Dáil Éireann - Volume 466 - 11 June, 1996
Written Answers. - Status of People with Disabilities.
Dr. Woods Dr. Woods
22. Dr. Woods asked the Minister for Equality and Law Reform whether he intends to introduce legislation to prevent discrimination against people with disabilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11927/96]
Mr. E. Byrne Mr. E. Byrne
23. Mr. E. Byrne asked the Minister for Equality and Law Reform the progress, if any, that has been made towards ensuring that the 3 per cent employment quota for people with disabilities is met in all sections of the public service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12016/96]
Mr. Molloy Mr. Molloy
 24. Mr. Molloy asked the Minister for Equality and Law Reform the date on which the report of the Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities will be published; when the drafting of the provisional constitution for the Council for the Status of People with Disabilities will be complete; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12011/96]
Minister for Equality and Law Reform (Mr. Taylor) Mervyn Taylor
Minister for Equality and Law Reform (Mr. Taylor): I propose to take Questions Nos. 22 to 24, inclusive, together.
I am still awaiting the report of the Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities. I understand the commission is close to finalising it and expects to submit it to me shortly.
A final draft of a working constitution for the interim Council for the Status of People with Disabilities has been prepared by the establishment group. It is intended this document will be adopted by the interim council as a working document for the duration of its term of office and it contains rules laid down by the establishment group in relation to membership and election procedures. Final approval has not yet been given by the establishment group but it is intended that the final document will be available by the end of this month. The establishment group is also in the process of preparing a formal constitution for the permanent council. This document will be passed to the interim council. I understand that it will be the responsibility of the interim council to decide whether this constitution will form the basis of a framework document for the permanent council.
The Monitoring Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities, which operates from the Department of the Taoiseach under the Programme for Competitiveness and Work, has carried out a survey to establish the end-1995 position with regard to the employment of people with disabilities in the Public Service. The figure stands at 1.49 per cent. There remains work to be done to achieve the 3 per cent target  already reached in the Civil Service. My Department has engaged in consultations with the Departments of Finance, Health and Environment to ensure that Human Resources Managers in bodies under their control are aware of the Government's commitment to reaching the 3 per cent quota and to ensure that ever effort is made to reach it as soon as possible. An officer of my Department is also on the monitoring committee which intends writing to the secretaries of each Department to ask that the matter be taken up with the chief executive officers of each body under the aegis of their Departments.
I will shortly be bringing forward employment equality legislation which will provide protection against discrimination on a number of grounds, including disability. I hope to publish the Equal Status Bill in the latter half of the year. This Bill will provide protection against discrimination on grounds of disability in non-employment areas.
I understand that the Commission on the Status of People with Diabilities has also been examining the question of legislation with regard to disability. When it submits its report to Government, we will examine its recommendations and any legislation required, to set out the rights of persons with a disability, together with means of redress for those whose rights are denied, will be prepared.
Dáil Éireann 466 Written Answers. Status of People with Disabilities.