2014 Annual Review

Issued on September 28 2014


  • C&V Community and Voluntary
  • CEO Chief Executive Officer
  • CES Charities Evaluation Service
  • CIB Citizens Information Board
  • CIL Center for Independent Living
  • CRM Customer Relations Management
  • DAS Development and Support Services
  • DECLG Department of Environment, Community and Local Government
  • DESSA Disability Equality Specialist Support Agency
  • DCENR Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
  • DFI Disability Federation of Ireland
  • DSG Disability Stakeholders Group
  • DSP Department of Social Protection
  • EAPN European Anti-Poverty Network
  • EASPD European Association of Service Providers for People with Disabilities
  • ECB European Central Bank
  • EDF European Disability Forum
  • EIT Early Intervention Team
  • EMI European Movement Ireland
  • EU European Union
  • GAAP Generally Accepted Accounting Practice
  • HIQA Health Information and Quality Authority
  • HR Human Resource
  • HSE Health Service Executive
  • ICSH Irish Council for Social Housing
  • ICT Information and Communications Technology
  • ICTRG Irish Charity Tax Research Group
  • IMCV Institute for Managers of C&V Organisations in Ireland
  • IMF International Monetary Fund
  • IMP Information Management Performance
  • MEP Member of European Parliament
  • MoU Memorandum of Understanding
  • NAI Neurological Alliance of Ireland
  • NDA National Disability Authority
  • NDS National Disability Strategy
  • NDSIG National Disability Strategy Stakeholders Implementation Group
  • NDSIP National Disability Strategy Implementation Plan
  • NfPBA Not for Profit Business Association
  • NPSDD National Physical and Sensory Disability Database
  • NSAI National Standards Authority of Ireland
  • NUIG National University of Ireland Galway
  • PA Personal Assistant
  • PQASSO Practical Quality Assurance Programme for Small Organisations
  • UL University of Limerick
  • UN United Nations
  • UNCRPD United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • VFM Value for Money
  • WHO World Health Organisation

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Chairperson’s Statement
  3. CEO’s Overview
  4. The Year in Review
  5. Policy Highlights for 2014
  6. Support for Our Affiliate Organisations
  7. Strengthening the Voice, Impact and Relevance of the Disability Movement in Ireland
  8. DFI: The Organisation
  9. DFI Board 2014
  10. DFI Member and Associate Organisations 2014
  11. Staff and Contact Details
  12. Acknowledgements


Chairperson’s Statement

This Annual Review 2014 provides us with an opportunity to reflect on where people with disabilities and their families are positioned with regard to their rights and equality in our society. It is significant that last year saw the commencement of what is described as the start of the Irish "recovery". It was also the time when minds turned to the next general election and there were some significant milestones in disability policy such as the Mid-term Review of the National Disability Strategy Implementation Plan (NDSIP). Finally, it marked the final year of the DFI Operational Plan 2013-2014.

On reviewing the events of 2014, it is clear that the Government sentiment of ‘recovery’ and ‘renewal’ has not extended to the disability movement. It was the Disability Stakeholders Group (DSG) that called for a mid-term review of the NDSIP and which identified major lapses in implementation. Within that Group and in its engagement with Government, DFI has continued to press for implementation. However progress has been slow and there are clear gaps emerging between what is ‘said’ in terms of government policy and what is actually done. For instance, disabled people are still waiting for the publication of a ‘Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities’ as set out in the commitments made in the NDSIP.

As of the end of 2014 DFI is clear that it does not have confidence that our government will leave a positive legacy to its disabled citizens and those who support them on a daily basis. In February 2013 both the Mobility Allowance and the Motorised Transport Grant were abolished and, despite the fact that this Government committed to the establishment of new statuary provisions to address the costs of people with disabilities mobility needs, these commitments have yet to be realised. In addition, a total of 23 disability and health organisations lost funding through the Scheme to Support National Organisations (SSNO) Programme delivered through an agency of the Department of Environment, Heritage and local Government. Successful campaigning by DFI and others led to a one year funding extension to the end of June 2015 and the matter is still not satisfactorily resolved although we have secured a further one year extension. Furthermore, for 2014 this government committed to moving 150 people with disabilities out of congregated settings. This modest figure, from over 3000 people with disabilities inappropriately placed in institutions, was not achieved in 2014, and furthermore highlights how, at this rate it will take us possibly 20 years to complete this programme of deinstitutionalisation. DFI is concerned that in parallel to this work we continue to routinely hear of young adults with disabilities being inappropriately placed in nursing homes, an issue that is not being appreciated as part of the wider policy agenda on congregated settings.

