414. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality her views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding issues raised by persons with intellectual disabilities; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49681/14]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin): At the outset, I wish to assure the Deputy that the Government continues to prioritise the needs of people with disabilities. Responsibility for coordinating policy on disability lies with my Department. However, the implementation of sectoral policy is a matter for a number of Government Departments, with responsibility for provision of services resting mainly with the Department of Health.
In line with a commitment in the Programme for Government a National Disability Strategy Implementation Plan (NDSIP) was published in July 2013 following significant consultation and consideration between relevant Government Departments, representatives of a broad range of disability organisations and persons with a lived experience of disability. The Plan sets out the practical measures that will be taken to advance the National Disability Strategy over the period 2013 to 2015 and ensures that available resources are used to best effect to meet the needs of all people with disabilities, including those with intellectual disabilities. The issues raised in the correspondence referred to by the Deputy are all included in this Plan.
Progress on the Implementation Plan is reviewed by the National Disability Strategy Implementation Group (NDSIG) through thematic meetings which deal with specific issues. Such meetings are attended by all relevant bodies to ensure cross-sectoral input and review. All actions in the Plan relevant to the chosen issue are discussed and the progress made is mapped against commitments in the Plan.
Thematic meetings have focussed on issues including Irish Sign Language, housing and employment. A comprehensive employment strategy for people with disabilities is at an advanced stage of drafting, the aim of which is to support people with disabilities into employment if they are in a position to work.