Disability Federation of Ireland asks people to Take Action on the crisis affecting services for disabled people 

June 2 2023

Take Action Section 39 Social Media and Web Visual 3

The Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) is asking people to take action on the crisis affecting services for disabled people which are threatened by the ongoing recruitment and retention issues in Section 39 disability funded organisations.

DFI has launched an email campaign for those concerned about the ongoing viability of these services.

The online email tool takes under five minutes to complete. It will send an email to the TDs and Senators in the constituency of the person sending the email asking them to take action on this crisis.

John Dolan, DFI CEO, said, “This is an ongoing and increasingly urgent issue for organisations providing services to disabled people and their families.  Over two thirds of all disability services are delivered by the voluntary sector. Therefore, the recruitment and retention crisis in Section 39 disability funded organisations is having a catastrophic impact on essential services.  

“The Government has a commitment to provide sustainable quality services as outlined in the current Programme for Government and the Department of Health’s Disability Capacity Review (2021). None of this can happen if organisations cannot recruit and retain the staff needed to deliver their existing funded services.    

“Government action is needed to bring this issue to resolution. This includes: 

  • A formal agreement to address the pay disparity of Section 39 organisations. 
  • A multi-annual, sustainable funding model for voluntary organisations. 
  • A review of the out-of-date Health Act (2004), which does not reflect the reality and essential nature of services provided by Section 39 organisations.    

“In some cases, the retention and recruitment of staff threatens the very viability of these disability organisations.  The primary cause is a disparity in pay and conditions in Section 39 funded organisations compared to their HSE and Section 38 counterparts. We need action to resolve this crisis!”

The email campaign will run until the Summer recess with an official end date of 31 July 2023.

The campaign can be accessed on www.disability-federation.ie/take-action

Notes to editors:

  • The Disability Federation of Ireland is a Federation of Member organisations working with people with disabilities to implement the UN CRPD and ensure their equal participation in society. Our vision is an Ireland where people with disabilities are participating fully in all aspects of society.


Brenda Drumm, Communications Manager, Disability Federation of Ireland, 086 076 4114 brendadrumm@disability-federation.ie.