Newsletter September 2012

Issued on September 2 2012

Paralympics - The “Game Changer” for the Future - Expectations of People with Disabilities

The opening of the Paralympic Games was a magnificent spectacle. The Games providea global arena for elite athletes, and people justifiably marvel at their ability and dedication to achievement.

The insight, back in the 50's, to have a parallel Olympic Games for athletes with disabilities was a 'game changer' for the future expectations of people with disabilities, and an indication to governments and society that people with disabilities were on the move, and were not going to accept the imposed status of objects of benign care, without hope of participation in life.

The small team of Irish Paralympic athletes that participated at the first Paralympic Games in Rome in 1960 were not only exercising hope and possibility in their own lives, but were the pioneers and role models for all who have followed. The Rehabilitation Institute, now Rehab, organised the participation of that Irish team. On returning home, a number of the athletes participated in the founding of the Irish Wheelchair Association, later that year. At this stage, many of those original athletes are no longer with us, and many others have come and gone. What they started and developed remains a beacon of hope and participation to all who find themselves having to come to terms with disability.

Great Britain, through pioneering work in Stoke Mandeville Hospital (ever associated with Dr. Ludwig Guttmann who had come to Britain from Germany in 1939 because of the Nazi persecution of the Jews), was where it all started during the Second World War. Fifteen years later we had the first Paralympic Games. Soon after the war the United Nations was established, and then followed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The establishment of these Games was an expression of people taking on life and putting their own effort and will at the center, at a time when society was way behind in its thinking. At that time, the best that people with disabilities could expect was an existence of care, while the worst was embodied in the Nazi ideology of disabled people as “life not worthy of living.”

Let us never under estimate the significance of these athletes and the many able bodied volunteers and supporters that keep making it happen. The Paralympic Games represents one of many sporting endeavors engaged in by people with disabilities and disabling conditions. These endeavors are all to be valued.

I started writing this piece on Thursday morning, 30th August, and then the day took a different turn, with the announcement of the HSE cuts. However I returned to this article, as it is it is in such endeavors as the Paralympic Games that we will get and keep our resolve to deal with the current crisis.

John Dolan
Chief Executive Officer


Launch of DFI Pre Budget Submission October 4th 2012

DFI invitesits member organisations to set aside the morning of October 4th 2012 to attend the launch of its 2013 Pre Budget Submission.

Registration12 a.m. at the Oak Room of the Mansion House, Dublin 2.

Invitations will be forwarded to DFI member organisations closer to the day. Numbers attending this event will be limited, for capacity reasons, to those nominated to represent their member organisation.

We know that Government will be introducing wide ranging cuts/efficiencies/savings to address targets agreed with the Troika. Of particular concern for the disability sector is that, this year, for the first time the Troika named the Health Budget in particular as an area where savings should be made.

We are again looking for your support and participation at this event. The event will be an important opportunity to meet with the elected members of the Oireachtas who are being invited to attend.

It is your opportunity through DFI to say to Government that people with disabilities cannot take any more cuts to personal income or to the income required by the services used by people with disabilities.

It is also a great opening for organisational networking and developing new working relationships and contacts. Light refreshment will be served and we look forward to seeing you on the day.


DFI Series of Two-day Courses with the Charities Evaluation Service


DFI will continue to host a series of two day courses in 2012 which will be delivered by Consultant Trainers from the Charities Evaluation Services (CES) in the UK, the inventors of the PQASSO Programme. This series, hosted by DFI, is the only one in Ireland delivered by CES. A limited number of places are still available for the following courses:

Registration details and terms and conditions are availableon the DFI website links.

To register, please email Eleanor Reece on

For more information on the courses or on PQASSO, contact Dermot O’Donnell, Support Officer for Organisations and Licensed PQASSO Mentor on 086-7808639 or by email on

‘An Introduction to Quality Management for Community & Voluntary Organisations’ Autumn 2012

University of Limerick (UL) in conjunction with the Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) announces the launch of an accredited course entitled ‘An Introduction to Quality Management for Community & Voluntary Organisations’.

The course was successfully piloted during Autumn 2011 and Spring 2012 and is now being offered to those within the community & voluntary sector.

The course is aimed at Board Members; Managers; Development Workers andService Usersof Community & Voluntary Organisations.

