Newsletter September 2011

Issued on September 13 2011

The Challenges Ahead

We are fast approaching the last quarter of 2011, and facing a daunting series of public policy events that will profoundly influence the environment in which voluntary disability organisations operate. Another austerity budget will be announced early in December, for 2012, that may well not have the relatively light touch on disability specific health services that Budget 2011 did. In addition, Departments across government are adjusting and contracting their provision of services under the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure.

The Value for Money and Policy Review of the Disability Services Programme is expected to be completed in November, although not necessarily made public. This will initiate major changes in the funding allocation regime for the Programme. At the same time, implementation work is likely to begin on the Congregated Settings Report, the Day Services Review, and the National Housing Strategy for People with Disabilities, to name a few policy areas.

Although not all the up-coming events threaten reduced resources for the disability sector – and DFI is working hard to protect disability, in keeping with the Government’s stated priority – they must be closely considered, as they will place increased pressure on the planning capacity of organisations.

It is easy to say that organisations must plan strategically if they are to survive in a rapidly evolving and uncertain environment. It is another thing to do it. To gather the relevant information, especially from the people with disabilities for whom an organisation exists, and to map possible ways of working under changing conditions, is challenging. DFI understands the scale of the task we all face, and can support organisations who are responding to this acutely uncomfortable world that is heading our way.

People with disabilities, who are already under severe pressure, need to be able to count on their organisations being able to manoeuvre effectively through rough weather. Organisations must take time to consider and plan in the context of the challenging environment, and where possible working to protect critical public services.

John Dolan

BUDGET 2012 DFI Forum - 5th October 2011, Mansion House Dublin

DFI’s Pre-Budget Discussion Forum will be held in the Mansion House on Wednesday 5 October between 12 noon and 1:00 pm.
Oireachtas members are being invited to attend, and we hope that DFI members will be well represented at the event. It is an opportunity to share plans and experience but also to ask our elected representatives what they are doing to support people with disabilities.

In its pre-budget submission, DFI will be highlighting:

  • The need for both income and service support to ensure the participation of people with disabilities.
  • The need for Government Departments and Agencies to recognise the valuable resource available to them in the voluntary disability sector.
  • The need for an Implementation Plan for the NDS.
  • The need, at a minimum, to protect existing benefit payments and public service entitlements of people with disabilities.
  • The need to embed a person-centre disability perspective within the public service reform programme.

For further information on DFI’s Pre-Budget Forum, please contact

If you would like to attend the event, please contact Eleanor Reece, 01 4547978, or email

Organisational Development

HR & Employment Law Update

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.

Basic Entitlements for Employees

There are a number of basic entitlements that apply to most employees in Ireland around working hours, documentation to be issued, minimum wage etc. Some industries provide additional entitlements to these, but as a whole these are the minimum entitlements that employers need to be aware of.

  • A written statement of terms and conditions of employment. Employment legislation details what terms and conditions of employment must be stated in writing and given to employees within two months of starting employment.
  • A written statement of pay or ‘payslip’ must be provided to employees. The payslip should set out gross pay and list all deductions made from it.
  • The minimum wage. Most experienced adult workers in Ireland are entitled to be paid €8.65 per hour. There are however, some exceptions to the minimum wage, including those employed by close relatives, those aged under 18 and trainees or apprentices.
  • A maximum working week average of 48 hours a week should not be exceeded by employees. This is based on an average calculated over a four, six, or twelve-month period, depending on the industry. Employers must keep records of hours worked.
  • Unpaid breaks during working hours must be provided to Employees. After 4.5 hours worked, Employees are entitled to a 15 minute unpaid break and if they work for more than 6 hours they are entitled to a 30 minute un paid break.
  • Annual leave from work must be provided to Employees. Full-time workers have the right to four working weeks paid annual leave per annum. Part-time workers have the right to a proportional amount of annual leave based on the amount of hours they work.
  • A minimum amount of notice before dismissal must be given to Employees. Employees are entitled to a minimum amount of notice if their employment ceases. The minimum amount of notice depends on the length of service.

