March 2010 Newsletter

Issued on March 1 2010

Government Delay in Producing their Promised “NDS Recession Implementation Plan” Undermines their Commitment to the National Disability Strategy

On 8th October last, in the Mansion House, Dublin, at our Pre-Budget event with members of the Oireachtas, DFI, along with eight other organisations, launched our “NDS Recession Implementation Charter” calling on Government to hold onto its commitment to the National Disability Strategy during the recession. Central to that would be a plan to ensure that the NDS was protected and advanced during these difficult times.

Government responded in their “Renewed Programme for Government” by stating its commitment to

“prioritise the interests of people with disabilities and actively advance the implementation of the National Disability Strategy (NDS) throughout the recession having regard to the progress made to date and subject to available resources.” It went on to state that: “We will publish an “NDS Recession Implementation Plan”

central to which will be the availability of accessible public and social services to vindicate the rights of people with disabilities to full participation within the State”.

Almost six months later, there is no evidence of the NDS Recession Implementation Plan being produced. This Plan is needed urgently as decisions are being taken on a daily basis across Departments and public bodies that are impacting negatively on disabled people and their families not to mention the fact that development of much needed services has stopped. The Plan would also enhance value for money and efficiency in the delivery of services. The Plan needs to be in place prior to work being done across Departments and Government on next year”s budget, to be published later this year.

The commitment by Government came half way through its term of office. If the Plan is not produced urgently it is effectively being reneged upon. The work that has been done over recent times to progress the mental health area in relation to health services is to be commended.

Protecting the NDS is about ensuring that disabled people and their families can live life in a dignified and hopeful manner where their basic needs are addressed. This is not an optional extra that can be put off until times get better. Government considered it necessary to protect the banking sector even though we don”t have the money to do so. Are disabled people less important? We need Government to urgently get it”s act together and demonstrate the leadership that it promised last October.

John Dolan

National Disability Strategy Recession Implementation Charter 7th October 2009.

The National Disability Strategy, (NDS), as set out in “Towards 2016” and the “Agreed Programme for Government”, embodies the commitment of Government, and the Irish people, to put to right the past exclusion of people with disabilities and mental health needs and to ensure their full and equal participation in all aspects of life in Ireland. “Towards 2016” acknowledges that the needs of people with disabilities form part of the overall lifecycle framework which commits to advancing social inclusion through the provision of person centred services and supports to all members of the public.

In the context of the current recession voluntary disability organisations, working with and on behalf of disabled people, are gravely concerned to ensure

  • That any cuts in public and social service expenditure do not dilute or eradicate the commitments given in the National Disability Strategy.
  • That developments, and investment, to date be fully protected and built upon
  • That people with disabilities and their families do not bear the brunt of retaining Ireland”s standard of living.
  • That when the eventual economic upturn occurs that the NDS is well positioned to significantly advance in tandem with it.

To this end we are strongly committed to

  • Ensuring that the vision and long term goals of the NDS are fully advanced
  • To working in collaboration with each other, with Government, and with the broader public and social service agencies and
  • That value for money and innovation approaches are maximised.

As a matter of urgency we are calling on Government

  • To restate the priority status that it has given to disability,
  • To ensure that the Budget is prepared and delivered within that context and
  • In partnership with the broad voluntary disability sector, including people with disabilities their families and carers, to actively support and promote the NDS during the remainder of the recession by implementing a whole of Government “NDS Recession Implementation Plan”

8th October 2009

CIL Carmichael House
Disability Federation of Ireland
Genetic & Rare Disorders Organisation Inclusion Ireland
Irish Mental Health Coalition
National Federation of Voluntary Bodies
Care Alliance Ireland
Neurological Alliance of Ireland
People with Disabilities in Ireland


DFI New Website

The Disability Federation of Ireland is delighted to announce the launch of its new website. In 2009 we planned to improve our ability to add content to the site using a content management system . To this end we needed to change the architecture of the site to include a backend database. The new site allows us to provide much more timely information and also allows DFI to better develop the information needs of the Membership and the wider Disability Sector.

You will notice lots of new features like the ability to customise the information you see when you access the site. We have also started to bubble up the more critical information to the home page using widgets . With the inclusion of 2 RSS Feeds , one on DFI”s News and the other on Disability News Nationally, you will never miss the news again.

The site continues to promote the highest standards in accessibility . With the new site we have moved from WCAG 1.0 AAA to WCAG 2.0 AAA.

