This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 7 °C Friday 21 February, 2020
Advertisement

'My classmates are twice as likely to get a job as I am when I graduate'

A new campaign highlights the challenges faced by people with disabilities.

“I LOVE being a student but the facts are that when I graduate my classmates are twice as likely to get a job as I am.”

So says Joanne Chester, an NUI Maynooth student who has been deaf since birth.

Capture Source: Disability Federation of Ireland/YouTube

The Waterford native says she has struggled to access adequate supports and guidance for much of her time in education.

Discrimination against deaf people, including the lack of legal recognition for the Irish sign language, means she continues to be worried about her future.

Chester is one of four people featured in a new video from the Disability Federation of Ireland calling attention to the inequality faced by voters with disabilities.

She is joined by Owen Columb, who acquired a spinal injury in his early 20s.

Capture Source: Disability Federation of Ireland/YouTube

“After a road traffic accident, I lost my independence,” he says.

My only option was to live in a care home. That was 1994.
Today, little has changed for people in my situation.

Joan Bradley, who also speaks in the video, lives with the late effects of polio.

Capture Source: Disability Federation of Ireland/YouTube

Bradley is one of many people who suffered from the paralysing disease as a child before experiencing symptoms of the original polio again in middle age.

“I live a very active life but every week my disability costs me money,” she says.

I have to meet these extra costs myself.

Davy O’Meara is a young man who experienced mental health difficulties in the past.

Capture Source: Disability Federation of Ireland/YouTube

“I’m doing great now but I know what it’s like to not feel OK and not know where to turn,” he says.

Quality services can be the difference between living and giving up.

Des Kenny is denied a secret ballot because he is blind.

Capture Source: Disability Federation of Ireland/YouTube

“Everyone has a secret ballot. I don’t,” he says.

The technology exists but we don’t use it in Ireland.

Joe Feeley has a learning disability and receives support from Cheeverstown House in Dublin to live independently.

Capture Source: Disability Federation of Ireland/YouTube

“I want to contribute to society,” he says.

I want to live independently. I enjoy my part-time job. If I had a full-time job I would lose my medical card and travel pass.

Frustration

John Dolan, the CEO of Disability Federation of Ireland, said the video shows “the real challenges faced by people with disabilities in Ireland”.

While capturing that determination [to campaign], it also captures the frustration at having to live with a lack of access to the services, supports and policy changes that are needed.

Source: Disability Federation of Ireland/YouTube

Last month, the organisation launched its DisableInequality.ie campaign to make equality for people with disabilities an election issue.

Read: FactCheck: Is Fine Gael right to say it has “maintained disability spending”?

Read: Looking for a job when you’re disabled can be difficult, but it shouldn’t be impossible

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Catherine Healy

Read next:

COMMENTS (18)