The full implementation of the UNCRPD is the real barometer of how committed this Government is to ensuring the equal status of people with disabilities in Irish society. Ireland has yet to ratify the UNCRPD despite the commitment made to do so in the Programme for Government. With indications that there are yet more reasons for halting progress towards ratification, outside of the capacity legislation, it looks like it may become just another ‘campaign promise’ for the next General Election. Given the above, it is difficult to remain optimistic for the future for people with disabilities in Ireland. What is really needed is for the term ‘recovery’ to take hold across the social, as well as the economic sectors of society.

With regard to my role as Chairperson, I am pleased with the progress DFI has made in bringing people with disabilities to the very heart of the organisation. We successfully adopted a new Memorandum and Articles of Association for DFI and this alone is a significant development for the year. As never before it clarifies that the company members are at the core of setting the policy direction and ensures that at least 50% of them will be people with disabilities or people with "an enduring and personal experience of disability". Already this cohort represents two thirds of our company membership and we now welcome the fact that our affiliated organisations support this development by nominating people with disabilities to be their representatives and to be the forefront of DFI.

As Chairperson and with my fellow Board of Directors, I recognise that DFI has had to deal with the serious issue of sustainability in funding. Following a cut to the pay and pensions of all staff in 2013, this work in 2014 has required us to pay particular attention to bringing our costs in line with our expenditure. Unfortunately, this also required the reduction of staff by five people. DFI have also embarked on developing a plan to support our long-term growth and sustainability and I look forward to supporting this work in the coming year.

Finally, I would like to take the opportunity to thank my colleagues on the Board of Directors for their hard work and commitment throughout the year, noting the work of the subcommittees and in particular Cliodhna O’Neill, Chair of the Governance Compliance Committee and Don Bailey, Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee. Two of the retiring Directors, namely Niall Keane and Cliodhna O’Neill, are not seeking re-election and so, on behalf of the Board, I wish to thank them for their service and commitment to DFI. I would also like to acknowledge the work and service of my predecessor as Chairperson, Maurice O’Connell. A special word of thanks to John Dolan, the management team and staff for remaining positive and focused. They deserve praise for their achievements during a very difficult year.

Thank you.

Pat Clarke

CEO’s Overview

People with disabilities are facing a difficult future despite the vision of inclusion as set out in the UN CRPD and our own National Disability Strategy (NDS). In reality, there continues to be a constant draw on the growth generated by the economy as a result of our general indebtedness. At the same time, we are hearing many calls for tax reductions along with pay increases. This is the environment that DFI finds itself in. We see a future where general unemployment will, hopefully, continue to decline but simultaneously where there will not be the expected level of services and supports for people with disabilities or their families.

So what are we doing to address this great challenge? At the start of the economic downturn we said that post-recession Ireland would require us to be effective in what we called a "new operating environment". That simple insight has guided our thinking since then. In the past year we progressed our cost containment programme by reducing our staff by five and continued to adapt our "business model" through a number of changes such as outsourcing some back office functions, the use of interns and volunteers and sharing work with other organisations.

While the cost containment programme reduced costs in 2014 through significant cuts to staff pay and pensions, DFI also undertook a "growth and sustainability" review to help prepare the organisation and staff to become more ambitious for the period ahead. In a word it sets out the core work of DFI as being an agent for cultural change in Ireland to ensure that the NDS is fully implemented. We are working hard to improve DFI's financial sustainability and were greatly aided by not receiving a cut to our HSE funding for 2014. At the same time we appreciate that we have a way to go to complete the move to a more sustainable business model.

I will mention a few other critical areas to highlight the changed orientation in DFI. The campaigns for the Local and European elections, "Leave NobodyBehind" demonstrate the scope of influences on the lives of people with disabilities, from the local community to the decisions being made within the EU institutions. It is not fully appreciated that the EU has significant ongoing influence on the lives of people with disabilities in Ireland. We have intensified our work at European level and engage strongly with sister organisations such as the European Disability Forum (EDF), European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD), European Movement Ireland (EMI) and European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN).

