Ireland

Life for Wheelchair Users: Imagine never escaping lockdown

A Donegal worker from Irish Wheelchair Association is asking people to think about life for wheelchair users and get behind the organisation’s new petition to ensure independence for people with disabilities.    

Irish Wheelchair Association launched #NotMyIndependenceDay this week, a campaign to urge the new Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration to ensure that people with disabilities can live the life they choose, with independence.

Mary McGrenra, Irish Wheelchair Association worker in Donegal said: “As Covid-19 restrictions ease, many people are looking forward to getting ‘back to normal’, visiting friends, getting haircuts, going to pubs and gyms. But not everyone will be enjoying their full freedom.

“Lockdown restrictions give just a small flavour of what life is like every day for people with disabilities. Lack of wheelchair accessible transport, lack of home support hours, discrimination in the job market and inaccessible buildings and public amenities, are just some of the challenges that restrict people with disabilities from living an independent life.

“Irish Wheelchair Association has launched its #NotMyIndependenceDay campaign to petition Roderic O’Gorman, new Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration and the new Government to commit to ensuring that policy decisions in housing, health, social welfare, education, environment – across every department – take disability into account in a meaningful way.

“We are also calling on the new Government to ensure that disability organisations are properly funded for the vital services they carry out on behalf of the State after years of underfunding by successive governments,” said Mary.

“People with disabilities have waited too long for their day of independence. We hope that this new Government will finally listen to us and recognise the rights of people with disabilities from Donegal and beyond to full participation in Irish society. We want no half measures, no crumbs from the table. We want real investment in providing people with disabilities the right to live the life they choose, with full inclusion into society.”

The organisation is asking people from Donegal to support the campaign, by signing its #NotMyIndependenceDay petition on iwa.ie/petition.

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