May Newsletter 2013

Issued on May 1 2013

Pre-Budget Action

The budget has been brought forward this year to the 15 th and 16 th October and Minister Noonan recently confirmed that we will have two more austerity budgets involving more spending cuts. DFI will strongly be pressing this government not to include the services and supports needed by people with disabilities in these spending cuts. Otherwise when the austerity programme hopefully ends in 2016, the State will face the frustration and extra costs of sustained social stress and blockages that drag down growth, as well as increasing inequality, caused by the depletion of Ireland”s social and health infrastructure.

Since 2008, successive years of cutbacks have undermined the independence of people with disabilities and diminished the supports they need to live ordinary lives, to enjoy individual autonomy and to participate in society as equals. That is not in keeping with the EU Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. People along with experiencing deterioration in disability specific services and supports are also living under the weight of cutbacks and restrictions in general public services. This is a double recession hit for them and their families, as we know that cuts in general services impact more negatively on people with disabilities.

DFI has devised a number of actions for this year”s campaign including contacting Ministers (including Social Protection, Health, Education, Environment, Community and Local Government) highlighting our priorities and concerns; a mid-term critique to review this Government”s progress against their stated plans, promises, pledges, as set out in the Programme for Government. Our pre-budget submission and disability fact sheets will be distributed shortly. Please consider what your organisation can do to raise awareness of the issues effecting people with disabilities in the lead up to this Budget.

John Dolan
Chief Executive Officer




DFI welcomes Autism Spectrum Disorder Initiatives (ASDI) into Membership

Autism Spectrum Disorder Initiatives started operating in Southern Ireland in November 2004.
The services provide a homely living environment and their focus is person centred, which enables each client to achieve his or her highest level of potential and enhances their quality of life. As part of the person centred plan each client and their family are involved in the decision making process in order to fulfil their complex needs and requirements as individuals

All Autism Spectrum Disorder Initiatives services, work in partnership with the Health Service Executive

For further information please contact
Nicola Patten
Unit 3 & 4 Quayside Business Park,
Dundalk, Co. Louth
Phone: 042 9330252

DFI welcomes the Prader Willi Syndrome Association Ireland (PWS) into Membership

The Objectives of Prader Willi Syndrome Association Ireland are:

  • To provide support for persons with Prader Willi Syndrome (PWS), their families, and their carers by providing a range of services such as: promoting awareness of the syndrome; providing information services including seminars and conferences; and by promoting best practice standards of care for persons with PWS
  • To facilitate the development of each person with PWS to the full extent of their abilities in an educational, social, work, and leisure context
  • To facilitate awareness and understanding of PWS among the general public, among health professionals, teachers, etc.
  • To facilitate earlier diagnosis of the syndrome
  • To encourage and support research into PWS

For further information please contact:

Prader Willi Syndrome Association Ireland
Carmichael Centre
Carmichael House
North Brunswick Street
Dublin 7

Telephone: (087)9354914 / (087)9833868


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.

Our HR and Employment Law Support Services include

  • Contracts of Employment & Employee Handbooks containing policies & procedures - drafting / review / update
  • HR Helpdesk – provision of on-going access to Phone / Email HR Advice and Support
  • Representation at Workplace Relations Commission, Rights Commissioners, Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) and other external employment bodies
  • HR Consultancy Services – Recruitment / Investigations / Dispute Management

Adare Human Resource Management 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.

Working Time

The Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997, sets out to protect the health, safety and welfare of Employee by regulating their working patterns.
Below are the minimum breaks and rest entitlements outlined in the Act for the majority of workers:
An Employee who works less than 4.5 hours is not entitled to a break. An Employee who works 4.5 hours or more, but less than 6 hours, must be provided with a minimum unpaid break of 15 minutes during their working day. An Employee who works 6 hours or more must be provided with a 30 minute unpaid break during their working day, this can include the previous 15 minutes which is accrued after 4.5 hours. Organisations may provide breaks/ rest periods above and beyond statutory entitlements.
The legislation limits the maximum average working week to 48 hours. This working time can be averaged out over a reference period of 4, 6 or up to 12 months depending on the circumstances. This working time does not include breaks.

