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Equality for Children with Disabilities – Platform for Seanad 16

Did you know that 13% of people in Ireland have a disability? Children with disabilities make up around 5% of all those under the age of 14. Children and adults who have a disability are at greater risk of poverty, social exclusion and educational exclusion. As a parent of a child who has a profound hearing impairment, I have been involved with disability services in the medical and educational sphere, for the …Read More

Define “Normal” for a Child with a Disability

I had a recent heart-breaking experience when my son, who is profoundly deaf, asked me “Why Can’t I be Normal?” It was one of those moments as a parent, where your head searches frantically for the correct acceptable answer, while your heart bursts as you blink back tears. For me, in our family’s journey through this disability, acceptance has been the hardest thing to achieve. Most days I tell myself …Read More

Domiciliary Care Allowance: another hurdle for families of our most vulnerable children.

Domiciliary Care Allowance is an allowance given to parents of a child with disabilities, to assist in their upbringing because of their additional needs. The main reason why most families get Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA) is because it can help them to obtain essential services, treatment or additional equipment for their disabled child. The allowance also has a respite element, in acknowledgement that bringing up a child with disabilities is …Read More

Inspirational victories for people with disabilities – time to celebrate!

Life can be hard enough but having a disability can often make it all the harder or present so many more challenges. These include physical challenges faced on a daily basis – which just goes to underline the scale of the achievements of our Irish Paralympians in London. These Irish athletes have shown by their incredible courage, discipline and sheer hard work, how they can achieve the highest levels of …Read More

The Importance of Early Intervention for Our Children with Disabilities.

Our son was not diagnosed as having a profound hearing impairment, until he was two and a half. Given that the crucial years for language are the first 4 years of life, this meant that he lost two and a half years of key language development, at a time when valuable auditory memory and pathways are being developed and laid down. Why was this diagnosis so late? Incredibly, he passed …Read More

What are the legal rights of a child with a disability in Ireland?

As the mother of a child with a disability, I understand the struggle which parents encounter every day in gaining and accessing services and supports for their child. It needs great strength to maintain the fight every single day, and great courage not to be afraid to “step on toes” in arguing for what our child needs. One of the main difficulties most parents face at the outset is that …Read More