This is only the beginning of the transformation of DFI”s website as we now have the ability to upload and display more content. Overtime we plan to make the site more interactive so it becomes a place where you can post information and not just read it. Right now you can add your member organisations events to our events calendar by contacting your DFI Support Officer .

Let us know what you think of the site using our feedback form located here .


Date for Your Diary: Tuesday April 13th 2010 The Disability Federation of Ireland and Care Alliance Ireland Present a Joint Seminar: How does the Disability Sector provide supports to Families and Carers of People with Disabilities?

Does your organisation provide supports to both families and family Carers or people with disabilities? Are you adequately funded to do this work? How does your organisation deal with conflicts of interest between the person with a disabilities needs and the needs of Family Carers? Are you aware of other supports available to Family Carers?

If you work in the disability sector and provide holistic supports to families, this seminar is for you.
Date/Time: Tuesday April 13th 2010. 9am – 1:30pm
Location: DFI Offices, Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8.

For further information, contact Joan O”Donnell DFI Support Officer, Tel: 01 4250122.
Or Liam O”Sullivan, Care Alliance, 01 8747776. .

DFI New Members

DFI would like to welcome new members, Catholic Institute for Deaf People (CIDP) . The organisation is based in Drumcondra, Dublin 9. Catholic Institute for Deaf People has joined DFI as a General Member.

The aim of the Catholic Institute for Deaf People is to work with, enable and serve the deaf community by working in partnership with other organisations for the deaf and public bodies to provide services for deaf people. The mission of CIDP is to promote core Christian values by working with, enabling and serving the deaf people of Ireland by recognising the distinctive needs of deaf people, promoting and representing the interests of deaf people, supporting the education, development and day-to-day living of deaf people, providing deaf people with pastoral and religious care, and supporting deaf people to achieve their full potential.

We look forward to working with the Catholic Institute for Deaf People in the future.

Further information on Catholic Institute for Deaf People and other DFI member organisations can be found on our website:

Minister John Curran to launch Resource Materials for Implementing Guiding Principles for Fundraising at ICTR Seminar.

Minister Curran will formally launch new Resource Materials for Implementing the Statement of Guiding Principles on Fundraising at a seminar presented by Irish Charities Tax Research Ltd in The Imperial Hotel, Cork on Friday, March 26th 2010 (9:45am - 1pm).

The adoption of the Guiding Principles forms part of meeting the requirements of the Charities Act 2009 in relation to fundraising.
This is an initiative funded by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.

The Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising, developed with fundraising practitioners and launched by ICTR in May 2008, sets out standards for fundraising practice in Ireland. In response to feedback received by ICTR during consultation with the sector prior to and following the development of the Statement, a set of web based resources has now been developed which will be of practical help to organisations implementing the standards in the Statement. The seminar will present an update on the Implementation phase of the project, outline the resources which have been developed, and allow time for consideration and discussion of the resources.

There is no charge for the seminar but online registration is required.

Full programme details and registration at: . Please register early to avoid disappointment, as places are limited.

“Show Me What You Are Made Of”DFI North West Region Information and Networking Event

In these challenging times, it is necessary to look at new ways of communicating and promoting our worth while work for people with disabilities. We know that services for people with disabilities are undergoing major change at present – new service models, different providers, adjusted levels of funding and ever increasing standards.

When:Tuesday, 23rd March 11.00am – 3.00pm,
Venue:Great Northern Hotel, Bundoran, Co. Donegal

This event provide voluntary disability organisations, the health services, community organisations, as well as private providers with an opportunity to present themselves and the services they provide to people with disabilities.

The event will have three distinct parts:

  • A series of short presentations by any interested organisation (strictly limited to 5-7 minutes each with a standard format presentation)
  • An opportunity to have information stands
  • Networking & Opportunity to talk to media representatives & the general public

For more information contact the DFI Regional Support Officer, Marcus Hufsky at 071-9150098 or e-mail:

HSE National Guidelines in relation to reductions in Funding for Section 38 and 39 HSE Funded Agencies

Below are the HSE national guidelines in relation to reductions in funding for Section 38 and 39 HSE funded agencies. It would be worth while taking note of the guidelines and to use them when engaging with the HSE at local and regional levels in relation to reductions to your organisation”s funding. Please keep DFI informed in relation to any issues your may have regarding the administration of the reductions, as this information is useful in informing our work with the HSE. To discuss any issues in relation to the application of these reductions please contact your DFI Support Officer.