The programme consists of five Saturday tuitions, staggered over ten weeks, on the UL Campus in Limerick.

Graduates from this course may be considered for progression to a one year Specialist Diploma in Quality Management. Delivery is by lecture/workshop style sessions, designed to reinforce the learning and maximise the benefit of the programme for participants.

The fee for this course is €600.00. A grant of €100.00 is being made available to all DFI member organisation participants.

Further details including the course content are available on the DFI website: .

For further information or to register, contact either:Michael Hennessy, UL,Tel: 061-213 037, email: orDermot O’Donnell, DFI, Tel: 086-7808639, email:

Information Management What does your Organisation know and would Customer Relationship Management Help?

More and more organisations are beginning to look differently at their Data and Information Management needs. With so much data, information, and indeed knowledge, within organisations, it is becoming a priority to start to structure and understand the information you hold and what you are doing with it.

Like finance, HR, governance and IT, information management is another area organisations need to focus on as a service both to the internal structures of the organisation and to the stakeholders, especially funders. To summarize,“If we only knew what we know, we’d be in much better shape”.

Before your organisation jumps at the idea of implementing a Customer Relations Management (CRM) system, which may be “part” of an overall information management solution, you will need to get clear about the data and information your staff and stakeholders need. You will also need to understand how you currently gather store and share your information. Doing this first will leave you clear about what you need to do to improve your information management and in turn your organisation.

What does a CRM do? It helps you manage your relationship with your contacts/organisations/funders/clients. It can hold generic information and be customised to hold specific information needed for your Organisation.

Committing to a solution like CRM is not a once off thing, it will require a dedicated on going resource within your organisation. No IT Consultancy Company will be able to do it for you. It will require significant internal work and time before your organisation is clear about what it wants from such a system.

Check out these useful articles from the Lasa Knowledgebase

In summary, your Strategy should drive your Information Management goals and your Information Management should drive your ICT projects. If an ICT Project cannot be easily linked, back to your Overall Organisation Strategy then what value will it add and what outcomes will it help achieve?

In 2013, DFI will be running a number of training events in partnership with the Charities Evaluation Services around Data Management.

“How to Collect, Analyse, Present and Use Data”:

“How to Choose an Outcomes Monitoring Database”

If you are a DFI Member, please contact your DFI Support Officer to get further support around Information Management.

Denis Cadogan, Corporate Services & ICT Manager, DFI

HR & Employment Law Update

Adare Human Resource Management provide HR and Employment Law Support Services to a large number of Organisations within the Community and Voluntary Sector. Adare Human Resource Management aims to enable organisations to focus on their core operations, by providing management with the knowledge and support to assist them to deal effectively with people management and organisational change. We support organisations through minimising the risk of exposure to legal challenges by ensuring legal compliance for organisations in their practices as well as policies and procedures.

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.


A genuine redundancy is taken to exist where one of the following arises:

  • The Employer ceases to carry on the business for which the Employee was employed, or ceases to carry on the business at the same place where the Employee was employed.
  • The work for which the Employee was employed has ceased, or the requirement to perform that work has reduced.
  • The Employer has decided to carry on the business with fewer or no Employees. Work may be reallocated to other Employees.
  • The work which the Employee performed is to be performed in a different way and the Employee is no longer qualified to undertake the work.
  • The Employee’s work is to be undertaken by another person who is sufficiently qualified and capable to undertake other work for which the Employee is not sufficiently qualified or trained.

Statutory Redundancy Payment

In order for an Employee to be entitled to a redundancy lump sum they must;

  1. have at least two years continuous service (104 weeks);
  2. be in employment, which is fully insurable under the Social Welfare Acts;
  3. be over the age of 16;
  4. have been made redundant as a result of a genuine redundancy situation.

An eligible Employee is entitled to two weeks pay for every year of service, plus a bonus week. When calculating a week’s pay, any other payment normally received by the Employee, such as average regular overtime and benefit in kind, should be added to the gross weekly wage. This total is then subject to a Wage Ceiling, which is currently €600.

All statutory redundancy payments are tax free.

