My Money, My Rights, My Options: New Financial Resource for People with Disabilities from the National Advocacy Service

February 28 2024, 10:52am

NAS my money my rights my options leaflet

The National Advocacy Service (NAS) has launched  ‘My Money, My Rights, My Options’, a new easy-to-read leaflet which aims to build financial autonomy and enhance the capacity of people with disabilities to access and manage their own finances.

The easy-to-read guide provides people with explanations and definitions on key stakeholders and financial institutions, details on financial rights, support options, places to keep money and essential contact details.

Many people with disabilities face barriers in relation to upholding their rights around personal finances; including setting up bank accounts, accessing bank accounts and bank statements, having the freedom to exercise choice and control over financial decisions and issues of control and abuse by third parties.

These barriers can amount to violations of human rights and result in restrictions on individual autonomy and self-direction, which in turn impacts quality of life. NAS has also found there is a lack of accessible information across the financial sector which often leads to financial exclusion.

Easy-to-read formats can support some people to make key decisions about important areas of their lives. Equally, increased understanding of money matters can enable greater financial awareness and enhance money management skills.

Ben's story 

Ben, who was supported by an Advocate to access his own finances, said: “The advocate helped me by talking to my parents and telling them that it is my money and not their money. They helped me to know how much money is in my bank account and credit union and they also assisted me in my finances.”

NAS has a particular remit for adults with disabilities who have limited informal or natural supports, are isolated from services and their community, have communication differences, are inappropriately accommodated and live in, or attend, residential services.


The right to accessible information is enshrined in law under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), the Equal Status Acts, and the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 (ADMCA), all of which protect people with disabilities from discrimination.

The National Platform of Self Advocates underlined the importance of equal access to finances:“This leaflet is very useful for people with intellectual disabilities. A lot of people have anxiety about their money. The leaflet is useful to help explain people’s rights about money. It is important for people to know that they own their own money and can spend it on things that they want.”

NAS say they are witnessing increasing levels of financial abuse in Ireland; access to finance issues made up 12% of NAS Casework in 2023. The availability of this vital tool highlights the fundamental impact our advocacy work has on the people NAS supports and showcases independent advocacy as solutions-based, which has a positive impact both for individuals and communities across Ireland.

Joanne Condon, NAS National Manager said, “NAS believes this easy-to-read publication can facilitate people with disabilities who need support to better understand their financial rights and to build their financial capacity. Denial of financial autonomy and restrictions on people’s own money can be extremely distressing and greatly impact people’s quality of life.

People with disabilities face multiple obstacles with basic banking tasks that often prevent them from exercising their autonomy to manage their own finances.

There must be increased recognition of people with disabilities as equal citizens and rights holders. The introduction of ADMCA means that everyone has presumed capacity until proven otherwise. This easy-to-read money guide facilitates equal access to finances for people with disabilities in line with their human rights and can assist those we support to better access and manage their money.”

Jacqui Browne, Chairperson of DESSA (The National Disability Equality Specialist Support Agency) underlined the importance of people with disabilities to be treated as equal citizens under the law. She said, “I welcome this information leaflet, it clearly sets out and explains further the rights of disabled people to make decisions about their own financial choices, with or without support, just like everyone else. The will and preference of people with disabilities, regarding the decisions they make about their own money and finances must be respected at all times.”

Click to read the leaflet here.