Within DFI 2014 will be seen as the occasion for modernising its governance documents with the complete overhaul of the Memorandum and Articles of Association. The object of the organisation is now “to benefit the community by supporting the contribution, protecting the rights and valuing the role of persons with disabilities and disabling conditions in the community and encouraging their fullest participation in shaping a society that promotes the wellbeing and quality of life of such persons”. In this regard, we reference the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UNCRPD. In addition, and as already noted by the Chairperson, we have also made the majority representation of people with disabilities within the company membership obligatory and copper fastened the strategic orientation and policy role with the company members. Overall, DFI has progressed measures commenced in recent years to underpin the capacity of people with disabilities to be able to play leading roles within DFI, across our affiliate organisations, in civil society organisations and within public and state bodies. We need to more fully engage the active support of our affiliate organisations in this work and also in the general work of the Federation to bring about the "cultural" change required in Ireland. The forthcoming General Election is a critical moment for us and it comes following our European and Local election campaigns in 2014 and the campaign in the recent Carlow Kilkenny by election. In these areas we have developed the use of our key messages, "Leave NobodyBehind", "No Recovery without Us" and that "Disability is a Societal Issue".

I wish to thank the Board and particularly the Officers and Chairs of the various committees for the serious commitment of their time and concern for the future of DFI. In particular I wish to mention two retiring Directors who are not seeking re-election, namely Niall Keane and Cliodhna O Neill. My express thanks to our Chairperson Pat Clarke for the extensive commitment of his time along with his support to me throughout the year. Finally, I am proud to be leading the team of staff at DFI and I thank them for their continued commitment and service.

John Dolan
Chief Executive Officer

The Year in Review

Policy Highlights for 2014

In relation to Strategic Priority 1 “To influence the development, implementation and monitoring of policies affecting people with disabilities” the work of DFI has progressed significantly. Despite the continued difficult economic and political climate, DFI has worked to protect and improve services and supports to people with disabilities. A number of successful campaigns were initiated that halted cuts in funded services to people with disabilities, and generated awareness and public support. Most noteworthy, was the DFI led campaign with the Department of Environment Community and Local Government to reinstate funding to 23 disability organisations under its scheme, Support Scheme to National Organisations (SSNO). This is only reinstated for one year but we have secured a commitment from the Department to review the scheme in light of these issues.

In addition, the ‘Leave Nobody Behind’ campaign was successfully launched in the run up to the Local and European elections 2014. As part of the campaign activities, candidates were given the opportunity to sign its pledge to “Leave Nobody Behind”. The pledge represented a commitment to ensuring that people with disabilities do not get left behind, with candidates undertaking to implement DFI’s Top Election Priorities, as set out in DFI’s election manifestos. DFI also received a lot of publicity surrounding the ‘Ask Three Questions’ campaign that gave people with disabilities, their families, friends and communities the opportunity to raise the issues most important to them whenever their local candidates were canvassing their vote.

We also published our Pre Budget Submission 2015, as well as developing a number of case studies to support our Budget Campaign. It is appreciated that this work supports our General Election campaign to ‘Leave Nobody Behind’. Following the Budget, DFI maintained a media presence regarding the impact of austerity on people with disabilities.

The year 2014 was marked by a number of important events, notable was the hosting of a successful National Conference, “Citizens Engagement – Local Government by Local People” on the 3rdApril. The event which was opened by Phil Hogan T.D., Minister for the Environment Community and Local Government, in Dublin Castle was oversubscribed.DFI continued to engage with Government Departments and Agencies across a range of issues. We successfully secured nomination status for disability representatives on the newly established Education and Training Boards (ETBs) across the country and there are now disability nominated members on eight of the 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs). Of these, five are nominated through DFI, one is jointly nominated by AHEAD and DFI and two are nominated by AHEAD.

