Speaker hosts first Disabled People’s Parliament

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 02 December 2021

Reference: SO 03/21/22

Tomorrow - Friday 3 December – sees the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Alex Maskey MLA host the inaugural Disabled People’s Parliament in the Assembly Chamber in Parliament Buildings. The event takes place on International Day for People with a Disability.

The event has been organised in conjunction with a range of organisations that support people with disabilities. Participants will debate a range of issues and call for ‘The United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities’ to be fully incorporated in legislation here.

Speaking about the event, the Speaker said: “I am delighted to chair this debate and give people with disabilities the opportunity to raise the issues concerning them. The Assembly makes laws for all our citizens and it is essential that everyone can have their say. This event allows the participants to do that and it is a very fitting way for the Assembly to mark the International Day for People with a Disability.

“I spoke last year on the 25th anniversary of the passing of the Disability Discrimination Act, highlighting the need for politicians and the Assembly to be more proactive in engaging with people with disabilities.

“Therefore, I am pleased to host the first sitting, particularly because we planned the event in partnership with a range of organisations that support people with disabilities. I hope this joint approach will help participants feel valued, and that their contributions bring the change we all want to see – that everyone here can enjoy the same rights, access and entitlements.

“I look forward to meeting the participants, listening to their concerns, and hearing how the Junior Minister addresses the issues raised.”

The Disabled People’s Parliament will be broadcast live from 2.00pm on Friday 3 December.  It can be watched online via https://niassembly.tv and on the Assembly’s Facebook and YouTube streams. Proceedings will be interpreted using both British and Irish Sign Language.

The Disabled People’s Parliament is the second in a series of outreach events the Speaker has hosted this year. The Pensioners’ Parliament took place in September and the Parliament for Black and Ethnic Minorities will take place in the next few months.


Notes to Editor:

  • The United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities is an international agreement about protecting and promoting the human rights of disabled people throughout the world.
  • Representatives from the disability sector have helped to plan the Disabled People’s Parliament, selecting the topic for debate, coordinating speakers and participants and deciding on the name of the parliament.
  • Participants in the debate will use personal stories to highlight the importance of adopting the Convention here and outlining what difference it will make to their lives.
  • Junior Minister Declan Kearney MLA will take part in the debate.
  • The event will take place in the Assembly Chamber in Parliament Buildings. Some speakers may be in attendance virtually.
  • A recording and written transcript of proceedings will be available after the event.


For media inquiries please contact:

Caroline Moore

Deputy Communications Officer

Northern Ireland Assembly

Tel: 07900 278992

Email: caroline.moore@niassembly.gov.uk

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