Disability Federation of Ireland Annual Review 2011
Issued on July 1 2012
Published July 2012
ACTS Accessible Community Transport Southside
AGM Annual General Meeting
AHEAD Association for Higher Education Access and Disability
CASA Caring and Sharing Association
CEO Chief Executive Officer
CES Charities Evaluation Services
CHY Charity Registration Number
CIB Citizens Information Board
CIDP Catholic Institute for Deaf People
CIL Centre for Independent Living
CMS Critical Mass Sites
CRM Customer Relations Management
DEBRA Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association
DFI Disability Federation of Ireland
DSG Disability Stakeholders Group
EASPD European Association of Service Providers for People with Disabilities
EIT Early Intervention Team
EU European Union
FICTA Federation of Irish Complementary Therapy Associations
HAIL Housing Association for Integrated Living
HIQA Health Information and Quality Authority
HR Human Resource
HSE Health Service Executive
ICARE Inishowen Children's Autism Related Education
ICSH Irish Council for Social Housing
ICTRG Irish Charity Tax Research Group
LHM Local Health Office Manager
MPP Management Performance Project
MDP Member Development Programme
MOU Memorandum of Understanding
NAI Neurological Alliance of Ireland
NCBI National Council for the Blind in Ireland
NDS National Disability Strategy
NDSSMG National Disability Strategy Stakeholders Monitoring Group
NfPBA Not for Profit Business Association
NPSDD National Physical and Sensory Disability Database
NSAI National Standards Authority of Ireland
NUI National University Ireland
ONET Organisation of National Ex-Servicemen and Women
PQASSO Practical Quality Assurance Programme for Small Organisations
PWDI People with Disabilities in Ireland
SEO Senior Executive Officer
SKILL Securing Knowledge Intra Lifelong Learning
STEER Support Training Education Employment Research
UK United Kingdom
UL University of Limerick
UN United Nations
VFM Value for Money
VSI Voluntary Services International
- Policy Developments
- Support for Our Member Organisations
- Strengthening the Voice of the Disability Sector
During 2011 the Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) worked in a highly charged environment, where three sets of elections, an enduring recession and a stringent fiscal compact generated significant tensions. At the same time there were also some opportunities to promote a society that actively includes people with disabilities.
Against this context the Board of DFI oversaw the delivery of a new Strategic Plan 2011-2016, and the development of an Operational Plan to guide work in four priority areas:
- To influence the development, implementation and monitoring of policies affecting people with disabilities.
- To improve the effectiveness and sustainability of DFI member organisations.
- To strengthen the voice, impact and relevance of the disability movement in Ireland.
- To enhance the organisational effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of DFI.
The new vision and mission outlined in the Strategic Plan, and the introduction of guiding principles for DFI”s work in relation to people with disabilities and disabling conditions, our member organisations, and our own development, will greatly assist DFI as it continues to show leadership on disability issues.
DFI recognises that organisational governance is critical for effective operation in a rapidly changing and challenging environment. Three meetings of the National Council of DFI were held during 2011, as well as the AGM in May. In addition, four quarterly reports, produced during the year and presented to the National Council, provided additional detailed information. The Board embraced implementation of PQASSO, a quality assurance system, to strengthen performance, and reviewed existing governance arrangements. Three Board Sub-Committees also operated to expedite work: on compliance, office premises and finance and audit. A Board Governance Manual is being implemented, a tender for a financial audit was held and the audit finalised. The Board continued to track progress on the individual aspects of the PQASSO project.
DFI recognises that organisational governance is critical for effective operation in a rapidly changing and challenging environment.
In addition to this work, the Board continued its commitment to ensuring that DFI used the volatile policy environment of 2011 to advance the case for protecting the income and service supports that enable people with disabilities to participate in their communities, and to press for an implementation framework that would underpin their legitimate rights.
The Dáil election, the Seanad campaign, the Comprehensive Review of Spending, and the Budget process were all opportunities that we pursued. In addition, there was other work done to increase the awareness of decision makers, whether politicians, civil servants, others in the community and voluntary sector or the general public, about disability issues.
At the end of 2011 Ireland was facing up to more years of austerity, which threaten further retrenchment in essential supports for people. At the same time, I believe Ireland was better positioned to appreciate and act on measures that would enable people with disabilities to play a bigger part in society. DFI will need to continue its two-pronged tactics of fighting cutbacks while building the case for stronger disability policy implementation. The steps taken by DFI during 2011 better enable us to work with Government and others to actively bring about the reform and change that is necessary to underpin full and equal inclusion of people with disabilities. Central to this will be the delivery of commitments contained in the Program for Government.
As 2011 came to a close DFI, once again, demonstrated its value in giving public leadership by responding effectively and quickly to Budget announcements that income supports were to be cut, and played a major part in getting the decision paused.
Despite an extremely difficult economic environment, 2012 promises to be a year when the Government focuses disability policy on achieving better outcomes for people. There is a real prospect of more integrated policy and planning to deliver person centred services and supports. DFI looks forward to the challenges and opportunities that brings.
