Despite the Convention, many survivors of brain injury in Ireland are still denied their right to life-changing rehabilitation simply because of where they live, or because of the type of brain injury they have had. This year, together with brain injury survivors across Ireland and with funding from the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, we are calling for that human right to be made a reality.
Right to Rehabilitation
Support the Right to Rehabilitation
After my stroke I spent about 9 months in a hospital, and then went straight to a nursing home. I lived there for 3 or 4 years. I was only 49. At the time I felt completely lost… I felt forgotten about. One of my biggest fears was that I would be left there.
— John, Brain Injury Survivor
Some of the brain injury survivors we work with spoke bravely about their experiences and how rehabilitation helped them to rebuild their lives. We invite you to listen to their own stories, in their own words. Together, let’s join them in calling for the Right to Rehabilitation in Ireland.
Because rehabilitation is not a lottery and it should not depend on your Eircode.
We are indebted to many members of the brain injury community in Ireland who have shared their experiences with us, to raise awareness about the vital importance of rehabilitation. With the right supports at the right time, we can rebuild lives after brain injury.
I know if my rehab supports weren’t there for me, I wouldn’t be back. Ultimately, it’s up to me to put the work in. But all the people who helped me… if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I know I’m lucky. Because of where I live, the services are there. But I know other people who have had a brain injury, and in their counties it might not be the same.
— Paul, Brain Injury Survivor
Investing in rehabilitation creates a better quality of life and better futures for brain injury survivors, but it also makes economic sense.
A research paper published in 2022 by authors from the Global Brain Health Institute, Trinity College Dublin, showed that rehabilitation improves health outcomes and can also save money. Therefore, it is worth the investment.
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) exists to protect and reaffirm the human rights of disabled people. The Irish Government signed the Convention in 2007 and in March 2018 the Convention was ratified. This means that Ireland is committed to recognising and realising the rights set out in the UN Convention, including for people living with a disability as the result of an acquired brain injury.
We call on the Irish Government to uphold these rights, and for our entire community to join us in demanding the Right to Rehab!
Download an Easy Read version of the UN Convention On Rights of Persons With Disabilities to learn more about what we are campaigning for.
Know your Rights!
As part of our campaign, we wanted to know more about the experiences of those living with an acquired brain injury in Ireland. We shared an online questionnaire asking survivors about their recovery journey, and if they had access to the services they need.
The findings showed that many brain injury survivors were unaware that access to rehabilitation is a human right. The questionnaire also showed that even though rehabilitation is very important, it is often limited or unavailable, sometimes simply because of where someone lives.
This is what we want…
Throughout the campaign we spoke to and heard from many survivors of brain injury who were passionate about wanting to make the right to rehabilitation a reality. We asked them what they would like to see change for brain injury survivors in Ireland, when it comes to accessing the supports and services they need.
Their responses are clear: Rehabilitation is not a request, it’s a human right.
It is also clear from the below graphic that brain injury survivors value a good support network. All survivors need a supportive group of friends, family or carers to help them through rehabilitation.