standards of the disabled and their families.

“It suggests that current policy in Ireland does not go far enough in addressing the impact of these extra costs and that it is time to think again about the introduction of a cost of disability payment for those most adversely impacted by such costs.”

The organisation will call for new measures to cut what it calls the inequality gap between households with a disability and those without, citing the decade since the National Disability Authority focused on the costs of disability as a basic issue of equality.

Another speaker, Dr Dorothy Watson, an associate research professor at the ESRI, will tell the conference that levels of deprivation experienced by those with a disability have increased in recent years.

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