23. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Taoiseach the rate of unemployment for those not at work due to an illness or a disability; and the way this compares with the European and OECD averages. (Question 34635/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Unemployment Data)

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Joe McHugh): The exact information requested by the Deputy is not available.
The Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) is the official source of estimates of unemployment (ILO) in the State. 
Respondents to the QNHS are asked whether they have at least one long-lasting condition or difficulty and the most recent figures available are for Q1 2017.
Table 1 shows the number of persons aged 15 years and over classified by their ILO ec...

24. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Taoiseach if his Department is improving services and increasing supports for persons with disabilities during 2017. (Question 34986/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Disability Support Services Provision)

The Taoiseach: My Department supports the implementation of national policies and strategies designed to advance the lives of people with disabilities including the recently published National Disability Inclusion Strategy 2017-2021.
As Taoiseach and Head of Government, I encourage and endorse every effort to improve the services and supports for people with disabilities. 
I want everyone to reach their full potential by ensuring that everyone gets a fair chance.
The Government has already take...

245. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he has introduced, as committed to in the programme for Government, a provision whereby taxi companies that wish to bid for State procurement contracts must ensure that a minimum of 10% of their fleet is wheelchair accessible; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36500/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Public Procurement Contracts)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The National Transport Authority (NTA) figures released in ‘Statistical Bulletin Number: 01/ 2017 April 2017’ show that 6% of the national taxi fleet is now wheelchair accessible, up from 4.2% in 2013.
Based on consultations with the market prior to establishing a framework contract for the provision of taxi services in the Greater Dublin Area in April 2015, the market response was that there are no large unitary fleet operator...

1420. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the percentage of Bus Éireann buses that are wheelchair accessible; the percentage of Dublin Bus buses that are wheelchair accessible; the percentage of Irish Rail trains that are wheelchair accessible; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36674/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Public Transport Data)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1420 to 1422, inclusive, together.
Accessibility features are built into all new public transport infrastructure projects and vehicles from the design stage and new systems such as the Luas are fully accessible. In addition, 100% of the Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann city fleets are wheelchair accessible, as well as approximately 80% of the Bus Éireann coach fleet.
With regard to existing infrastructure,...

1421. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the percentage of train stations that are fully wheelchair accessible; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36675/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Public Transport Data)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1420 to 1422, inclusive, together.
Accessibility features are built into all new public transport infrastructure projects and vehicles from the design stage and new systems such as the Luas are fully accessible. In addition, 100% of the Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann city fleets are wheelchair accessible, as well as approximately 80% of the Bus Éireann coach fleet.
With regard to existing infrastructure,...

1422. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the steps that have been taken since he took office to improve the wheelchair accessibility of bus stops; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36676/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Public Transport Data)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1420 to 1422, inclusive, together.
Accessibility features are built into all new public transport infrastructure projects and vehicles from the design stage and new systems such as the Luas are fully accessible. In addition, 100% of the Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann city fleets are wheelchair accessible, as well as approximately 80% of the Bus Éireann coach fleet.
With regard to existing infrastructure,...

1423. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the notice required by Irish Rail if a person is a wheelchair user and wishes to travel by train; his plans to reduce this notice period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36677/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Rail Services Provision)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): ​The issue raised is a matter for Irish Rail and I have forwarded the Deputy’s question to the Company for direct reply. Please advise my private office if a response has not been received within 10 working days.
 ...

73. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the way her Department is improving services and increasing supports for persons with disabilities during 2017. (Question 34035/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Services for People with Disabilities)

Tánaiste and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The mission of my Department is to lead on the creation and maintenance of high quality and sustainable full employment by championing enterprise across government.  While my Department does not have a direct role on the formulation of policy on the provision of employment or other supports or services specifically for people with disabilities, it did participate in the development of the Comprehensive Employm...

161. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Minister for Finance the way his Department is improving services and increasing supports for persons with disabilities during 2017. (Question 34032/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Services for People with Disabilities)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Department is aware of it’s obligations as set out in the Disability Act of 2005. In line with the legislation a Disability Liaison Officer (DLO) and Access Officers are in place within the Department.   The contact details for these officers are available of the Department’s website. 
http://www.finance.gov.ie/who-we-are/acess-officers-department/access-officers-department#overlay-context =
The Department works closely with the National Disabi...

246. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the way his Department is improving services and increasing supports for persons with disabilities during 2017. (Question 34037/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Services for People with Disabilities)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Part 5 of the Disability Act 2005 sets out the legal obligations of public service bodies to include promoting and supporting the employment of people with disabilities and complying with any statutory Code of Practice.
The National Disability Authority (NDA) reports annually on compliance within each public service body with a target of  3% of employees with disabilities. In its latest published report for the calendar year 2...

287. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Minister for Education and Skills the way his Department is improving services and increasing supports for persons with disabilities during 2017. (Question 34030/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Services for People with Disabilities)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Funding for special education provision in 2017 will amount to some €1.68 billion, which is equivalent to approximately 19% of the gross overall current allocation for education and training and represents an increase in spending in this area of 12% over the last two years.
Funding in 2017 includes:
- Over 13,400 Special Education Teaching posts in mainstream primary and post primary schools for the 2017/2018 school year, to provide add...

289. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Minister for Education and Skills the progress over the past 14 months by his Department to accelerate early assessment and intervention for children with special needs. (Question 34047/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - National Educational Psychological Service)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I can inform the Deputy that my Department’s National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) provides educational psychology service to all primary and post primary schools through an assigned NEPS psychologist and in some cases through the Scheme for Commissioning Psychological Assessments (SCPA), full details of which are on the Department’s website. Under this scheme schools can have an assessment carried out by a member of the pan...

368. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the way his Department is improving services and increasing supports for persons with disabilities during 2017. (Question 34033/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Services for People with Disabilities)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department is improving services and increasing supports for persons with disabilities.During 2017 a project to modify and upgrade a Departmental building to better meet the access and internal mobility requirements of all staff and visitors with a disability was initiated. The Department continues to work to improve conditions for staff with disabilities and provide appropriate support including t...

396. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the way his Department is improving services and increasing supports for persons with disabilities during 2017 (Question 34036/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Disability Support Services)

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy Finian McGrath) (Deputy Finian McGrath): As Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality, I have responsibility for disability policy coordination, rather than funding and delivery of services.
In this regard, I will be launching the new National Disability Inclusion Strategy 2017 - 2021, tomorrow, 14 July. The new Strategy will take a whole of Government approach to improving the lives of people with disabilitie...

462. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the way in which her Department is improving services and increasing supports for persons with disabilities during 2017 (Question 34026/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Services for People with Disabilities)

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Heather Humphreys): While my Department is not directly responsible for the provision of services or supports for person with disabilities I am committed to ensuring access to arts, culture and heritage for all citizens. This commitment is reflected in the inclusive nature of the Creative Ireland Programme launched earlier this year. I would also advise the Deputy that my Department is represented on the National Disa...

472. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Minister for Health to outline the progress over the past 14 months by his Department in accelerating early assessment and intervention for children with special needs. (Question 34048/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Special Educational Needs)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): I propose to take Questions Nos. 472 and 721 together.
The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership G...

623. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Minister for Health the number of persons that have transferred from congregated settings to community living to date in 2017; and the number of additional homes provided. (Question 33886/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Housing for People with Disabilities Provision)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): The HSE’s report “Time to Move on from Congregated Settings – A Strategy for Community Inclusion”, (2011) proposes a new model of support in the community by moving people from institutional settings to the community. The plan is being rolled out at a regional and local level and involves full consultation with stakeholders.
The Programme for Government contains a commitment to continue to move people with disabilities out o...

624. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Minister for Health the number of additional speech and language therapists newly employed by the HSE to date; and the sectors of the HSE in which they are employed. (Question 33887/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Speech and Language Therapy Provision)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter. 
 ...

625. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Minister for Health the number of additional occupational therapists newly employed by the HSE to date in 2017; and the sectors of the HSE in which they are employed. (Question 33888/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Occupational Therapy)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter. 
 ...

626. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Minister for Health the locations of the 185 new residential emergency places provided under disability services in 2017. (Question 33889/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Housing for People with Disabilities Provision)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality ...

627. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Minister for Health the number of children’s disability network teams established. (Question 33890/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Disability Services Provision)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality ...

628. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Minister for Health the number of adults with a physical and-or sensory disability in receipt of a personal assistant, PA, service as of 30 June 2017 or the latest date available. (Question 33891/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Disability Services Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): I propose to take Questions Nos. 628 and 629 together.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) is committed to protecting the level of Personal Assistant and Home Support Services available to people with disabilities. In their 2017 National Service Plan, the HSE expects to deliver 1.4 million Personal Assistant hours to 2,357 adults with a physical and/or sensory disability. This is an increase of 100,000 hours on the 2016 targ...

629. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Minister for Health the number of persons with a disability in receipt of home support services, intellectual disability, ID, autism and physical and sensory disability, as of 30 June 2017 or the latest date available. (Question 33892/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Disability Services Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): I propose to take Questions Nos. 628 and 629 together.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) is committed to protecting the level of Personal Assistant and Home Support Services available to people with disabilities. In their 2017 National Service Plan, the HSE expects to deliver 1.4 million Personal Assistant hours to 2,357 adults with a physical and/or sensory disability. This is an increase of 100,000 hours on the 2016 targ...

715. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Minister for Health the way his Department is improving services and increasing supports for persons with disabilities during 2017. (Question 34034/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Services for People with Disabilities)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): The Programme for Government contains a number of commitments in relation to improving the lives of persons with disabilities. These commitments include supporting people with disabilities to maximise their potential, removing barriers which impact on access to services, education, work or health care and providing supports at key transition points in their lives. The Programme for Government also recognises that persons wit...

721. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Minister for Health to outline the progress over the past 14 months by his Department in accelerating early assessment and intervention for children with special needs. (Question 34046/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Special Educational Needs)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): I propose to take Questions Nos. 472 and 721 together.
The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership G...