Communication from the HSE, Cost Measures For Section 38 & 39 Agencies and Other HSE Funded Voluntary Providers

Provision is made in the Service Plan 2010 for a range of cost measures across the voluntary sector in line with direction from DoHC and the Minister of Health and Children. More recently the Secretary General of the DoHC provided clarification on the issues in a letter dated 22nd January 2010.

Following the national meeting of the ISD PFM on Wednesday, 3rd February 2010, it was agreed that a short paper be prepared to outline the broad approach being taken across the four regions in implementing these arrangements. A small group was asked to prepare the note. It is recognised that the detailed application of these measures will require assessment and determination at regional and local levels to ensure a balanced and equitable approach in dealing with individual agencies and services. This note is intended to provide national guidance to ensure appropriate cohesion across the four regions.

In this context, correspondence from the Secretary General, letter of 22nd January, stated “the government has decided to reduce its payroll costs in various ways – principally by reducing salaries paid to public servants and reducing the numbers employed. It has also decided to seek further reductions in the fees paid for certain professional services under the provisions of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (No 2) Act 2009. These and other measures agreed in the Budget are deliberately designed to protect the existing levels of public services while providing a more sustainable payroll cost base into the future.” Accordingly the public sector pay reductions and the impact of the moratorium on recruitment will be applied to Section 38 agencies. In addition, an efficiency target in the order of a 2% funding reduction will be applied across Section 38 voluntary agencies to deliver further efficiencies in 2010. In relation to Section 38 Disability agencies, a National Disabilities group led by Ger Reaney (National Lead for Disabilities in PCCC) recently identified specific measures to yield in the order of 2% efficiencies in 2010 without impacting on service user experience. Application of cost measures to Section 38 Disability agencies at regional and local level should be aligned to the targeted efficiency measures identified by this group.

With regard to voluntary agencies funded under section 39 of the Health Act the Secretary General”s letter states “such bodies are not directly affected by the pay adjustments provided for under the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (No 2) Act 2009.” However, as the Government has decided to reduce its payroll costs as outlined above, it is entirely appropriate for the HSE to reduce funding to Section 39 agencies in line with the spirit of the legislation (Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (No 2) Act 2009 and the clarification provided to us by the Secretary General. We propose for Section 39 voluntary agencies a funding reduction of approximately 5% for pay efficiencies to support a “more sustainable payroll cost base” for these agencies into the future. In addition an efficiency target in the order of a 2% funding reduction will be applied across Section 39 voluntary agencies to deliver further efficiencies in 2010. In relation to Section 39 Disability agencies, the National Disabilities group led by Ger Reaney (National Lead for Disabilities in PCCC) recently identified specific measures to yield in the order of 2% efficiencies in 2010 without impacting on service user experience. Application of cost measures to Section 39 Disability agencies at regional and local level should be aligned to the targeted efficiency measures identified by this group.

The above guidance should be viewed in the context of the Secretary General”s letter which stated “it is appropriate that Section 39 bodies, and other HSE funded voluntary providers, take appropriate measures to ensure they continue to provide the same level of service in 2010 as previously notwithstanding the reductions in their funding and that its is the “responsibility of each individual employer to decide exactly what mix of actions should be taken to achieve this goal, to take appropriate legal and other advice, to consult and inform its employees/Trade Unions as necessary and to manage the HR and Industrial Relations implications of its decisions.”

To avoid any confusion when communicating with individual agencies it would be prudent that the indicative national cost measures envisaged would be outlined to them in the correspondence which sets out the 2010 budget for their organisation. It would be important to refer specifically to the point made by the Secretary General in his letter of the 22nd January and referenced earlier in this note that “it is obviously the responsibility of each individual employer to decide exactly what mix of actions should be taken to achieve this goal, to take appropriate legal and other advice, to consult and inform its employees/Trade Unions as necessary and to manager the HR and Industrial Relations implications of its decisions.”

The Value for Money and Policy Review: Request from the Office for Disability & Mental Health

The Office of the Minister for Disability, Equality and Mental Health has commenced the process of devising a new policy on the needs of people with disabilities. This policy will focus on supporting those with disabilities to participate as fully as possible in the social and economic lives of their communities.
This work is part of the Value for Money and Policy Review on Disability Services which the Minister for Equality, Disability and Mental Health, John Moloney T.D., announced in September 2009. The review, under the independent chairmanship of Laurence Crowley, has adopted a two-pronged approach.

