Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Disability, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony has said that a sea change in society is required to ensure that people with disabilities stop being treated less favourably than those without a disability.
Deputy Murphy O’Mahony was commenting after the release of new data from the ESRI and the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission that shows that people with disabilities are systematically discriminated against in work, while looking for work, and very worryingly while engaging with the public service.
“In most areas, people with disabilities fare far worse than those without a disability in terms of discrimination.
“When looking for work, one is six people with disabilities said they were discriminated against versus a figure of 6.7% for people without a disability.
“The State has a major role to play. I find it morally reprehensible that Irish citizens with disabilities would be discriminated against by their own public service. When 7.2% of people say that State has discriminated against them, then we must accept that there is a problem.
“We need to change how we view disability, and more importantly, how we view people with disabilities.
“Yes, there are challenges, and yes, there is difference. However, the State and Irish society itself must see past these differences, and ensure that every Irish citizen is given the same opportunity in life, irrespective of their perceived ability.
“Change requires everyone to look at their own behaviour, and see how they are contributing to discrimination,” concluded Murphy O’Mahony.