Newsletter August 2011

Issued on August 12 2011

Policy to Practice: Too Old to be Equal

A recent investigation by the Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, of a complaint about a decision not to award the Mobility Allowance to an individual on the grounds that the person was over 66 years of age was, for me, a clear example of how a public body, over a period of ten years, since the enactment of the Equal Status Act 2000, did not alter its procedures to be in compliance with an Act of the Oireachtas.

A number of things strike me. Firstly, this has come to light following the investigation of a complaint, but how often do people simply not complain, or do not persevere when making their case? As voluntary disability organisations, we need to be systematically supportive of people who are trying to get access to services, and this is a role that many organisations have played over the years.

Secondly, successful implementation of the National Disability Strategy (NDS) requires a positive and proactive approach by public bodies in complying with legislation and policies that support the equal participation of people in society.

Thirdly, right now, Government has no way of measuring the impact of the recession on the very group that it has prioritised in terms of social justice, namely, people with disabilities.

Because clear lines of accountability and effective monitoring have never been established, the adverse effects are largely hidden from the public eye. This case is one example of what happens when accountability and monitoring are not centre stage.

The human side of the case highlighted here involved a man bringing a complaint to the Ombudsman in September 2008, on behalf of his sister. His sister died in October 2010 before the completion of the Ombudsman’s investigation.

The Government is committed to public service reform, which has to be a massive challenge, given that a case such as this could surface over a decade after the commencement of the Equal Status Act 2000, the commencement of the NDS in 2004, and where the Ombudsman reported that the Equality Authority and other bodies had brought the issue of non-compliance with the Equal Status Act 2000 to the attention of the Department of Health and Children.

DFI continues to press Government to honour its commitment to developing a Government-wide plan in place to ensure that the NDS is implemented. Public bodies, and their staff, will need to be more accountable for their actions, in terms of implementation of policy.

It seems that accountability for discussion and actions needs to be a regular and primary consideration for public bodies in terms of effective implementation of policy.

John Dolan CEO

Organisational Development

VHI Corporate Solutions Employee Assistance Programme for DFI Members

The VHI Corporate Solutions Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) currently provides confidential counselling and information services to 20 member organisations of the Disability Federation of Ireland. The purpose of the EAP is to provide employees within DFI member organisations with easy access to confidential short term counselling. To date, the EAP has provided support for a wide range of issues, both personal and work-related concerns, which include emotional health, relationship, financial and family issues.

On contacting the service, all employees receive a confidential, comprehensive psycho-social assessment according to their specific needs, followed by the identification of the most appropriate plan of action, whether that be a referral to a counsellor or other support / resource options that suit their needs.

This immediate access to experienced and qualified EAP professionals – both qualified counsellors and information specialists - ensures that employees are provided with a positive and supportive first contact, through which they can access the highest quality assistance and support on both work and non-work related issues.

The two facets of the EAP team often work in tandem in the provision of support to an individual, i.e. providing practical information in conjunction with emotional support. A recent case example of how this works is as follows:

An individual called through to the EAP regarding her husband’s business, which is failing. Their family home has been used for collateral and many of the loans were in her name. The EAP Specialist Information team provided information on how to approach the banks and, also, information on who to go to for legal assistance with her current situation. During this time, the clinical team also provided emotional support and the person was referred to face to face counselling to help deal with relationship issues and stress, which were caused by the situation she is facing.

The EAP is totally confidential and is provided by VHI Corporate Solutions. In conjunction with the DFI, a highly competitive rate has been agreed for all DFI member organisations. If your organisation has not yet signed up, and if you would like further information on the service, please contact Kevin Hanley (VHIEAP Consultant) on 087-647 3371 or 01-799 4120 or email . Full information on the EAP is available on the DFI website at .

Tackling the Shadow Employers’ Role Improving State and Community Sector Employer Relationship.

This report presents the findings from the Shadow Employer Initiative, undertaken by the Community Sector Employers’ Forum (CSEF) with funding assistance from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. CSEF is a national organisation working to improve employment practice among Community and Voluntary Organisations (CVO) through advice, support, research and policy formulation and the creation of responses to new and emerging issues for members.

This report is now available from the Community Sector Employers’ Forum
Tel: +353-1-8788900 Email: Website:

HR & Employment Law Update

Disability Federation of Ireland, in conjunction with Adare Human Resource Management, has in place a support structure for member Organisations to avail of discounted Human Resource and Employment Law Support Services exclusively for DFI members.

