Press Release

Devins praises contribution of Trade Unions to achieving progress on real equality for people with disabilities

Dr. Jimmy Devins, T.D. Minister for Disability and Mental Health addressed the first joint North/South Seminar on Disability Issues and Trade Unions seminar today (2nd November, 2007) organised by ICTU.

The Minister highlighted the contribution that Trade Unions, both north and south, have made towards achieving progress on real equality for people with disabilities.

Minister Devins complimented two recent initiatives involving ICTU which have sought to improve the employment rate among people with disabilities.

“Firstly, there is the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment and FÁS supported Workway project. Workway was the first project in Europe to take a partnership approach to tackling unemployment among people with disabilities. It involved IBEC, ICTU, disability service providers, state agencies and people with disabilities themselves in a series of regional networks that sought to address the complex barriers that people with disabilities face in accessing and retaining employment’’, stated Minister Devins.

‘‘More recently, there is the ICTU Disability Champions Project that is currently being developed. Under this initiative 40 trade union members or representatives throughout Ireland will champion disability in the workplace involving both the private and public sector. The aim will be to promote best practice in the inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace. This project is also supported by FÁS’’, concluded Minister Devins.