Appendix: Functions of the NDA under Section 8 of the National Disability Authority Act 1999.

The principal function of the NDA is to advise the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform regarding issues of policy and practice relating to disability and to act as a central, national body which will assist the Minister in the coordination and development of policy in relation to persons with disabilities.

Additional functions:

  • To undertake, commission or collaborate in research projects and activities on issues relating to disability and to assist in the development of statistical information appropriate for the planning, delivery and monitoring of programmes and services for persons with disabilities
  • To advise the Minister on appropriate standards for programmes and services provided or to be provided to persons with disabilities and to act as an advisory body with regard to the development of general and specific standards in relation to such programmes and services
  • To monitor the implementation of standards and Code(s) of Practice in programmes and services provided to persons with disabilities and to report to the Minister thereon
  • To liaise with other bodies, both corporate and unincorporated, involved in the provision of services to persons with disabilities and to facilitate and support the development and implementation of appropriate standards for programmes and services for persons with disabilities
  • To prepare Codes of Practice for the purpose of achieving the aim of good standards and quality in the provision of programmes and services provided or to be provided to persons with disabilities
  • To recognise the achievement of good standards and quality in the provision of programmes and services to persons with disabilities including through the provision of a disability equality awards system
  • To prepare strategic plans

Additional Functions of the Authority under the Disability Act 2005 include

  • To prepare Code(s) of Practice relating to the accessibility of public buildings, services, information and heritage sites (Part 3 of the Disability Act 2005)
  • To monitor compliance with statutory targets for recruitment and employment of people with disabilities in the public sector, recommend actions to be taken where these targets are not being met, and prepare Codes of Practice where requested (Part 5 of the Disability Act 2005)
  • To establish a Centre for Excellence in Universal Design in the built environment and information technology which will promote the principles of Universal Design that may be accessed, understood and used to the greatest practicable extent by people regardless of age, size, ability or disability in the most independent and natural manner; in the widest possible range of situations; without the need for adaptation, modification, assistive devices or specialised solution (Part 6 of the Disability Act, 2005)

Statutory Powers

In order to fulfil its statutory functions the Authority has certain statutory powers.

The Authority has right of access to information (including data) of relevance to its functions which is held by public bodies (section 13, National Disability Authority Act 1999) and may seek information on any matter which concerns the provision of programmes or services for persons with disabilities that is provided by statutory duty and that is publicly funded in whole or in part (section 14, National Disability Authority Act 1999).

The NDA can make recommendations for the review, reduction or withdrawal of moneys provided by the Oireachtas for any programme or service where it feels it is being provided in an inadequate or unsatisfactory manner or is not being provided to people with disabilities (section 15(4), National Disability Authority Act 1999).

The NDA can make annual reports and other reports to the Minister with respect to its functions (section 15, National Disability Authority Act 1999).