Six leading disability and mental health umbrella organisations, representing hundreds of thousands of people, have called on the Government to publish its report on the Cost of Disability.

The research was first announced in October 2018 as part of Budget 2019 and was commissioned by the Department of Social Protection.

The Disability Federation of Ireland, Inclusion Ireland, the Independent Living Movement Ireland, Mental Health Reform, the National Disability Services Association, and the National Federation of Voluntary Service Providers have made the call to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

The Indecon report looks in detail at all the extra day-to-day costs faced by people with disabilities.

These are costs people like Audrey Tormey experience.

Spending time with her is an experience of audio delights, technology and seeing the merits of reading braille.

Audrey Tormey reading braille

Audrey is blind so technology is beneficial, but she uses other necessary devices daily.

Choosing her wardrobe; a scanner which could be mistaken for a remote control tells her the colour of the clothes.

When she scans the garment, it tells her it is black, blue or in the case of this reporter; dark yellow.

Audrey asks if my trousers are mustard. "Yes," I tell her.

The scanner does not recognise mustard, but Audrey understood the meaning of dark yellow.

Her microwave talks and a screen reader on her computer announces the letters as she types.

All of this is done under the watchful eye of her guide dog Zorro, who has been by her side for almost 10 years.

Many of the aids Audrey uses are expensive.

The colour scanner, which also tells her when lights are on or off, is worth a couple of hundred euro.

She gets some money back, but more money is spent.

Zorro has been by Audrey's side for almost 10 years

Audrey has a job, so she is not living in poverty.

Others are fully reliant on the disability allowance - and living on just over €200 a week in 2021 is costly.

Audrey's day to day life is just one example of the hidden costs of a disability; but research by Indecon has sought to find out how much it costs for all disabled people to live in Ireland.

Commissioned by the Department of Social Protection in 2018, the idea behind the research was to find out the actual cost of having a disability in Ireland, to help drive policy and funding in the right direction.

The report has been delivered to the Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys, but it has not been published yet.

CEO of the Disability Federation of Ireland John Dolan, which is one of the organisations calling for its publication, says Ireland has one of the worst rates of social exclusion for people with disabilities in the EU.

"The clear evidence is that the cost of having a disability in Ireland is very substantial," he said.

The Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities originally recommended the introduction of a Cost of Disability payment in 1996 and research by Indecon in 2004 made the same recommendation.

John Dolan said Ireland has one of the worst rates of social exclusion for people with disabilities in the EU

The organisations calling for the publication of the latest report point out that disabled people took time to contribute to the research.

"As every day passes, disabled people can justifiably feel that they are being left behind and that their inclusion is not important," Mr Dolan said.

"Our Government has not published the report and did not use it to inform its financial planning for 2022," he added.

The Independent Living Movement in Ireland is another organisation calling for publication of the report.

The ILMI is a nationwide group made up of and led by disabled people.

Dr James Casey says he has to call someone at the train station to bring a ramp so he can use public transport

Dr James Casey said lighting buildings purple to mark International Day of People with Disabilities around the world means little.

The ILMI want equality for disabled people in Ireland with human rights to the fore.

Dr Casey said money needs to be funneled in the right direction, towards disabled people and not services.

"At the ILMI we give an authenticity to the voice of disabled people. I'm not saying we're the only voice of disabled people, we're there to put the message forward and say this is what policy needs to be adopted to make disabled people equal in society," he said.

The ILMI is now creating local Disabled Person Organisations in counties nationwide.

The aim of DPOs are to become "go-to organisations" for public bodies who want to hear from and work with disabled people.

The DPOs also provide a support network for disabled people around the country.

Three years on from the ratification of the UN Convention of the Rights of People with Disabilities in Ireland - are disabled people seeing the benefits?

Audrey reads and writes in brail. She points out that it is her right to receive information through that medium.

However, she is consistently told that audio versions can be sent to her by agencies "that should know better".

It is a continuous fight.

Dr James Casey points out he can wheel himself to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee or out to the garden.

He only becomes disabled when he goes to the bus and the ramp is not working.

Or that in the year 2021, he has to call someone at the train station to bring a ramp to use public transport.

He shakes his head in despair.

"Disabled people are like Irish people in general. We get frustrated and we are unpredictable. Now we're finding channels for our frustration. With a social model we're thinking, hang on, the problem isn't with me."

According to Dr Casey no one will be disabled in Irish Society if all the wider issues get fixed.