Press Release

Minister McGrath welcomes the launch of the Monaghan Branch of Parents and Friends of Persons with an Intellectual Disability website

A radical reconfiguration of services is currently underway to support people with disabilities to make the type of choices available to other adults, according to Minister of State with special responsibility for Disabilities, Finian McGrath.

The Minister said the introduction of personalised budget options and the implementation of the Transforming Lives Programme will result in a radical change in how disability services are funded and provided – shifting choice and control from professionals and administrators to where it rightfully belongs, with the individual with a disability and their family.

Speaking at the launch of the Monaghan Branch Parents and Friends website, Minister McGrath said, “It is 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 Minister added “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 and will continue to do so into the future,”

On the introduction of personalised budgets, the Minister said “This is a complex undertaking which will completely change the legal, administrative and governance basis on which services and supports for people with disabilities have traditionally been delivered. For some it will involve unbundling the funding which traditionally has been channelled through services providers and giving control over this funding back to the individual and their family. For others, they may not wish to avail of personal budgets but would still want to have more choice in who delivers their service and supports and what type of service they wish to avail of.”

The Minister said a special Task Force on Personalised Budgets was formed in September and members of this Task Force include people with a lived experience of disability, including people who have a disability themselves and the family members of people with disabilities.

“This is not to pay lip service to the disability community but to guarantee that their voices will be heard when it comes to the framing of services in the future, the cornerstone of which must be greater independence through self-determination, choice, control and person-centred planning.”

“The work of the Task Force also advances the Department of Health’s overarching reform programme for disability services, which is embodied in Transforming Lives, the programme to implement the recommendations of the Value for Money and Policy Review of Disability Services. ”