In 2018, Ireland ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, making access to rehabilitation a human right.
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 –
Because rehabilitation is not a lottery and it should not depend on your Eircode.
Some of the brain injury survivors we work with have bravely spoken about their experiences and how rehabilitation helped them to rebuild their lives. Hear their own stories, in their own words, below. Together, let’s join them in calling for the Right to Rehabilitation in Ireland.
Support the #RightToRehab.
Rehabilitation is a right, not a request.
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. Join us in calling for this human right to be made a reality.
My name is John Cassells. I’m 54 years old and Tullamore is my hometown. I had a stroke in 2017 and I have aphasia When I had my brain injury, my life changed enormously. When I woke up from the stroke, I was unable to talk or walk. My balance was all over the place...
Larry Masterson had a stroke and brain injury back in 2015. He has aphasia now. Larry believes his story is a story worth sharing. With rehabilitation, support and hope, Larry managed to rebuild his life.
“From the day of my stroke, it probably took me a year and a half to start to build my life back up.”
Paul Farrell had a stroke five days before Christmas 2019. He was in hospital when it happened. He had gotten sepsis in his leg and needed five operations. During his last operation, that’s when the stroke happened. Rehabilitation helped Paul to get his life back on track.
Economic Value Of Rehabilitation For Brain Injury Survivors
Research has shown that rehabilitation is a worthwhile and extremely important investment for brain injury survivors. Rehabilitation helps survivors to rebuild their lives and it should not be based on where you live. This document outlines the importance of rehabilitation and its many benefits for brain injury survivors.
UN Convention On The Rights of Persons With Disabilities
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 a 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.
The United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) says that all persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms. We are fighting for these rights to be realised and for all brain injury survivors to access to rehabilitation throughout Ireland, regardless of location.
We have included a copy of the EasyRead version of the UN Convention On Rights of Persons With Disabilities. Read it now to learn more about what we are campaigning for.
Article 26 of the UNCRPD states:
Countries will make sure people with a disability can lead as independent and healthy a life as possible. They will provide support in health, work, education and social services to help that happen.
Countries will make sure that they look at each person’s needs and strengths at an early stage so that everyone with a disability gets the support and services they need.
Those services should be as close to where the person lives as possible, with staff who are trained to do a good job.
We’re calling on the Irish Government to make these human rights a reality.
Know your Rights!
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 – often simply because of where someone lives.
This is what we want…
In recent months 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.
Fix The Barriers To Rehabilitation
Our survey outlined the main barriers to survivors accessing rehabilitation; financial demands and geographical location. Due to a severe lack of funding, brain injury survivors do not have access to the survivors they need. It is a lottery, which is unacceptable and needs to be addressed. Every survivor should have access to rehabilitation. We need to knock down these barriers.
Rehabilitation is 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. Show your support for brain injury survivors across the country. Support the right to rehab!