All Employees, expect those explicitly excluded by legislation, are entitled to a minimum daily rest period of 11 consecutive hours rest per each 24 hour period during which he or she works. In addition, an Employee is also entitled to at least one 24 hour period of consecutive rest in any 7 day period.
The Act prescribes that “An Employer shall keep records, at the premises (or place where his or her Employee works), which show whether the provisions of the Act are being complied with in relation to the Employee. Records shall be retained for at least 3 years from when they are made.” An Organisation is required to have documentation demonstrating their compliance with the Acts in relation to maximum weekly working hours, daily and weekly rest periods, Sunday provisions, Annual Leave and Public Holidays.

In order to be compliant, a timesheet signed by the Employee and Employer could demonstrate this information. On this timesheet it should have the start time, finish time, duration of breaks taken and total hours worked. There should be a provision for annual leave and public holidays and details of Sunday working. Finally it would be advisable to outline on the form the rest and break entitlements as per the Act so that the Employee is aware of what breaks they should be taking and so that they will notify their Manager if they don”t get the opportunity to take those breaks. Other methods of recording Working Time include using Time and Attendance (Clocking) Systems or an OWT1 form which is available from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

If you have any questions relating to Working Time, do not hesitate to contact us.
For further information on the HR Support Services provided click on the link below:

Power or Popularity? It's a Woman's Choice

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

Coinciding with the laying to rest of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Facebook senior executive Sheryl Sandberg has ignited a debate about the impossibility of being simultaneously both powerful and liked as a woman. As a high achiever with two small children, Sandberg states: “Success and likeability are positively correlated for men and negatively for women. When a man is successful, he is liked by both men and women. When a woman is successful, people of both genders like her less.” As women tend to value the quality and quantity of relationships more than men, the loss of “likeability” is a proportionately greater threat for any female who aspires to leadership.

Expectations of Women

Successful women are often judged on the degree to which they retain their “femininity”, both in terms of behaviour and appearance. While men are perceived as having an inherent right to lead, women have to prove that they can be leaders - and still retain their caring, sensitive disposition. Women who display traditional directive, top-down leadership styles can be judged harshly, while these same behaviours tend to be admired as “decisive” and “assertive” in men – often regardless of results. Thus women leaders carry a double burden. Not only must they get the job done, but they have to be seen as nurturing and supportive at the same time. Female leaders are expected to be both authoritative and empathetic, while only the former is expected from male leaders. Taking on leadership roles therefore demands of women a more complex and nuanced skill-set than it does of men in similar circumstances.

Rather than pay a heavy price for success in terms of friendships and relationships, many young women instinctively limit their ambitions and career goals. They see leadership as being an isolated, lonely place, with little time outside work to cultivate a personal life. They reject power if it means not being seen as a “nice” person, having to become someone whom women dislike and men find threatening. Young men, on the other hand, generally do not anticipate any relationship difficulties in becoming powerful and successful.

Stereotypes of Female Leaders

In October 2011, Forbes surveyed several of the world”s most powerful women, including Christine Lagarde of the IMF and Jill Abramson, executive editor of the New York Times, to determine what stereotypes they encountered in the workplace. Examples ranged from the “Ice Queen” - the cold, heartless power-monger who shows no emotion, on the one hand, to the “over-emotional” leader - the hormonal, unpredictable and unstable woman on the other. If women show no emotion, they fall into the first category and if they show any at all, they fall into the second - one of the many double-binds that female leaders have to negotiate. Stereotypes such as “angry” and “masculine” were frequently mentioned, illustrating that any deviation from a clichéd “feminine” norm can be met with approbation. Michelle Obama and Margaret Thatcher both learned to consciously soften their voice and appearance as part of their public image management.

Women Supporting Women

Sheryl Sandberg identifies some of the dilemmas faced by aspiring women leaders and encourages them to “lean in” to the challenges that lie ahead. Rather than backing off, women need to think big, to believe in themselves, to take credit for their achievements and refuse to drop out when the going gets tough. aims to build an active community to inspire, teach and connect women, helping them to pursue their ambitions and to change the conversation about success. Sandberg references the book “Half the Sky”, which suggests that “In the same way that slavery was a moral challenge for the 19th century and totalitarianism was a challenge for the 20th century, the challenge that women and girls face around the world is the moral challenge of our time”. The achievements of women in education over the last 30 years have not been matched by a concomitant increase in the percentage of women leaders in business, politics or public life. Addressing the subtle but powerful forces behind this imbalance is essential if we are to create a richer, more productive and more equitable world for all. Maeve Halpin © May 2013 More information is available at