  1. It is examining the efficiency and effectiveness of existing services and whether they are meeting the Government”s stated objective that people with a disability are enabled, as far as possible, to live full and independent lives.
  2. An advisory group of policy experts, under the chairmanship of the Ministers office”s disability adviser, is putting together a new vision and policy framework for disability services.

A first draft of the new policy was considered by the Steering Group on February 2nd 2010. The key themes proposed will be explored with focus groups of service-users in a consultation process facilitated by the National Disability Authority. It is expected the policy framework will be completed by the summer, when it will be submitted to the steering Group for consideration in the context of its overall report, due later this year. Members of the public were invited to submit views on the disability services to the Steering group in December and almost 200 responses were received. While the closing date for this public consultation has passed, Minister Moloney has indicated that his Office would still be happy to hear from any interested parties who did not get the opportunity to contribute on that occasion. Submissions should be sent to John Moloney TD, Minister for Equality, Disability and Mental Health, Hawkins House, Dublin 2.

Contributing to, and supporting organisations to contribute to the Value for Money and Policy Review process, remains a high priority for DFIs work agenda for 2010 and beyond. We have to date held a number of seminars to support organisations to understand and engage with the review; a number of further events are being planned at present and information on these will be distributed to member organisations. We would urge all organisations to take time to consider the potential impact that the findings of this Review will have on orientation of the services you currently provide. Please refer to the information contained on the DFI website ( ) or contact your DFI Support Officer should you require support on this.

HIQA: Consultation on Draft National Quality Standards for Residential and Foster Care Services for Children and Young People

As part of its remit under the Health Act 2007, HIQA, the Health Information and Quality Authority, is responsible for the registration and inspection of residential and foster care services for children. To fulfil its remit in this regard, HIQA has developed Draft National Quality Standards for Residential and Foster Care Services for Children and Young People.

In line with its commitment to engage with all stakeholders, HIQA has launched a public consultation on the draft standards. Participation of interested parties is of great importance to the process, and will inform the Authority in working towards finalising the standards. It is particularly important that the consultation documents are made available children and young people to facilitate their participation in the consultation. The documents are available at .
The development of these draft standards is an important step in providing a framework for social care providers to maximise the safety and quality of “out of home care” provided to vulnerable children in Ireland.

To provide feedback, write to: Residential Care Standards Feedback, Health Information and Quality Authority, Social Services Inspectorate, George”s Court, George”s Lane, Smithfield, Dublin 7. Comments can also be submitted by email to: , or on line at . Closing date for receipt of submissions is 31st March 2010. Further information from Dr Marion Witton, Tel: 01 8147400.

DFI will also be making a submission to HIQA. If you would like your organisation”s views represented in the DFI submission, please contact Joan O”Donnell, DFI Support Officer.

New Medical Card Application Facility

The HSE has recently launched a new website - - where a person who has applied through the PCRS (Primary Care Reimbursement Service) can view the status of their medical/GP visit card application or review online, using a unique reference number that is provided on the acknowledgement sent to them. If a mobile number is supplied with the application / review, an acknowledgement of receipt and the application status/progress of the case will automatically be delivered to the applicant via text message as their case proceeds through the assessment process. The PCRS is also developing a facility for people to apply on-line if they wish.


Community and Voluntary Pillar Meeting the Department of Education & Science

Members of the Community &Voluntary Pillar of social partnership met with senior officials from the Department of Education & Science (DES) on 24th February, at which DFI addressed disability matters. A wide range of issues were covered including the Department”s review of the school transport scheme, early school leaving and the integration of a number of local educational services under the National Educational Welfare Board, and progress in creating educational opportunities for the unemployed.

In relation to the commitment in the New Programme for Government,

“to develop in consultation with stakeholders, a costed multi-annual plan to implement some priority aspects of EPSEN [Education for Persons with Special Needs Act]”

the Department indicated that it had not yet identified the specific priority elements for attention, although investment is already under way in areas such as teacher training and provision of psychologist services. Pillar members again emphasised the importance of integrated assessment and planning for the health and educational needs of school age children with disabilities. The Value for Money & Policy Review of the Special Needs Assessment (SNA) programme is expected to be published on the Oireachtas website within a few months. The review being conducted by the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) on the current deployment of SNAs is due to be completed by the end of March. DFI and children”s organisations will continue to keep a close eye on developments in these special needs areas.

