Paul Alford, Barriers to Employment – General Discussion at the CRPD Committee

Speech from a self advocate for the day of General Discussion at the CRPD Committee from Inclusion Ireland.

Paul Alford, Barriers to Employment - General Discussion at the CRPD Committee

A statement for the CRPD Committee hearing on employment, prepared with Inclusion Ireland.

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My name is Paul Alford.

I work with Inclusion Ireland.


I was in sheltered workshops.

I did a lot of work at the time but I didn’t get any money.

This was not right.

Those workshops are now closed,

but we need to make sure they don’t reopen.

Later on I started working in a shop

but I did not get a lot of money, just 2 or 3 euros per week.


Now, I get a good wage for my work and I have

plenty of money to live independently in my own home.


I got no education.

When I started working with Inclusion Ireland,

I couldn’t read and write.

I did courses to learn to read and write and work on computers.

It is very important to get proper money for working,

a disability allowance and the support needed to work.


People are afraid of losing their benefits if they work.

People need to change their attitudes.

People with intellectual disabilities can do good work.

There needs to be more awareness for employers

to take on people with disabilities and

treat them the same as everyone.


People with disabilities should not be

bullied on transport or in work.

Finding a job can be hard.

We have some systems in Ireland but this

doesn’t work for a lot of people as they need more support.

Many people just stay in day services

and no one expects them to get a job.


Transport is really important for people to get to work,

they need access to transport and training.

Everyone deserves the same chance to

work and the support to make it happen and live a good life.


Working changed my life a lot and now I have a good life.


Inclusion Europe submission GC8 Employment

General Discussion at the CRPD Committee Live Stream

Monday, 22 March 2021 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m (GVA time), topic: The Challenges in the implementation of Article 27;

Wednesday, 24 March 2021 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m (GVA time), topic: Best practices and recommendations on the right to work and employment for persons with disabilities.

Our work brings the voice of people with intellectual disabilities and their families where decisions about their future are made.

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