Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Budget threatens services to people with disability

The Disability Federation of Ireland highlights the need for ring fenced funding for disability services, particularly in the face of further cuts to public services expected in the upcoming budget. 'If measures are not in place to ensure that the Budget is disability proofed there will be unintended and unsustainable cuts to vital services for disabled people and their families. This is without reference to the amount of unmet needs that also require attention'.

While the furore over cuts to respite services have abated anecdotal stories of continued stealth cuts in the disability sector continues. The NCSE have continued a campaign of cuts to special needs assistants with hundreds of children with varying special needs affected.In the governments overt eagerness to impress international financial markets there is a great fear rising in the disability community that the next budget will dismantle all the progress of the past and that families and people with disabilities will be hit by devastating cuts. There seems to be a feeling of inevitability that disaster is coming and parents and loved ones of disability feel like they are standing on the beach watching a great tsunami heading for us from which there is no escape.But as the adrenaline rushes through our veins as the budget tsunami looms nearer the great unanswered question is whether the fight or the flight response will be more dominant. Do we put our heads down and suffer on or do we fight back?