It is important that I conclude by thanking my fellow Board members for their work and contribution throughout the year. Apart from Board meetings they also participate in the Board Sub-Committees. This work is a significant call on their time. I particularly acknowledge the support of my fellow officers John O”Sullivan, Vice Chairperson and Anne Winslow, Honorary Treasurer along with the former Chairperson Paul Ledwidge.
Paul and Anne are retiring from the Board at this AGM after many years of active service. I wish to thank them again on your behalf and to wish them health and happiness for the future. Furthermore, Des Kenny has decided not to seek re-election. Des has been associated with the governance of DFI since the late 60”s, and during the early 80”s he was our General Secretary. Des regularly demonstrates his wealth of experience, knowledge and wisdom as someone with a disability and with a unique knowledge of the sector and its strategic management challenges. More to the point, Des can also share all of this in language which is always memorable and soft, while still being effective and a cause for useful reflection by those present. We wish him health and happiness, and we will continue to need his advice and insights.
I would also like to acknowledge and thank the management and staff, and the many volunteers who represent DFI countrywide. Their work and commitment are greatly appreciated.
DFI actively used a wide range of opportunities to progress the disability agenda in 2011. This included using our election brochure, “ Securing our Future” to influence political manifestos at the start of the year, meeting new Dáil members, engaging in the Seanad election, leading on a joint statement, by ten national representative disability organisations, about Ireland”s Disability Strategy, training people to advocate on disability issues with local Government structures; and running our pre budget campaign in the autumn.
A key message conveyed by DFI is that disability is a societal issue, and not a narrow minority issue. Disability infrastructure provides a social insurance for everyone, protecting them should they, or a family member, become disabled. Recognition of this fact underpins sustained commitment to the National Disability Strategy (NDS). Indeed the naming of disability, including mental health, as their social policy priority by the Taoiseach and Tánaiste at the election perhaps signals a growing understanding of disability issues. This was a key element in DFI”s election campaign.
While DFI”s efforts at highlighting the long term adverse effects of across-the-board cutbacks on Ireland”s capacity to support people with disabilities met with limited immediate success, we did contribute to some positive changes that promise more in the future. Our work not only helped to prevent even greater budgetary cuts, but it also contributed to building a framework for a more rational and considered approach to the implementation of the NDS.
The nature of the current environment entailed much “fire fighting” to minimise harm, for example, emphasising the double hit experienced due to successive cuts in disability-specific and in mainstream services. We systematically linked the need to protect both income supports and services to the extra costs incurred by people due to their disabilities. We also highlighted the impact of cutbacks in the face of ever increasing demand and need for disability services as the population ages. In the aftermath of Budget 2012, DFI raised the media profile of the Government”s unfair stance regarding the Disability Allowance and Community Employment scheme cuts.
Late in the year a new structure was put in place for implementing the NDS, with active involvement of Minister Lynch to drive it at the political level. This development, together with the HSE”s closer engagement with disability organisations, the closing of the People with Disabilities in Ireland organisation, and the increasing influence on Ireland of the European Union (EU) and European institutions, underline the importance of DFI continuing to improve its effectiveness and reputation for solid and professional work.
A key message conveyed by DFI was that disability is a societal issue, and not a narrow minority issue.
Simultaneously, DFI promoted a framework that gives the NDS a stronger foundation for the future. DFI”s Proposal to Support Implementation of the National Disability Strategy was published in May. Subsequently the renewed NDS implementation structure, announced by Minister Lynch, featured the participation of the local authorities and the public service reform element. Throughout the year we made a submission to the Value for Money and Policy Review of the Disability Services Programme, and we actively engaged with the Health Service Executive (HSE) in establishing a consultative structure that would yield sound policy implementation. As a member of the Disability Stakeholders Group (DSG), DFI led work to foster a better appreciation of disability issues with staff in the Department of Social Protection.
DFI strengthened its links with disability alliances and with other bodies with whom we share common concerns and interests. As a member of the Community and Voluntary Pillar, DFI met with senior departmental officials and Ministers to underline the adverse effects of the Government”s approach to budget deficit reduction, and to propose better ways of making progress.
DFI”s work supporting organisations continued to develop during the year, setting us up for 2012. As an example, our “Listening and Changing Project” and the “Neuronetwork.ie” project challenged and supported organisations to work in a more systematic and coherent way to support the needs of people with disabilities. Through our joint work plan, we continued to work with the Neurological Association of Ireland (NAI) on issues of mutual interest and concern.
At the same time, DFI trained people in disability organisations, and others in the community, to develop their capacity to represent the diversity of people with disabilities, and to engage with local planners and decision makers so that mainstream opportunities were exploited at every level. DFI”s Member Development Programme (MDP) was further strengthened by the end of 2011. 34 member organisations have either completed or significantly advanced through DFI”s Organisational HealthCheck, and 18 members as well as DFI itself are undertaking PQASSO Quality Assurance. We also commenced offering a certificate course in Quality Management in the Community and Voluntary Sector with the University of Limerick (UL).
