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Sectoral Plans

The Disability Act, 2005 requires the six Government Ministers listed below to prepare and publish sectoral plans outlining the programme of measures proposed to be taken in relation to the provision of services to persons with disabilities by the Minister or by public bodies or other persons in relation to which the Minister performs a function or allocates moneys. Before publishing such a plan a Minister shall consult with such persons representative of persons with disabilities as he or she considers appropriate.

In addition to the information requirements specified under Sections 32 to 37, each sectoral plan must contain--

  1. appropriate information concerning codes of practice (if any) and regulations (if any) relating to the subject matter of the plan,
  2. the complaints procedure to be provided by a public body or by other persons in relation to any matters which are the subject of the plan
  3. monitoring and review procedures in relation to the subject matter of the plan
  4. a statement of the intervals at which reports shall be prepared relating to the progress made in the implementation of the plan, being intervals of not more than 3 years from the date of publication of the plan
  5. "if appropriate", the level of access relating to the services specified in the plan, and
  6. any other matters that the Minister concerned considers appropriate.

The Act provides that where an accessible public transport service and associated buildings and infrastructure are required by a sectoral plan and a date for its provision is contained in a sectoral plan, then this date supersedes any date which may otherwise apply by virtue of the provisions of the Act.

The Act requires that sectoral plans be laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas "as soon as may be" but in the case of the first such plan, not later than one year after the commencement of Section 31 (i.e. by 8 July, 2006). The sectoral plans will not become effective until both Houses of the Oireachtas have passed resolutions approving the plans.

Any reports prepared by a Minister under section 31 must be laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas.

Sectoral Plan of the Minister for Health and Children (Section 32)

Sectoral Plan of the Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Section 33)

Sectoral Plan of the Minister for Transport (Section 34)

Sectoral Plan of the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources (Section 35)

Sectoral Plan of the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Section 36)

Sectoral Plan of the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Section 37)

Sectoral Plan of the Minister for Health and Children (Section 32 - published 2006)

The Disability Act, 2005 requires the Minister for Health and Children to prepare a sectoral plan to contain (in addition to the general requirements in section 31) information concerning-

  1. services provided by or on behalf of the Minister to persons with disabilities
  2. the criteria governing the eligibility of such persons for services under the Health Acts 1947 to 2004
  3. the proposed arrangements for the implementation of Part 2 [Part 2 of the Disability Act, 2005, which deals with assessment of need, service statements and redress, does not come within the Ombudsman's jurisdiction]
  4. arrangements for co-operation by the [Health Service] Executive with housing authorities in relation to the development and co-ordination of services provided by housing authorities for persons with disabilities, and
  5. such other matters (if any) as the minister considers appropriate

The Act also requires a sectoral plan by the Minister for Health and Children to provide for appropriate co-operation by the Minister and the Ministers for Social and Family Affairs and Enterprise, Trade and Employment in relation to the development and co-ordination of services provided by those two Ministers for persons with disabilities and related to the services referred to above.

Sectoral Plan of the Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Section 33 - published 2006)

The Disability Act, 2005 requires the Minister for Social and Family Affairs to prepare a sectoral plan to contain (in addition to the general requirements in section 31) information concerning-

  1. the criteria governing the eligibility of persons with disabilities for payments under the Social Welfare Acts and the amounts of such payments
  2. the information, advice and advocacy services and sign language interpretation services provided or arranged to be provided to those persons by Comhairle
  3. any other services provided by or on behalf of the minister which the Minister considers appropriate, and
  4. such other matters as the minister considers appropriate

The Act also requires a sectoral plan by the Minister for Social and Family Affairs to provide for appropriate co-operation by the Minister and the Ministers for Health and Children and Enterprise, Trade and Employment in relation to the development and co-ordination of services provided by those two Ministers for persons with disabilities and related to the services referred to above provided to such persons.

