How we influence Influencing Government Northern Ireland Assembly Although the NI Assembly is currently not sitting due to political disagreement you can read about how we work to influence at the NI Assembly. Normally we produce a weekly NI Assembly Disability Monitor that tells you all about what has happened at the Assembly in relation to disability. This publication is not been produced at the moment but you can still sign up. All Party Group on Disability All Party Groups provide a forum by which MLAs and outside organisations and individuals can meet to discuss shared interests in a particular cause or subject. The All Party Group on Disability is one of the longest standing groups. The purpose of the group is to address issues in relation to disability and to promote equality in respect to ensuring that people with disabilities have their whole person recognised; their capabilities valued and their dignity respected Only MLA’s can be members of the All Party Group but anyone is welcome to attend meetings. If you would like to be on the distribution list then contact Patrick Malone. You can visit the NI Assembly website to find out more about the APG on Disability. Working with Committees There are a range of Committees at the NI Assembly that scrutinise the work of the Minister and their Department. Sometimes these Committees call for evidence on an issue and Disability Action would provide oral and written briefings. Sometimes we want the Committee to be aware of a particular issue so we would write to the Committee to tell them about it. It’s very important to tell Committees what the issues are as they can help make changes. Some examples of when we have given evidence to Committees are issues such as: Welfare Reform Mental Capacity Bill Employment UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Working with Ministers and Departments Due to the current political situation no Ministers have been appointed to the NI Executive. Each Department continues to undertake their duties but no new initiatives or policies will be implemented unless they had previously been signed off by a Minister. The NI Executive has responsibility for developing the Programme for Government. A new draft Programme for Government which would set the strategic context for Northern Ireland was not signed off following the last election. The Draft Programme for Government included a specific indicator on disability, which would have resulted in a specific action plan. However, as it was not signed of then it is not part of Government policy here. The Northern Ireland Disability Strategy ended on 31 March 2017 and has not been renewed.