Living in the Community Report Launched

A joint report by Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) and Not for Profit Business Association (NfPBA) Living in the Community: Services and Supports for People with Disabilities 2013 was launched on Wednesday 17 th April 2013
The resources and supports that enable people with disabilities to actively live in the community in Ireland are often hidden from view, according to the report. Minister of State Kathleen Lynch launched the report: Living in the Community: Services and Supports for People with Disabilities in the Mansion House.
This report shines a spotlight on these supports, by establishing the types of supports that exist; how are they delivered and funded, how are they managed and how they can be supported so as to continuously improve? The full report is available on and

Progressing Disability Services for Children

DFI participates in the National Group for the Implementation of Children First for Children with Disabilities. The guide for organisations on the implementation of Children first has been completed and signed off by the National Group.
The work of the outcomes sub group of the Progressing Disability Services for Children and Young People aged 0 – 18 years is continuing and its work is due for completion in June. This Group will be replaced by an implementation group for performance management and standards.

DFI participated in the Department of Social Protection”s Disability Forum where a presentation was given by the Chief Medical Officer on the assessment criteria for disability related payments. At the meeting he outlined the process by which the Department assesses eligibility for payments based on desk assessment and personal assessment and additional medical and clinical evidence outlining the degree of ability / disability a person has in various recognised functioning. He explained that the system is designed to give evidence based guidelines to medical assessors in the Department and not to provide an overall holistic approach to disability.

Mandatory Requirements of Garda Vetting

The National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 was enacted into Irish Legislation following its passing in December 2012. Under the Act a new National Vetting Bureau has been established and replaces the Garda Central Vetting Unit. DFI understands that the enforcement order for this Act is planned to be passed in late May or early June 2013. Once the enforcement order has been passed there will be a mandatory requirement for all persons working with children and vulnerable persons to be Garda Vetted, as per the legislation.

The Act clarifies a child as “a person under the age of 18 years” and a vulnerable person is a person other than a child who;
“is suffering from a disorder of the mind, whether as a result of mental illness or dementia, has an intellectual disability, is suffering from a physical impairment, whether as a result of injury, illness or age or has a physical disability which is of such a nature or degree as to restrict the capacity of the person to guard himself or herself against harm by another person, or that results in the person requiring assistance with the activities of daily living including dressing, eating, walking, washing and bathing”

The National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 and Explanatory Memorandum can now be found here:

DFI strongly advises its memberorganisationsto have garda vetting policies and procedures in place and to ensure that their recruitment procedures are in line with this. For more information contact your organisation”s DFI Support officer or contact Eleanor Reece on 01 - 454 7978 or by email

Local Implementation of the National Disability Strategy

DFI continues to progress the planning and predevelopment of the Mainstreaming Network Pilot Project in the West. DFI have had meetings with local access groups and partnerships, as well as with service providers and representative organisations in relation to their role in mainstreaming including IWA, CILs, and DeafHear, in the context of New Directions.

Local Government Reform and Mainstreaming

DFI gave a presentation on Local Government reform and mainstreaming to a seminar on Family Centred Practices in Network Disability Teams, jointly organised by the National Federation of Voluntary Bodies General Assembly and the Progressing Disability Services for Children and Young People aged 0 – 18 years” National Coordinating Committee, targeted at parents and professionals.

National Disability Strategy and Community and Voluntary Pillar

DFI drafted a paper for the C&V Pillar working group, reviewing the goals set out in Towards 2016, and the current socio-economic situation for people experiencing disadvantage.

DFI attended the C&V Pillar pre meeting in preparation for the bilateral meeting with the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government. It was agreed that the Pillar will request more detail on the new representation structures for the Socio-Economic Committees, which will be set up as part of the Local Government reform process.

DFI participated in the C&V Pillar”s bilateral with the Department of Education and Skills early in March. We raised issues relating to access to further and higher education for people with disabilities and the Special Educational Needs report which is due to be completed shortly. Other items discussed were the forthcoming Education and Training Bill to establish SOLAS; the Education and Training Boards Bill to merge VEC's, as well as the absence of mention of disability and inclusion in the Further Education and Training Strategy.