Please note this list is not exhaustive.

For further information on the HR Support Services provided click on the link below:

Dealing with Difficult Staff Members by Maeve Halpin, Social and Organisational Psychologist

An inevitable feature of the work of every manager will be dealing with difficult employees. Many people promoted or recruited into management and supervisory positions will have had minimal people management training. Managers may have few skills in the complex and delicate areas of understanding personality types, power struggles and inter-group rivalries. Typically, a manager will desist from confronting a difficult employee in order to avoid conflict, fearing it may make the situation worse. As many organisations lack an objective, regular performance appraisal process, attempts to address issues with a difficult employee can be taken personally, or be perceived as bullying. Community and Voluntary managers value teamwork and can be dependent on being liked by their staff, which can inhibit them taking action that may make them unpopular. They may choose to push out a difficult staff member rather than take on the responsibility of dealing with them directly.

Guidelines for Addressing Staff Problems

Evaluate Carefully: Don''t go on hearsay and rumour. Be clear about the facts, and about your own biases. Be as objective as possible, accessing external advice if necessary. Every situation is unique, and skilful responses need to be thought through carefully. Having assessed the situation, act promptly, as difficult behaviour that becomes entrenched is much harder to address.

Deal with Observable Behaviours: Be clear about the requirements for performance as laid out in company policy, and delineate where the employee falls short of these. Do not refer to “poor motivation” or “bad attitude”, as these can be disputed. Ideally this conversation should take place in the context of a standard appraisal process, which would include a focus on the positive aspects of performance. It may be advisable to have a third party present at any disciplinary meetings.

Listen: Use active listening skills to facilitate the employee telling their side of the story. A manager has to empathise with the other person’s feelings and be prepared to accept their part in any misunderstanding. Gaining insight into the actual cause of the difficult behavior can be invaluable. If the employee feels they are being heard, rather than judged, a constructive resolution to the problem is more likely.

Contain Strong Emotions: both yours and others. A manager needs to stay calm, positive, impartial and non-judgmental, during what can be tense conversations. Calmness, like anger, is contagious, and the onus is on the manager to maintain a professional, objective approach.

Focus on Solutions: acknowledge the staff member''s contribution to the discussion, and ask them to suggest ways of addressing the situation. Solutions that are reached by consensus are more likely to be implemented. Agree on measurable goals and document these, including a date for review. Accept that change may be gradual, and that a number of such meetings may have to take place, with the aim of continuous improvement rather than overnight transformation.

Enhancing Management Skills

Employees report that their greatest workplace difficulties come not from clients, customers or colleagues, but from their supervisors and managers. Managers have to maintain a delicate balance between motivating staff and ensuring good morale, on the one hand, and monitoring performance, effectiveness and efficiency on the other – having to be a “good cop” and “bad cop” simultaneously. All managers and supervisors need to be aware of their own training needs, and be open to on-going professional development, availing of external support when necessary.

© Maeve Halpin Aug 2011

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. More information is available at .


Value for Money & Policy Review

The Minister of State for Disability, Equality and Mental Health, Kathleen Lynch TD, responded to a Dáil question stating that the Review should be completed by November 2011 and would then be considered by the Government. However, initiatives that the Review might otherwise be likely to recommend are already getting underway, such as the establishment of the committee on implementing the recommendations of the Congregated Setting Report. In its submissions DFI has consistently emphasised that the unit cost exercise is of value only if it focuses on services and supports that align with the policy objectives, i.e., that enable people with disabilities to get on with their lives. We seek a comprehensive evaluation that would promote reconfiguration of the Programme to maximise the effectiveness and efficiency of public funding for health services used by people with disabilities.

The Review of the Disability Services Programme in the HSE is close to completing its data gathering work according to a recent update by Colm Desmond, the Department of Health and Children officer leading the Review’s working group. Mr Desmond explained that efforts to calculate unit costs by major service types necessitated some further information from a few service providers. He asked that any comments on the unit cost methodology used be emailed to .

