Call to include disabled in Covid response
by Hazel Gavigan

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) has stressed the importance of including people with disabilities in the national response to Covid-19.


At a recent online meeting, ICTU’s disability committee called on all State agencies to adhere to their obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). 


This includes making information on testing and access to services available in accessible formats, and involving people with disabilities in decisions about their healthcare. ICTU also says the State should recognise any increased costs connected to their disability that arise during the pandemic.


Fórsa official Billy Hannigan said people with disabilities endured disproportionate austerity after previous economic shocks.


“Following the 2008 financial crisis, disability services were among the first to be cut. We are adamant that this cannot happen in the post-Covid-19 recovery period. That goes for the people who depend on disability services, and the people who deliver them,” he said.


With unemployment now at over 28%, it will be even harder for people with disabilities to get decent work.


“The way we work has changed in recent months, with facilities for remote working becoming far more widespread. This presents an opportunity to foster greater participation in the labour force for all,” he said.


Read the ICTU statement HERE.

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