Press Release from the Disability Federation of Ireland: Nov. 21st, 2016, Dublin Castle, Conference Centre.

Disability Federation of Ireland Logo and Make It work conference Banner

The People, Their Stories at #MakeItWorkDFI

Peter says - The way I look at it, without my disability I might not have developed the coping skills I now have. Maira says - Ready and able to workKifca says - I think it is just crazy what people are expected to live with

At a major conference today in Dublin Castle organised by the Disability Federation of Ireland, a capacity audience heard that everyone has difficulty getting a job. But if you have a disability, or acquire a disability, your chances get much, much worse.

  • Only 30% of people with a disability are in work, compared with 62% of the overall population - (Census 2011)
  • The number of people on Disability Allowance rose 6% in 2015 alone, while the numbers on the Live Register have continued to come down. (DSP 2016, Department of Social Protection Report on Disability Allowance Survey 2015)

There are government initiatives to tackle this issue, but DFI became aware of people with disabilities’ growing frustration with being able to access work.

To find out more DFI conducted research to hear the direct experience of people with disabilities who are active jobseekers.

Today we will hear the results of the research and people with disabilities will tell their own stories.

Vivian Rath, who has a disability himself and will be a panellist at the conference said,

“Having read the participant’s stories the message coming through loud and clear is; "Remove the barriers, we want to work, and we'll show you what we can do."

Minister Finian McGrath will be responding to the issues raised and also speaking will be Fergus Finlay, Chair of the group to implement the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities and representatives from the Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Social Protection; Orlaigh Quinn and Teresa Leonard.

Also speaking at the conference today, Senator John Dolan, CEO Disability Federation Of Ireland said,

“Today's conference is about bringing jobseekers with disabilities, their families, supporting organisations and policy makers together to listen, to share their stories and to find new ways to translate policy into practice so that people with disabilities are embraced as part of the Irish workforce and are recognised as contributing members of society"

We attach a full Agenda.

Contact Clare Cronin at DFI 01-7080108, 086-0277824, email to arrange interviews with jobseekers or our spokespeople and for more information.
Or Walter Young at 087-2471520, email

Disability Federation of Ireland, Fumbally Court, Fumbally Lane
Dublin 8
Telephone: 01 – 4547978, Fax: 01 – 4547981

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