DFI”s internal development continued to advance, in pursuit of our mission. The Board commenced implementing the PQASSO quality management system. An information management project was initiated, which promises to strengthen DFI”s capacity in collating, storing and retrieving information.
While we know that resources are again reduced in 2012, I believe that the valuable work undertaken by DFI in 2011 enables us to progress our mission, whether it be negotiating in the HSE Consultative Fora, the NDS Implementation Group, our relationships with other stakeholders, or our activities under the MDP. In keeping with our Strategic Plan, we will be focused on Irish society becoming fully inclusive of people with disabilities and disabling conditions. This also lays a challenge to voluntary disability organisations. We too have to change in a radical way to ensure that we are fully “of service” to people with disabilities as they continue to aspire to be fully free and able to participate in society. We have worked to ensure that Government, the Oireachtas and other policy influences have a better understanding of the need to protect and advance the NDS and our organisations are better placed to play their part as a result of the work undertaken by DFI.
It is also right that I acknowledge and thank our staff for ensuring that the work is carried out, and in doing so, to recognise their valuable input into developing the work and future of DFI. They individually and collectively play a key role in enhancing the reputation of the organisation. I want to thank Board Members, and staff for the commitment and professionalism that they have brought to their work on behalf of DFI, it is much appreciated by me. I wish to note that Board members, apart from monthly Board meetings, are also active across the three Board committees and otherwise on behalf of the Board. This is a significant contribution that they make on behalf of the members of DFI, and I thank them for that.
Chief Executive Officer
The Year in Review
DFI campaigned strongly during the General Election to have disability and mental health prioritised. The naming of disability, including mental health, by both the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste as their priority social issue in the final election debate, was used by DFI in discussions with the new Government and Departments during the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure.
- DFI”s Pre Budget Submission called for Ireland”s “recovery plan” budgets to protect, at a minimum, the existing benefit payments and public service entitlements of people with disabilities. The DFI Budget Forum, held as usual in the Mansion House, Dublin, was well attended by members of the Oireachtas and representatives of DFI”s member organisations.
- DFI”s approach to budgetary issues was to highlight the long term implications of decisions designed to cut the deficit in the short term. Every opportunity was taken to underline the social value of protecting the infrastructure that has been built up to support people with disabilities as full and equal citizens.
- In September, DFI led an alliance of ten representative national disability organisations in making a joint statement about the danger of an austerity budget for 2012 undermining the National Disability Strategy.
- In the aftermath of Budget 2012, DFI raised an alarm about the unfairness of the withdrawal of the Disability Allowance. DFI also pointed out the impact of cuts in spending on health and personal services on people who are already under great strain.
The naming of disability, including mental health, by both the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste as their priority social issue in the final election debate was used by DFI in discussions with the new Government and Departments during the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure.”
To increase understanding of the importance of the NDS during the election and at other events DFI articulated the reason why disability is a social issue and not a narrow sectoral one, noting that as many as one in five people has a disability. DFI described the NDS as social insurance for everyone in Ireland, should they or a family member or friend be faced with disability during their lives. DFI actively worked at strengthening the NDS, both at an overarching level and on specific issues, for example,
- The “DFI Proposal to Support Implementation of the National Disability Strategy” was published in May and we brought it to the attention of key Government Ministers.
- Towards the end of the year, Minister Kathleen Lynch reactivated the NDS process, and established an NDS Implementation Group on which DFI is represented.
- DFI led a sub-committee of the Disability Stakeholders Group (six national non statutory disability bodies) which worked with the Department of Social Protection on approaches to benefits and activation programmes that respect the right of people with disabilities to participate.
- DFI worked with like-minded organisations in reviewing Ireland”s compliance with its international obligations to advance human social, economic and cultural rights.
- In addition a variety of specific actions were taken, including submissions on public transport, taxis, educational enrolment, special education support services, literacy and numeracy, housing, legal capacity legislation and energy regulation policies. Joint initiatives were taken, for example on the switchover to digital television and activities focussing on older people and on carers.
- DFI”s work with the HSE and the Department of Health was closely linked to the NDS. The agenda covered both disability-specific services and access to mainstream health and personal support services.
- DFI engaged actively with the HSE in the development of their consultative structure to enable the disability sector to influence the planning and implementation of major changes in the HSE”s policy towards disability.
- DFI also participated in other HSE initiatives, on Congregated Settings, HSE Universal Access, Children”s Services and engaged with statutory and community bodies in relation to these issues.
- DFI engaged with the Value for Money and Policy Review of the HSE”s Disability Services Programme, and prepared for the recommendations for change anticipated from the review”s report. Our submission on the Report of the Disability Policy Review highlighted the supports provided by voluntary disability organisations who work with people living in the community. It underlined the importance of prevention and early intervention by disability specific and mainstream health interventions, as well as attention to ameliorating the effects of disability and facilitating participation in the community. It proposed that the reform of the HSE”s Programme should build on these mainstream oriented approaches. DFI supported member organisations to engage with the Review process in a number of ways, including the on-going provision of information and the organisation of a seminar to share perspectives about the changes taking place.