Employees are not entitled to a redundancy payment if the Employee:

  • is re-engaged by the Employer with immediate effect, on a contract that does not differ from their previous contract
  • accepts an offer of employment from the Employer on terms which differ from the previous contract, within four weeks from the ending of the previous contract
  • is offered a new contract from the Employer which is effective from the date of dismissal, with terms that do not differ from the previous contract, and the Employee unreasonably refuses the offer
  • is offered suitable alternative work by the Employer and it takes place not later than four weeks from the ending of the previous contract and the Employee unreasonably refuses the offer

If you have any questions relating to planning redundancy within your Organisation and / or implementation of a redundancy programme, do not hesitate to contact us.

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

Free Employment Law Update Seminar

Adare Human Resource Management, in conjunction with DFI, will present a FREE Employment Law Update Seminar in DFI’s Boardroom on Thursday 18th October 2012, 11.00 – 13.00.This seminar will highlight recent changes in employment legislation as well as points of interest from recent case law and will focus on the relevance of these changes to Community and Voluntary organisations.

Derek McKay of Adare HRM, who will present the seminar, will already be familiar to many of you as DFI’s product partner in the Human Resource and Employment Law Support Services product - , which many of you are familiar with.

Further details and invitations to the seminar will be issued in September and, as always, tea / coffee and pastries will be provided before the session and a light lunch will be provided afterwards. As numbers will be limited, please contact Anthony Carrick at , if you are interested in reserving a place.

Can Disability Co-Exist with Health and Wellness?

By Maeve Halpin, Social and Organisational Psychologist

Regular exercise is associated not only with physical benefits such as increased strength, stamina, flexibility, better cardiovascular health and weigh maintenance, but also with better mental and emotional health outcomes. A regular exercise programme has shown to decrease anxiety (Landers and Petruzzello,1994) and depression (North et al., 1990), increase self-esteem (Spence et al., 1997) and improve sleep (Kubitz et al.1996).

Exercise and Disability

Health and disability are often viewed as mutually exclusive categories, not least by health care providers, who may only see people with disabilities when they are sick. A broader definition of health emphasises the ability of each individual to function at an optimal level within their unique capacities, meaning that there is no reason why people with disabilities cannot work towards improving their overall health status. As people with disabilities can be more susceptible to certain health and secondary conditions such as stiffness, pain, infections and weight gain, it is even more critical that they appreciate the importance of a pro-active approach to physical health, within their abilities. The sedentary lifestyle adopted by many goes unchallenged, as it fits the stereotype of the passive recipient of care. Learned helplessness needs to be addressed so that people with disabilities take an active role in reaching and maintaining optimal levels of overall health.

Re-thinking Health

A paradigm shift is taking place in the understanding of health, leading to the reformulation of an inclusive and empowering definition of health. The influential Healthy People report (U.S. Gov., 2010) for the first time included a section on Disability and Secondary Conditions. The National Centre on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD) was established to provide information on physical activity and disability, and their website contains a wealth of information on accessible recreation and fitness facilities, qualified trainers and advice on health. Innovative projects such as adaptive judo at the Menomonee Judo Club in Chicago, the Enabling Garden at the Chicago Botanic Gardens, and the University of Montana programme 'Living Well with a Disability' provide examples of how physical health and activity can be facilitated and promoted.

Barriers to Participation

In Ireland, there is a dearth of information relating to the specific needs of people with disabilities in the context of physical exercise. The HSE publication The National Guidelines on Physical Activity for Ireland (2009) contains practically no information specific to people with disabilities. The National Disability Authority (NDA, 2005) has identified a number of barriers to participation in activity, including low expectations from others; lack of knowledge of what is available and lack of information and expertise; poor community facilities and lack of access to facilities and programmes; untrained staff and lack of accessible facilities. A number of professional training courses are available in the US, accredited by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), including the Certified Inclusive Fitness Trainer course, which aims to “empower those who are challenged by physical, sensory or cognitive disabilities” ( ). Ludwig Guttmann, the pioneered Jewish neurosurgeon who broke the mould in rehab by insisting that patients with spinal injuries should be active, was the instigator of what has become the Paralympics. These competitions have opened up entirely new vistas of possibility for people with disabilities. Not everyone can be a competitive athlete, but everyone can begin to move out of their comfort zone and towards enhancing their physical health and ability, optimising their potential for overall well-being.

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 .


Update on Progressing the Implementation of Children and Young People’s Disability Services 0-18 years National Coordinating Group

This National group was set up in 2010 and is operating as a change management project to support the integration of all children’s services within the HSE parameters and to work closely with the Department of Education to support and promote cohesion and alignment.