For further information please contact

Service User Participation Model Working Group

The National Consultative Forum (NCF) of the HSE recognises the need for meaningful engagement and appropriate representation from service users and that consideration must be given to appropriate involvement of service users in an active way. The objective of the NCF is to ensure people with disabilities actively and effectively participate in the development of policy, practice, and organisational strategies.

There already exists considerable experience of good practice in developing models of service user involvement. However varying methodologies are being used in service user involvement. The National Consultative Forum wishes to ensure that the model / framework of service user involvement, in the context of the Consultative Forum structure, is one of active participation.

DFI was invited by Cate Hartigan, HSE Assistant National Director Disability Services, to participate in the National Implementation Working Group – Service User Participation Model. The work of this group is to consider the most appropriate method for engagement with service users at national, regional and local levels to address the aim, objectives and work stream of the Fora Structure. Following a call for expressions of interest from our members, and in keeping with DFI protocols for representation, Don Baily, from Vantastic, was appointed DFI representative on this group.

If you would like further information about this group and the work that they are doing, please contact Jacqueline Grogan at .

National Programme for the Restructuring of Children’s Disability Services - HSE Bulletin June 2011

The HSE published a Bulletin in June 2011 to keep interested parties informed about the Progressing Disability Services for Children and Young People national programme for the restructuring of children’s disability services. The Bulletin is available at

In Ireland disability services, delivered by the HSE and non-statutory organisations, have developed independently over time, so there is wide variation in the services available in different parts of the country and for different categories of disability. As a consequence of this some children and their families have little or no access to services. A more equitable and consistent way to provide services for children with disabilities is needed, and we must work together to achieve the greatest benefit possible within our resources. A national programme has been launched which will change the way services are provided across the country. It is based on the recommendations of the Report of the National Reference Group on Multidisciplinary Services for Children aged 5-18 Years produced by representatives of the professions and management involved in delivering multi-disciplinary services to children. This Report is available to read on the HSE website .

The national programme aims to have one clear pathway for all children with disabilities living in a locality. This means that health professionals and parents will know where a child should be referred and how to do this. Importantly, via local service provision, the objective is that no family will be left without a service.

Programme partner organisations are the HSE, Office for Disability & Mental Health, Department of Health and Children, Department of Education and Skills, National Federation of Voluntary Bodies, Disability Federation of Ireland, Not for Profit Business Association, and Inclusion Ireland.

More about this programme can be found on the HSE Learning and Development website . A dedicated email address for queries and comments from parents and service users, health and education staff about the programme is available at If you would like to talk to the DFI representative on this group, please contact Toni Gleeson, Support Officer, contact details on p.20

HSE National Quality Standards Self Assessment

The National Quality Standards (NQS): Residential Services for People with Disabilities- Adults were published by HIQA in May 2009. The HSE is committed to working with the service providers, Department of Health and Children and HIQA to implement the NQS on a non-statutory basis. To prepare the ground work for this the HSE National Disability Unit (NDU) has worked with the regional leads for disability to look for organisations to undertake a self assessment against the 19 standards within the 7 sections of the NQS.

The organisations selected for this self assessment will be across all areas of disability (excluding mental health), and will be of varying sizes and in varying locations. The HSE will be approaching the organisations selected for this pilot over the coming weeks. DFI would encourage organisations to consider if this is something that they would like to participate in, and if so, to contact Anne Marie Ryan, HSE National Disability Unit, for further information. , Tel. 01 6352646

HSE Performance Report June 2011

The HSE published its performance report for June 2011 at the beginning of August. This report provides an overall analysis of key performance data from Finance, HR, Hospital and Primary and Community Services, including mental health and disability. The activity data reported is based on Performance Activity and Key Performance Indicators outlined in the NSP 2011. Some of the key messages in the June report include the following:

  • The HSE is running at a deficit of €208.3m to the end of June, with €124m of this in the hospitals
  • There are 383 Primary Care teams in operation, compared to a year to date target of 431.
  • Only 20% of disability assessments of need are taking place within the timeframes specified in the legislation.