Working Time, Rest Periods and Record Keeping

The Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 sets out to protect the health, safety and welfare of Employees by regulating their working patterns. The legislation sets out an Employees rights in relation to working time and the provision of rest periods.

The tables below outline the Minimum Break Entitlements and Daily and Weekly Rest Periods that Employees are entitled to.

Minimum Break Entitlements (must be taken during the working day)

Hours Worked & Break Entitlement
Hours WorkedBreak Entitlement

Less than 4.5 hours

No break entitlement

Between 4.5 hours and 6 hours

15 minutes break

6 hours or greater

30 minutes break

There is no entitlement to be paid during these breaks and they are not considered part of working time.

Minimum daily rest period of 11 hours consecutive rest per 24 hour period
1 period of 24 hours consecutive rest in any 7 day period
Maximum working week 48 hours

Daily and Weekly Rest Periods

The Act also provides that records must be kept to prove compliance with the Acts. It is a requirement that Employees adhere to these requirements as well as Employers and Employees inform their Employer if they have been unable to take their break or rest period. Furthermore, Employees should inform their Employer of their working hours and rest periods in any other employment as this too will affect their working time and rest periods due in their primary employment.

For further information on the HR Support Services provided click on the link below:

Challenges and Opportunities in the Recession Maeve Halpin, Social and Organisational Psychologist

While many Community and Voluntary organisations will have weathered economic downturns in the past, the current crisis combines a number of factors to create a “perfect storm” that overshadows previous challenges. Government cutbacks in services, coupled with rising unemployment, have greatly increased the demand for services, while income has fallen dramatically. Costs of essentials like energy, travel and food have risen, and will continue to rise. At a macro level, market instability, economic recession and a banking crisis means that investments returns are unpredictable and even the traditional safe haven of cash is insecure.

Rising to the Challenge

A pro-active approach is vital if organisations are to survive without compromising their mission and values. Cash flow projections need to include income drops, and policies should be agreed in advance in the event of reduced income. The Board and senior management need to decide on what can be conceded and what is non-negotiable. Reserves policies should be reviewed at Board level. If pay cuts are to be implemented, these can reflect organisational values, with the top earners accepting a higher percentage cut that those at the lower end of the scale.

Diversification of income streams will mean an organisation is less financially vulnerable. Fundraisers may need to revise their annual targets, while continuing to cultivate new donors. UK research suggests that high-level donors are actually prepared to give more, due to their awareness of increased need, but they are more cautious. They want to see evidence of impact, and of accountability, transparency and good governance. New donors can be identified among those who made money during the recession. Existing donors can be offered the chance to reduce their standing order payments for 6 months, to avoid attrition.

Opportunities in the Downturn

A number of positives have been identified in the current climate. Many highly skilled and experienced people are unemployed, and may be willing to contribute their time on a voluntary basis. Others are taking the opportunity to reflect on their priorities and are deciding to change careers and “do what they always wanted to do” in the voluntary sector. High-calibre candidates are therefore available for recruitment, at less cost than in the past. On the other hand, if staff cutbacks are to be implemented, this may allow for letting go of under-performing personnel. Property prices, construction costs and rents have dropped enormously, facilitating development that would recently have been prohibitively costly. Reviewing expenditure across the board can identify organisational inefficiencies and wastage, ultimately leading to more effective service delivery.

The Voice of the Marginalised

A common feature of economic recession is a hardening of attitudes towards marginalised and vulnerable people. Community and Voluntary Sector organisations may need to work even harder to communicate their message and to create and maintain awareness among the public. Ironically, decreases in state funding may result in greater freedom to highlight social injustices and inequalities.

Organisational stresses have undoubtedly increased in recent times, with CEO''s, managers and Board Directors facing unprecedented challenges. Life/work balance can be lost as work eats into personal time. Self-care is more important than ever to maintain health and well-being, in order to function at an optimal level when demands are greatest. The DFI External Support Service provides a confidential, off-site opportunity to discuss work-related issues in a professional, one-to-one setting, with reduced rates for DFI member groups.

© Maeve Halpin July 2011

Maeve Halpin is a practising counsellor and Social and Organisational Psychologist, with many years’ experience in the Community and Voluntary sector, latterly as Chair of the Carmichael Centre for Voluntary Groups. In conjunction with Maeve, DFI have launched an External Supervision and Support Service for staff and Boards of DFI member groups. More information is available at .