In addition, we continue to strengthen the research arm of DFI with a publication launched on an important piece of qualitative research examining Personal Assistant services in Ireland for people with physical and sensory disabilities. The work demonstrated our renewed focus and significant investment on issues that matter to people with disabilities in the community. The research entitled “Access to Life: Personal Assistant Service in Ireland and Independent Living by People with Physical and Sensory Disabilities”was launched by Kathleen Lynch T.D., Minister for State for Disability, Older People, Equality & Mental Health on 6th February 2014. It aimed to promote a better understanding about Ireland’s PA service and involved 30 one-to-one interviews with people using a PA service, as well as interviews with a range of stakeholders.

[ Note 1: The report ‘Access to Life: Personal Assistant Service in Ireland and Independent Living by People with Physical and Sensory Disabilities’ was launched by Kathleen Lynch T.D., Minister for State for Disability, Older People, Equality & Mental Health in February 2014. ]

DFI continued to participate on the structures supporting the National Disability Strategy Implementation Plan, namely the NDS Implementation Group (NDSIG) and the Disability Stakeholders Group (DSG). Both individually and as part of the DSG DFI called on government to publish a Mid-TermReview of the NDSIP; through our own Review we critiqued the Governments lack of ambition, their inability to use the NDSIP to protect people with disabilities against the worst effects of the recession and indeed their failure to progress key commitments contained in the Plan.We have been equally disappointed by the Governments failure to publish the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities. We continue to urge Government to publish a document that outlines not only the disability specific employment and training services and supports to be available to people with disabilities, but also to spell out how people will equally be enabled to access and be supported through mainstream employment services. Regretfully the publication of this Strategy is still outstanding and is something that we continue to prioritise during our NDSIP engagements. In addition to this, DFI participated in two National Disability Strategy (NDS) thematic meetings, one on Housing and the other on Irish Sign Language.

DFI continued its representation and participation in health-related structures, across national, regional and local levels. Work on the HSE VFM Implementation Framework Plan has intensified with eight staff and three DFI representatives now supporting the HSE in the delivery of this Framework.

DFI has focused strongly on the European dimension of our work as never before, and we have developed a work plan in this area. In particular, DFI worked closely with the European Disability Forum (EDF), the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disability (EASPD) and the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN), and strived to influence their approach. DFI is actively looking to apply for funding through European funding programmes and streams. This is an area that will be further developed in 2015.

DFI Representation on Policy Committees 2014

DFI continue to represent the disability movement at local, regional and national level in order to push for a vision of an Ireland where people with disabilities are fully included and equal citizens in society. In 2014, DFI was represented on 156 committees and working groupsacross the areas of health, social protection, education, transport, housing, advocacy, human rights, governance, community development and local government to name a few.

As demonstrated in Table 1 below, DFI made 27 submissions across various departments and agencies at national and international level. These can also be sourced on the DFI website, www.disability-federation.ie .

Table 1 DFI Submissions 2014
No. Submission Department or Agency
1Review of Part 4 (Genetic Testing) of the Disability Act 2005National Disability Authority
2FLAC Post Budget Submission on Human Rights ApproachesFree Legal Advice Centre (FLAC)
3DFI contribution to the EASPD Employment Declaration V4European Association of Service Providers for People with Disabilities (EASPD)
4Submission on Sexual Offences and ‘Vulnerable Persons’Department of Justice and Equality
5Sound and Vision Scheme BAI Letter to Minister Alex WhiteDepartment of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
6Water Charges PlanCommission for Energy Regulation
7BAI Code of Programme StandardBroadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI)
8DFI comments to EASPD on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)European Association of Service Providers for People with Disabilities (EASPD)
9DFI comments to EASPD on Questions for new CommissionerEuropean Association of Service Providers for People with Disabilities (EASPD)
10Comments on Research request for Eva KoniecznyEuropean Association of Service Providers for People with Disabilities (EASPD)
11European Structural and Investment Fund Operational ProgrammeDepartment of Education and Skills
12DFI contribution to the EASPD Employment Declaration V5European Association of Service Providers for People with Disabilities (EASPD)
13Broadcasting Authority of Ireland Access Rules Review 2014Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI)
14Submission on Medical CardsHealth Service Executive National
15EDF Survey for Post EU Election StrategyEuropean Disability Forum (EDF)
16DFI Pre-Budget Submission for DSPDepartment of Social Protection (DSP)
17DFI Submission to Housing Agency on Social Housing StrategyHousing Agency
18DFI Submission on Universal Health InsuranceDepartment of Health
19EASPD survey on Disaster Preparedness and ResponseEuropean Association of Service Providers for People with Disabilities (EASPD)
20Submission to C&V Pillar on NESC document on HousingCommunity & Voluntary Pillar Housing Group
21Letter to Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn on European Access Act for EDF CampaignEuropean Commission
22National Social ReportDepartment of Social Protection (DSP)
23Fraud and Control Initiative SubmissionDepartment of Social Protection (DSP)
24Questionnaire on Funding to disability organisationsSocial Policy and Youth Croatia
25Comment to EAPN on National Social ReportEuropean Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN)
26DFI Submission on the Draft General Scheme for Advance Healthcare DirectivesDepartment of Health
27EASPD Employment Declaration V6European Association of Service Providers for People with Disabilities (EASPD)

