Dáil Éireann - Volume 483 - 25 November, 1997
Written Answers. - Personal Assistance Service.
Mr. D. Carey Mr. D. Carey
227. Mr. D. Carey asked the Minister for Health and Children if he has met the association of disabled people recently; and his Department's policy regarding their comprehensive plan for independent living. [20498/97]
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Cowen) Brian Cowen
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Cowen): On 22 September 1997 I met a delegation from the Independent Living Fund Committee of the Centre for Independent Living. We had a wide ranging general discussion on the question of independent living for people with disabilities with particular reference to the personal assistance service.
In relation to the development of the personal assistance service, I informed the delegation that my intention was that, as a transitionary measure, the health boards would supplement the service being provided by the Centre for Independent Living through the use of the FÁS Community Employment Scheme, with the medium term objective being the putting in place of a properly structured personal assistance service which would increase, on a gradual basis in accordance with the availability of the necessary funding, the number of people with disabilities receiving a personal assistance service.
The basic thrust of my Department's policy for the development of services for people with disabilities is the provision of a comprehensive range of services enabling people with disabilities to live in the community with the maximum degree of independence possible for each individual. Such services include respite care, day care, therapy services and home supports including personal assistants. The Irish Wheelchair Association, which also provides independent living and personal assistance services, supports this policy.
Dáil Éireann 483 Written Answers. Personal Assistance Service.