Irish Hospice Foundation Grief at Work Training: Can your organisation cope?

Approximately 1 in 10 people are directly affected by death every year.

Have you ever found yourself at a loss to know what to say or do when faced with an employee''s grief?

Is the organisational impact of employee grief (e.g. morale, productivity, staff retention) properly managed in your company?

The Irish Hospice Foundation provides training in effectively managing grief in the workplace. The Grief at Work talks and workshops are designed to help people deal with these workplace situations.

The Irish Hospice Foundation also has some useful resources on its website including a Bereavement Policy -

For further information contact Breffni McGuinness at the Irish Hospice Foundation on 01-6793188 or email:
Also see the DFI VHI Employee Assistance Programme available on the DFI website here: .


Department of Health and Children National Lottery Discretionary Fund

The Department of Health and Children has a National Lottery Discretionary fund in place which provides once-off grants to organisations, providing a range of health related services. The statutory basis for the fund is the National Lottery Act 1986, and the 2011 fund allocation is €3,786,000

Who can apply : Applications come primarily from community groups and voluntary organisations with an involvement in the provision of health services to specific client groups (for example persons with an intellectual disability and/or physical disability, elderly, etc.), national groups providing information and support for various disabilities and illnesses and groups with a specific interest (for example to provide holidays for elderly, equipment for hospitals, mini-buses, homes, etc.).

The Application Form is available as a PDF Version and a MS Word Version .

Alternatively, you can contact the Finance Unit, Department of Health & Children, Tel: (01) 6354281

Deadlines : Applications are now being accepted for the 2011 National Lottery allocation. It is in an applicant’s best interest to submit an application as early as possible in order that their application can be processed and considered.

The Department strongly recommends that applicants read the accompanying information leaflet, as well as consulting with Circular 44/2006: Tax Clearance Procedures - grants, subsidies and similar type payments

Previous National Lottery Allocations

Minister for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People Meets with Director General of FÁS

The Minister for Disability, Equality, Mental health and Older People Kathleen Lynch TD, met with Paul O’Toole, Director General of FÁS and senior officials, to discuss the measures being taken by FÁS to ensure the continued access to quality FÁS training opportunities for those with a disability and for Travellers.

Speaking after the meeting the Minister said she had emphasised to the FÁS representatives the need to ensure that these disadvantaged groups would not be lost sight of in the restructuring of FÁS. The Director General assured the Minister that he is conscious of the needs of the groups and would be taking particular account of those needs when reviewing services in line with the forthcoming Government decision on the training aspects of FÁS.

The Minister noted that she was “happy to have been given these assurances which will be of comfort to the groups. There will be on going contact on the issue between my officials
and those from FÁS”.

For further information:

Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) Standards Training Workshops

94% of respondents to a recent survey confirmed that they were in search of information surrounding the HIQA Standards for Residential Services for people with disabilities.

The Open Training College is now offering an effective and affordable solution to help Organisations bridge the information gap being experienced by managers and staff in the sector.

The Open Training College offers three levels of training to suit your needs, budget and time constraints. Each level, offered independently, or as part of a series, informs participants about vital aspects surrounding the National Quality Standards: Residential Services for People with Disabilities. Training is offered where it is needed, either regionally or within your organisation.

Please click on the individual links for more information about each course, or call Conor to discuss your local course delivery options (01-2988544).

Useful Links and Updates Regarding HIQA Standards Inspection:

The Standards Document: ( )
Minister of State for Older People Kathleen Lynch responds to the Rostrevor Home case (Irish Times 08/06/11)

Plans to start inspecting the residential care of people with intellectual disability have been announced: RTE News 17/06/2011

The Institute for Public Health Regional Launch of the Obesity Hub

The Institute for Public Health (IPH) in collaboration with The Research & Education Foundation at Sligo General Hospital and the HSE will hose the regional launch of the Obesity Hub in the ETC Building - Sligo General Hospital.

The Obesity Hub ( ) was established by IPH in collaboration with the Health Research Board (HRB), Centre for Health and Diet Research (UCC/UCC), and the UKCRC Centre of Excellence for Public Health (Northern Ireland) (QUB). It is an authoritative source of obesity related evidence, data and good practice, and supports the strategic development and implementation of obesity prevention and management strategies across the island.