Project Group to review the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant

A Project Group to review the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant was set up in March 2013, in response to the withdrawal of the Mobility Allowance and the Motorised Transport Grant by the Department of Health. The first objective of the Group is to explore the possibilities for replacing these grants. Following on from that the Group”s Terms of Reference will broaden to include the wider transport issues for people with disabilities. DFI is represented on this group by the CEO. The group are currently carrying out a consultation with people with disabilities on their transport needs.

Please contact Joan O” Connor with any comments or thoughts you have on this issue at

Congregated Settings Implementation Group

DFI participated in a Congregated Settings National Implementation Group meeting this month. The National Implementation Plan, Prioritisation, Transition and Communication strategies have now been approved. A Communications and Advocacy sub group has also been established.

HSE Regional Service Plans

The HSE regional service plans were published this month. DFI is currently gathering data on the HSE cuts to organisations” funding, which is demonstrating that there is variance in cuts across the country, with different regions implementing different levels of cuts

Universal Access Working Group

DFI continues to support the work of the Universal Access Working Group, who are currently amending the Personal Assistance policy for use in mainstream health settings before its circulation to health professionals for their feedback.


Marian Harkin MEP assumes key role on EU Parliament Disability Group

Marian Harkin MEP assumes key role on EU Parliament Disability Group. Marioan”s own press release said, “Independent MEP Marian Harkin expressed her "pride and delight at being nominated Vice-President of the European Parliament's Disability Intergroup," noting that "the challenges faced by citizens with a disability in this time of austerity are grave, and increasing weekly".
Marian has been a long-time advocate of increased rights for persons with a disability, collaborating closely with a number of Irish groups as well as the European Disability Forum at pan-European level.
Speaking following her nomination, she noted that "In 2013, I have called on the Irish government to urgently reconsider the decision to end the mobility allowance and motorised transport grant schemes, as well as promoting full Irish ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities".
"EU Citizens with a disability are at daily risk of having their hard-won rights and allowances eroded by the pitiless policies of austerity, and in my new capacity I will be doing everything in my power to ensure that their voices are heard at every relevant level of decision-making in Ireland and Brussels", the Ireland North & West MEP concluded.

European Disability Forum

DFI contributed to the European Disability Forum submission on the 5th High Level Group on the Implementation of the UNCRPD. This Report contains an overview on the ratification and implementation process of the UNCRPD in the EU and in the Members States, as well as the setting up of the governance mechanism required by article 33 UNCRPD. DFI's comments focused on the chapters outlining progress in Ireland.

European Association for Disability Service Providers

DFI participated in a European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) Policy Impact Group meeting. This meeting focused on the work plan for 2013 and preparation for the next Policy Impact Group meeting in Brussels which took place in March 2013. At this meeting DFI's CEO provided a short input on “employment and care workers in the disability sector in Ireland” to EASPD delegates in attendance and officials from the Directorate General for Employment. Other EASPD key campaigns under discussion at the moment are the new “Social Investment Package”, the “Employment Package”, Shadow Reporting of the EU, the European Elections and Structural Funds.

Submission to the Department of Justice

DFI's made a submission to the Department of Justice on the implementation of the Charities Act 2009. DFIattended an ICTR led discussion on the implementation issues as well as facilitating discussion at the Departments own consultation event. DFI also liaised with members who showed an interest in this issue and made contact with other umbrella organisations in the disability sector and beyond to inform our position on this issue.


Housing Reference Group

DFI's Housing Reference Group reconvened in March and met with the senior housing officials charged with implementing the National Housing Strategy for People with Disabilities. In addition the Group identified a number of priority areas that merited particular attention. These included ways to facilitate large approved housing bodies accommodating more people with disabilities, and disseminating across local authorities the improved wording of the housing adequacy test for social housing applicants. DFI's representative at the Strategy Implementation Consultative Group is progressing the debate about personal supports to underpin independent living by proposing a “Community Living Fund” by the HSE.

The Housing Disability Steering Group in Dublin City Council met and agreed to seek clarification at national level about the use of the designated €1m housing fund for de-congregation and to call for HSE engagement with the Group as envisaged in the Strategy.

Housing for People with Disabilities: an Update

The Monitoring Group for the National Housing Strategy for People with Disabilities convened in May to discuss the “National Implementation Progress Report”. DFI is represented on the Group and can give an up-date on developments.