Sectoral Plan of the Minister for Transport (Section 34 - published 2006)

The Disability Act, 2005 requires the Minister for Transport to prepare a sectoral plan to contain (in addition to the general requirements in section 31) information concerning-

  1. a programme of projected measures for the provision of access to persons with disabilities to passenger transport services for the general public provided by the Minister or by a public body in relation to which the Minister performs functions or by a person or body licensed or regulated by the Minister
  2. measures to be taken for the purpose of facilitating access by persons with disabilities to such services and the time within which such measures are to be taken
  3. arrangements proposed to be put in place by the Minister and the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government to facilitate access to the vehicles providing the passenger transport services by such persons from the public road, and
  4. Any other matter which the Minister considers appropriate

("passenger transport service" does not include an air service within the meaning of the Air Navigation and Transport Act, 1965, or a service provided by a person who operates a train service or railway infrastructure of historic or touristic interest.)

Sectoral Plan of the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources (Section 35 - published 2006)

The Disability Act, 2005 requires the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources to prepare a sectoral plan to contain (in addition to the general requirements in section 31) information concerning-

  1. measures to be taken by the operators of passenger ships for the purpose of facilitating access by persons with disabilities to marine passenger transport services provided by them and the time within which the measures are to be taken
  2. measures to be taken by the bodies responsible for the control and operation of specified ports and harbours for the purpose of facilitating access by those persons to places therein where such services originate or terminate in and the time within which such measures are to be taken, and
  3. any other matter which the Minister considers appropriate

The Disability Act 2005 defines "passenger ship" for the purposes of this section as passenger ships within the meaning of the Merchant Shipping Act 1992 and passenger steamers within the meaning of the Merchant Shipping (Safety Convention) Act 1952

Extract from Merchant Shipping Act 1992

"passenger ship" means a vessel carrying more than 12 passengers or having on board more than 12 passengers for the purposes of carriage and includes a vessel carrying more than 12 persons to or from their place of work, or having on board more than 12 persons for the purposes of such carriage, and owned by or on hire to their employer and a vessel registered outside the State and carrying more than 12 passengers between places in the State, or having on board more than 12 passengers for the purposes of such carriage, but does not include such a vessel carrying passengers to or from the State or having passengers on board for the purposes of such carriage, a fishing vessel or a ferry boat working in chains;"

Extract from Merchant Shipping (Safety Convention) Act 1952

"In this Act the expression "passenger steamer" means a steamer carrying more than twelve passengers"

Sectoral Plan of the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Section 36 - published 2006)

The Disability Act, 2005 requires the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government to prepare a sectoral plan to contain (in addition to the general requirements in section 31) information concerning-

  1. measures to be taken to ensure compliance with Part M of the Building Regulations 1997 (as amended)
  2. measures to be taken to facilitate access by persons with disabilities to public roads and other public places [defined below] and to other services provided by the Minister, local authorities or other public bodies in relation to which the Minister performs functions and the time proposed within which such measures are to be taken
  3. arrangements to be put in place by the Minister and the Minister for Transport to facilitate access to the vehicles providing the passenger transport services by such persons from a public road
  4. housing and accommodation for persons with disabilities
  5. proposed arrangements for co-operation by housing authorities with the [Health Service] Executive in relation to the development and co-ordination of the services provided by housing authorities for persons with disabilities, and
  6. any other matters which the minister considers appropriate

The Disability Act 2005 defines "public places" for the purpose of this section as including-

  • street furniture, pavements and pedestrian zones
  • signage
  • public parks and open spaces owned or maintained by a local authority
  • harbours, bus and light rail stops for which a local authority is responsible

 

but does not include a public building under section 25 or a service to which section 26 or 27 applies.

Sectoral Plan of the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Section 37) (published 2006)

The Disability Act, 2005 requires the Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment to prepare a sectoral plan to contain (in addition to the general requirements in section 31) information concerning-

  1. vocational training and employment support services and programmes made available to persons with disabilities by FÁS
  2. a programme of measures proposed to be taken for and in relation to the provision of appropriate vocational training and employment support services to facilitate the integration of persons with disabilities into employment
  3. measures to be taken to review the delivery of such training and services and the time within which such review is to be carried out
  4. any measures to be taken to ensure more effective provision of such training and services, and
  5. any other matters which the minister considers appropriate

The Act also requires that a sectoral plan by the Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment shall provide for appropriate co-operation by the Minister and the Minister for Social and Family Affairs and the Minister for Health and Children in relation to the Development and co-ordination of services related to the foregoing services provided by the two Ministers for persons with disabilities.