The event will take place on 25th August, from 10 am t0 12 noon.

People with Disabilities who have Survived Sexual Violence

The Rape Crisis Network of Ireland (RCNI) is undertaking a study of information collected in Ireland and elsewhere about sexual violence experienced by people with disabilities including mental ill health. The project is funded by the National Disability Authority who consider that better information will help to guide policies to prevent such violence and offer better support when it occurs.

The RCNI will hold a full day small group workshop on 7th September in Galway City. Information will be presented but the main focus will be participants identifying and discussing the barriers that inhibit people with disabilities who experience sexual violence from disclosing their experience to a rape crisis centre. Addressing the barriers is important if programmes are to be based on solid information.

Persons with a disability, whether physical, sensory, intellectual or other, who would be interested in participating in the Galway workshop, should contact Helen Bartlett at . The project is scheduled to be completed before the end of the year.

National Rehabilitation Hospital and Spinal Injuries Ireland Information Day

NRH and SII will hold the second annual ‘Research and New Developments in Spinal Cord Injury’ information day on Saturday, 17th September, 2011. This event is open to people with spinal cord injuries and their families, friends and carers.

The event will take place at the National Rehabilitation Hospital from 11 am to 4 pm. Registration and coffee is at 10.30 am, and lunch will be provided by the NRH.

Spinal Injuries Ireland will be available to meet with people on the day to discuss the various services provided by SII, and will have a display showing the various venture activities people can take part in.
If you would like to register for the event, please email , or call 01 2355317 for further information.

Workshop: Working with Data on the Health Well

The Health Well ( ) is a unique all-island health information website that helps people access the health information they need, work collaboratively over the web and use that information more effectively. The workshop will cover:

  • Summary data held on the Health Well: Community Profiles, PHIS Tables 2011, Chronic Condition Prevalence Database, HRB Disability Data
  • Demonstration of online graphing and mapping tools
  • Other data sources signposted on the Health Well: the updated Health Data Catalogue

Computers will be available to allow people to work on the Health Well website.

The event will take place on 25th August 2011, from 12.30pm - 2pm in the ETC Building Sligo General Hospital. To register your interest in attending these events contact

National Disability Strategy / Towards 2016

Annual Research Conference and the launch of the NCSE ‘ Inclusive Education Framework’ – Date for Diary The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is hosting its Annual Research Conference

The conference will feature presentations on new research from the NCSE on a range of topics, including the prevalence of special educational needs and access to the curriculum among young children with special needs in mainstream classes.

The event will also feature the launch of the NCSE ‘ Inclusive Education Framework’ , a practical tool to assist schools with the inclusion of pupils with special educational needs; an input on the development of NCSE policy advice to the Minister on special education matters; and a conference address from a guest speaker.

The event will take place on Wednesday 16th November 2011, The Hogan Suite, Croke Park Conference Centre, Dublin. Further information from National Council for Special Education .

Family Carer Research Group

The Family Carer Research Group, led by Care Alliance Ireland, has been in existence since 2008 and its objectives are to progress and develop an agreed research agenda within the Family Carer sector. It also seeks to facilitate relationship building between NGO ''s / Statutory agencies / academics in relation to Family Carers research issues.

The group meets quarterly and acts as a means of sharing research information relating to Family Carers as well as to inform and update members of the group on research being carried out in other organisations, which may be relevant to their own work. The group works together to develop and promote evidence-based research and publications on Family Carers, that can be used to support policy and to develop appropriate services and to identify possible gaps in research and help set priorities for new work in the area of Family Carers. The group seeks to identify possible relevant research funding opportunities and to develop partnerships for possible future research.

Membership is open to all organisations/ individuals working on issues relating to Family Carers.

The next meeting takes place in The Carmichael Centre, Dublin 7 on Wednesday September 14th from 2pm-4pm. If you are interested in getting involved please contact Liam on 087 207 3265

Greater Dublin Independent Living – Mentoring Service

The Greater Dublin Independent Living Mentoring Service is aimed at linking people with disabilities who are having difficulties in their lives with other people with disabilities who have been through similar situations. The purpose of this service is:

  • To promote solidarity between people with disabilities
  • To assist people to begin to advocate for themselves and realise their potential towards having a more independent life.

The service aims to work on a one-on-one basis where the mentor willingly shares his or her own experiences, difficulties and knowledge of Independent Living with others who are experiencing them currently and in doing so support them in their choices and decisions.

