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Independent Living: Policy to Practice Lillian Buchanan Dr Joanne McCarthy.

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Presentation on theme: "Independent Living: Policy to Practice Lillian Buchanan Dr Joanne McCarthy."— Presentation transcript:

1 Independent Living: Policy to Practice Lillian Buchanan Dr Joanne McCarthy

2 Outline Scope & aim of the research Methodology Irish public policy direction Engagement with people and their organisations Policy implementation nationally Case study Recommendations

3 Scope & Aim Physical housing focus within the independent living concept – Only part but a basis for building life Portray implementation when no legal rights based framework Examine Irish experience in hard times as well as easy times

4 Methodology Probe government engagement with people and their voluntary organisations – Authors involvement in consultation structures Examine policy developments – Documentation Listen to experience as reported in one example

5 Policy direction Government endorses the legitimate expectation of people to be able to live independently – E.g. Towards 2016, National Housing Strategy for People with Disabilities – Range of support measures announced But legal rights not a feature – E.g. UNCRPD not ratified

6 Engagement Evidence of government – listening to the diverse perspectives of people with disabilities, – involving them and their organisations in policy making, planning and implementation, and – following up to ensure good outcomes

7 Policy to Practice Are more people appropriately housed? Is a person-centred approach used? Pre and post austerity test of commitment

8 Policy Pre Austerity No strong focus on supporting people into mainstream communities – Capital funding for housing adaptations and for special needs housing – but not significant share – Housing boom produced relatively few accessible units – Increase in PA hours provided but not monitored Housing strategy for people with disabilities – Limited cross-agency working


10 Implementation under Austerity Major capital and revenue spending cuts Housing Strategy completed October 2011 – More effort at joint implementation Focus on community living by HSE – Austerity squeeze on community supports Continued resistance to entitlement to live independently

11 Pump House on Londonbridge Road, Dublin 4 Opened by DCC in May 2009 with 24 apartments, x of which were designed with and for their mobility-impaired tenants

12 Local Experience People with mobility impairments in Dublin City with housing need – Getting onto the social housing waiting list – Waiting on that list, especially given shrinking sources of social housing supply – Cold shoulder for many of those not already getting personal supports – But examples of effective joint working for solutions


14 Some recommendations Strategy statements and domestic legislation insufficient – Need operational back-up such as Strategys proposed local authority-based steering committees and development of stronger accessible housing standards – Need legal backup such as ratification of the UN Convention and Housing Act amendment to recognise right to independent living

15 Recommendations contd Need procedures that factor in disability from the outset, such as systematic process to generate more Pump House-type housing Need proactive voluntary disability organisations to assist people through difficult application processes, to monitor housing policy implementation, and to advocate for better outcomes Need to implement the National Housing Strategy for People with Disabilities

16 Thank you For a copy of the draft paper, please email:

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