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Welcome to The National Council for People with Disabilities (NCPD) web site. The National Council for People with Disabilities (NCPD) was set up in March 2012. It consists of several ex-PWDI networks, and disabled people, carers and family and friends of disabled people. It was set up in response to the government's austerity measures which closed down People with Disabilities in Ireland, (PWDI) in 2011. It is the objective of National Council for People with Disabilities (NCPD) to continue some of the work of PWDI locally and nationally.

National Council for People with Disabilities (NCPD) is totally separate to People with Disabilities in Ireland (PWDI), which is now closed. NCPD is also different to PWDI in many ways, as NCPD is independent of government funding and influence, and aims to put the needs of disabled people and carers at the centre of it's aims, objectives and activities, and has a broader scope than PWDI had. NCPD is here to represent the interests of disabled people and wants to help all people with disabilities to take part in and influence the decision making process that impacts on their lives and opportunities. Cross disability means that NCPD is for all people with disabilities, whether those disabilities are physical, emotional, intellectual or mental. We also want to include and welcome parents, partners, carers, advocates, groups of people with disabilities, and able bodied people with an interest in disability to join NCPD.

NCPD is a national organisation with a headquarters in Shannon, Clare, and a few branches or networks throughout Ireland. All ex-PWDI networks are welcome to join NCPD if they wish. The network in each county deals mostly with issues within the county and has a county focus, but it also deals with national issues and works in close partnership with NCPD headquarters, networks in other counties and government organisations and senior civil servants. NCPD combines the local, the regional and the national.

Each NCPD network will have their own web site and their own local policies, projects and initiatives, but will be linked to national headquarters and to other networks for the benefit of disabled people throughout Ireland.

In NCPD, we seek to bring disabled and able-bodied people together locally and nationally to work on common issues that affect all people with disabilities. Our strength lies in our members and in the Local Network in each county. They made it possible for NCPD to focus on matters that affect people with disabilities in their day to day lives. Ultimately we hoped to break down old historical and cultural prejudices / barriers between people, and facilitate respect, full equality, understanding, friendship and unity between people.

Background to NCPD
In the Government Budget of December 2011, the Irish government decided to abruptly end all funding for People with Disabilities in Ireland (PWDI). They forced the closure of PWDI headquarters in Dublin and all PWDI networks in counties throughout Ireland by December 31st 2011. This move was part of the government's austerity policies, resulting from the Financial Crash of 2008 and the decision of the Irish government to use taxpayers money amounting to 90 billion euros to bail out private banks. This has provided the Irish nation with a crippling national debt. This has forced cutbacks in health, disability services, social welfare, education, training, infrastructure, etc. and increases in levies and taxes and the introduction of more taxes. PWDI was a victim of these cutbacks.

PWDI was the only national cross disability organisation funded by the Government. PWDI tried to help all people with disabilities take part in and influence the decision making process that impacts on their lives and opportunities.

PWDI was set up in 2000 by the Government as a result of recommendations made by the Report on the Status of People with Disabilities, 1997. This Report was a very detailed report into the lives and experiences of disabled people and it outlined many deficiencies in government policy towards disabled people and discrimination and mistreatment of disabled people in many Irish organisations, businesses and throughout society. The Report was an important landmark in Irish history and led to the creation of People with Disabilities in Ireland and to the National Disability Authority, and to major changes in government policies. You can view this Report by clicking here.

The government's decision to close PWDI in 2011 was a big blow to many disabled people, and undermined 11 years of hard work and progress. However, the National Council for People with Disabilities which is a totally separate organisation to PWDI aims to continue some of the noble work of PWDI and carry out other types of work at local level which will be of practical benefit to disabled people.

Public Participation Networks (PPN)
This is a new scheme introduced in 2014, where local and community organisations will regularly meet with local governments and politicians to bring about much needed changes in counties and regions. This is very relevant and important for all disability groups. You can download the Galway form here at
Galway City PPN

The Challenges faced by Disabled people and Disability Organisaitons

The Irish government and Dail Eireann should ratify the UN Convention on Rights of People with Disabilities as soon as possible. This would provide some fundamental rights for disabled people and give them fuller inclusion and participation in Irish society.
‘ Ireland must ratify UN Convention on Rights of People with Disabilities’
Irish Times newspaper, March 30, 2015

Ireland’s Human Rights and Equality Commission told the United Nations in July 2014, that austerity has ‘weakened’ the human rights of Ireland’s most vulnerable. It included cuts against the disabled people, lack of investment in services and supports, and the diminishing of their rights in this report. Read Austerity has ‘weakened’ the human rights of Ireland’s most vulnerable

We have detailed some of the requirements and provisions of this UN Convention below, and how Ireland is failing in these and in disability rights.

The following news report from RTE and other news sources on September 3rd, 4th and 5th 2012 shows the difficulties disabled people face now and in the future. And the need for organisations and people to work together and stand together to protect the interests and living standards and opportunities (for social and economic advancement) of disabled people. Click on links below to view video in frame below.

Disabled People protesting outside Irish parliament against cuts September 2012 (Video)


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