Ireland has signed up to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
Ireland now has to make sure that it consults with and involves people with disabilities when making policy and law that has an effect on them.
To make sure that this happens, the Government has decided to set up a new group, called the Disability Participation and Consultation Network.
The Network will make sure that people with disabilities will be heard directly when the Government makes important decisions.
The Disability Participation and Consultation Network will make sure people with a disability will be involved in the development of policy and legislation.
Following a process to find organisations to receive funding to help run the Network, this call is now being run to find interested people with disabilities, Disabled Persons Organisations (DPOs) and disability organisations to become Members of the Network.
Members will take part in the running of the Network and be central to its work of gathering and representing the views of people with disabilities and making sure that those views are heard in the development of policy and legislation.
Consultation on Ireland’s Initial State Report to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an immediate task for the Network.
The Minister of State with responsibility for Disability, Ms Anne Rabbitte T.D. today invited interested parties to apply to become members of Ireland’s Disability Participation and Consultation Network.
Having selected organisations to be funded to help run the Network, individual people with disabilities, DPOs and representative organisations are now being invited to become members of the Network.
Members will be an important part of the Network and its job of ensuring that people with disabilities are involved in the development of policy and law, in line with the requirements of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
People with disabilities and organisations from all backgrounds and experiences are invited to apply to become a Member. Although Membership places are limited there will still be chances to get involved with the Network when it begins its work.
Further details of the Network, the role of Members and details of how to apply are available on the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth websitehere.
The deadline for receipt of applications is 11am on Friday, 27 November 2020.
Announcing this invitation for expressions of interest, Minister Rabbitte said:
“Members of the Participation and Consultation Network will be central to the work of ensuring that people with a disability will be heard directly and be engaged with meaningfully when legislation and policy is being formulated.
“Since taking office, it’s been my imperative to hear firsthand the experiences of people with disabilities and how their lives have been impacted. Such engagements are crucial, and this lived experience can shape policy and legislation in a real way, ensuring a more inclusive and integrated approach to how we develop policies into the future.
“I would invite individuals with disabilities, Disabled Person’s Organisations and disability organisations representing the wide range of disability experiences in Ireland to apply. Training and support will be provided by the Network and, in particular, I hope that people who may normally be distanced from, or who have not felt the opportunity to be involved in similar activities, will look to become involved.”