For example, it is hoped to offer support to people with disabilities who are:

  • Living in residential settings or in the family home and who are planning to move to their own accommodation
  • Already living independently and who are seeking support around issues such as: managing personal assistants (PAs)
  • Experiencing any issue in applying for employment, arranging personal transport, planning holidays, applying for housing, social welfare, healthcare provision or any other issue

There is a proactive approach behind this project and any pair of “mentor and mentee” will be goal orientated. Mentors will offer practical advice, but the process demands that the mentee also engages in the process. Part of the objective is to set attainable results in the allocated amount of time.

The service is up and running! If you are interested, or know someone who could benefit from the service, mentors can be contacted through Greater Dublin Independent Living, Tel: 01-8737039 and ask to speak with Valarie or Sinead or email

Too Old to be Equal? An Ombudsman investigation into the illegal refusal of Mobility Allowance to people over 66 years

An investigation was carried out by the Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, of a complaint against the Department of Health and Children. The Department failed to amend the terms of the Mobility Allowance Scheme, even though it was not compliant with Equal Status legislation enacted in 2000.

The Ombudsman found that the Mobility Allowance Scheme, as currently constituted under a Departmental circular, is in breach of the Equal Status Act 2000, because it includes an upper age limit. The upper age limit in the Scheme has been illegal since the commencement of the Equal Status Act 2000. The Ombudsman found that the actions of the Department do not suggest any sense of urgency in seeking to bring the Scheme into compliance with the Equal Status Act, even eleven years after its commencement. This was despite having had the defects in the Scheme brought to its attention by a number of bodies, including the Equality Authority. The Department has accepted the Ombudsman’s findings and recommendation.

The complainant brought the complaint to the Ombudsman in September 2008, on behalf of his sister, after the HSE refused to award her the Mobility Allowance. The application was refused on the basis that she was over 66 years of age, and, as a first time applicant, was outside the scope of the Scheme. This decision was upheld on appeal in August 2008. The complainant’s sister died in October 2010, before the completion of the Ombudsman’s investigation.

Mobility Allowance is paid, subject to a means test, to people who have a disability and are unable to walk or use public transport and who would’ benefit from a change in surroundings’ (HSE, Mobility Allowance: ). It is intended to allow people who are not car owners to make private transport arrangements, for example, to travel by taxi from time to time. Although first-time applicants must be under 66 years of age, people already receiving the Allowance continue to be paid after their 66th birthday provided they are otherwise entitled. The Scheme operates under the general authority section 61 of the Health Act 1970 which provides that a health board (HSE) ‘may make arrangements to assist in the maintenance at home’ of a ‘sick or infirm person, or a dependent of such a person’. At present, the maximum rate of the Allowance is €208 per month.

In brief, the Ombudsman found that the Scheme was non-compliant with the Equal Status Act 2000, and that the complainant’s sister had been adversely affected by the failure of the Department to amend the Scheme so as to render it compliant with the Act.

An Executive Summary of the Ombudsman’s Report is available at:,13949,en.pdf

The full report of the Ombudsman’s investigation into this issue is available at:,13952,en.pdf


Household Benefits Package

Labour Party’s Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD, recently announced a number of social welfare cuts. The means-tested Fuel Allowance which is paid weekly during the winter is being cut from €23.90 to €20 (or 16%) in smokeless fuel zones. The Household Benefits Package provides a range of fuel allowance options for state pensioners, some carers and people with disabilities. The Electricity Allowance is being cut from 2400 to 1800 units a year (a cut of 25%), the Electricity (Group Account) Allowance is being cut from €43.80 to €35.80 per month (a cut of 18%), the annual value of the Gas Allowance is being cut from €489 to €393 (a cut of 20%), the bottled Gas Refill Allowance is being cut from €40.70 to €32.70 (a cut of 20%).

All of these cuts start in September, just as the weather starts to turn colder.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, Sinn Féin social protection spokesperson highlighted these concerns at a meeting with DFI recently, and information can be found on their website .
The cuts will hit pensioners, people with disabilities and those dependent on social welfare for extended periods.

The social welfare fuel cuts were announced the same week Bord Gáis announced price hikes of up to 30% for electricity and gas. This means that people with disabilities, and others on low incomes, will be forced to find money to pay higher prices for their fuel and get less help. Or will simply go without the fuel they need.

