August 31, 2021
Disability Capacity Review is a slap in the face to the Disabled People’s Movement – Violet-Anne Wynne TD

Sinn Féin TD for Clare Violet-Anne Wynne has sharply criticised the tone and contents of the Disability Capacity Review.

Responding to the recent publication of the review, which provides a ‘review of disability social care demand and capacity requirements up to 2032’, Teachta Wynne said:

“The Disability Capacity Review is a long-awaited policy document that sets the tone for where resources will be focussed and directed for the next decade. Not only has this document been unnecessarily delayed, but its tone and contents are cause for further despair.

“The review is 190 pages of more-of-the-same. The language used in this document is embarrassingly paternalistic; perpetuates a medical-model approach to disability ‘services’ and flies in the face of everything the equality movement is about. It overwhelmingly continues a historic trend of segregation and institutionalisation. 

“It stands in clear opposition to what Disabled People and activists have been calling for, for decades, which is their recognition as equals, as right-holders and fully citizens of this country. Disabled People have a right to rights, just like non-disabled people. Why are they disproportionately disadvantaged across metrics of unemployment and homelessness?

“The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) which Ireland begrudgingly ratified in 2018, as the last country in the EU to do so, sets out the duty of care that states have toward protecting the rights of Disabled People.

“Critically, the CRPD was the first international human rights framework that genuinely and thoroughly consulted with the group affected by the legislation at hand: Disabled People were genuinely involved in its drafting and redrafting.

“In stark contrast, the Disability Capacity Review did not consult with any Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) in its publication. It’s a classic case of non-disabled deciding they know what’s best for Disabled People. 

“This is extremely revelatory and tells us how much further we have to go to change the cultural attitudes of inequality and discrimination that continue to pervade governmental structures and decision-making bodies. The review exposes how decisions affecting the lives of Disabled People are still being made according to a charity-model and deficit-based understanding of disability. It has not aligned with the Social Model of disability; and it is not person-centred or rights based.

“These are not novel concepts – in a 2012 HSE document called the ‘Value for Money and Policy Review of Disability Services’ report, reams of recommendations were stipulated including all of these buzzwords ‘personalised budgets’, ‘deinstitutionalisation’, ‘mainstreaming’ and ‘integrated services’ yet here we are almost 10 years later with another lengthy document set to entrench an old, disempowering model of service provision for the next 10 years. It is an indictment on the state.

“There has been little to no progress in changing cultural attitudes – the Disability Capacity Review proves that as it is set the make the same mistakes repeated time and time again in this state, separating Disabled People from non-disabled people and allocating the lions-share of resources to the disability industry i.e. service providers which are the profit-making businesses.

“It’s time to change the narrative. It’s time to move-on. It’s time for change.”

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