Following the publication of this report, the HSE announced that the current moratorium on the employment of staff will now extend to the frontline positions that were previously exempt. This move will affect the recruitment of hundreds of social workers, therapists, psychiatric nurses and other grades that could be essential in helping maintain people’s quality of life. The exact impact of this moratorium is not yet known, but it can be expected that it will affect people with disabilities and their families.

National Disability Strategy / Towards 2016

DFI Meeting with Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform

John Dolan, CEO of DFI, met with Minister Brendan Howlin TD during the summer to review how the implementation of the National Disability Strategy (NDS) interacts with the Government’s public service reform agenda. The Minister outlined details of an active programme to change working practises in the civil service and the Dáil. In response to the Minister’s query in relation to the number and nature of voluntary disability organisations DFI outlined the efforts being made by voluntary disability organisations, through PQASSO, cost efficiency measures, and other initiatives, to enhance productivity.

DFI also outlined its proposed Implementation Plan for the NDS, explained how it would promote closer inter-departmental collaboration, and how it was linked to the Minister’s own objectives. We emphasised the importance of all government bodies recognising their responsibilities for the inclusion of people with disabilities, citing the new Statements of Strategy as a means of embedding disability awareness into civil service culture.

Finally the special vulnerability of people with disabilities was underlined, in the context of the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure organised by the Minister’s Department. DFI noted that people with disabilities were part of Irish society at every level and that protecting them is not just a matter of flagging some disability-specific services. Forthcoming budget decisions must be disability proofed by all Government departments, otherwise the double hit already experienced by people with disabilities would be further exacerbated.

DFI has used information from this meeting with Minister Howlin has been used in drafting its pre-budget submission. For further information on any of the issues raised please contact

Update: Disability Stakeholder Group on Social Protection

The Disability Stakeholder Group (DSG) for Social Protection was established to monitor developments on the progress of the long-term goals of the National Disability Strategy, and to inform the wider DSG in matters relating to the Department of Social Protection (DSP) Sectoral Plan. The membership of the subgroup consists of representatives from DFI, Inclusion Ireland, Mental Health Reform, Not for Profit Business Association, Federation of Voluntary Bodies and PwDI. The group meets with the DSP on a quarterly basis to progress high priority areas concerning people with disabilities and the work of the Department.

Following a meeting with the then Minister for Social Protection, Éamon O’Cúiv, in November 2010 and January 2011, the DSG and DSP resolved to focus their efforts on two areas namely protecting income supports, including the issue of the extra cost of disability and progression/activation to employment. There are many people working in the voluntary and statutory sector with expertise and practical knowledge of the barriers and opportunities for people with disabilities, and who have a problem solving approach to such matters. It is on that basis that representatives were approached in the putting together of a Project Team.

The Project Team have met on four occasions between March and May 2011, and participated in break-out sessions to identify information deficits, barriers to participation and opportunities and solutions in the new environment. The Department and the DSG members have been considering the recommendations arising from these meetings and are due to meet on 7th September where they can hopefully agree a set of proposals to bring before the Minister prior to Budget 2012. The work is therefore on-going, but is unique in terms of the collaborative approach used to work with a Government Department.

For more information on the Project Team or the work of the DSG/DSP Group please contact Louise McCann, DFI Support Officer, contact details on P.20.

Public Consultation: Department of Transport Sectoral Plan

The Department’s Sectoral Plan under the Disability Act 2005, entitled “Transport Access for All”, is currently being reviewed. It was last published in 2009.

The current Plan sets out targets for accessible public transport across all modes – actions to make trains, buses, taxi and hackney services, as well as air and marine transport, accessible to people with mobility, sensory and cognitive impairments. It also covers parking facilities for motorists with disabilities and includes a section on Roads Policy. In general, the timescales for the various elements of the Plan are expected to be completed by 2015. The Department of Transport has invited submissions on matters that you consider should be addressed in the 2011 Review

In order to get a good grasp on the issues and concerns of people with disabilities in relation to transport issues, DFI recently held consultations with clients of a number of member organisations. We will be using the valuable feedback from these consultations to inform our own submission to the review process. DFI would encourage organisations to make their individual submission to the review.

