Local decisions that affect people with disabilities and Disability organisations

February 8 2021, 10:32am

Green and red road signs with Choice printed on them pointing in opposite directions

Local decisions include how local, national, and EU funding is spent in your community on

  • Housing
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Local Transport
  • Training
  • Social Activities
  • Leisure Activities
  • And Everything Else In Between.



Decisions are also made at a local level on

  • Who the funding target?
  • How the long-term impact is planned
  • How the funding is implemented
  • How the funding is measured.

Why didn’t anyone ask us before this was built/approved?

This is a common question people and organisations ask when they hear about access issues arising in new premises or streetscapes when you come across problems of

  • Inaccessible public transport
  • Lack of employment
  • Lack of accessible housing etc

If you were consulted, would a local action or funded program be more accessible or more relevant to your needs and the needs of disabled people in your community?

How do we participate?

One simple way is to join your local Public Participation Networks under the Social Inclusion College (Pillar). This is a local network for all non-profit organisations in every County/City. They elect representatives to sit on high-level local decision-making committees and foras’. This is where the real decisions are made on funded programs and actions. You can engage in consultations and develop engagement foras’ on a variety of issues that impact your community.


Some might ask why service provider organisations would be asking these questions in the first place, indeed sometimes we are asked why DFI is such an active participant in these issues too.

It’s because DFI and The DFI Community Development Team understand that our members do a lot more than provide services. You are also working to promote equality of access, support people with disabilities to live well in the community, and you are trying to help develop a society where equal life opportunities are there for all, especially disabled people.

But we can only achieve some of this work within the voluntary disability sector. Others also have this responsibility. The good news is we can all engage in the decision-making process locally and we are already recognised as key stakeholders in making local decisions.