Other areas that the C & V Pillar highlighted as important social inclusion and mainstreaming issues for the Department were access to the education curriculum and materials through services such as electronic books, access to life-long learning opportunities (and monitoring the extent to which people with disabilities participate), and, of course, accessible pre-school services through collaborative working between health and education organisations.

DFI is exploring a means by which the voluntary disability sector might engage in greater depth with the Department about the issues of concern.


Building Social Europe: From Crisis to Opportunity

“Bringing about an end to poverty and building a society for all are the goals that countries right across the European Union have decided will be the focus of national attention for the year”

said Mary Hanafin T.D., Minister for Social and Family Affairs. The Minister was addressing over 200 delegates from across the European Union at the European Anti-Poverty Network Conference - Building Social Europe: From Crisis to Opportunity in Dublin”s Croke Park. ( 19th February 2010 )

Minister Hanafin said

“The designation of 2010 as European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion provides us with the opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved, to learn the lessons from the past and to lay the foundations for the type of society that we all aspire to have - a society in which every individual feels valued and has the resources to participate in the activities that are regarded as the norm – a society for all.”

The Minister also said the

“immediate challenge is to maintain the progress made in recent years and to protect those who are most vulnerable in the economic downturn”.

“Working to restore the economic growth we have benefited from over the past decade is now, therefore, the overriding priority for achieving the goals and targets of the Government”s National Action Plan for Social Inclusion in the years ahead. Right across schemes and programmes the Government sought to ensure that as far as possible there would be no rowing back on the very real improvements and gains made in recent years for some of the most vulnerable people in society.”

National Positive Ageing Strategy:Minister Áine Brady invites older people to have their say

The Minister for Older People and Health Promotion, Áine Brady TD has announced a series of meetings around the country to hear at first hand the views of older people on issues that affect them. The meetings are a further part of the Minister”s work to develop a new Positive Ageing Strategy. Older people, their representative organisations and service providers in the statutory, voluntary and community sectors are all invited to come along and have their say. The new Strategy will set the direction for future policies, programmes and services for older people in Ireland. Eight meetings are set to take place over the coming months.

The first meeting took place in Cork on 4th March next and was organised in cooperation with the Cork City Partnership, where the theme was “Challenging Ageism to Create an Age Friendly Society”.

The second meeting will take place in Sligo on March 11th. Contact Camilla Smyth, Sligo Leader Partnership at (071) 914 1138.

These will be followed by subsequent meetings in Galway, Limerick, Wexford, Kildare, Louth and Dublin

For further information and contact details on the up coming schedule of meetings please contact Minister Áine Brady at the Department of Health and Children, Hawkins House, Dublin 2. Ministerial Office: Tel: 01 6354764/6354768



Designing Sustainable Supports For Individuals - Taking a Lead from People with Disabilities and Families

National Conference hosted by New Options Alliance
When: 13th & 14th May 2010 Venue: Heritage Hotel, Portlaoise.

New Options Alliance is a network of agencies interested in and committed to promoting person-centred and inclusive options for citizens with disabilities. The vision of the alliance is “Life without Limits - an Alliance supporting and leading change for people with disability”.

The purpose of the conference is to provide an in depth look at some innovative person centred service arrangements in Ireland for people with a range of disabilities. The conference will share the stories of people with a broad range of disabilities and their families on how they set about creating person centred arrangements.

The conference is relevant to people with disabilities, their families and support networks, advocates, service providers, funders, regulators and policy makers.

Registration fee is €120 per person for the two days and includes the buffet dinner. Bursaries are available for people with disabilities and their family member to assist towards the cost of attending.

For further information on the conference please contact Genevieve McNally in Cheshire Ireland Tel: 01 2974100; email:

Second Annual Sonas aPc Conference

“Behaviours as an Expression of Communication in Dementia”

Venue: Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin Date: Tuesday 11th May, 2010

Sonas aPc trains healthcare staff and family carers to carry out therapeutic activities with older people who have communication impairment, especially those with Alzheimers or other forms of dementia. It is a registered charity.

The Conference will explore the causes of behaviours associated with dementia and the opportunities for engagement that they represent. It will provide guidance on how to achieve best practice in dementia care, in the context of the new HIQA standards in this area. The event is suitable for anyone involved in residential services for older people (Directors of Services, nurses and care assistants from nursing homes/hospitals), family carers, and others from statutory and not-for-profit organisations.

