The Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Disability, Anne Rabbitte T.D., today announced her intention to Chair an inter-departmental group to examine the issues of accessible transport for persons with disabilities and to progress a review of the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers Scheme as a matter of priority.
Following engagement in 2020 between Minister of Finance Paschal Donohoe T.D. and Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O’Gorman T.D., it was decided to use an existing interdepartmental group established under the National Disability Inclusion Strategy to commence a review of the Scheme, and assess proposals relating to other schemes such as the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant.
The Transport Working Group was established to drive Action 104 of the Strategy in 2020 but its work was paused to prioritise initial responses to the pandemic, while the work of the main NDIS Steering Group continued.
Minister Rabbitte will re-convene the Transport Group on the 26 January and looks forward to working with all relevant parties and delivering better outcomes for persons with disabilities.
Commenting on the upcoming meeting Minister Rabbitte said:
We know that there are transport challenges for people with disabilities in this country and I am determined to do everything possible to address those challenges and to break down any barrier to independent living and equal participation in society. That is my clear focus as Minister and it is the work of everyone who is involved in the NDIS.
I know that there are immediate issues with the Disabled Drivers and Passenger Scheme and this will be our clear focus for the Transport Group’s first meeting I have directed, as well as discussing further options that can considered regarding the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant, which falls under my remit.
I wish to thank my colleagues Minister Donohoe and Minister O’Gorman for their engagement on the issue of Disabled Drivers and Passenger Scheme, and in particular for recognising the value in a whole-of-government response to transport challenges. There has already been contact between the Department of Finance and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth and I am aware that the Department of Finance is already critically examining the Scheme and that Minister Donohoe specifically sought a whole-of-government vehicle for reviewing the Scheme via the NDIS.
I look forward to making real progress and to developing real solutions for people with disabilities.