Local implementation

Five local authorities, Dublin City, Cork City, Limerick, Louth and Roscommon have undertaken to pilot the Housing Disability Steering Committees which are important for implementing the Strategy locally. The Housing Agency, tasked with leading implementation, will be discussing representation on these Groups with DFI and others. Four types of disability - physical, sensory, intellectual and mental health – are to be covered, along with housing association and health and local government representatives. The terms of reference for the Groups are being finalised.

Independent living

Efforts to enable people in congregated settings to gain a home in the community, based on their personal plan, are expected to achieve about 40 moves in 2013, well short of the 150 target. The Department of the Environment expressed on-going concern that progress facilitates expenditure of the Euro 1m transferred from the Department of Health this year to cover the provision of housing. Unspent funds would be lost and moreover would undermine the case for additional funding in the future. The HSE aims to have the data essential for making progress prepared by July.

The Association of Local Authority Managers has agreed to revised, improved guidance for assessing social housing need amongst people with disabilities, and it will be adopted shortly. It is important that we highlight the changes to local authority staff, in particular the possibility of a person being inadequately housed although living in an accessible family home.

The Monitoring Group explored the scope for exercising personal choice of one”s home. The importance of a proper process for developing the personal plan was noted in the case of residents of congregated settings. At the same time it was pointed out that there was no resource for supports to facilitate choice for people with medium to lower disabilities, including people in need who live in the community. The particular dilemma was discussed, of people with significant mobility impairments who are offered social housing but cannot obtain the required personal supports. The importance of the HSE developing flexibility to respond constructively and quickly was emphasised.

Adaptation grants

The huge cut in the funding for these schemes was strongly criticised by some members of the Monitoring Group. It was pointed out that spreading the remaining funds as widely as possible, for example by reducing the grant cap, would deny basic human decency to some who are struggling to remain living with their families. A review to consider how to distribute the reduced funds is commencing under the leadership of the Housing Agency.

DFI had written to Minister O”Sullivan on this matter, and plans to reply to her response which rested on the claim that the money for adaptations was no longer available. We intend to question the Government”s financial decision and the inhumane trade-offs implicit in it.

People with mental health conditions

The Monitoring Group emphasised the necessity of including fully the needs of this cohort in implementing the Strategy. Information of this aspect needs strengthening.

First year review

The Monitoring Group will be advising on the annual report evaluating progression of the Strategy at its September meeting. DFI would welcome observations and comments in this regard.

For further information, please contact


DFI- NAI Self Management Workshop Series

DFI - NAI Self Management Workshop Series

May 23rd and 30th from 10am – 1pm,
Venue: DFI office, Fumbally Court, Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8.

Self Management is a person centred approach that is recognised internationally as key to meeting the growing challenge of long term conditions. It involves individuals and service providers working together to support a person in dealing with the very real implications of living the rest of their life with a chronic condition.

Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI), in association with the Neurological Alliance of Ireland (NAI), have come together to facilitate the delivery of introduction training in the area of Self Management to organisations . Recognising organisation constraints of time and resources, the training schedule has been condensed to 2 DAYS with arevisedstart time of 10am.

Book your place online now:

Dates: Thursday 23 rd and Thursday 30 th May

Time: 10am – 1pm

Cost: €50 per participant
There are only 4 spaces left on this course. Registration online:

If you have any queries please email or contact Cathy McGrath direct on 086 38 47440.


These two half-day workshops will focus on the definition and principles of self-management and how to develop an internal framework to support its development in your organisation.

These workshops will include a case study from Arthritis Ireland who have been effectively operating an ethos of person-centred self-management in their organisation since 2006.

By the end of the 2 days participants will:

  • Understand what self-management is

  • Have practiced some key tools of self-management

  • Have experienced some of the key components of the Stanford University Chronic Disease Self-Management Programme

  • Have identified what self-management activities their organisations are currently undertaking

  • Have developed a plan of action to embed self management principles further into their organisation

The workshop will be delivered by Gráinne O”Leary, Head of Education and Support Services in Arthritis Ireland and Stanford University accredited Master Trainer in Chronic Disease and Arthritis Self Management Programmes.

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

DFI will continue to host a series of two day courses in 2013 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.