Attendance fee: €130 (standard), €100 (public/not-for-profit organisations), and €75 (family carers).

Further information and booking: Sonas aPc, St Mary”s, 201 Merrion Road, Dubln 4 Tel: 01 260 8138. Email: Web:

Dyslexia 2010 Conference Challenges and Perspectives in Higher Education “Reading may be the least of their troubles”

Venue: Institute of Art, Design & Technology, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin
When: 16th March 2010 Time: 9.30 a.m. – 3.30 p.m.
Conference Fee: €50.00 (AHEAD members) €80.00 (non-members)
Further information contact: Tel: 01-7164396

The conference will examine current challenges in higher education from a range of perspectives: national policy, the latest research into Dyslexia, teaching and learning best practice and the student experience.

The inclusion of students who learn differently is no longer new in higher education. The challenge remains for institutions to respond to the learning needs of students with dyslexia while also assuring the academic rigour of courses. In order to change practices it is important to understand how the condition affects the student in an educational setting.

This conference is an opportunity to collectively explore how the varied perspectives interact and to understand their capacity to shape the learning environments of the future.

Irish Building Control National Conference 2010

When: 24th & 25th March 2010 Where: Slieve Russel Hotel, Cavan

This year there will be two presentations at this event, one on “ Disability Awareness” and a second on “Disabled access Certificates”. This is an opportunity to discuss issues with the Department of Energy Health and Local Government, and Building Control and Fire Service personnel involved in the building regulations.

For further information please contact: Johnny Mac Gettigan Trade Exhibition Co-Ordinator Mob: 0876697407

Elder Abuse Seminars in UCD:

The National Centre for the Protection of Older People (NCPOP) was launched late in 2009 to focus on a programme of research examining elder abuse in Ireland. The programme will result in original research outputs contributing to the development of policy and practice in relation to elder abuse. The Centre is a primary resource for those working with, or having contact with, older people in areas of health and social care, law services and financial services. NCPOP will host a series of seminars in UCD, entitled “ A Cross-National Study of How Social Workers Respond to Cases of Elder Abuse in the Community . Details can be found at .

When: Tuesday 23rd March 2010 Speaker: Dr. Janet Carter-Anand Venue: School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems, Health Science Centre, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4


Dormant Accounts Training for Carers

The purpose of the Dormant Accounts Training for Carers Measure is to provide funding for locally based training programmes for family carers. The training programmes are aimed at providing family Carers with the skills necessary to provide the best care possible for their loved ones, reduce risk of injury to the Carer and help Carers to cope with the emotional, psychological and physical aspects of the caring role.

If you are a family Carer and feel that you or your family members would benefit from any of the following training please do not hesitate in contacting us.

Some of the training planned is as follows:

  • Stress Management Workshops—a must for every Carer!
  • FETAC Level 5 Practical Home Care Skills Training
  • City & Guilds Care in the Home Training
  • Patient Moving & Handling Training

Other information sessions which might be of interest

  • Rights and Entitlements
  • Basic First Aid & Emergencies
  • Managing Challenging Behaviour
  • Fire Safety
  • Understanding Dementia

Further information and registration form from Sharon or Laura in the Training Unit Tel: 057-9322920 or email

National Lottery Grants

The Health Service Executive Dublin Mid-Leinster and Dublin North East have been allocated National Lottery Funding for distribution to community based groups and voluntary organisations under following terms:

  • Respite Care Grant Scheme
  • National Lottery Grant Scheme

Applications are invited from groups and organisations involved in the provision of Health and Personal Social Services for once off funding for viable projects (non major capital projects) which can be completed within a reasonable period of time.

Further information, including application form, is available from:

Margaret Phillips HSE Dublin Mid Leinster, Oak House, Lime Tree Avenue, Millenium Park, Naas Co Kildare Tel: 054 880433 Web:

Camille Staunton HSE Dublin North East, Swords Business Park, Balheary, Swords, Co Dublin Tel: 01 8131889 Web:

Completed applications must be delivered – in a sealed envelope – to the relevant address for your area and clearly marked “National Lottery Application 2010” to arrive no later than 5 p.m. on Friday 26th March 2010

Local and Community Development Programme 2010 – Call for Applications : Donegal

Donegal Local Development Company Ltd (DLDC) is a well established Integrated Local Development Company with a proven track record in the delivery of major funding programmes. The company has been awarded funding under the Local and Community Development Programme 2010 to tackle poverty and social exclusion through partnership and constructive engagement between Government and people in disadvantaged areas . To this end, the company is holding the following information evenings to raise awareness of the potential opportunities / supports available to local people and groups through the programme.