A Guidance Note has been prepared by the Department of Transport to assist in making a submission. In addition, people with disabilities are being invited to respond to a survey about their current experience of public transport. The Guidance Note and the Survey Form are available for download in MS Word format and HTML format, and links to all formats can be found at:

Paper copies are available from the Department Tel: (01) 6041614 or (01) 6041644. Please send your comments by post in an envelope marked ‘Sectoral Plan Review’ to the National Sustainable Travel Office (Area B), Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport Leeson Lane, Dublin 2. Submissions can also be made by e-mail

The Closing Date for receipt of comments is 23rd September 2011.

New Higher Education and Employment Initiatives Closed to Unemployed People with Disabilities

The Disability Federation of Ireland, along with some of our member organisations including AHEAD and Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland, has been disappointed with the stream of new initiatives announced by the Government that are closed to unemployed people on disability allowance. They include the Springboard Programme, the National Internship Scheme - Job Bridge, and Community Work Placement Initiative – Tús.

It has long been recognised that access to employment and training is crucial to improving the quality of life and social inclusion of disabled people and to reduce their risk of poverty. Even at the height of the boom, when long-term unemployment was at an all-time low, the percentage of people with disabilities in employment actually fell from 40% to 37%. In addition, individuals with an illness or disability are three times more likely to be in consistent poverty than the average population.

Every very person with a disability who wants to work or access training and education must be supported in doing so in line with the commitments made under the National Disability Strategy. Between 1996 and 2008, the number of recipients of disability allowance increased from over 37,000 to almost 96,000, an increase of 158%. The level of expenditure on DA has also increased six fold (or 560%) from €157.5m in 1996 to €901.1m in 2008 prompting the Government to fund a Value for Money Review on the DA Scheme.

The increasing demand and expenditure of DA, along with continued engagement with the voluntary disability sector that advocate a rights’ based approach to disability, has led to the recognition of the need to give every opportunity to disabled unemployed people on DA and other disability payments access to the labour market. This is demonstrated in the recent move to introduce a Partial Capacity Scheme on a pilot basis. DFI will continue to use its influence to commit the Government to disability proof all new employment and activation initiatives going forward and to change the eligibility criteria of existing schemes.

If you would like to inform us about your position or keep up-to-date on the work of DFI in this matter please contact Louise Mc Cann at or 01 4250126.

New Education Campus in Co. Monaghan

Ruairi Quinn TD, Minister for Education and Skills, recently announced approval for a €35m investment in an ‘Education Campus’ in Co. Monaghan. The project is being managed locally by the Co. Monaghan Vocational Educational Committee, and is being designed to be enjoyed by adults and children alike.

DFI has written to the Minister welcoming the project, but reminding him and the Committee of their responsibilities for making the facility accessible to all people with disabilities. We encourage local disability groups to make sure that inclusion is at the forefront of the project’s planning for your area. Should need any assistance on this issue, please contact your local DFI office – contact details on P.20.
For further information, please click


Housing Developments

It is understood that a National Housing Strategy for People with Disabilities was approved by Cabinet before the Dáil adjourned. Since the National Advisory Group, of which DFI is a member, did not see the final version, information on the contents is not yet known. The Advisory Group is likely to be consulted on drafting the Implementation Plan for the new Strategy.

Minister Willie Penrose TD launched a project of Clúid Housing Association, a mixed social and private housing development, the first to be based on the Government’s new model of relying on housing associations and debt finance. The project was controlled by NAMA. It contains 58 units (one and two bedrooms), 34 of which are for social use. The central location in Sandyford, Dublin and the high specification makes the project of potential interest to some people with disabilities. For information click

Irish Council for Social Housing: Conference

The conference, Housing Ireland in 2020, takes place in the Galway Bay Hotel, Salthill, Co. Galway on 28th and 29th September. The speakers will look at how the social housing system is likely to evolve, and the challenges, such as empty properties. There will be an address by Willie Penrose TD, Minister of State for Housing and Planning.

