Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Report calls for policy change to enable persons with disabilities the opportunity to direct their own services and live independently  A report published by Dr Eilionóir Flynn the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, calling for policy change to enable persons with disabilities the opportunity to have greater choice and control over their service provision, was recently launched at the Disability Federation of Ireland by Senator John Dolan. The report entitled ‘Independent Living: An Evaluation of the Áiseanna Tacaíochta model of Direct Payments’ was undertaken by Professor Gerard Quinn and Dr Sinéad Keogh from NUI Galway, examines if direct payments, where individuals with disabilities purchase services and direct their own care, creates a better quality of life than that of the traditional model of service provision, at no extra cost. Professor Gerard Quinn from NUI Galway, comments: “The past number of years have seen a global shift from a welfare system, which has treated persons with disabilities as dependent, passive recipients of ‘care’, towards a growing recognition of the need for a new approach that enables persons with disabilities to assume an active role in the society in which they live. This has been mirrored in Ireland by the growing demand by the Irish disability community for control and choice over how they wish to live their lives and the services they use.” The report reaffirms the findings of international literature that point to considerable benefits for users of direct payments, arising from greater flexibility, choice, independence, continuity of support and the customising of support packages. It also highlights the need for a policy change in Ireland in relation to how services are delivered for persons with disabilities’ and emphasises the need for a change to the current model of service provision in Ireland. Key findings from the report: The Direct Payments model of service provision, facilitated by Áiseanna Tacaíochta, places persons with disabilities at the centre of the decision-making process, recognises their strengths and preferences and gives them the confidence, support and means to shape the way in which their care is provided by transferring choice and control over funding decisions to them and allowing them to identify their unique individual needs. Not only does the Direct Payments model of individualised funding offer more clarity and transparency as to how public funds are spent but the Direct Payments model demonstrates cost savings and cost efficiencies. The report estimates that eighteen people achieved cost savings of approximately €136,000 in one year by directing their own services, such as hiring their own personal assistants and taking on the administrative burden that comes with running their own companies. The report makes four key recommendations: The need for the Direct Payments model and other models of individualised funding to receive further funding and support from the Government. The importance of the requirement of a single assessment tool to evaluate individuals’ resource allocations based on individual goals, the impact of disability, family circumstances and living arrangements. The transformation of the disability service provision model to permit persons with disabilities to more easily move their service provision from one Community Healthcare Organisation to another. Individualised funding budgets being extended to the purchase of equipment, aids, and other goods and services that relate to the healthcare needs of the individual following an assessment. Commenting on the results from the report, María Soleded Cisternas Reyes, United Nations Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility, said: “This report shows that without a doubt, direct payments, as a model of service provision, works to give independence back to persons with disabilities. Being in control of one’s services enhances well-being and empowers individuals. Direct Payments is a step in the right direct for service provision in Ireland.Professor Theresia Degener, Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Professor of Law and Disability Studies (Protestant University of Applied Sciences, RWL, Germany), said: “This report comes timely just before Ireland will ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In our General Comment No 5 the CRPD Committee has emphasized that direct payment is key to realizing the human right to independent living. This excellent evaluation of ÁT Model of direct payment will help the Irish government to fulfill its duties under Article 19 CRPD.”Mairead McGuinness MEP, First Vice-President of the European Parliament, said: “The positive evaluation of the direct payments model should come as no surprise, as giving people control over their lives is central to giving people the chance of a better quality of life. This report is hard evidence that giving disabled people a say in their level of care and support enhances and empowers, the current model of supplying what services we think disabled people should have is less effective in meeting their needs and enhancing their wellbeing. As a model of care, it deserves support and wider implementation.”To read the full report, visit: https://www.nuigalway.ie/centre-disability-law-policy/research/publications/For further details about the report contact sinead.keogh@nuigalway.ie

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

The Centre for Disability Law and Policy (CDLP) and Irish Disability Studies Association (IDSA) are delighted to announce they will host the 2nd poster presentation evening at the 10th International Disability Law Summer School (see flyer: Poster Presentation). Where:            The Institute for Lifecourse and Society, NUI GalwayWhen:             Tuesday 19th June from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.Cost:                30 euro payable on the day. Light refreshments will be served.   The aim of this poster presentation is for researchers from any discipline related to disability to present and discuss their work with colleagues in an informal setting. We would welcome those who wish to present their poster to attend the full day of Summer School.  The theme for Tuesday is Introduction to Intersectionality and will include panels on Legal Capacity and Personhood, and Community Living. How to Submit Applicants should submit their expressions of interest by email to  cliona.debhailis@nuigalway.ie on or before 18th May 2018, emails should have the subject line “ISDA Summer School Poster” Any further questions regarding the poster presentation should be directed to Clíona at cliona.debhailis@nuigalway.ie 