Briefly the Terms of Reference can be summarised as:

  1. To coordinate the preparation of plans, for each of the four HSE Regions, for the reconfiguration of multidisciplinary services for children with complex disabilities, implementing the recommendations (1-19) of the Report of the Reference Group on Multidisciplinary Services for Children with Disabilities aged 5-18. Regional Implementation Plans need to be compatible with the development of primary care and integrated services structures.
  2. To ensure Regional Implementation Plans include a process for the implementation of standards for early intervention and school age children’s disability services and appropriate performance measures for early intervention services and for school age children’s disability services.
  3. To prepare a framework for discussions with the Office of Disability and Mental Health and the education sector on how health and education services can be delivered in a complementary and effective manner to children with complex disabilities.
  4. To oversee and monitor the key stages of the implementation of the four regional plans.

The National Group has been working under these terms of reference to roll out a planned and supported change in the delivery of children and young people’s services that uniform across the country. At the present time all regions are progressing at varying speeds with the implementation of the project at Regional and Local Implementation Group level. Lead personnel have been identified and Regional Implementation Group are starting up or are in progress. In many areas local Implementation groups are also progressing well. The progress in the Dublin area overall presents more challenges because of the complexity of managing both city and county and the inclusion of the midlands services in that area also.

Other concerns arise around the issueof the retention of resources. There is apprehension that the quality of current services will be further diminished and reconfigured due to the continuing changes within the HSE and its structures overall which is creating great uncertainty. The Children and Families Agency is due to open in January 2013raises concern with regard to maintenance of the quality of existing services and general service delivery availability.

Standards and performance

In relation to the second Term of Reference, the group has set up a Standards and Performance Sub Group. Toni Gleeson, of DFI, is a member of this sub group, which has undertaken an extensive international literary review into the measurement of outcomes, and is now actively engaged in completing a draft document for consultation. There will be a short online survey, with the draft document provided to give context, and a few carefully targeted questions. The link to the survey will be available on the DFI web site as soon as the consultation process begins. The consultation will invite participation by four stakeholder groups:

  • Parents of children receiving services and supports
  • Children and young people receiving services
  • Young adults who have recently exited the children’s services
  • Staff in children’s disability services

Notice about the survey will be circulated as widely as possible to parents, young adults and staff. The consultation process will be conducted in September/October.

For information on the LIGs established to date please contact your local disability manager or current service provider.

For further information on the National Group please contact the DFI staff representative Toni Gleeson at

National Integrated Care Guidance Document Consultation

The National Integrated Care Advisory Group (NICAG) was established in October 2011 by the Quality & Patient Safety Directorate to review the existing Integrated Discharge Planning Code of Practice Version 1.0.

Integrated Discharge Planning is about effective and multi-disciplinary planning for the discharge of patients, which starts from the moment a patient is admitted to hospital, through to their discharge home or transfer to a community care facility.

Following initial consultation last year with staff in hospitals and the community services the NICAG has produced a draft National Integrated Care Guidance document which will replace the existing code of practice.

The NICAG is now seeking comments from all stakeholders on the Draft Guidance document. The consultation process will continue until 7th September 2012 and all feedback will be considered in the development of the final National Integrated Care Guidance document, which is due for completion later this year.

Information and all relevant documents on the consultation is on the HSE website: .

DFI will be making a submission to this, and please feel freeto e-mail Louise McCann at or phone 01 4250126 to discuss this.


Joint DESSA and DFI Project: Accredited and Non Accredited Advocacy Training

DFI has come together with the Disability Equality Specialist Support Agency (DESSA) to offer individuals the opportunity of non-accredited and FETAC Level 6 accredited advocacy training.

Do you know of someone in your organisation or community who would benefit from training in the area of advocacy?

Training details:

  1. Empowering parents- a six day non-accredited programme. Training will commence this September and will run until late October 2012. Training will be delivered across the South East.
  2. Practical Self Advocacy – a seven day non-accredited programme. Training will commence this October andwill run until mid December 2012 . Training will be delivered in the Dublin region.
  3. Community Development & Advocacy - a six day accredited FETAC Level 6 Programme. Training will commence late January 2013 and run till May 2013. Training will be delivered in the Dublin region.

Training will be provided free of charge.