At the session on housing for people with disabilities the Congregated Settings Report and housing for people with mental ill health will be discussed. The Department’s senior officer, Mary Tully, will outline the Government’s approach to meeting the housing needs of this group. A session on housing for older people focuses on care in the community.

For more information please click

Training & Education

The Advocacy Initiative: Developing New Ways of Looking at Social Justice Advocacy

The Advocacy Initiative is a three-year community and voluntary sector project that promotes understanding, awareness and effectiveness of social justice advocacy in Ireland. By creating conditions for enhanced impact of social justice advocacy, the Initiative will contribute to a more inclusive and equitable society. The initiative is funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies.

DFI is delighted to welcome Anna Visser as Director of the Project, which will engage with the wider community and voluntary sector to create new ways of working between the community and voluntary sector and the state. The work that will be undertaken by the initiative will include, looking at the creation of a definition of social justice advocacy and how we evaluate this kind of work, research to map current advocacy, or threats to organisations as a result of their lobbying work, as well as research on how policy makers perceive social justice advocacy. The project also aims to develop the capacity of the sector and to provide a space for reflection within the sector.

At the end of the project it is hoped that a new way of working between the community and voluntary sector and the state will emerge, grounded in a culture of social solidarity, leading to the development and implementation of more appropriate and targeted policies and embraceing more effective advocacy strategies.

If you would like out find out more about this project and/or how you can become involved, please contact Anna Visser, Director of The Advocacy Initiative,
Tel: 01 6853291, or Joan O’Donnell, Support Officer, DFI, (contact details on P.20. who is a member of the Project Management Group of the Initiative.

The Advocacy Initiative, Carmichael House, North Brunswick St, Dublin, Tel: 01 6853291; Mobile: 086 3854050, Web:

Online Survey for People with Disabilities

Rape Crisis Network Ireland and the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI, Galway, are studying information that has been collected in Ireland and elsewhere about sexual violence experienced by people with disabilities. Information is being included about people with mental health difficulties and members of the deaf community.

People with disabilities are invited to complete a short online survey about what stops them talking about experiences of sexual violence.

What is sexual violence?

Sexual violence or abuse is when anyone does something to you in a sexual way that you do not want them to do. Sexual violence can be experienced from anyone, including people you are related to. Sexual violence can happen anywhere, including at home or at work.

Examples of sexual violence are:

  • Someone making a person do sexual things that make them sad, angry, afraid or ashamed.
  • Someone touching a person in a sexual way where they do not want to be touched.
  • Someone making a person touch them on their private parts.
  • Someone making a person take your clothes off or have sex when they do not want to.
  • Someone taking photographs of a person with no clothes on.

Help to improve society

Help is being asked for to improve public understanding, supports and protection for people with disabilities by completing the survey. There are only 9 questions to be answered. Your name will not be collected and your identity will not be revealed.

People may also want to take part in a one-day workshop to help us learn more after they have completed the survey. The workshop will be a safe place for people taking part to talk about what stops them, or people they know, from telling anyone if they have experienced sexual violence.

The workshop is important because it will help everyone to understand what stops people with disabilities who have experienced sexual violence from telling anyone about it. When the reasons are clear, ways can be developed to help people tell someone if they have experienced sexual violence.

If you have a disability, whether physical, sensory, intellectual, mental health or other, and you complete this survey you can apply to take part in the workshop which will take place on 29th September 2011 in NUI Galway, Galway City. Please contact Helen by emai. If you want more information for yourself or someone else please go to or call the 24 hour helpline on 1800 77 88 88.

Please follow this link to the survey

Young Carer Support Initiative

A support initiative for young carers will be facilitated by Care Alliance Ireland and Crosscare (Carer Support) on September 19th.

