Senator Black calls for funding for Walk disability group
I attended a briefing this morning by an organisation called WALK, which works with young people with intellectual disabilities, where I met two amazing young women, Jessica and Niamh. Jessica is a young girl with intellectual disabilities who struggled with depression because she could not find the right work for her or any place to go. Due to her so-called intellectual disability - although, to me, she is a beautiful, inspirational young woman - she ended up having to work in a dry cleaner's, which drove her to attempt suicide. Thankfully, she was not successful in that attempt. Jessica is a beautiful, creative young woman who deserves her rightful place in this world, as does Niamh, a young girl with Down's syndrome, who passed the junior certificate and leaving certificate with As, Bs and Cs, which is fantastic. She deserves to be in the workforce. WALK is running out of funding. Its funding will be cut by next Christmas and those two young women are devastated. They deserve to be in the workforce doing normal jobs like everybody else. They deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, as all of us would wish. It is the responsibility of those of us in Leinster House to make sure that WALK gets the funding it deserves. It should not have its funding cut by Christmas this year, and it should be allowed to continue its work. I recognise that and I commend the organisation also.