The aim of this training is to:

  • To give participants an understanding of community development, disability equality and advocacy practice at local, regional and national level.
  • To equip participants with the practical skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to effectively advocate on their own behalf, and on behalf of others in their own lives, organisations and communities.
  • To empower participants to engage effectively in representation and consultation structures with membership organisations and or HSE / other representation fora.

For an application form and further information please contact your local DFI Support Officer or Cathy McGrath direct on 086 3847440.

National Disability Strategy Implementation Group NDS Strategy Implementation Plan

The Government is continuing to develop the Implementation Plan using the framework of four goals for people with disabilities, namely equal citizens, independence and choice, participation and maximising potential. Under each broad goal more specific objectives are listed. For each objective Departments are expected to identify actions planned or underway. There is scope for Departments, in addition to naming an action, to state how it should affect people with disabilities, to devise performance indicators that reveal progress and specify targets with time frames for results. Other departments and agencies key to achieving success with the action also can be mentioned in recognition of the importance of collaboration to making progress.

Drafting is still at an early stage, with many entries couched in very general terms and much information not yet provided. DFI, as a member of the Disability Stakeholders Group, is advising on the draft plan so far available. Our main concern is that the detailed information does not obscure the situation in areas where progress is critical to most people with disabilities. We have suggested ways to select priority actions for attention. The contribution of voluntary disability organisations needs to be made explicit. We also seek clear information supplementing each named action, particularly in terms of performance indicators relevant to people’s lives and targets with time frames.
The next meeting of the NDSIG, where various government officials, the NDA and DSG member convene under the chairmanship of Minister Kathleen Lynch, is scheduled for the start of November. Meanwhile DFI will continue to encourage the formulation of a NDS Implementation Plan that protects disability and mainstream supports for people with disabilities, and creates a basis for strong advance when better economic times emerge.

The coincident timing of the implementation plan’s development with the 2013 budgetary process makes the autumn period a critical one for disability policy.
Further information from Lillian Buchanan

Assessment of Need

Assessing their disability-related support needs is necessary to enable people with disabilities to participate and realise their potential. Part 2 of the Disability Act 2005 established an entitlement to a needs assessment, and in mid 2006 arrangements were put in place for children under the age of five. Part 2 was never implemented further, however, with a review of the Act subsequently prompting considerable criticisms of the assessment process being used. The Government’s thinking about how to approach the assessment challenge is revealed in some recent publications.

The Value for Money & Policy Review

The Value for Money & Policy Review published in July addresses the needs assessment issue in the context of reduced resources being available. It names as one of five priorities,

“A national resource model should be developed, based on a standardised and appropriate assessment of need process, a methodology for associating standard costs with assessed needs and transparent protocols for determining the basis for allocating finite resources.” (page 197)

“A common assessment method should be developed or adopted by the HSE and implemented by disability services providers on a national basis to determine the services that are required by the individual. … The assessment process should identify clearly the outcomes to be achieved through the provision of the services or supports.” (page 204; also see page 122)

The National Disability Authority is undertaking research into two different assessment methods that have been used elsewhere. The research focusses on a sample of people with disabilities who are users of residential and day services.

For people with disabilities that are progressive or episodic, and for those who primarily rely on the disability expertise, group advocacy and mediation supports available, these recommendations about needs assessment (and funding) pose challenges. For example, at present the HSE has difficulty measuring the types of need and the associated services or supports that cannot be defined as places, such as places in respite centres.

Further information from Lillian Buchanan

In this and subsequent Newsletters we aim to look at significant recommendations in the Value for Money & Policy Review of the HSE’s disability services that are likely to influence the implementation of the NDS. The aim is not to give a definitive response but rather to stimulate discussion.

National Housing Strategy for People with a Disability Implementation Framework

The Strategy Framework, published in July, reflects the Government’s priority of moving people out of congregated settings into the community, and recognises the necessity for person centred housing needs assessments. Guidance is to be developed by the Housing Agency. The Strategy Framework’s priority actions include:

“A formalised engagement process will be undertaken between housing authorities, HSE and disability service providers to ensure that all people with disabilities will be informed and assisted in undergoing an individual assessment of housing need. This process will be targeted to people with disabilities who are residing in the community or in institutional care, and who may require social housing supports, currently or in the future.” (page. 18)

“All households with a person with a disability [on the local authority waiting list] to be prioritised for reassessment under the new assessment of housing need process. All staff involved in the carrying out of assessments of housing need and related functions to receive disability specific training….” (page. 35)

People with disabilities who have housing needs, and their voluntary organisations, will be concerned about the development of these new approaches. In particular people with disabilities who are neither resident in congregated settings nor closely involved with day services will want to ensure that their situations and housing needs are fully taken into account. The concept of independent living and Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is equally relevant to them. Despite very limited investment funding for housing, people in residential care should have some choice about where they live, and so should those who are inappropriately accommodated in the community.

