Disability Law 2005 was watered down to avoid giving rights and was heavily diluted by the NDA (National Disability Authority, of which Mrs Kerins was then Chair). Hence a huge problem as people with all types of disabilities had a very hard time getting their rights recognised and it saved FF/PD government of that time a lot of MILLIONS.
Also their refusal to approve the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities up to now which has made it doubly worse off. Ireland is one of the two EU countries who still consistently refused to sign the UN charter (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) cos it would force the government to put in place legislation based on disability rights & ability not charity nor pity nor resources.
The NDA was responsible to develop guidelines for the standards of services for people with disabilities. HIQA (Kerins was formerly a Board member) has a similar role but has not yet begun to inspect workshops and it seems that at the moment there is no inspection of Rehab sheltered training workshops by any body. Currently Rehab is closing training services in the UK after badly failing an Ofsted inspection due to poor quality training and losing UK government funding – so there are big questions about the quality of services provided by Rehab.
THE Rehab Group has lost more than £5.7m (€6.8m) in British government funding after TBG Learning, one of its subsidiaries, failed an inspection. In 2012, Frank Flannery, a former Rehab director and a former Fine Gael director of elections, charged TBG Learning consultancy fees of €79,869 for political lobbying. The company is closing three training centres in Essex, southeast England, this month following the termination of payments by the UK Department of Education. Nine other centres in England are set to close on a phased basis. The company is fully owned by Rehab, the Irish non-profit, disability services provider. (Sunday Times)
Frank Flannery is a Director of TBG Learning limited and Angela Kerins remains its Chair. Rehab UK did not submit its books to the Charities Commissioners in the UK in 2012 as it is ‘winding up.’ While huge salaries and fees have been extracted from disability services in Ireland the most important issue for people with disabilities is the quality of services provided.
Disability law 2005 is hugely based on resources instead of rights based which was a clever move by Kerins and FF minister for disabled at that time. So it’s a lip service as they can say we don’t have the resources to provide services. Severe cutbacks via the HSE and other government departments now have made it a lot worse, cutting right down to a bone. That said, they denied many services to people with severe disabilities, especially in the early years of their life which is critical to progress in later stages of their life.
Some, not all of them, haven’t got the foggiest idea of people with disabilities or of what they really need, as they usually make a decision for them without consulting their parents or the disabled themselves. It’s very common as people with disabilities have no say as they have no support (parents at home). It’s outrageous but all too common nowadays. Third level disability staff were worse when I was there as they usually see a student with any disability as a ‘cash cow’. Think of that – imagine that in CRH or Rehab as it’s the same – a money making racket exercise for top brass cos rights for people for disability aren’t there at all.
In another words, exploitation of the workers with disabilities at their expense in order to generate profits and their inflated pay salaries/pensions, which was totally disgusting… taking advantage of the vulnerable & disabled people, which made it all the more appalling and total lack of respect towards workers with various types of disabilities.
Hence,- all Rehab directors should resign en masse which I would demand!!
Disability Student 9th April 2014
More discussion on this at Political World discussion forum
References and sources:
De Wispelaere, Jurgen and Walsh, Judy (2007) ‘Disability Rights in Ireland: Chronicle of a Missed Opportunity’, Irish Political Studies, 22:4, 517 – 543
DOI: 10.1080/07907180701699265 URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07907180701699265