- DFI and Neurological Alliance of Ireland (NAI) developed the neuronetwork.ie , launched in October , to facilitate improved access to information on primary care services. This was part of our on-going work programme with NAI and our joint efforts to improve the interface between mainstream primary care and disability specific neurologically based services.
34 member organisations have either completed or significantly advanced through DFI”s Organisational HealthCheck.”
Support for Our Member Organisations
DFI had considerable engagement with its membership base in 2011. Members are availing of the Membership Development Programme which incorporates products and services to support capacity building and good governance. The Organisation HealthCheck is the foundation of our Member Development Programme (MDP). By the end of 2011, 60 member organisations had engaged with DFI through one or more elements of this programme, including the Organisational HealthCheck, PQASSO Quality Assurance, SKILL, “Listening and Changing” project, and the Certificate in Quality Management for Community and Voluntary Organisations, with the University of Limerick.
Through our “Listening and Changing” project, funded by Genio, we sought to support member organisations to listen to people with disabilities and to offer services that provide greater self-determination for people with disabilities. We also provided information and support to member organisations on an extensive range of topics, including budgeting for cuts to their income, human resources, governance and other operational issues.
Through the SKILL training programme DFI supported 18 organisations and 232 participants on the programme. A collaborative approach was adopted in the delivery of the programme in five areas.
We worked with the University of Limerick on the development of a five day accredited course on Quality Management for Community and Voluntary Organisations, which was piloted in 2011. We plan to repeat this course with the University of Limerick to build this into a one year diploma course. We have also been engaging with Charity Evaluation Services (CES), the developers of PQASSO, and we will be providing more regular training for DFI members in PQASSO and Outcomes Planning with CES.
DFI hosted platforms and seminars throughout the year for member organisations and the sector. Some of these events were successfully web-streamed, which enabled our members to participate on-line.
Through our “Listening and Changing” project, we sought to support member organisations to listen to people with disabilities and to offer services that provide greater self-determination
The list below gives an outline of the supports DFI offered to its members in 2011:
- We offered 11 different products and services to members through the Membership Development Programme.
- 34 member organisations have either completed or significantly advanced through DFI”s Organisation HealthCheck, and 18 members, as well as DFI itself, are undertaking PQASSO Quality Assurance.
- There was an uptake of 232 new participants from 18 DFI member organisations onto the SKILL Programme for the academic year of 2010/2011. Of this, DFI secured approval from SKILL for the roll out training as Critical Mass Sites (CMS) in 5 areas across Dublin, Galway and Mayo. 500 expressions of interest for the SKILL Programme were received for the 2011/12 academic year and following agreement with SKILL, DFI approved the allocation of 324 placements to 23 DFI member organisations.
- 5 Lead Organisations provided access to Garda Vetting Services
- 6 DFI member organisations participated in the Genio funded Listening and changing project, and 75 people attended 3 regional seminars on the learning from this project.
- Platform meetings and Seminars were held on a range of topics, including How to Tender for HSE Contracts, HR Seminar on Employment Law, Value for Money Information, Garda Vetting, The Emotional Impact of Redundancy in Organisations, Social Enterprise and Presentations from Organisations participating in our “Listening and Changing” project.
- 25 individuals from 16 organisations attended Charities Evaluation Services (UK) “Implementing PQASSO” training in March and October 2011.
- 12 organisations attended the pilot of the University of Limerick five day accredited course on Quality Management for Voluntary Organisations.
- DFI supported the development of the Governance Code for Community, Voluntary and Charity Organisations in Ireland.
- DFI actively participated on the National Standards Authority - Quality Management Standards Committee.
Strengthening the Voice, Impact and Relevance of the Disability Movement in Ireland
DFI works towards strengthening the voice, impact and relevance of the disability movement in Ireland; we do this through how we approach our policy work and our member support work.
Recognising the benefits of joint working for improving the well-being of people with disabilities, DFI has developed other links with disability organisations and groups. For example, we worked closely with the Federation of Voluntary Bodies and the Not for Profit Business Association in developing effective consultative structures with the HSE. We have Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with CIL Carmichael House, Irish Association for Supported Employment and the Neurological Alliance of Ireland and have actively engaged with these organisations during the year.
In addition to strengthening its relationships with those active in the disability movement, DFI worked hard to inculcate a disability perspective into the mind-set of those outside the sector itself. DFI continued to develop its role in the wider Community and Voluntary Sector. For example, DFI joined with members of the Community and Voluntary Pillar, the Neurological Alliance of Ireland, CIL Carmichael House, and all of the Disability Stakeholders Group members to highlight our shared concern for social justice including disability issues. DFI also supported the candidacy of Seamus Boland, the Irish Rural Link member of the Pillar, for the Seanad.
