The resumption of disability day services is welcome news for the more than 430 adults in Galway with a disability, but supports needed to combat the impact and continuing threat of Covid-19.
This is the view of Seán Kyne, Government Seanad Whip and Fine Gael Senator. However he said it was essential that Budget 2021 "provide additional resources so disability services providers can continue to provide high quality services".
This week saw the Brothers of Charity resume day services in Ballybane, An Cheathru Rua, Clarinbridge, Oranmore, and An Spidéal. Rehabcare will resume services in Clifden and Galway city from next week, while Ability West will recommence day services at locations across Galway in the last week of August.
A 'crucial and essential' service to adults with disabilities
“These organisations, and others, provide a crucial and essential service to adults with disabilities and their families," said Sen Kyne. "The frontline teams have been working hard to ensure services reopen safely and in line with public health guidance."
Sen Kyne said it was "important to recognise" the work of the New Directions team at the Department of Health, and the successive ministers, including Minister of State, Anne Rabbitte, "who produced the framework on the resumption of disability services to help service providers and service users".
More than €500 million is provided each year for day services. However, Sen Kyne said the "extra challenges" caused by Covid-19, as well as the 1,200 new school leavers nationally, who will need day services from the autumn, "mean additional funding is needed for service providers in Galway".