Anything that might make things easier for those among us struggling to lead a normal life despite having a disability is to be welcomed.
The initiative led by Finian McGrath, the minister of state for disabilities, aimed at improving access to public transport for people in this situation certainly falls into that category.
Issues about access and safety have brought the challenges faced by our fellow citizens to the fore and it is well past the time that they were resolved. Mr McGrath described access to transport as a basic human right and proposed to address the difficulties through the forthcoming National Inclusion Disability Strategy which will be published in two weeks’ time. He made the announcement at an event hosted by Acquired Brain Injury Ireland (ABII) where the challenges faced every day by those who have lost their independence through brain injuries were highlighted. This situation can often mean a changed world for the person involved and a huge change in responsibilites for their family.
The welcome for this initiative must be tempered though by the growing unease around the HSE policy of moving people with intellectual disadvantages from institutional care to community settings. This may be appropriate in some cases but the opposite is equally true. This policy needs a thorough review to ensure the best outcomes for all involved before it overshadows any other progress made in this area.
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