DFI is going to monitor these changes over the coming months and it will help to inform our work on the pre-budget campaign.

Training & Education

New State Training Agency Established to Replace Fás

The setting up of a new education and training authority to replace Fás, which is being disbanded, was announced on 27th July 2011.

The new agency, Solas, hopes to bring a more integrated approach to the provision of further education and training in Ireland. Functions previously carried out by Fás will now be taken over by the Department of Social Protection and Department of Education. Under the new arrangements there will be considerably enhanced roles for the VECs, which will play a key role in up skilling jobseekers. The Department of Social Protection will take responsibility for programmes such as the community employment schemes, while further education and training areas will go to the Department of Education and Skills.

Work Placement Opportunity for Graduates with Disability / Specific Learning Difficulties

If you are a graduate with a disability/specific learning difficulty seeking valuable work experience, the AHEADWAM (Willing Able Mentoring) Programme, which offers a six month, paid, mentored work placement, may be the opportunity you have been waiting for.

Applications are currently being sought for the following roles available with IBM Ireland, based in Dublin:

  • Software Development Engineer
  • Software Test Engineer
  • Software Technical Support Engineer

Candidates interested in making an application will need to complete a WAM Application form and return it along with an up-to-date CV to AHEAD.

Application forms and further information are available from our website at

The Closing Date for receipt of applications is 5pm, Friday 19th August 2011.

Alternatively you can contact WAM directly by email: or Tel. 01-2789325.

WAM is a FÁS Funded Programme.

Art Ability

Come and see an exhibition of works by people of extraordinary ability at the Café Gallery, Axis Art Centre, Ballymun from 2.30 pm on 10th to 24th August 2011

Axis Arts Centre opening times Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 9.00 pm

Proceeds of sales to the Post Polio Support Group


For information please contact the relevant organisation directly

Disability Federation of Ireland is a national support and representation mechanism for voluntary disability sector organisations, covering all areas of disability and disabling conditions. There are currently over 100 voluntary disability organisations in the DFI Membership

National Office
Fumbally Court Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8
Tel: 01 454 7978 Fax: 01 494 7981 E:

Dublin Mid-Leinster
Anthony Carrick
Dun Laoghaire, Dublin South East, Wicklow (Dublin Office),
Mobile: 086 8206736

Louise McCann
Dublin South City, Dublin South West, Dublin West, Kildare, West Wicklow (Dublin Office)
Mobile: 086 9189750

Jacqueline Grogan
Laois, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath (Dublin Office)
Tel: 01 454 7978 Fax: 01 494 7981 E:

Lillian Buchanan
Support Officer – Policy and Research (Dublin Office)
Tel: 01 424 0127

Dermot O’Donnell
Support Officer – Support for Organisations (Dublin Office)
Tel: 01-4250125

Dublin North-East
Joan O’Donnell
Meath, Louth, Cavan, Monaghan (Dublin Office)
Mobile: 086 3834587

Martin Naughton
Dublin North Central, Dublin North West, Dublin North
Mobile: 086 8207196

Michael Corbett,
Galway, Mayo, Roscommon
C/O DFI, Acres, Newport, Co. Mayo,
Tel: 098 41919,
Mobile: 086 3804750,
Fax: 098 41065,

Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal
St. Vincent’s Business Park, Finisklin Road, Sligo
(Contact Dublin Office)
Tel: 01-4547978

Toni Gleeson,
Limerick, North Tipperary, East Limerick, Clare
DFI, The Forge, Croke St. Thurles, Co Tipperary
Mobile: 086 6004526

P.J. Cleere
Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford
DFI, Tinryland, Carlow
Tel: 059 9179431
Mobile: 086 3811064

Alison Ryan
Cork, Kerry
101 North Main Street, Cork
Tel: 021 4271752 Mobile 086 3816323
E: a.ryan@disability-federation

About DFI

The Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) is the national support organisation for voluntary disability organisations that provide services to people with diverse disabilities and conditions. DFI works to ensure that Irish society is fully inclusive of people with disabilities so that they can exercise fully their civil, social and human rights.

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. In pursuit of this vision, DFI

  • Acts as an advocate for the voluntary disability sector
  • Supports organisations to further enable people with disabilities.

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 of 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.

For further information go to

Disability Federation of Ireland, Fumbally Court, Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8
Tel: 01-4547978, Fax: 01-4547981

The Union of Voluntary Organisations of People with Disabilities 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