Support for Our Affiliate Organisations

DFI has deepened its engagement with its affiliate and associate organisationsto support their governance and quality. In 2014, 48 organisations engaged with our Organisational Healthcheck and 29 with PQASSO. The PQASSO Champions Network has been established and 27 people are involved from 20 organisations. There were three Network Meetings held between Dublin, Galway and Sligo. The Champions share learning and experience in implementing PQASSO. The Champions Network is facilitated by DFI and it now plays a key role in identifying the supports required to ensure that organisations maximise the learning and experience of implementing PQASSO.

DFI continues to work with the University of Limerick in developing new courses and support the existing certificate and diploma courses. In 2014, the following courses and events took place:

  • ‘An Introduction to Quality Management for Community and Voluntary Organisations’ was delivered inthe University of Limerick (UL) over five Saturdays from September to November
  • An Innovation for Community & Voluntary Organisations course was delivered in Dublin, held over five Saturdays from January to March 2014

Work was progressed with UL on the development and delivery of a certificate course on problem solving for community and voluntary organisations.
Following work done in previous years consideration was given to further research into the DFI Quality Programme . Two UL Springboard Level 9 Students have been recruited to complete two DFI in house quality projects as part of their end of year project. Both students have begun researching their project. Their projects will be submitted to UL by end of June 2015. They will form the corner stone of a Joint UL DFI symposium in Nov/Dec 2015.

In addition to the UL Courses, training courses on self-management were held in Dublin and Galway in 2014. A total of 30 people attended the courses. DFI is currently investigating running the Stanford Self-Management course and supporting organisations to implement Self-Management Techniques.
In addition, we continue to strengthen our relationship with Charities Evaluation Services (CES). A total of nine courses have taken place with 77 attendees in total. Fifty-two DFI affiliate organisations and 25 non-affiliated organisations participated in these courses.

The number of DFI affiliates who have signed up to the Fundraising Principles and the Governance Code is increasing steadily. A total of 30 affiliates have signed up to the Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising. DFI continues to participate in the Governance Code Working Group.Fifteenaffiliate organisations are on the register of compliance and a further 33 affiliateorganisations are on the adoption journey.

DFI is working with external partners in covering various areas, including HR, Corporate Governance and Health & Safety. Services and supports are provided by ten partner organisations. The purpose of this suite of supports and services is to support affiliate organisations with expertise in key back office services so that they can concentrate on the day to day service delivery.

In addition to formal one to one meetings with CEOs, Support Officers maintain regular contact with affiliates providing support in a wide range of areas from governance, HR, finance, regulation etc. Support Officers also have regular contact with affiliates through implementing PQASSO.

Strengthening the Voice, Impact and Relevance of the Disability Movement in Ireland

DFI aims to optimise relationships and understandings between the disability movement, Government and civil society through ongoing engagement with elected representatives, senior civil servants, and the Community &Voluntary Pillar (C&V). In 2014, DFI received strong political support for our local and European election campaign “Leave Nobody Behind”. In addition to this we also assumed the role of chair of the C&V Pillar Health Linkage Group and engaged with other civil society organisations in new ways via the Advocacy Initiative, as well as through alliances with European organisations.