DFI recognises the importance of supporting local communities to be fully inclusive of the needs and requirements of people with disabilities and to reflect this in the planning and delivery of their services to the general public. Six regional workshops were held to train local community representatives to facilitate inclusion of the disability perspective in local government decision-making. To date over 130 representatives have attended these workshops from the disability and wider community and voluntary sector. In addition, DFI staff actively participated in local implementation fora in a number of Council areas, for example in promoting more integrated transport services.
We appreciate that to gain traction the disability movement needs to engage with wider society. DFI was involved with a number of organisations in 2011, including the Wheel, the Aging Well Network, the Advocacy Initiative, the Carmichael Centre and the Carers Alliance. We worked with the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, NUI Galway, Amnesty International, and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties in submitting to the United Nations Universal Periodic Review critiques of Ireland”s compliance with its human rights obligations.
DFI continued to participate on disability issues at EU level, meeting the Secretary General of the European Disability Forum and contributing to the European Association of Service Providers for Disability (EASPD) at Board, General Assembly, and Policy Impact Group meetings.
DFI recognises the importance of supporting local communities to be fully inclusive of the needs and requirements of people with disabilities and to reflect this in the planning and delivery of their services to the general public.
DFI: The Organisation
The development of the Strategic Plan and Operational Plan and their adoption by the National Council and Board were the most significant corporate issues for DFI in 2011. The process to develop the Strategic Plan included consultation with a wide range of stakeholders. Internal developments were given particular priority in 2011; this included improving how we manage the large amount of information that comes through DFI, which culminated in the introduction of a Customer Relation Management system (CRM). It is intended that the CRM will improve how we manage relations, track how we invest our time and support how we report on our achievements. We have also adopted an Outcomes Planning Process to implement our Operational Plan and identified Core Competencies for staff as part of our Performance Management system. Our Board governance structures have been very active through our regular National Council and Board engagements, but through our Board Sub-committees on Finance and Audit Compliance, Governance Compliance, and Premises. We have also commenced the introduction of Practical Quality Assurance System for Small Organisations (PQASSO).
The list below highlights some of the key corporate developments in 2011:
- Zurich Life appointed as Investment and Administration Manager for our pension scheme.
- LHM Casey McGrath appointed as Auditors.
- Strategic Plan agreed by the National Council.
- Operational Plan agreed by the Board.
- An Outcomes Planning Process was developed to assist with the implementation of the Operational Plan.
- A Staff Core Competencies Framework was developed and agreed with staff.
- A number of staff members received training in PQASSO implementation, Outcomes / Outputs, Social Media, Excel, First Aid, Governance, and Health and Safety measures.
- Customer Relations Management System selected and implemented
- Microsoft Office Suite upgrade to 2010 and Smartphones introduced to allow remote access to DFI”s information, new accounting software Exchequer was selected.
- Commenced Video Conferencing and Online Event Streaming of key events.
- Work continued on investigation into the possibility of DFI increasing its office space.
- Implementation of the Board Governance Manual commenced.
- Development of DFI Reserves Policy was progressed
- Commenced implementing PQASSO within DFI.
At the Annual General Meeting of DFI, held in May 2012, it was agreed that the registered name of the organisations would be changed from “Union of Voluntary Organisations of the Handicapped” to “Union of Voluntary Organisations of People with Disabilities”. The amended name was later registered with the Companies Registration Office.
DFI Board 2011
Maurice O”Connell - Chairperson Alzheimer Society of Ireland
John O”Sullivan – Vice Chairperson Enable Ireland
Anne Winslow - Treasurer MS Society of Ireland
Paul Ledwidge St Michael”s House
Anne Coffey KARE
Don Bailey Vantastic Ltd
Mike Glynn Brainwave
Desmond Kenny NCBI
George Kennedy Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland
Cliodhna O”Neill Rehab Group
Joe T Mooney Muscular Dystrophy Ireland
Joe Lynch Parkinson”s Association
National Council Member Organisations 2011
Action for Mobility
Acquired Brain Injury Ireland
Alzheimer Society of Ireland
ASPIRE – Asperger Syndrome Association
Asthma Society of Ireland
BRAINWAVE – The Irish Epilepsy Association
BRÍ – Acquired Brain Injury Assoc.
