Report: New Directions – Personal Support Services for Adults with Disabilities

Day services for adults with disabilities provide a vital network of support for over 25,000 people. The people who use these services have a widely diverse set of interests, aspirations and personal circumstances. They are people with physical and sensory disabilities, with learning disabilities and with mental health difficulties. They include young people, people who have been in day services for many years and older people of retirement age. They live in small communities, in isolated rural areas and in cities and towns.

The focus of the Report is on the requirement to accommodate a wide diversity of need among service users. This spectrum of need ranges from those with severe and profound disabilities, challenging behaviours and high support needs who are likely to need long-term, specialist service provision to people with lower support needs and greater potential for community participation and inclusion.

The central approach within the report focuses on the core values of person-centeredness, community inclusion, active citizenship and high quality service provision. It will be underpinned by good governance, monitoring and guidance to providers. The vision contained in the report will provide people with the personal individualised supports they require to access  a whole range of community services as well as proving for their health related needs

The ambitious change envisaged in New Directions will depend on and benefit from an acceleration of the policy of mainstreaming that is central to the National Disability Strategy (NDS). This will require joint planning between the HSE and key government departments to maximise the approach outlined in the NDS.