DFI also made changes to our Memorandum and Articles of Association to ensure that people with disabilities play leading roles within DFI, with our affiliate organisations and across civil society organisations, and public and state bodies.This change further strengthens DFI’s mandate to act as a coherent voice of the disability movement. This role wasfurther evidenced by the breadth of participants in our conference on Local Government Reform, and in the focus of our campaign during the local and European Elections. DFI’s appointment as a nominating body for the new Education and Training Boards and our strong response to funding cuts within the Scheme to Support National Organisations have also supported this aim. In 2014, we have improved our media profile and messaging to create awareness and understanding of disability as a societal issue.
DFI has increased involvement of our affiliate organisations in submissions and campaigns as well as research, and become a greater resource to affiliates in the provision of training and capacity raising supports as outlined in our policy and support to organisations work portfolios. In 2014, we increased the number of collaborative ventures and initiatives we are engaged in, which all helps to increase the understanding of disability in a wider societal context. Examples include ourJoint Budget Statement with the other disability umbrella and carer groups, and the involvement with the Better Europe Alliance.

[ Note 2: On the 1st of October seven organisations launched a Joint Statement for Budget 2015 – Don’t Leave Us Behind - Time for Government to demonstrate its commitment to People with Disabilities and those with Mental Health Needs . These organisations were the Federation of Voluntary Bodies, The Carers Alliance, Mental Health Reform, Neurological Alliance of Ireland, the Not for Profit Business Association, Centre for Independent Living and DFI. ]

Finally, DFI has invested significant resources in increasing our participation at European level, mainly through our membership of the European Association of Service Providers for People with Disabilities (EASPD) and European Disability Forum (EDF), but also with European Movement Ireland (EMI) and European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN). DFI has now firmly established a European network of disability organisations and three meetings of this group were hosted in 2014.

DFI: The Organisation

Important corporate developments were achieved during 2014. We undertook a significant overhaul of our Memorandum and Articles of Association to ensure that people with disabilities now played a central role within the organisation. We continued to implement the recommendations in the 2013 report,“Review and Analysis of the Current and Projected Financial Profile of Disability Federation of Ireland”, introducing a voluntary severance programme, carrying out a review of our ICT systems and outsourcing our financial administration. As part of these measures, five posts were made redundant during this period.We also engaged external support to develop the “DFI Growth and Sustainability Plan” which outlines our approach to securing our own financial security while remaining true to our mission and values.

Otherwise, the following were the key areas of work:-

  • The Operational Plan 2013 – 14 was reviewed and the Operational Plan 2015-16 developed.
  • DFI continues to implement PQASSO Level 1. We have completed Quality Area (QA) 9 Communications and Promotions (100%), QA 1 Planning (100%), and QA 4 User-Centred Services (95%), and we are 80% through QA 11 Monitoring & Evaluation.
  • The DFI ICT Handbook was developed to support our risk management and disaster recovery planning.
  • Expanded our communications work increasing our engagement with media on planned campaigns and in response to issues that arose.
  • Significant investment of time in Human Resources (HR) was made in 2014, due to the redundancy programme.

DFI Board 2014

Pat Clarke - Chairperson
Down Syndrome Ireland

John O’Sullivan - Vice Chairperson
Enable Ireland

Barbara O’Connell – Vice Chairperson
Acquired Brain Injury Ireland

Don Bailey
Vantastic Ltd.

Mike Glynn

Elaine Howley
National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI)

Niall Keane

Cliodhna O’Neill
Rehab Group
Joe T Mooney
Muscular Dystrophy Ireland

Anne Coffey
KARE (retired 28/05/2014)

Maurice O’Connell
Alzheimer’s Society (retired 28/05/2014)

Sean Megahey
Hail Housing (appointed 28/05/2014)

Gary Lee
CIL Carmichael House (appointed 28/05/2014)

Joe Mason
WALK (appointed 28/05/2015)

Company Secretary

John Dolan

DFI Member and Associate Organisations 2014

[ Note 3: At the Company AGM in May 2014 the new Memorandum and Articles of Association were adopted. Accordingly the membership categories were changed as follows: Nominating Bodies and General Members were incorporated under the title Affiliate Organisations. Associate Organisations remained under the existing title. ]

