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Cope Foundation calls on Cork candidates to learn about challenges facing disability sector

From EchoLive.

Aisling Fleming, Leamlara, Sean Abbott, CEO of Cope Foundation, and Helen Fleming, Youghal, pictured at the official opening of Cope Foundation's new Community Hub in Midleton last year. The Midleton Community Hub supports people with intellectual disabilities and/or autism to be active citizens and live a life of their choosing in their own community of East Cork. Pic: Diane Cusack
Aisling Fleming, Leamlara, Sean Abbott, CEO of Cope Foundation, and Helen Fleming, Youghal, pictured at the official opening of Cope Foundation’s new Community Hub in Midleton last year. The Midleton Community Hub supports people with intellectual disabilities and/or autism to be active citizens and live a life of their choosing in their own community of East Cork. Pic: Diane Cusack

General election candidates in Cork are being invited to visit Cope Foundation’s facilities to hear at first hand the challenges facing the disability sector.

€38 million funding is needed per annum to meet the services demands.

There are currently 400 children waiting for an assessment for autism spectrum disorder, while 1,350 others are awaiting specialist intervention.

Of the adults requiring support, there are 174 currently on a residential waiting list, with many having nowhere to call their permanent home.

Cope Foundation have highlighted number of key election issues, and are calling for investment in ASD services home support, quality team supports, community homes, and respite services.

“Every politician running for election needs to be aware of the impact of waiting lists on families, and of the impact of delays in treatment,” Sean Abbott, CEO of Cope Foundation said. “We appeal to all politicians to take time to learn about what goes on behind our doors.

“Hopefully this will ensure the interests of people living with disabilities are fully represented in the next Dáil. We will post a list of the candidates who accept our offer, and regularly update it on our social media.”

The key election issues for users of Cope Foundation include –

Autism Spectrum Disorder Services: An additional €5 million is needed to recruit 87 additional members of the interdisciplinary team to meet the needs of children on the waiting list for ASD services

Home Support: Cope Foundation currently provides 500 hours of home support a week across Cork city and county. The organisation will need an investment of €1.9 million to meet the needs of people requiring home support.

Quality Team Supports: €11.55 million is needed to provide safer services and better quality of life for people currently in Cope Foundation’s day services and residences in order to employ 214 full-time additional staff.

Community Homes: The organisation currently supports 355 people living in congregated settings. Cope Foundation needs €13.2 million to transition and support people to live in their own homes in the community.

Respite and Short Breaks: An investment of €1.6 million is needed to provide much needed respite and short breaks to the adults supported by Cope Foundation.