Course: “ How to Demonstrate Outcomes”
This two day training course for community and voluntary organisations will take place on Tuesday & Wednesday, 25 th & 26 th June 2013, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the DFI Offices, Fumbally Court, Fumbally Lane, Dublin8 .

Course Summary
This two-day core course is based on the Charities Evaluation Services, evidenced based self-evaluation model, which is an aims and objectives model of evaluation with a strong Outcomes focus.

This introductory course offers a practical approach to linking monitoring and evaluation of outputs and outcomes to the planning and delivery of an organisation”s work. This course may assist organisations with implementing and evidencing some of the Quality Areas in PQASSO such as Quality Area 1, Planning; Quality Area 4, User-Centred Service and Quality Area 11, Monitoring and Evaluation.

Using case studies and examples, participants are offered the opportunity to apply their learning to their own projects. Participants bring their learning together into a self-evaluation framework that will enable them to collect vital information both for internal use and for funders and other stakeholders.

Course Outcomes
By the end of the two-day course, participants will be able to:

  • understand key evaluation concepts and terminology
  • identify and clarify aims and objectives, outputs and outcomes
  • set indicators to help assess achievement of outputs and outcomes
  • identify the requirements for basic monitoring systems
  • develop their own self-evaluation frameworks
  • identify some simple ways to collect information

Is this course for you?

The “How to Demonstrate Outcomes” two-day training course is appropriate for small to medium sized voluntary sector organisations, and / or organisations that are just beginning to implement a monitoring and self-evaluation system to collect information on their outputs and outcomes.

You will benefit most from this course if you:

  • are new, or fairly new, to monitoring and self-evaluation
  • wish to have time within the training to explore issues of monitoring and self-evaluation
  • want to implement a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system in your organisation to collect information on the outputs and outcomes of your work
  • are implementing PQASSO or other quality management system in your organisation.

Places are limited so early booking is advisable.

If you would like to register for this course, please email Eleanor Reece on or if you would like more information on the course or on PQASSO, please contact Dermot O”Donnell, Support Officer for Organisations and Licensed PQASSO Mentor on 086-7808639 or by email on

Registration Fee and Terms and conditions
Fee for the 2 days Training course is €275 per place.A discount is available where two or more participants from the same organisation attend, booking on the same invoice, reducing the fee per participant to €250.00.
Tea, coffee, scones, and lunch is provided within the fee. All places will be confirmed in writing.
Bookings cancelled within 5 working days of the training taking place will incur a 50% cancellation fee. Cancellations must be made in writing and cancellation charges will apply whether or not payment has been received. Please note that non-arrival at a course, with or without notice, counts as a cancellation. Bookings may be transferred to another course date.

Please note that DFI reserves the right to cancel any course and in such cases, a full refund of course fees will be made.

For more information, please visit the DFI website here:

Further CES Training in this Series

How to Choose an Outcomes Monitoring Database - One-day
Tuesday 22 nd October 2013

How to Collect, Analyse, Present and Use Data – Two day
Wednesday and Thursday, 23 rd and 24 th October 2013

Implementing PQASSO – Two Day
Wednesday andThursday, 4 th & 5 th December 2013

More information is available here:


Leading World Experts to Speak in Dublin on Disability and Employment

Some of the world”s leading experts in the field of employment and disability have been confirmed for the European Union of Supported Employment (EUSE) Conference taking place in Dublin next month.

The EUSE conference, hosted by the Irish Association of Supported Employment (IASE), and sponsored by the Rehab Group, takes place in Croke Park Stadium and Conference Centre, from June 11 th to June 13 th .

The conference will see hundreds of delegates from more than 30 countries, across five continents meet in Dublin for three days.

It will address some of the most pressing issues, latest developments and newest innovations from around the world in the area of supporting people with disabilities and other marginalised groups into jobs.

More than 50 talks, workshops and events are included in the programme, available to download here.

Dr. Paul Wehman, one the original pioneers of supported employment and a top thinker in the field, both in the U.S. and internationally, will travel to Dublin to present a keynote talk.

Dr. Rachel Perkins, OBE, a preeminent expert in the area of mental health and employment is also a keynote speaker.

Angela Kerins, Chief Executive, of the Rehab Group, and Caroline Casey, founder of business and disability charity Kanchi, are also delivering talks.