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Congratulations to Elizabeth Kamundia, a graduate of the programme at the Centre for Disability Law & Policy, who has been appointed as a Senior Human Rights Officer at the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights. Elizabeth was a DRSP Scholar at the CDLP and was awarded the inaugural Gold Medal for the programme having graduated top of her class in 2012.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Four students of NUI Galway are organising a Project of Equality, ‘Disability Open Day’, being held in the ILAS Centre, NUI Galway on the 15th March 10am to 3pm.The event is aimed at raising awareness about disability among our current students and staff, as well as motivating secondary school students and young adults with various capabilities, who are interested in continuing on to college. The open day takes the form of an exhibition and talks from 10pm to 3pm. It is funded by the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Project Grand of NUIG and organised by four students of the college, some with a disability themselves. Download the poster here: Disability Open Day, 15th of March in NUI Galway The Schedule for the event is: Registration 10.00am-10.30am, Exhibition 10.30-11.00am, Presentation/ Talk 11.00am – 1.00pm Refreshments 1.00pm to 3.00pm. Project Team: Eliona Gjecaj, Colman O’ Connell, Eamon MacGiobúin and Cansu Akkoyun     Any Queries please contact Eliona GJecaj at elionagalway@gmail.com 

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Congratulations to our CDLP colleague Dr María Laura Serra whose PhD thesis just won the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid Pilar Azcárate gender and equal opportunities award! Laura also recently published a monograph based on her thesis titled "Mujeres con discapacidad : sobre la discriminación y opresión interseccional".

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

The Committee for Employment & Social Security in the states of Guernsey have appointed Dr Shivaun Quinlivan and Dr Lucy-Ann Buckley of the School of Law and the internationally-acclaimed Centre for Disability Law and Policy to advise progress on the development of Disability Discrimination Legislation. They will advise the Committee on which country's legislation would be most appropriate for Guernsey to model its disability discrimination legislation on. They will assess the approach taken in a number of countries based on evaluation criteria which will be agreed by the Committee in consultation with key stakeholders. This will underpin the shape of the future legislation. It is hoped that a model law will be identified by the end of March, following which proposals will be developed regarding how the model legislation should be tailored to the Guernsey context. The Committee is aiming to consult with the public on developed policy proposals before the end of 2018. Further information can be found at the official website at the states of Guernsey.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

A two-day conference will take place between January 20-21, 2018 on 'EU-China International Disability Employment Law: From Sheltered Workshops to Supported Employment in the Open Labor Market - a Mutual Challenge.' at the Shanghai University of Finance & Economics, China. This conference will bring together some leading disability law and policy experts from both Europe and China for an open exchange of experiences and perspectives on the global effort to move persons with disabilities away from sheltered employment and toward employment in the open labor market with appropriate support.The conference organizers are the Law School, Shanghai University of Finance & Economics and Shanghai Zhijun Public Interest & Law Institute: the co-organizers are the Centre for Disability Law & Policy, NUI Galway and the Disability Law Hub, School of Law, University of Leeds.A conference programme can be downloaded here: Shanghai conference Programme

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

The Centre for Disability Law and Policy are delighted to announce that the 10th International Disability Law Summer School will take place from Monday 18th June Friday 22nd June 2018 in Galway. The theme will explore Intersectionality. The Summer School seeks to equip participants with the insights and skills necessary to translate the generalities of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into tangible reform for persons with disabilities.We look forward, as usual, to a world-class Faculty and participants from around the globe including persons with disabilities, civil society groups, advocates for disability law reform, academics, lawyers, policy makers and policy analysts. More information and draft programme will follow in the New Year.Information from the 9th International Disability Law Summer School .REGISTRATION OPENS JANUARY 2018