The Information Evenings will be held as follows:

Monday 8th March Ozanam Centre, Rathmullan 7pm-9pm
Monday 8th March Manorcunningham Community Development Association Ltd 7pm-9pm
Wednesday 10th March Inver Community Development Centre 7pm-9pm

The Local and Community Development Programme 2010 has four key goals which aim to:

  • Goal 1 - Promote awareness, knowledge and uptake of a wide range of statutory, voluntary and community services.
  • Goal 2 - Increase access to formal and informal educational, recreational and cultural activities and resources.
  • Goal 3 - Increase in people”s work readiness and employment prospects.
  • Goal 4 - Promote engagement with policy, practice and decision making processes on matters affecting local communities.

Support will be provided for people interested in applying for support under the programme through drop-in clinics.

Drop-in Clinics

Monday 15th March Public Service Centre, Milford 2pm-4pm
Monday 22nd March Ozanam Centre, Dunfanaghy 7pm-9pm
Tuesday 16th March DLDC Office, 1 Millennium Court, Pearse Road, Letterkenny 2pm-4pm
Tuesday 23rd March Oak Tree Business Park, Killygordon 7pm-9pm
Friday 19th March Public Service Building, Donegal Town 2pm-4pm
Monday 22nd Marvh MED Partnership Offices, Ballyshannon 7pm-9pm

If you would like to find out more about the programme, please come along to one of the information evenings, or drop-in clinics. You can also access information on the programme from the company”s website , or contact Genevieve Gavin on Tel: 074 9127056.


Mental Health Commission Launch of New Website for Young People

The Mental Health Commission has launched a website and resource pack aimed at helping young people being treated by mental health services.
The Headspace Toolkit is designed to equip children and teenagers to speak up for themselves, assert their rights and get involved in decisions concerning their care and treatment.

Further information please check the website

Inclusion Ireland launch petition

Inclusion Ireland has launched a petition calling on the Government to introduce modern capacity legislation. This is a vital piece of legislation for people with an intellectual disability. March 30th will mark the third anniversary of Ireland signing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. One of the central areas of the Convention is Article 12, Equal Recognition and Capacity on an equal basis with others.

Ireland”s current capacity legislation dates back to the Lunacy Act of 1871.

Please sign and circulate this petition and push the Government to bring in modern capacity legislation now.

For further information contact: Siobhán Kane, Communications and Information Manager, Inclusion Ireland

Open Training College Recognised with STAR Award

The Open Training College was recognised by an independent judging panel for its contribution to adult learning through it”s Bachelor of Arts in Applied Social Studies (Disability) course. This is a HETAC accredited course placed at level 7 on the National Framework of Qualifications and offered to staff working or volunteering in frontline disability services. Minister Sean Haughey presented the award to the Open Training College on February 22nd, during the STAR Awards ceremony which initiated the fourth annual Adult Learners Festival, coordinated by AONTAS - the Irish National Association for Adult Education.

The STAR Awards is a ceremony comprised of 13 categories, celebrating both local and national projects and initiatives within adult learning. 110 projects were nominated for a STAR award this year.

Raymond Watson, the Social Studies Course Director made the comment that it was very satisfying for the OTC to be recognised and rewarded for being involved in something that is benefiting disability services nationwide.

The Open Training College, part of St. Michaels House, has provided accredited courses to the disability sector since 1992, and continues today with HETAC accredited management courses to degree level offered to people working or seeking work in the non-profit/voluntary sector.

Karen Finnerty, College Director acknowledges that “The Open Training College is delighted to be recognised for the contribution of its BA in Applied Social Studies (Disability) course to the disability sector especially during these very tough economic times”.

For more information contact: Conor Murray, Corporate Services Manager, Open Training College, Telephone: (01)2988544 Email:


For information please contact the relevant organisation directly.