The parallel workshop sessions include the presentation of projects on: supporting people on the autism spectrum into jobs; transitioning from education to employment for young people with disability; bullying in the workplace and how it affects people with intellectual disability; mental health and work; the benefits barrier; working creatively with employers; and supported employment in a recession.

The conference has been recognised at the highest level by policy and decision makers as it has been included in the official calendar of events for the Irish presidency of the Council of the EU. This means the issues addressed at the conference could potentially influence policy making decisions affecting 500 million European citizens.

For more information or to register visit:

Further information:
Frances Toner, communications officer, IASE
Telephone (097) 82894 or (086) 7910400

IASE, No. 3 Broadhaven House, Lower Barrack Street, Belmullet, Co. Mayo

People of the Year Awards 2013

Nominations now open

2013 marks the 39 th People of the Year Awards, organised by Rehab, which will be presented live by Gráinne Seoige on RTÉ One on Saturday 14 th September. They are your chance to honour people who change our world.

In addition to a number of People of the Year Awards, there are also specific awards for:

  1. Young Person of the Year (under 25)
  2. International Person of the Year
  3. Sports Person of the Year
  4. Community Group of the Year

If you think you know someone who has done something extraordinary, who has made a real difference, who has inspired those around them – then please consider nominating them now at , email or call 01-2057260.
The closing date for nominations is Friday, 14 th June 2013

Disability Studies Certificate Course Accredited at NFQ Level 7

The Center for Independent Living Carmichael House runs an annual certificate course in Disability Studies. This course is accredited at level 7 on the National Framework of Qualifications and is run in conjunction with the National University of Ireland Maynooth. It is a part time course and runs beginning of October to the end of April. All participants are welcome however those with some experience of disability, either in a personal, academic or professional sense will gain the most.
The course is designed to explore theories and perceptions of disability in society, accessibility issues and challenge participants thinking around disability and how as active citizens we can create a society that fully accepts social equality for all. The following is a testimonial from one of the many graduates over the years, and outlines the learning outcomes and the practical learning experience benefits on completion of the various modules.
“The course content is very interesting from the start, it deeply affected the way I think about society and challenged my perceptions of equality.
The course is suitable for a wide range of people from different backgrounds and gives valuable insights into the real life difficulties and obstacles faced by people with disabilities in Ireland.” A. Foley previous participant
We welcome applications from all sectors of society, and if you are interested in taking part or for more information please contact The Center for Independent Living Team on or call 01-873 0455

Universal Design

As a member of the National Standards Authority of Ireland Working Group 7, DFI contributed to the development of a standard on “Universal Design – For Customer Engagement – In Tourism Services”, due for launch in the second quarter with the aim of informing the development of similar standards across the EU .

€1.4 Million in Contract Opportunities for Digital Skills Trainers

Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte T.D., announced a further allocation of grants available for digital skills training under the Bene f IT scheme.
The Bene f IT scheme will support the National Digital Strategy (NDS), which will be published shortly.
The scheme is open to community, voluntary and not-for-profit organisations who can provide the relevant digital skills training. Details of the scheme, including who is eligible to apply, and how applications will be evaluated are set out in the guidelines, which along with an application form can be obtained at: .
The deadline for applications is 15th May 2013.

WALK PEER Programme

WALK PEER Programme is a new initiative in County Louth, supporting young people aged 16-24 and in receipt of a disability payment to access paid employment on the open labour market. The programme seeks to bridge the gaps between participants and employment through the provision of tailored one to one support. The programme also supports young people in accessing mainstream education and training opportunities. If you would like to find out more please contact the office at 041 6856823 or email .
WALK PEER Programme Administrator: Karen Harrison
WALK PEER Programme Coordinator: Gráinne Berrill

Promoting Carers Week

As a partner in Carers Week with Care Alliance Ireland, DFI is involved in promoting the week and encouraging members to engage in activities that celebrate the contribution that Family Carers make to the lives of people with disabilities. Carers Week this year takes place on the week beginning 10th of June, and DFI is already involved in ensuring a successful week that gives due recognition to carers.

DFI Working with Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

DFI participated on the Steering Group comprised of media representatives and disability representatives, convened by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) and the National Disability Authority, to explore ways of improving the portrayal, representation and prevalence of people with disabilities in Irish Broadcasting. The Steering Committee is considering how best to encourage positive portrayal and inclusion of people with disabilities on all broadcast media via voluntary codes.

