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One in five disability discrimination reports are about health services

People with disabilities are more likely to experience discrimination than people who don’t have a disability.

Image: Shutterstock/Supawadee56

A REPORTS HAS found that people with disabilities are much more likely to experience discrimination compared to those who don’t have a disability.

The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) found that although discrimination has decreased over time, there’s still a gap – with 16% of people with disabilities reporting discrimination compared to 11% of people without disabilities in 2014. 

Approximately one in every five reports of discrimination among people with disabilities concerns health services – more than any other setting.

The report was conducted by the ESRI in conjunction with the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission. The Commission said that the State must be held to account on its approach to the rights of persons with disabilities.

When accessing public services such as health, education and transport; and private services like shops, pubs and restaurants, people with disabilities reported higher levels of discrimination compared to those without disabilities.

Compared to those without disabilities, people with disabilities were much less likely to experience discrimination in the labour market. But the low rate of reports about labour market discrimination by people with disabilities is due to lower rates of labour market participation, authors said.

Just under half of people with a disability who experience discrimination report the effects as either “serious” or “very serious”, compared to just over 30% of people without a disability.

The report demonstrated that people who are blind or have a psychological/emotional disability are much more likely to experience discrimination across different social settings.

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Those who are deaf or have an intellectual disability were found, however, not to differ from people without disabilities in their experiences of discrimination.

Co-author of the report, Dr Joanne Banks said that the findings “point to the need for greater awareness among policy makers and service providers of discrimination in social settings such as accessing health services”.

In a separate story, RTÉ is reporting that 51 disability centres were threatened with closure last year, but only three were shut; in 2017, nearly 300 complaints were made to Hiqa relating to the care of residents in disability centres.

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