Nominating Bodies

  1. Acquired Brain Injury Ireland
  2. Alzheimer Society of Ireland
  3. Arthritis Ireland
  4. ASPIRE – Asperger Syndrome Association
  5. Ataxia Ireland
  6. AWARE
  7. BRÍ – Acquired Brain Injury Association
  8. CASA – Caring and Sharing Association
  9. Central Remedial Clinic
  10. Centre for Independent Living Mayo
  11. Centre for Independent Living Tipperary
  12. Center for Independent Living Carmichael House
  13. Cheeverstown House Ltd
  14. COPE Foundation
  15. County Roscommon Support Group for People with Disabilities
  16. Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland
  17. DeafHear.ie
  18. DEBRA Ireland
  19. Disabled Drivers Association
  20. Disabled People of Clare
  21. Doorway to Life Ltd
  22. Down Syndrome Ireland
  23. Dyslexia Association of Ireland
  24. Enable Ireland
  25. Epilepsy Ireland (formerly Brainwave)
  26. Fighting Blindness
  27. Genetic and Rare Disorders Organisation
  28. HAIL Housing Association for Integrated Living
  29. Headway Ireland
  30. Huntington’s disease Association of Ireland
  31. Irish Deaf Society
  32. Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind
  33. Irish Haeomophilia Society
  34. Irish Kidney Association
  35. Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association
  36. Irish Society for Autism
  37. Irish Wheelchair Association
  38. Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation
  39. KARE
  40. Leitrim Association of People with Disabilities
  41. Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland
  42. Muscular Dystrophy Ireland
  43. National Council for the Blind of Ireland
  44. National Federation of Arch Clubs
  45. Neurofibromatosis Association of Ireland
  46. North West MS Therapy Centre
  47. Parkinson’s Association of Ireland
  48. Post Polio Support Group
  49. Reach Ireland
  50. Rehab Group
  51. Royal Hospital Donnybrook
  52. Sophia Housing Association Ltd
  53. Special Olympics Ireland
  54. Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland
  55. Spinal Injuries Ireland
  56. St Catherine’s Association
  57. St Gabriel’s School and Centre
  58. St Michael’s House
  59. Vantastic Ltd
  60. WALK (formerly Walkinstown Association)
  61. Western Care Association

General Members

  1. Ability West
  2. ACTS (Accessible Community Transport Southside)
  3. AHEAD
  4. Áiseanna Tacaíochta
  5. Anne Sullivan Centre
  6. Arklow Disability Action Group
  7. Autism Spectrum Disorder Initiatives (ASDI)
  8. Bluestack Special Needs Foundation
  9. Camphill Communities of Ireland
  10. Catholic Institute for Deaf People (CIDP)
  11. Care Alliance Ireland
  12. Carmichael Centre for Voluntary Groups
  13. Centre for Independent Living Blanchardstown
  14. Centre for Independent Living Carlow
  15. Centre for Independent Living Cork
  16. Centre for Independent Living Donegal
  17. Centre for Independent Living Galway
  18. Centre for Independent Gorey
  19. Centre for Independent Living Greater Dublin
  20. Centre for Independent Living Kilkenny
  21. Centre for Independent Living Longford
  22. Centre for Independent Living Offaly
  23. Centre for Independent Living Sligo
  24. Centre for Independent Living Waterford
  25. Centre for Independent Living West Limerick
  26. Centre for Independent Living Wexford
  27. Childvision (formerly St Joseph’s Centre for the Visually Impaired)
  28. Co-Action West Cork
  29. Cork Accessible Transport
  30. Cork Deaf Association
  31. Crosscare Cedar Programme
  32. Diabetes Federation of Ireland Southern Region
  33. Dyspraxia Association of Ireland
  34. Féach
  35. Fibromyalgia Support Group (Midlands)
  36. F.I.C.T.A. - Federation of Irish Complementary Therapy Associations
  37. GROW
  38. Heart Children Ireland
  39. ICARE (Inishowen Children’s Autism Related Education)
  40. Irish Electromagnetic Radiation Victims Network
  41. Irish Hard of Hearing Association
  42. Lakers
  43. Social and Recreation Club
  44. Lucan Disability Action Group
  45. Mid West Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Association
  46. Migraine Association of Ireland
  47. Move4Parkinson’s
  48. Neurological Alliance of Ireland
  49. North West Parents & Friends Association
  50. North West Stroke Group
  51. Out and About Association
  52. Peacehaven Trust
  53. Prader Willi Syndrome Association Ireland. (PWSAI)
  54. Rathmines Pembroke Community Partnership
  55. Sharing the Journey
  56. STEER – Support Training Education Employment Research
  57. St Hilda’s Services
  58. St Mary’s Centre (Telford)
  59. The Carers Association
  60. Yoobyoo (formerly Children in Hospital Ireland)

