Sinn Féin local election candidate Conor D. McGuinness has committed to prioritising disability issues if elected to Waterford City and County Council.
“16,675 people in Waterford have at least one disability, which equates to 14% of the population. People with disabilities are often doubly disadvantaged when it comes to employment, education and transport. According to figures from the 2016 Census only 20 percent of people with disabilities were at work compared to a figure of 50 percent for the general population. Similarly only 17 percent of people with disabilities had completed higher education compared with 31 percent of the general population. Over a quarter of those with a disability are living in consistent poverty
“Disability Federation Ireland have produced a comprehensive set of proposals for positive change at local authority level, including initiatives to improve accessibility to local services and spaces for people with disabilities and facilitating participation in decision making.
“As a Sinn Féin local election candidate I am committed to fighting for equality and inclusion. If elected I will champion disability issues including mandating Waterford Council to publish and enact an implementation plan for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was ratified by Ireland last year.
“I will continue to advocate for greater access to public spaces and services and I have already proposed that the Council would undertake an accessibility audit in conjunction with civil society and advocacy organisations. Sinn Féin have long called for the strengthening of local government and for local authorities to have more powers in terms of economic development and social inclusion. I believe a partnership, facilitated by the Council but led by people with disabilities, could do much to address the inequalities in access to education, employment and transport. I will make disability issues a priority for the Council if elected in May. ”