CASA – Caring and Sharing Association
Central Remedial Clinic
Centre for Independent Living Mayo
Centre for Independent Living Tipperary
Centre for Independent Living Carmichael House
Cheeverstown House Ltd
Co Roscommon Support Group for People with Disabilities
Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland
Disabled Drivers Association
Disabled People of Clare
Doorway to Life Ltd
Down Syndrome Ireland
Dyslexia Association of Ireland
Friedreich”s Ataxia Society of Ireland
Genetic and Rare Disorders Organisation
HAIL Housing Association for Integrated Living
Huntington”s Disease Association of Ireland
Irish Deaf Society
Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind
Irish Haeomophilia Society
Irish Kidney Association
Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association
Irish Raynaud”s and Scleroderma Society
Irish Society for Autism
Irish Wheelchair Association
Jack and Jill Children”s Foundation
Leitrim Association of People with Disabilities
Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland
Muscular Dystrophy Ireland
National Federation of Arch Clubs
Neurofibromatosis Association of Ireland
North West MS Therapy Centre
Parkinson”s Association of Ireland
Post Polio Support Group
Royal Hospital Donnybrook
Sophia Housing Association Ltd
Special Olympics Ireland
Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland
Spinal Injuries Ireland
St Catherine”s Association
St Gabriel”s School and Centre
St Michael”s House
Vergemount Housing Fellowship
WALK (formerly Walkinstown Association)
Western Care Association
ACTS (Accessible Community Transport Southside)
Anne Sullivan Centre
Arklow Disability Action Group
Bluestack Special Needs Foundation
Camphill Communities of Ireland
Catholic Institute for Deaf People (CIDP)
Care Alliance Ireland
Carmichael Centre for Voluntary Groups
Centre for Independent Living Blanchardstown
Centre for Independent Living Carlow
Centre for Independent Living Cork
Centre for Independent Living Donegal
Centre for Independent Living Galway
Centre for Independent Living Greater Dublin
Centre for Independent Living Kilkenny
Centre for Independent Living Offaly
Centre for Independent Living Sligo
Centre for Independent Living Waterford
Centre for Independent Living West Limerick
Centre for Independent Living Wexford
Children in Hospital Ireland
Cork Accessible Transport
Crosscare Cedar Programme
Diabetes Federation of Ireland Southern Region
Dyspraxia Association of Ireland
Express Yourself Ltd
Fibromyalgia Support Group (Midlands)
FICTA - Federation of Irish Complementary Therapy Associations
Heart Children Ireland
Health Action Overseas
ICARE (Inishowen Children”s Autism Related Education Institute for Disability & Senior Citizens Ltd.
Irish Electromagnetic Radiation Victims Network
Irish Hard of Hearing Association
Lucan Disability Action Group
Mid West Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Association
Migraine Association of Ireland
Neurological Alliance of Ireland
Noinin Support for Autism
North West Stroke Club
Óglaigh Náisiúnta na hÉireann Teoranta (ONET)
Out and About Association
Rathmines Community Partnership
Sonas APC Ltd
STEER – Support Training Education Employment Research
St Joseph”s Centre for the Visually Impaired
St Mary”s Centre (Telford)
The Carers Association
Livability Ireland (formerly John Groom)
Voluntary Services International (VSI)
New Organisations Admitted to Membership in 2011
Centre for Independent Living Gorey
North West Parents and Friends Association
CoAction West Cork
Centre for Independent Living Longford
Sharing the Journey
St Hilda”s Services
Members resigning in 2011
Shine (Resigned February 2011)
APT (Resigned November 2011)
Staff and Contact Details
John Dolan Chief Executive Officer
Allen DunneDeputy Chief Executive Officer and SEO – Operational
Joanne McCarthy Senior Executive Officer Policy and Research
Policy & Research:
Marcus Hufsky (Resigned May 2011
Jennifer Van Aswegen
HSE Consultative Fora
John Dolan (DFI)
Joanne McCarthy (DFI)
Dublin North East
Kieran Loughran (Alt)
Martin Naughton / Joan O”Donnell (Alt) (DFI)
Dublin Mid Leinster
Barbara Flynn (Alt)
Louise McCann / Anthony Carrick (Alt) (DFI)
Mary Lawlor (Alt)
Alison Ryan / P.J. Cleere (Alt) (DFI)
Lynn Buffington (Alt)
Toni Gleeson / Mike Corbett (Alt) DFI
Disability is a societal rather than a sectoral issue and DFI has progressed its work in 2011 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 member organisations 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 member organisations
DFI is a member of the following organisations
- Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH)
- European Association of Service Providers to People with Disabilities (EASPD)
- Irish Charity Tax Research Group (ICTRG)
- The Wheel
- The Carmichael Centre for Voluntary Groups
The directors present their annual report and the audited financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2011.
About Disability Federation of Ireland
Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) is the national support organisation for voluntary disability organisations who provide services to people with diverse disabilities and conditions. DFI works to ensure that Irish Society is fully inclusive of people with disabilities and disabling conditions (hidden, intellectual, neurological, mental health, physical and sensory), so that they can exercise fully their civil, social and human rights.
There are over 126 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, organisation and management development.
DFI also supports the broader voluntary and disability sector through its representation as the disability strand on the Community and Voluntary Pillar of the Social Partnership process and other fora at regional, national and European levels including the Health Service Executive. DFI is a member of the Disability Stakeholders Group (DSG) which engages with the government in monitoring and progressing the National Disability Strategy.
