Offaly worker with Wheelchair Assoc. urges public to back independence petition

Ger Scully

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Ger Scully

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editor@tullamoretribune.ie

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People asked to support IWA petition

An Offaly worker from the Irish Wheelchair Association is asking people to get behind the  organisation’s  #NotMyIndependenceDay petition, which  urges  the  new Government 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.     
Josephine Kenny, Irish Wheelchair Association  worker in Offaly 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 Josephine.   
“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 Offaly 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 Offaly to support the campaign,  by signing its  #NotMyIndependenceDay petition  on  iwa.ie/petition.