The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr Michael McDowell, T.D., today announced the publication of sectoral plans prepared under the Disability Act 2005 by the following Ministers:

Announcing the publication of the plans the Tánaiste said, "This suite of sectoral plans sets out the programme of measures to be taken by each of the Ministers' Departments and public bodies under their aegis designed to provide services to people with disabilities, and are a crucial element of the Government's National Disability Strategy." 

These plans were launched by the Taoiseach and Government Ministers in July, 2006 after an extensive consultation process. Following this, the plans were laid before each House of the Oireachtasas required by the Disability Act 2005. The sectoral plans were approved by both Houses of the Oireachtas in October this year, thereby enabling the plans to take effect.

"I am delighted to announce the publication of the six sectoral plans today." the Tánaiste said. "These plans represent tangible evidence of the Government's policy of mainstreaming. My colleague Ministers, the six sectoral plan Departments and the various disability organisations and representative groups have successfully collaborated throughout the consultation process to produce constructive, cohesive sectoral plans that outline provision of services to people with disabilities into the future. This approach has been endorsed by the Social Partners in Towards 2016 which provides for the monitoring of the National Disability Strategy including these plans through a continued constructive relationship with stakeholders."

The Tánaiste also announced the convening of the National Disability Strategy Stakeholder Monitoring Group which had its inaugural meeting on the 30th November last. Its purpose is to bring together senior Government Department officials, representatives of stakeholders in the disability sector and the National Disability Authority to monitor progress on the implementation of the National Disability Strategy.

The Tánaiste said, "A particular focus for the new Monitoring Group, formed under the terms of the Social Partnership Agreement "Towards 2016", will be the roll-out of services for people with disabilities set out in these plans which are published today". 

The sectoral plans are available from the relevant Government Departments or the Government publications office.

21 December 2006