Vision and Mission
Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) works to ensure that Irish society is fully inclusive of people with disabilities and disabling conditions so that they can exercise fully their civil, social and human rights. In pursuit of this vision, DFI acts as an advocate for the voluntary disability sector, and supports organisations to further enable people with disabilities.
The Company's activities consist of promoting the affairs of organisations supporting people with disabilities. There has been no significant changes in these activities during the year.
The majority of the Company's funding is from the State, and in the current economic environment this is more vulnerable than it would previously have been. A small amount of income, which is variable, comes from other sources. This income is also vulnerable.
Risks and Uncertainties
The main risk and uncertainty facing the organisation at this time arises from the current economic environment. The organisation is dependent on grant funding received from the HSE. In a changing and uncertain environment, and having regard to on-going company repositioning work, there is also the risk associated with not prioritising the right areas of work.
In accordance with the Articles of Association, Paul Ledwidge, Joe T. Mooney, Desmond Kenny and Cliodhna O'Neill retire by rotation. These directors are eligible for re-election and can choose to offer themselves for re-election if they so wish.
Results for the year
The results for the year are considered satisfactory by the Board. Statutory funding which represents 95% of income is marginally better than expected in light of the downturn in the economy. During the year cost cutting measures continued to be applied across all areas of expenditure and where possible, expenditure was deferred to future years. As a result there was a surplus of € 223,700 (2010: € 174,921) for the year. The Board considered it prudent that €107,200 of this surplus should be transferred to Designated Funds to cover costs, which they have identified, and which will occur in future years.
|31 Dec '11||31 Dec '10|
|Accumulated unrestricted funds at 1 January||157,526||157,526|
|Surplus for the year||223,700||174,921|
|Transfer to designated funds||(107,200)||(174,921)|
|Accumulated unrestricted funds at 31 December||274,026||157,526|
The board is responsible for providing leadership, development strategy and ensuring control. It is currently comprised of twelve non-executive directors. The board is provided with regular financial and operational information. It meets regularly, as required and met in full on eleven occasions in 2011. The role of the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer are separate and the directors are independent of the management of the company.
The board has three sub-committees as follows:
Board Finance and Audit Sub-Committee
The purpose of this committee is to monitor significant financial planning, management and reporting matters of DFI and make recommendations and deliver reports to the board of DFI. The committee met eleven times during the year.
The purpose of this committee is to consider options regarding the purchase of a premises and report to the board of DFI. The committee met twice during the year.
Governance Compliance Sub-Committee
This committee was charged with ensuring and monitoring compliance with the Governance Manual which was prepared for the Board. The committee met on five occasions during the year.
DFI is a company limited by guarantee, not having a share capital. It was incorporated in Ireland under the Companies Act, 1963, company registration number 140948. The objectives of the company are charitable in nature with established charitable status (Charity No. CHY 6177).
A detailed budget is prepared in line with the strategic plan and it is reviewed by the Finance and Audit Sub-Committee and further reviewed and approved by the Board. Actual results and outcomes are compared against the budget to ensure alignment with the plan, and to maintain tight budgetary control and value for money.
John Dolan, Chief Executive Officer, manages the operation of the charity with delegated responsibility to the executive staff.
Management and Staff
We acknowledge, with appreciation the committed work of our staff and volunteers. Our success and achievements of our work is due to their dedication and tremendous contribution.
Health and Safety
It is the policy of the Company to ensure the health and welfare of its employees and clients by maintaining a safe place to work. This policy is based on the requirements of the following legislation:
- The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005
- The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act (General Applications) Regulations, 2007
- The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act (Construction) Regulations, 2006
- All Subsequent Regulations and Amendments
The Company has a proactive approach to assisting all personnel to conduct the organisation's business in a manner that protects the environment, our customers and employees. It is compliant with relevant environmental legislation.
Dividends and retention
The Company is precluded by its Memorandum of Association from paying dividends either as part of normal operations or on a distribution of its assets in the event of a winding-up.
The Company made no political donations during the year, as defined by the Electoral Act 1997.
The directors are responsible for preparing the Director's Report and Financial Statements in accordance with applicable law and Generally Accepted Accounting Practice in Ireland including the accounting standards issued by the Accounting Standards Board.
Company law requires the directors to prepare financial statements for each financial year which give a true and fair view of the state of the affairs of the Company and of the surplus or deficit of the Company for that year. In preparing these financial statements the directors are required to:
- select suitable accounting policies and apply them consistently;
- make judgements and estimates that are reasonable and prudent;
- state whether applicable accounting standards have been followed, subject to any material departures disclosed and explained in the financial statements;
- prepare the financial statements on the going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the company will continue in business.
The directors confirm that they have complied with the above requirements in preparing the financial statements.
The directors are responsible for keeping proper accounting records which disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the Company and to enable them to ensure that the financial statements comply with the Companies Acts 1963 to 2009 and all regulations to be construed as one with those acts. They are also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the Company and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities
Development and Contingency Reserve
In line with best practice and to exercise financial prudence the Board has provided for a Development and Contingency Reserve to provide for any cash flow disruption which may arise equivalent to at least three month's operating costs per the previous year's financial statements and to allow for the development and repositioning of DFI. This Development and Contingency Reserve is included within designated reserves in the Balance Sheet.
