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Parents of special needs children to speak to Oireachtas Committee

They will speak about the challenges facing their families with the Joint Committee on Education and Social Protection, chaired by Joanna Tuffy (pictured).

Deputy Joanna Tuffy
Deputy Joanna Tuffy
Image: Adeline Pericart/Photocall Ireland.

MEMBERS OF THE Special Needs Parents Association will meet with the Joint Committee on Education and Social Protection today to discuss the on-going challenges they are facing.

The Association was established in 2010 to provide a national network to support and represent parents of all persons with special needs or disabilities.

Committee chair Joanna Tuffy said that the provision of frontline services for those with special needs “is a major issue”.

Therefore, our meeting tomorrow will enable parents with special needs children share their perspectives on the on current challenges facing their families. The Association has concerns around the reduction in education supports for those with special needs at primary, secondary and third level and the lack of transparent information around securing such supports, including for those who are over 18 years old.

The committee will also hear today from Social Justice Ireland and the TASC independent think-tank on the use of pre-Budget audits.

The meeting will consider whether the Department of Social Protection might make greater use of internal and external policy analysis to see the full impact of Budget decisions on individuals and families.

Deputy Tuffy said that budgetary decisions and their impact on the most vulnerable “warrant very close consideration before they are finalised”. “There is a case to be made that analysis from various organisations is underutilised by Departments when finalising each Budget,” she explained.

Our Committee will tomorrow hear from two organisations which regularly conduct policy analysis with a view to curbing the impact of budgetary decisions on income inequality.

The meeting takes place today in Committee Room 3, LH 2000 at 1pm and can be viewed online.

Read: Oireachtas committee to quiz Commissioner over Garda allowances>

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