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Disabled People

Volume 406: debated on Monday 9 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what events are planned to mark the European Year of Disabled People in Northern Ireland. [115984]

An on-going rolling programme of events and initiatives is being taken forward to mark the European Year of People with Disabilities (EYPD) in Northern Ireland. This started with the widely publicised official launch of EYPD in Grosvenor House Belfast on 22 January 2003. Since then, Government have made available £100,000 to support 22 small, local projects in Northern Ireland. This adds to the £222,000 awarded to 12 Northern Ireland projects from the UK fund for the Year. These projects will make a significant contribution to the objectives of the Year, which are to increase awareness of rights and increase participation of people with disability in Northern Ireland.Examples of projects being undertaken include the Compass Advocacy Group Regional Development Project, which received funding to establish a comprehensive network of user-led self-advocacy groups in each Health Board area for people with learning disabilities; and the Circles Network, a Northern Ireland Partnership in Policy Making Programme, which received funding to work in partnership with the four Health Boards to facilitate a range of leadership/empowerment courses for disabled people and for the parents and carers of disabled people.These and other regional and local activities are being co-ordinated in partnership with the Equality Commission, local government, the voluntary and business sectors and trade unions.A list of events and activities has been placed in the Library of the House and this will be updated throughout the Year as plans are finalised. Information will also be published on the website

European Year of People with Disabilities

Schedule of planned activities and events in Northern Ireland (as at 2 June 2003)

22 January 2003—Official launch of the European Year of People with Disabilities in The Grosvenor House. A performance-based fun and celebratory event for approximately 200 guests. The production of a vox-pop video, which is being used by external organisations as an awareness raising tool.

24 February 2003 onwards—Deaf Awareness and Basic Sign Language Skills

Training—series of staff workshops on dealing with people with hearing impairments.

5 April 2003—Amicus—Disability Awareness and "Disability Champions in the Workplace Information Day", Wellington Park Hotel.

30 April 2003—Employers' Forum on Disability Launch of Disability Awareness Video for Employers, Studio 1 BBC

6 May 2003—Arts Council for Northern Ireland—Launch of "Artists Abroad" Scheme, match funding by OFMDFM

9 May 2003—Announcement by Minister Des Browne of 22 NI Grants winners under a one-off OFMDFM funded grant scheme. Total awards approximately £102,000. Additional to the £222,000 awarded to 12 NI projects under the Department for Work and Pensions Scheme in December 2002 to mark EYPD.

10–16 May 2003—Educational Guidance Service for Adults (EGSA) Adult Learning Week.

19 May 2003—International Week of Dance—Dance & Disability 1-day series of

dance workshops event—Artscare, Olympia Leisure Centre.

29 May 2003—NIPS A General Conference, Slieve Donard Hotel, Newcastle.

30 May 2003—Sports Endeavour Award/Presentation for "New Horizon Minibus"—The Europa Hotel, The Lady Taverners, NI Region.

Planned events

3 June 2003—Opportunities Beyond School and Special Needs Careers Convention. Interactive Careers Convention for special needs students in full-time education—Southern Education and Library Board, Craigavon Civic Centre.

13 June 2003—Torch Run Reception for the Special Olympics—Parliament Buildings, Stormont.

14–16 June 2003—Events across NI to mark the Special Olympics including the Host Town Programme.

15 June 2003—Regional Event—EU Interactive Trailer. Family-day of activities including, music, drama, leisure and fun—Carnfunnock Country Park, Larne.

19 June 2003—The Scientific Symposium, Europa Hotel (Keynote Event)—Impact of

Special Olympics on the Family.

June 2003/October 2003—Series of Accessible Rambles—Belfast Shopmobility (Project Winner).

21–29 June 2003—Rolling Skating Sporting Event —Special Olympics—King's Hall.

1–5 September 2003—Accessible Arts—Dungannon Disability Arts Studio—Parkanaur Training College.

Autumn—Regional Event—Employers Conference—(No further details).

September 2003—Regional Event—reception for all 34 successful NI Project Winners—venue to be confirmed.

25 September 2003—Arts and Disability Conference, Community Arts Forum, Craigavon Civic Centre.

30 September 2003—Launch of Good Practice Guide, Causeway Volunteer Bureau

(Project Winner)—venue to be confirmed.

1 October 2003—Launch of Booklet on Accessible Rambles—Belfast Shopmobility—(Project Winner)—venue to be confirmed.

October 2003—Cross-government regional event in partnership with external groups, on a range of disability issues, venue to be confirmed.

6–12 October 2003—Community Transport Week, Community Transport Association—Roadshow across various towns in NI.

11–14 November 2003—Children's World Integrated Play Tour, Contact a Family

(Project Winner) cross community and cross-ability—Omagh, Plumbridge and Derry.

14 November 2003—Conference "Pride and Prejudice-Our Pride Your Prejudice"—North West Forum of People with Disabilities (Project Winner).

3 December 2003—European Day of People with Disabilities—events being hosted by a range of organisations throughout NI.

December 2003—Regional Event—official closing event for the European Year (No further details).