AOTI, PSI & IASLT Highlight Concerns about SOP for AON

The professional bodies presented to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Children, Disability, Equality and Integration

Today the Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland (AOTI), the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) and the Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists (IASLT) presented our continuing concerns about the HSE's Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Assessment of Need to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Children, Disability, Equality and Integration.

This follows on from the Committee's meeting on 30th November 2020 with the Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon, to discuss the findings of his Office's recent report, Unmet Needs. This report identifes the challenges faced by children in Ireland who require an assessment of their needs under the Disability Act and raises serious concerns about ongoing violations of the rights of children with disabilities. It recommends several actions, including taking a child-centered and rights-based approach, to remedy the identified challenges.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions only two of the three propfessional bodies could attend today's meeting with the Committee on Children, Disability, Equality and Integration. Our Chief Strategy Officer, Odhrán Allen, and President of PSI, Mark Smyth, attended the meeting and Mr Smyth gave the Opening Statement to the Committee on behalf of AOTI, PSI and IASLT. This statement explains our collective concerns about the SOP and why it will not meet the needs of children and their families. Opening statments were alos given by representatives from Enough is Enough, Linda Comerford and Vanessa Murphy, and Child Rights Solicitor Gareth Noble.

You can watch the proceeding of the meeting below (video starts at 20:05):



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