The publications demonstrate that assessment will extend beyond disability-specific health and personal social services, to cover housing at least. Anyone wishing to explore these developments further, please contact

Call for Submissions Domiciliary Care Allowance Scheme Review Group

A review group has been set up by the Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton to review the Domiciliary Care Allowance Scheme (DCAS). The group is chaired by Sylda Langford, and comprises representatives from the Department of Social Protection, other relevant Departments/public bodies, experts with relevant experience in the area, and parent/advocacy group representatives.

The Terms of Reference for the group can be viewed on the website of the Department: .

DFI members with an interest and concern around the DCA, particularly proposed changes in the last Budget, should note that the review group is now taking submissions until the 28th September 2012. The relevant template for submissions can be found on the website .

DFI will be making a submission to this, and you are welcome to e-mail Louise McCann at or phone 01 4250126 to discuss this.

Children’s Referendum Booklets to be delivered to Voters by Mid-October

The Government has signalled a late autumn date for a referendum on children’s rights, with 2m information booklets to be delivered to homes across Ireland.

The Office of Public Works (OPW) advertised the tender for the information bookletAugust 15, 2012 s on .The pamphlets will be delivered to 10 distribution hubs throughout the country, the tender advised. Crucially, it stipulates the booklets must be delivered to the distribution centres by the week commencing Oct 15.

The tender marks the first move to hold the children’s referendum this year.

The children’s referendum booklet will be between 32 and 48 pages and A5 in size.

The OPW yesterday said the text for the booklets had not yet been decided but it was necessary to plan the printing in advance.

‘The Government’s information campaign is in addition to the independent information campaign carried out by the Referendum Commission.


Seminar and Information Exchange Young People with Caring Responsibilities Current Practice, Future Direction

For several years, agencies working with Family Carers in Ireland have articulated their concern about the unmet needs of young carers. The recently published National Carers Strategy identifies Young Carers as a key area for intervention.

“Young carers are children and young persons under 18 who provide, or intend to provide, care, assistance or support to another family member. They carry out, often on a regular basis, significant or substantial caring tasks and assume a level of responsibility which would usually be associated with an adult.” (Becker)

A number of well known speakers will be present, including Amanda Norris, the joint recipient with her brother Sam, of the Young Carer of the Year Award 2012.
Details of the event are:

Morning Seminar – Tuesday September 25th 2012
Facilitated by Care Alliance Ireland, CROSSCARE - Carer Support & The Carers Association
Location: The Richmond Room, The Carmichael Centre, North Brunswick Street, D7.
For directions to the venue see
Time: 9:30am-1pm - followed by lunch

Care Alliance Ireland works with organisations to provide better information and supports to Family Carers. They provide opportunities to collaborate on initiatives including National Carers Week, a multi-agency and multi-disciplinary Family Carer Research Group, and joint policy submissions. For further information contact: Liam O’Sullivan 01 874 7776 or 087 207 3265. E-mail:

Crosscare -Carer Support – supports family carers in North Dublin, and has been working with family carers since 1993. Their aims are too improve the quality of life of family carers who are often vulnerable and under stress, to provide opportunities to help carers break social isolation and to provide training and information for carers to meet their needs.

Services include; support groups, counselling, 1-1 informal support, respite breaks, education and information to family carers including a particular focus on male carers and parents of children with special needs. For further information contact Nora Kirrane on 01 836 0011 or

The Carers Association is Ireland's national charity for and of Family Carers in the Home. Their mission is to provide family Carers with emotional and practical supports; to promote the interests of family carers and those receiving care in the home through effective partnership, lobbying and advocacy and to gain recognition and social justice for carers invaluable contribution to Irish society. The services and supports include a National Care Line 1800-24-07-24, Support Groups, Advocacy and Lobbying, Home Respite Service, Information, Membership, Resource Centres, Outreach Services and Training.