Friday, 1 December 2017

On 22nd November 2017, the initiative Community Living for Europe: Structural Funds Watch launched a Report in the European Parliament co-hosted by Mairead McGuinness, MEP (EPP) and Vice President of the European Parliament and Iskra Mihaylova, MEP (ALDE) and Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Regional Development. This report concerns the role of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) with respect to the transition from institutional to community-based living for children and young people, including those with disabilities, adults with disabilities and older persons in European Union Member States. It contains examples, both positive and negative, that demonstrate how the Member States have implemented the ESIF regulations, how they are currently using or are planning to use the ESIF to support the transition to community-based living, and provides concrete recommendations for the current and next funding period post 2020. Neil Crowther, Gerard Quinn and Alexandra Hillen-Moore “Opening up Communities, Closing down InstitutionsOpening up Communities, Closing down InstitutionsOpening up Communities, Closing down Institutions: Harnessing the European Structural and Investment Funds” (Community Living for Europe: Structural Funds Watch, November 2017) Further information is available at www.communitylivingforeurope.org or by contacting Alexandra Hillen-Moore, Initiative Coordinator on communitylivingforeurope@nuigalway.ie.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

The Irish Disability Studies Association (IDSA) and the Centre for Disability Law and Policy were delighted to host a poster presentation at the 9th International Disability Law Summer School on June 20th. The poster presentation was open to researchers from any discipline related to disability and disability advocates to discuss their work with colleagues and Summer School participants in an informal setting. We received posters from 36 individuals and organisations and the event was attended by over 110 delegates.The poster presentation was adjudicated by Professor Amita Dhanda, Professor of Law and Head of the Centre for Disability Studies at the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research, University of Law, Hyderbad, India, and prizes were awarded for the best student poster and the best advocates poster. The winner of the best student poster presentation award was Emily Loughlin, PhD Candidate at NUI Galway for her poster on Exploring Community Living from a Lifecourse Perspective - Toward Lifecourse Policy Options. The winners of the best advocate poster presentation award were Christina Burke and Brian Donohoe from the Inclusive Research Network (IRN) for their poster Our Homes. Congratulations to the winners and to everyone who took part.

Monday, 24 April 2017

The Centre for Disability Law & Policy and NUI Galway and its family of alumni around the world mourns the loss of Donal Toolan. Donal was one of the founders of the disability rights movement in Ireland and an inspirational leader. He spoke with great moral conviction and clarity – and was never afraid to speak out. He challenged deeply held assumptions and was always especially attuned to hypocrisy and double-think.The Director of the Centre, Prof Gerard Quinn said “We have now lost Donal. And we recently lost Frank Mulcahy and Martin Naughton. Together they were the best generation. They reminded people that the founding ideals of this Republic over 100 years ago concerning the inherent equality of all citizens was just an empty myth for several generations of people with disabilities. But they were equally clear that it was also an ideal worth fighting for. Its time now for a new generation to emerge and take the baton. Donal lit a bright path for them. We mourn his loss, treasure our memories and will try hard to send the next generation on their way in his –and their –honour.”Prof Gerard QuinnDirector

Friday, 17 March 2017

The CDLP is happy to announce the publication by the Asia/Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions of a Manual on the role of NHRIs in advancing the rights of persons with disabilities (2017).Two of its staff - Prof Gerard Quinn and Ms Abigail Rekas-Rosalbo - were directly involved in its production. We congratulate the Asia/Pacific Forum for the opportunity to work on the project and hope and expect it will have a positive impact among NHRis around the world.The Manual can be downloaded here: http://www.asiapacificforum.net/media/resource_file/Human_Rights_and_Disability_Manual.pdfFor more on the outstanding work of the Asia/Pacific Forum on disability rights, visit: http://www.asiapacificforum.net/human-rights/people-disabilities/

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

The CDLP in conjunction with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has commenced a global research project on disability-specific forms of deprivation of liberty, with funding from the UK Department for International Development. This research plans to examine deprivations of liberty operating at three levels: formal (state regulated), informal (community-driven) and in the private sphere. Formal deprivations of liberty will include those regulated and sanctioned by the state (including detention in hospitals and social care homes). Informal deprivations of liberty will include actions undertaken by the community (e.g. prayer camps and shackling). Deprivations of liberty in the private sphere will focus on people deprived of their liberty in the family home or other private settings, in light of the positive duties of the state to prevent arbitrary and discriminatory deprivations of liberty affecting persons with disabilities.