Press Release

Minister Finian McGrath launches new series of online videos and a DVD examining the impacts of ageing of people with disabilities

A new series of online videos and a DVD examining the impact of ageing in people with disabilities has been launched by Minister of State with special responsibility for Disabilities, Finian McGrath TD.

The IDS-TILDA (Intellectual Disability Supplement to The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing) has been at the forefront of research on ageing and intellectual disability.

It is recognised not only in Ireland but also internationally as leading the way in research about the lives of people with an intellectual disability.

Minister McGrath said the videos launched today will touch on the issues which are really important to people with intellectual disabilities.

“We will see videos about important health and societal issues such as dementia and being overweight, and how we can better include people with intellectual disabilities in measures of health,” Minister McGrath said.

“We will also see videos with messages about making choices and moving to a new home; about engagement in day activity; and about social activities and some of the challenges faced by this population in doing them.

“These are all crucial issues for people with intellectual disabilities, particularly as they age, along with the rest of us, and aim for fuller participation in their local communities.

“The increased life expectancy of people with an intellectual disability is an incredible and welcome success story and one to be celebrated, but, as the videos show, it also poses tremendous challenges.”

Minister McGrath said that throughout their lives, people with disabilities should be supported in maximising their potential, by removing barriers which impact on access to services, education, work or healthcare.

“It is therefore incumbent on both Government and society as a whole to transform services to a model of personally chosen supports, designed to enable the individual to live a normal life in society.”

“The growing recognition by civil society of the right of people with disabilities to participate in, and contribute to social and economic life has driven the development of service provision in Ireland in recent years, which is embodied in the Transforming Lives Programme, and will continue to do so in the future.”

He said while detailed scientific reports from the study provide the basis for informed decision-making in Government, it is essential that the key findings and messages emerging from the study should also be communicated to a wide audience in the most accessible ways possible.

“In this regard, the launch of these videos today is a great addition to the body of work already produced by IDS-TILDA,” Minister McGrath said.