Smart Tourism Guide

The Smart Tourism Guide has been written, designed, edited and tested by 16 people with Down syndrome as part of a pan-European project aimed at promoting greater independence and quality of life.
The easy-to-read, 88-page fun guidebook is both a visual and written guide to the city of Dublin featuring text and imagery, which make sightseeing in our capital city a fun and informative experience.
The comprehensive guide is much more than just a tourist”s aid, it is packed with interesting historical facts, information on the Irish climate and culture as well as tips on the top things to do in Dublin.
It details Dublin”s traffic issues; advises readers on the correct type of clothing to wear while visiting the city and even details public transport costs.
It is specifically tailored to suit a young adult with Down syndrome from Ireland or overseas visiting Dublin city.
It is one of three, easy-to-read, European city guides produced by Down Syndrome associations in Dublin Rome and Lisbon under the Grundtvig”s Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP).
The guide can be downloaded at
For Further Information Contact:
Pat Clarke CEO of Down Syndrome Ireland 083 3914566
Grainne Murphy, Director of Policy, Ethics and Independence at DSI 087 2535809

Mindful Leadership Retreat

A new generation of business leaders is turning to mindfulness as a cutting-edge leadership tool. Scientific research suggests that the practice of mindfulness (a technique for learning to live in the present moment) can help individuals to gain clarity, reduce stress, optimize performance, and develop a greater sense of well-being.

“The first task of management has nothing to do with leading others; step one poses the challenge of knowing and managing oneself” – Daniel Goleman

Richard Boyatzis argues that good leaders attain resonance with those around them with self awareness and relationship management.

“At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, I was struck that the topic that seemed to be on everybody”s mind was mindfulness. One of the most talked about sessions was called “The Mindful leaders”.

This one day Mindful Leadership retreat for CEO's, Team Leaders, Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs will:

• Give you a practical, working understanding of Mindfulness
• Provide you with taster sessions of mindful practice
• Support you with finding the space to develop mindful practice that
will transform your leadership through follow up resources and coaching
( two coaching sessions included in the investment)

Date and Venue for next Mindful Leadership Retreat
Date: Wed May 22nd
Venue: Chapter House Conference Centre, Kilkenny
Contact Dee Hennessy for further information
Phone: 0868539227

Community Knowledge Exchange

Can Dublin City University (DCU) help your organisation?

Are you involved in a community or voluntary organisation that wants to see an issue investigated by university researchers? Dublin City University has established Community Knowledge Exchange to bring together social organisations and researchers around topics of common interest.

Community Knowledge Exchange is now seeking proposals and requests from community and voluntary organisations for research they wish to see done at the university.

These proposals may concern issues of, for example, environmental management, planning, public health, economic or financial analysis, advocacy or communication strategy, or others where deeper and more formal investigation could help the affected group or community.

The university has appointed a community knowledge broker to help interest groups and community organisations formulate their issues as topics for research by students under academic supervision.

The community knowledge broker will identify potential supervisors and facilitate dialogue between them and the external group(s).

Send your request or proposal for research assistance from DCU by completing this online proposals and requests form.

For more information, or to discuss a possible issue for research, contact or 01-700 5635


Ability - Newsletter of the Irish Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, Tel: 01 4572329, E-mail:

Acquired Brain Injury Ireland Newsletter, Tel 01 2804164 email:

Arthritis Ireland - Newsletter—Tel: 01 661 8188


Aspire - Asperger Syndrome Association of Ireland. 01-8780027/9,

Asthma Society News - Tel: 01-8788511,


Brainstorm - Migraine Association of Ireland, Tel: 01-8064121,


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: 01-6236414, or 01- 6236415E-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: visit

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:

Shine 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:

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 body for voluntary disability sector organisations, covering all areas of disability and disabling conditions. There are currently over 125 voluntary disability organisations in DFI Membership.

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),

Tel: 01-4547978


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


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)

Tel: 01-4547978


Martin Naughton

Dublin North Central, Dublin North West, Dublin North

Mobile: 086 8207196



Michael Corbett,

Galway, Mayo, Roscommon

C/O DFI, Acres, 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



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 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 126 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

Email: web:

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