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The latest ESRI report on the social and living conditions of people with disabilities has concluded that disability has multiple and reciprocal effects on people’s situation, cutting across education, social participation, employment and access to services.

The report highlighted some significant challenges including: a likely increase in the prevalence of disability as the population ages; the challenge for the educational system in enabling children and young people with a disability to maximise their achievements; the need for attention to job design, including flexible hours and modification of tasks, to enable participation of people with disability in work; and the scope for improvements in access to public venues and to medical and transport services.

Launching the report, Joan Burton TD, Minister for Social Protection said that people with disabilities are one of the priority groups in the National Action Plan for Social Inclusion and added “we need to ensure that the policy choices we make take account of the impact on social welfare recipients, the low-paid and vulnerable families. ”