For several years, agencies working with Family Carers have articulated their concern about the unmet needs of young carers. Internationally, there is considerable evidence documenting the issues faced by these young carers. When a young person provides long term high levels of care to a family member there can often be negative impacts on the young person’s welfare. These can include negative educational, social and emotional impacts. Not all impacts are negative and sharing some level of care with one’s family can bring positive benefits to the young person.

There is little provision of specific young carer supports in Ireland, but there are a number of local initiatives with promising results. At a Care Alliance Ireland / Crosscare meeting in February 2011, a number of agencies with an interest in young carers came together to find out what is going on around the country for young carers and to share their ideas, and a further meeting was planned for September. Speakers have been invited from on-going relevant projects, and from other agencies working with young people.

The Seminar will be of interest to those who work with young people and their families in a range of settings. It will take place on Monday 19th September 2011 in the Brunswick Room, Carmichael Centre, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. Registration can be done online at . Further information is available from Care Alliance, Liam O’Sullivan, 087 2073256, , or Crosscare, Nora Kirrane, 01 8360011, .

IDS-TILDA 2011 Conference Building a Picture of Ageing in Persons with Intellectual Disability: Future Directions for Ageing Well

Friday 9th September 2011: 09.00-17.15
Edmund Burke Lecture Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin

IDS-TILDA* will launch its first major report on the lives of people with intellectual disability aged 40 years and over in Ireland as part the study''s 2nd International Research Conference to be held in Trinity College Dublin.

The report will draw on findings from in-depth interviews with over 700 people with intellectual disability from across Ireland, providing the first comprehensive picture of people''s lives across a range of key areas including: health, social, psychological, economic and environmental circumstances. Joining us and presenting papers will be a host of national and international speakers.

* The study, the Intellectual Disability Supplement to the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (IDS-TILDA) is being led by Prof Mary McCarron, and funded by the Health Research Board and Department of Health and Children.

Conference queries should be directed to,
Jeni Ryan, Administrative Officer - Events
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, 24 D''Olier Street Dublin 2
Tel: + 353 (0)1 896 3860 Email:

The Law and People with an Intellectual Disability

An Inclusion Ireland conference on the above subject will be held on Wednesday, 19th October from 10 am-1.30 pm, hosted by the Law Society of Ireland at its offices in Blackhall Place, Dublin 7. Places are limited so early booking is advised.

To book please visit or Tel: 01 8559891
Fax: 01 8559904 Email:

EmployAbility Jobseeking Fair 2011

EmployAbility Service is a free, confidential service, supported by FÁS and providing a service to individuals with a disability / health issue / acquired injury / mental health difficulty, to gain and sustain paid mainstream employment.

The EmployAbility Jobseeking Fair 2011 is aimed at providing job seekers (both graduates and non-graduates) with professional advice and information on all aspects of sourcing and securing suitable employment.

The event will take place in the Wood Quay Venue, at rear of Dublin City Council Civic Offices, Dublin 8 on Thursday 22nd September 2011 from 10am – 2pm.

There will be speakers and information stands providing:

  • Practical advice on job seeking
  • Talks from employers giving information, CV advice and tips on looking and applying for jobs
  • Information from Social Welfare; FÁS; Citizens Information; Volunteering Ireland and the Irish National Organisation for the Unemployed
  • An opportunity to meet with job coaches for one to one advice and information on accessing the service

To book a place at the seminars, CV & please email or call 01 460 3081. Alternately, please feel free to drop by for general information & advice throughout the day 10am – 2pm.


For information please contact the relevant organisation directly

Support Officers

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

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 Grogan
Laois, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath (Dublin Office)
Tel: 01 454 7978 Fax: 01 494 7981

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 8207196

Michael Corbett,
Galway, Mayo, Roscommon
C/O DFI, Acres, Newport, Co. Mayo,
Tel: 098 41919,
Mobile: 086 3804750,
Fax: 098 41065,

Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal
St. Vincent’s Business Park, Finisklin Road, Sligo
(Contact Dublin Office)
Tel: 01-4547978

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

About DFI

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 that they 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


The 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