DFI Associates

  1. Livability Ireland (formerly John Groom)
  2. Voluntary Services International (VSI)
  3. Extra Care
  4. Plan Ireland
  5. Alcohol Forum

New Organisations Admitted to Membership in 2014

  1. Alcohol Forum
  2. Plan Ireland

Staff and Contact Details

National Office

Fumbally Court, Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8
Tel: 01 4547978 Email: info@disability-federation.ie Web: www.disability-federation.ie

Management Team

John Dolan
Chief Executive Officer

Allen Dunne
Senior Executive Officer - Operational / Deputy CEO

Joanne McCarthy
Senior Executive Officer - Policy and Research

Support Team

Denis Cadogan
ICT Manager

Aaron Browne
IT Administrator

Alison Ryan
Corporate Services Support

Mairéad Holohan
Support Staff (left DFI end of October 2014)

Cathy McGrath
Support Staff

Eleanor Uí Fhiannachta
Support Staff (left DFI end of September 2014)

John Doyle
Support Staff (left DFI end of April 2014)

Mary Redmond
Support Staff (left DFI end of December 2014)

Support Officers

Policy and Research
Joan O’Connor

Dermot O’Donnell

Dublin North-East
Martin Naughton

Joan O’Donnell

Louise McCann

Anthony Carrick

Jacqueline Grogan


P.J. Cleere

Alison Ryan

Michael Corbett

Jennifer Van Aswegen
j ennifervanaswegen@disabilityfederation.ie

Toni Gleeson


Disability is a societal rather than a sectoral issue and DFI has progressed its work in 2014 by working with a large number of organisations across all aspects of Irish society, including Government departments and agencies, community and voluntary organisations, universities and local government.We are very grateful to all of these organisations, bodies and groups. Their co-operation and support has been greatly beneficial, and very much appreciated.

A large numbers of individuals from our affiliate and associateorganisations represent DFI at a wide range of national and local structures.We wish to acknowledge these individuals, and to extend our sincere thanks for their work and effort on behalf of DFI and people with disabilities. Without their dedication, hard work and support, the work of DFI would be very much more difficult, and much less effective. To all of you, thank you for your commitment; we are very grateful.

DFI also wishes to acknowledge the support and cooperation of its affiliate and associate organisations.

DFI is a member of the following organisations

  • Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH)
  • European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD)
  • Irish Charity Tax Research Group (ICTRG)
  • The Wheel
  • The Carmichael Centre for Voluntary Groups
  • European Disability Forum (EDF)
  • European Movement Ireland (EMI)
  • The Irish Social Policy Association
  • The Irish Disability Studies Association
  • Institute for Managers of Community & Voluntary Organisations in Ireland (IMCV)
  • Irish Social Policy Network
  • Mental Health Reform

Representing the interests and expectations of people with disabilities to be fully included.
Comprising organisations that represent and support people with disabilities.


The Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) represents the interests and the expectations of people with disabilities to be fully included in Irish society. It comprises organisations that represent and support people with disabilities and disabling conditions.

The vision of DFI is that Irish society is fully inclusive of people with disabilities and disabling conditions so that they can exercise their full civil, economic, social, and human rights and are enabled to reach their full potential in life. DFI’s mission is to act as an advocate for the full and equal inclusion of people with disabilities and disabling conditions in all aspects of their lives.

There are over 120 organisations within membership, or as associates, of DFI. DFI also works with a growing number of organisations and groups around the country that have a significant disability interest, mainly from the statutory and voluntary sectors. DFI provides information, training and support, networking, advocacy and representation, research and policy development and implementation, and organisation and management development.

DFI works on the basis that disability is a societal issue and so works with Government, and across the social and economic strands and interests of society.

Disability Federation of Ireland, Fumbally Court, Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8
Tel: 014547978 Fax: 014547981
Email: info@disability-federation.ie Web: www.disability-federation.ie

The Disability Federation of Ireland is a company limited by guarantee not having share capital, registered in Dublin. Registered No. 140948, CHY