Carmichael Centre for Voluntary Groups Autumn Training Programme

The Carmichael Centre for Voluntary Groups has a number of exciting new courses and seminars designed to help your organisation to achieve and maintain good practice in governance and management.

The Centre is taking bookings now for “Effective Meetings and Minutes” on 4 September. See
Book now to avoid disappointment for itsAutumn training and FREE seminar programme

The Carmichael Centre also provides customised training and support for Boards and management, on site and on request. Please contact us for details.
Training and Support Services
Carmichael Centre for Voluntary Groups

Brain Awareness Training Programme in Carlow

Do you have a family member who has a brain injury?Would you like to develop your skills and knowledge of ABI to help you in your caring role?Would you like to learn in an environment with other family members?

If so you will be interested in a training programme being run by Acquired Brain Injury Ireland in Carlow in October-November 2012, Commencing on Wednesday 10th October for 6 weeks. The training will will take place in Seven Oaks Hotel, Carlow

For more detail and to book your place, please contact: Training Project Co-ordinator at (01) 2804 164 Ext. 207 Email: and see


  • Introduction to Acquired Brain Injury
  • ABI & the Family - How Families Cope with Acquired Brain Injury
  • Meaningful Every Day Routines and Achieving a Meaningful Life
  • Health Promotion and Wellbeing of Carers
  • Emotional and Behavioural Changes Following Brain Injury
  • Communication and the Challenges after Brain Injury
  • Attention and memory difficulties following brain injury

This Project has been supported by Government through the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government

Relationships & Sexuality after Brain Injury Seminar for Health Professionals, Partners, Carers and Family Members

This Seminar will take place in the Stillorgan Park Hotel, Stillorgan Road
Friday 7th September
Time 10-4pm
Lunch Provided
Cost for health care professionals €40.00

  • What part of the brain affects relationships & sexuality
  • emotional/behavioural changes that might affect relationships& sexuality
  • Medication after brain injury and how this might affect the relationships & sexuality
  • Perspectives from a Social Worker
  • Perspectives from a partner of a person with brain injury

To register and for more information
Tel: 01 235 5501 or

Brain Injury Information Day

Wednesday, 19th September 2012
Woodlands Hotel, Dunmore Road, Waterford
This is a free event, lunch is provided
This event is for family members, carers, people with brain injury, GPs and other Health Care professionals
Topics at this event include:

  • Behaviour and rehabilitation
  • Anatomy of the brain
  • Communication

You must register to attend this event: To register & for further information, contact:
Brí, Independent brain injury support & advocacy
Tel: 01 235 5501
Email: or contact Catherine on 087 7684431

Positive Life Choices Presents a Kidneys & Spina Bifida Awareness Day

Don’t let your kidneys slow you down!

A unique opportunity for individuals, families, carers and professionals to learn about and share information on this complex condition.

It is a day that will benefit all members with Spina Bifida, parents, carers, family members and professionals. Don’t miss out on your chance to gain insight into this area of your life!

Saturday, 1st September 2012
NUI, Galway MY129 - Lecture room 2
NUI Galway, University Road, Galway
9.30am – 4.00pm
Fee for the event:
Member (€15)
Family (€30)
Professional (€30)
Cheque or Postal Order made payable to SBHI


If you wish to attend please contact:
Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland,
Old Nangor Road, Clondalkin, Dublin 22
With fee included by 23rd of August
Phone: (01) 457 2329


For information please contact the relevant organisation directly


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

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

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

Joan O’Connor
Policy and Research Assistant,
Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8
Tel: 01-4250121

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, Dublin West
Mobile: 086 8207196

Michael Corbett,
Galway, Mayo, Roscommon
C/O DFI, 8 Acres Grove, Newport, Co. Mayo,
Tel: 098 41919,
Mobile: 086 3804750,
Fax: 098 41065,

Jennifer Van Aswegen
Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal
Disability Federation of Ireland
Model Niland, The Mall, Sligo
Co Sligo
Mob: 086 3811261

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

About DFI

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 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:

  • Information
  • Training and Support
  • Networking
  • 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
Disability Federation of Ireland, Fumbally Court, Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8
Tel: 01-4547978
Fax: 01-4547981

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