Once again, because I am committed to digital democracy I cannot make pre-election commitments that may conflict with implementing participatory voting (even if they are unlikely to). Nonetheless, while I cannot put my signature to anything, I make an effort to lay out my personal views on each issue, so that voters are aware of how I intend to set my priorities in the event that they do not directly choose to vote on the issue themselves.
Looking through the Disable Inequality Manifesto, one point that particularly jumps out at me is the need to make public transportation, facilities and structures accessible for people with disabilities. Several years ago, a friend from a developing country stayed with me for several months while receiving spinal surgery in Ireland. As she was paralyzed from the waist down, I had every opportunity during her stay to notice just how wheelchair inaccessible Dublin was and how little she could maneuver independently. Bus drivers and DART staff always did a terrific job of assisting us and I’m very grateful for their help, but this was a bright light in a fairly difficult situation. Broken, narrow sidewalks and lack of access in many public buildings made getting around a real challenge. And that’s in Dublin.
Enabling access to public transportation and structures would help anyone with reduced mobility (from whatever cause) to live more independently, increasing confidence and reducing strain on carers. I would definitely very strongly support such measures.
Another item that particularly struck me on the Disability Federation’s page was the reference to mental health. The Disability Federation notes that there are more than 28 000 people living with a mental health disability in Dublin, some of whom I have met canvassing.
Many of those suffering from mental health issues would be enabled to live fuller, more productive lives if they received the high-quality care that they need – something not provided by the current underdeveloped health service. I very strongly support putting mental health on an equal footing with physical health and developing a system that provides people with treatment for as long as they need. This treatment should be aimed at addressing root causes wherever possible.
I’m also interested in hearing more from anyone living with disability as my policies in this area develop. You can share your story with the Disability Federation here: www.disableinequality.ie or feel free to contact me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org