A significant milestone was reached on Tuesday, June 14 in Dooly’s Hotel, Birr when the Offaly Association for People with an Intellectual Disability launched their new website www.offalyid.ie.
The launch coincided with the association’s annual general meeting. This was the 45th AGM and it was in Birr in the Marian Hall in 1966 that the first meeting was held to form ‘The Offaly Association for the Mentally Handicapped’.
The well attended meeting was opened by Chairman PJ Wyer who welcomed everyone. He acknowledged the progress that had been made in recent years in the provision of services for people with disabilities but noted that many commitments and promises made have remained unfulfilled. Guest speaker Ms Deirdre Carroll, CEO Inclusion Ireland, gave an interesting talk on the role of the national association who are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. Deirdre acknowledged the very significant role played by the Offaly Association in lobbying for appropriate services to be delivered locally for people with an intellectual disability.
Deirdre welcomed the promises made in the area of disabilities by the Government in their National Recovery Plan 2011-2016.
“Their commitment to introduce statutory standards and inspection of disability services is welcome, and should be introduced immediately as this issue was highlighted recently by the prime time programme. Modern Capacity legislation must be introduced which will provide supported decision making and replace the current law which dates back to the Lunacy Act of 1871.
“Individualised Funding which will allow people with intellectual disabilities more choice and control over what services they receive. If these commitments were delivered on, they would have a profound impact on the day to day lives of people with disabilities and their families,” she commented.
Ms Siobhan Kane, Marketing Executive from Inclusion Ireland, guided the meeting through the website www.offalyid.ie