Dear Minister Flanagan,
I write to express my disappointment at the announced closure of the National Platform of Self Advocates, Ireland’s only Disabled Persons Organization (DPO) operated by those with intellectual disability.
The consultation and involvement of persons with disabilities in any processes that concern them is a clear right recognized in the CRPD, a convention which we, and you, have fought hard to ratify in Ireland. Ratification is not enough. What does it say about our country of we allow this DPO to close? What does it say about our commitment to removing barriers to their participation? What does is say about our commitment to making the right enshrined in the convention a reality?
I have learned something in every interaction I have previously had with the National Platform. the have helped shape the national agenda on disability rights issues, voicing the importance of reforms in many areas such as employment, personal budgets and transport.
I acknowledge Minister McGrath’s attempts to support the National Platform with short term funding. However, it is vital a means is now found to fund the platform into the future, which offers them the stability and independence they require to continue their work.