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Disability Federation of Ireland hits out at Lynch letter to parents

A letter sent to parents in Galway says that some school leavers with intellectual disabilities will be offered places that will not “fully address requirements”.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

THE NATIONAL SUPPORT organisation for people with disabilities have said that a letter sent to parents in Galway is a “huge blow”.

RTÉ’s This Week yesterday reported that junior minister Kathleen Lynch had sent a letter to parents that said cuts to disability services would leave some service users “without appropriate places”.

Some places that are offered, the letter says, “will not fully address individuals’ requirements”

The letter says that the shortage of places is due to cuts and staffing pressures.

“Alongside the 1.2 per cent reduction in the 2013 budget, pressures such as the moratorium on staff recruitment have given rise to challenges in service provision. Some agencies may not have the physical capacity to provide further services in the current context.”

John Dolan of the Disability Federation of Ireland says that the news will hit people who have “fought hard to get the supports to enable them to live ordinary lives”.

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“People are on waiting lists for a wide range of disability services, 1,671 people are waiting on Personal Assistance, as reported by the Health Research Board, since 2011.

Minister Lynch is further underlining the Government’s contradictory policy of having national policy objectives to support people with disabilities on one hand, and on the other hand, continuing to implement further funding cuts to the services that support people with disabilities to live their day to day lives.

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