A Fine Gael Senator has said the Government decision to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) is a momentous day for people in Ireland who have a disability.
Senator Martin Conway, who suffers from a visual impairment, said “Since my election to Seanad Éireann in 2011 I have campaigned relentlessly for Ireland to ratify the UN Convention.
“I am absolutely delighted today that the Government has taken this very important step.
“There have been great strides in how society approaches persons with disabilities, but there is more to be done.
“People with disabilities are only half as likely to be in employment as others of working age. It’s clear that more work is now needed by employers, government departments and disability organisations to ensure people with disabilities can participate more fully in the labour market.
“My own story so far is a positive one and while I have had many barriers to overcome, plenty of setbacks and no doubt there will be lots more challenges along the way,” the Clare Senator said.
“I am lucky where I work; since I became a Senator I have worked with the various sections in identifying the Houses of the Oireachtas best way to accommodate my needs.
“This sends a clear message that they are willing and able to accommodate people from all backgrounds. We need to work towards that being the norm in all work places.”
The purpose of the Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.