UNCRPD in Ireland – begging for change


The last few months, I’ve read and watched more political news about Donald Trump than I could stomach. As a result, shortcut rambling and biased vernacular on Twitter now linger in my own vocabulary when I try to write.

While it is true that you cannot bring about transformation by using blank expressions or hyped-up buzzwords that portray unfairness, ignorance and baseless conjecture, there is a limit to what is morally and personally allowed. It’s fair to say, so, that I have never been so amazed and shocked by any politician in such a short time frame. More annoyingly, because I love psychology so much, I keep going back because I want to know more about Trump’s state of mind.

You can see the conundrum, so.

disability-rightsAdded to this, I’ve anxiously been waiting for the Irish government challenging. Once again, though, Leinster House carries out a deafening silence which means that the ratification has been put on the back burner.

The last few months have been difficult on a physical level also. Aside from adding more trigeminal neuralgia to my daily MS symptoms over Christmas and New Year, stress found a way to my heart, literally. Result? Six medical appointments this month, with eight more in March.

Thank you, whatever and whoever has helped me reach that new level of physical hardship.

In short, I need a break from myself. The only thing that can and will lessen those stressors are advocating, focusing on others, reading, and writing. And I have done too little of everything.

Disability and MS advocacy is about patients’ rights, and as an expert-patient, you can bring valuable perceptions on healthcare and welfare policies to the table. In doing so, you can hold policy-makers accountable by pushing them for the realisation of policies, and not justification for delayed promises.

In my view, advocacy is also about morals, empowerment and about showing politicians that people with disabilities deserve dignity, empathy, and understanding instead of being mocked like Donald Trump did on his campaign trail.

Sadly, though, it is clear that the Dáil Éireann’s vision for people with disabilities doesn’t match its so-called need to show how absolute Ireland’s disability rights will be after the UNCRPD ratification are therefore shameful and abusive.

The UNCRPD ratification delay by Daíl Éireann’s is so, so, so not OK. It is demeaning, humiliating and holding people with disabilities for ransom in political agendas that we know nothing about. Assuming that people will “just take” another ratification delay is abusive. We don’t need buzzwords or platitudes, we’ve had enough of them throughout the years. It is about a date, a date that will finally give people with disabilities the same rights as in other European countries.

Or, is that too much to ask, dear Taoiseach?

Over the years, many extraordinary, inspiring people with disabilities have shown how they have rocked the world in their unique way. What the likes of Trump might regard as incompetence, I have seen extremely able, courageous people who have raised the bar not only for themselves but others as well. They are living proof that having a disability is not the end of the road. There is, in fact, a whole world ahead of you.

So, while we continue to wait, it might be good to remember these strong words from Michelle Obama, “When they go low, we go high.”

We won’t give in to bullies on neither side of the fence, and we definitely won’t stoop to their level.

Ratification of the UNCRPD will happen, and when it does, we will go high.

Further reading

My UNCRPD Posts for the MS Society

  1. Access to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  2. United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities
  3. The General Election- One MSer’s Perspective
  4. Budget 2016 

Own blog

  1. UNCRPD – Getting Ready to Ratify (1)
  2. UNCRPD – Getting Ready to Ratify (2)
  3. UNCRPD – The Right on Participation in Political and Public Life
  4. Disability rights in Ireland
  5. Disability rights in Ireland, three years later
  6. The sorry state of neurology in Ireland
  7. The sorry state of neurology in Ireland, one year on
  8. Disable Inequality campaign
  9. Irish public transport: access all areas?
  10. Disability is never cured with one pill alone

©Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2017. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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