Post Balance Sheet Events
There were no significant events since the year end.
Books of account
The measures taken by the directors to ensure compliance with the requirements of Section 202, Companies Act 1990, regarding proper books of account are the implementation of necessary policies and procedures for recording transactions, the employment of competent accounting personnel with appropriate expertise and the provision of adequate resources to the financial function. The books of account of the company are maintained at Fumbally Court, Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8.
Deloitte & Touche resigned as auditors during the year and the National Council appointed LHM Casey McGrath to fill the vacancy at the Annual General Meeting on the 24th May 2011.
On behalf of the board
Maurice O' Connell Director
Anne Winslow Director
Date: 25 April 2012
We have audited the financial statements of The Union of Voluntary Organisations for the Handicapped for the year ended 31 December 2011 on pages 8 to 18. These financial statements have been prepared under the accounting policies set out on page 11.
This report is made solely to the company's members as a body in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Acts 1963 to 2009. Our audit work has been undertaken so that we might state to the company's members those matters that we are required to state to them in the audit report and for no other purpose. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we do not accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than the company or the company's members as a body for our audit work, for this report, or for the opinions we have formed.
Respective responsibilities of directors and auditors
As described on page 4 the company's directors are responsible for the preparation of financial statements in accordance with applicable law and the accounting standards issued by the Accounting Standards Board (Generally Accepted Accounting Practice in Ireland).
Our responsibility is to audit the financial statements in accordance with relevant legal and regulatory requirements and International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland).
We report to you our opinion as to whether the financial statements give a true and fair view, in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Practice in Ireland and are properly prepared in accordance with the Companies Acts. We also report to you whether in our opinion: proper books of account have been kept by the company; and whether the information given in the Directors' Report is consistent with the financial statements. In addition, we state whether we have obtained all the information and explanations necessary for the purposes of our audit and whether the financial statements are in agreement with the books of account.
We report to the members if, in our opinion, any information specified by law regarding directors' remuneration and directors' transactions is not given and, where practicable, include such information in our report.
We read the Directors' Report and consider the implications for our report if we become aware of any apparent misstatement within it.
Basis of opinion
We conducted our audit in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland) issued by the Auditing Practices Board. An audit includes examination, on a test basis, of evidence relevant to the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. It also includes an assessment of the significant estimates and judgements made by the directors in the preparation of the financial statements, and whether the accounting policies are appropriate to the company's circumstances, consistently applied and adequately disclosed.
We planned and performed our audit so as to obtain all the information and explanations which we considered necessary in order to provide us with sufficient evidence to give reasonable assurance that the financial statements are free from material misstatement, whether caused by fraud or other irregularity or error. In forming our opinion we also evaluated the overall adequacy of the presentation of information in the financial statements.
In our opinion the financial statements:
- give a true and fair view, in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Practice in Ireland, of the state of the company's affairs as at 31 December 2011 and of its surplus and cash flows for the year then ended; and
- have been properly prepared in accordance with the Companies Acts 1963 to 2009 and all regulations to be construed as one with those acts.
We have obtained all the information and explanations we consider necessary for the purposes of our audit. In our opinion proper books of account have been kept by the company. The financial statements are in agreement with the books of account.
In our opinion the information given in the Directors' Report is consistent with the financial statements.
For and on behalf of LHM Casey McGrath
Chartered Certified Accountants
6 Northbrook Road
Date: 25 April 2012
Income and Expenditure Account for the year ended 31 December 2011
|SKILL grants for administration and small projects||82,143||77,143|
|Surplus for year before other income||2||84,432||70,390|
|Members contributions / affiliation fees||80,829||78,678|
|Other operating income||3||12,958||3,025|
|Retained surplus for the year||223,700||174,921|
There are no recognised surpluses or deficits other than those disclosed above and there have been no discontinued activities or acquisitions in the current or preceding periods.
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 2011
|Notes|| 2011 |
| 2010 |
|Cash held on behalf of SKILL||9||221,000||381,250|
|Cash at bank and in hand||9||1,795,060||1,801,005|
|Creditors: amounts falling due within one year||10||(492,484)||(746,402)|
|Net Current Assets||1,758,814||1,535,530|
|Total Assets Less Current Liabilities||1,774,125||1,550,425|
|Accumulated funds - unrestricted||11||274,026||157,526|
The Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) represents the interests and the expectations of people with disabilities to be fully included in Irish society. DFI 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 that they 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 130 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:
- Training and Support
- Advocacy and Representation
- Research and Policy Development / Implementation
- 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.
For further information go to www.disability-federation.ie
Union of Voluntary Organisations for the Handicapped trading as The Disability Federation of Ireland is a company limited by guarantee not having share capital, registered in Dublin. Registered No. 140948, CHY No 6177