Ability - Newsletter of the Irish Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, Tel: 01 4572329, E-mail:
Arthritis Ireland - Newsletter—Tel: 01 661 8188 E-mail:
Aspire - Asperger Syndrome Association of Ireland. 01-8780027/9, E-mail:
Asthma Society News - Tel: 01-8788511, E-mail:
Brainstorm - Migraine Association of Ireland, Tel: 01-8064121, E-mail:
Brainwave - Quarterly Newsletter, Tel: 01 4557500, E-mail:
Care Alliance Ireland - E-mail:
Clar na nÓg - National Youth Council of Ireland Tel: 01-4784122 E-mail:
Cleft Lip and Palate Association of Ireland - , Tel: (01) 2848227, E-mail:
Community Exchange Newsletter, E-mail: , Tel: +1 667 7326
Connect - Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association. E-mail: , Freefone 1800 403 403
Community Workers” Co-operative – Community Work News. E-mail: , Tel: +353 (0) 91 779 030
Cornerstone - Homeless Agency - , Tel: 01 7036100 , E-mail:
Cumhacht - People with Disabilities in Ireland , E-mail: , Tel: 01-8721744
Debra Ireland Newsletter, Tel: 01 678 5044, E-mail:
Down Syndrome Ireland - Tel: 01-8730999, E-mail:
Enable Ireland - Newsletter—Tel: 1850 204 304 E-mail:
Equality News - Tel: 01-4173333, E-mail::
E-Info Deaf Source— E-mail:: . Tel: +353 1860 1878
Féach - Support to parents of blind and visually impaired children. Tel: 01 493 1896, E-mail::
Fighting Blindness - Tel: 01 7093050, E-mail:
Frontline of Learning Disability -Tel: 01-2862649. E-mail:
GROWing - Information on Mental Health, Tel: 1890 474 474, E-mail:
Guidelines - Irish Guide Dogs Association. Tel: 021 4878200 E-mail:
Headway Ireland - National Association for Acquired Brain Injury -“Making Headway”, Tel: 01-8102066, E-mail:
Heart News: - Newsletter of Irish Heart Foundation. Tel: 01 668 5001 E-mail: .
Heartstrings - Newsletter of Heart Children Ireland, published quarterly, Tel: 1850 217017 E-mail:
Heatwave - Irish Raynauds Scleroderma Society, E-mail: , Tel: 01 2020184
HOPE - Huntington”s Disease Association of Ireland. Tel: 01-872 1303, E-mail:
Inclusion Ireland - Tel: 01 8559891, E-mail:
Irish Deaf News - Irish Deaf Society. Minicom: 01-8601910; 01-8601878; E-mail:
Irish Wheelchair Association - “Spokeout”, Tel: 01-8186 400, E-mail:
Kerry Network of People with Disabilities - Network News 066-7180611, E-mail:
MS News—Newsletter of MS Ireland. Tel: 01 6781600, E-mail:
Muscular Dystrophy Ireland - MDI News Update Tel: 01-8721501, E-mail: - Link Magazine - Tel: 01 8723800, E-mail: , Minicom: (01) 817 5777
NCBI News - Newsletter of the National Council for the Blind of Ireland, Tel: 01 8307033, E-mail: ,
Neuro News - Neurofibromatosis Association of Ireland, Tel: 01-8726338, E-mail:
People First - Central Remedial Clinic Tel: 01-8057400 E-mail:
Post Polio Support Group - Newsletter, Tel: 071 64791 E-mail:
Poverty Today - Combat Poverty Agency. Tel:01-670 6746
Rehab News -Tel: 01-2057200 E-mail:
Simon News - Simon Community, Tel: 01-6711606 E-mail:
S.I. News - Schizophrenia Ireland, Tel: (0)1 8601620 E-mail:
Social Housing - Irish Council for Social Housing Tel: 01-6618334; E-mail:
Sonas aPc – Tel (01) 2608138. .
Speaking up for Advocacy – Citizens Information Board Newsletter on advocacy. Tel: 01 6059035, E-mail: or
Volunteer Stroke Scheme News- Tel: 01-4559036. E-mail:: info@strokescheme.i
Wheel E-Bulletin Tel:01- 454 8727, E-mail:

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 Thomson (on maternity leave – please contact Dublin Office))
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 8207169
Michael Corbett,
Galway, Mayo, Roscommon
C/O DFI, Acres, Newport, Co. Mayo,
Tel: 098 41919,
Mobile: 086 3804750,
Fax: 098 41065,

Marcus Hufsky,
Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal
St. Vincent”s Business Park, Finisklin Road, Sligo
Tel: 071-9150098
Mobile: 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
E: a.ryan@disability-federation .