Fine Gael TD for Dún Laoghaire, Mary Mitchell O’Connor chaired the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children on Thursday, 28 May and encouraged her colleagues to officially recognise Deafblindness as a disability.
The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children met to discuss recognition of Deafblindness as a distinct disability. There are over 10,000 Deafblind people in Ireland who need increased support from the Government.
Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, who has strongly supported the Deafblind community, asked witnesses and experts to elaborate on the public services available for the Deafblind, the quality of those services and the specific areas of support that need to be improved.
Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD stated, “The Deafblind community in Ireland needs the Government’s support to help access crucial services that will improve their quality of life. The first important step is to fully define and recognize Deafblindness as a disability.”
“Once the Government officially recognises Deafblindness as a distinct disability, we can appropriate the necessary funding for individuals to access the services they need. This will also help raise awareness on the condition and further inform the public on Deafblindness.”
“It is imperative that the Government provides additional and necessary services, institutes regulations on hearing aids, and assists the greater deafblind community, so that they are no longer an unsupported minority.”