Strategic Priority 2

Living independently in the community

To undertake and collaborate on research and data collection, and to provide information, advice and guidance to guide policy, systems and service changes to ensure that people with disabilities can live independently and participate in the community as active citizens.

Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities requires that people with disabilities can live independently and be included in the community, with choices equal to others. Much work has been undertaken to review current policies and systems to inform the achievement of this and to move away from segregated service provision. The Programme for Government (2011-2016) commits to the introduction of personalised budgets for disability services.

The National Disability Authority's policy advice, based on research evidence, and on learning from other jurisdictions, is that better outcomes for people with disabilities can be achieved by refocusing the current spending and orientation of disability services away from block-funding of providers and towards a more personalised approach. The National Disability Authority has advised on a transparent system of resource allocation, linked to individual need. The National Disability Authority has also advised on the introduction of more flexible models of support, focused on greater independence for individuals. This would result in the more efficient use of resources and better value from the monies invested in terms of individuals' quality of life.

This policy direction has been endorsed by the Expert Reference Group under the Department of Health's Value for Money and Policy Review of Disability Services (2011).

Moving to a different kind of disability service will involve different systems and practices. The National Disability Authority will research and guide on implementation, new ways of working, and on the systems and practices to be put in place to deliver new models of support.

It is also essential that new systems are responsive to changing needs over the lifecycle.

Objective1

To support the transition to new models of person-centred supports promoting independence, choice and participation by people with disabilities in the mainstream community, through provision of research, information, advice and guidance

Key performance indicators

  • Research on transitioning to new models of person-centred supports
  • Guidance on efficient and appropriate models of assessment of need
  • Guidance on developing supports for living and participating in the community
  • Effective and strategic engagement with stakeholders
  • Advice on role, and considerations in relation to, informal and family care

Objective 2

To support a transition to effective individualised funding and personal budgets for people with disabilities, through provision of research, information, advice and guidance

Key performance indicators

  • Advice on appropriate model of individualised funding and personal budgets
  • Research on critical steps in introducing individualised funding and personal budgets
  • Guidance issued on financial frameworks for individualised funding and personal budgets
  • Guidance on supports for individuals who avail of individualised funding and personal budgets
  • Evaluation of process and outcomes for those living with individualised funding and personal budgets

Objective 3

To support an effective national resource allocation system for disability services, through provision of research, information, advice and guidance

Key performance indicators

  • Research on resource allocation systems published
  • Advice on transition to alternative resource allocation models

Objective 4

To conduct research on the implications of demographic change for services and supports for people with disabilities into the future

Key performance indicators

  • Research paper(s) on aspects of demographic change
  • Policy advice paper on implications of demographic change for services and supports

Objective 5

To identify key issues for people with disabilities across the lifecycle, through analysis of key data sets

Key performance indicators

  • Engagement with Central Statistics Office and other data providers on inclusion of consistent indicators on disability in mainstream data collection.
  • Analysis of key factors in relation to social inclusion and participation of people with disabilities, using the National Disability Survey
  • Analysis of key factors relating to inclusion and well-being of children with disabilities, drawing on the National Longitudinal Study of Children in Ireland
  • Analysis of key factors relating to inclusion and well-being of older people with disabilities, drawing on the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing survey

Objective 6

To engage with relevant stakeholders and guide on a quality assurance framework and standards to underpin the systems and supports that enable people with disabilities live in the community.

Key performance indicators

  • Guidance on core elements of a quality assurance system developed
  • Tailored guidance on standards in services issued for different, key, community actors (e.g. GPs, therapists in community practice)

Objective 7

To undertake research, gather data and provide advice to guide on national policies in relation to assistive technologies, telecare and telehealth in order to support individuals with disabilities, and others such as older people with support needs, to live full lives in the community

Key performance indicators

  • Advice paper developed to guide on systems, structures and design of national programme
  • Advice on universal design standards and guidelines for services and equipment.

Objective 8

  • Work towards recognition of good standards and quality in services to people with disabilities including recognition of disability equality

Key performance indicator

  • Potential for disability strand in mainstream awards pursued and criteria identified