Complaints Under the Disability Act 2005
A complaint may be made against the NDA if we don’t comply with sections 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29 of the Disability Act 2005:
Section 25: Public buildings, apart from heritage sites, must comply with accessibility requirements in line with Part M Building Regulations
Section 26: Services for people with and without disabilities should be integrated. Assistance in accessing the service should be provided and there should be at least one access officer on the staff to assist and guide people with disabilities
Section 27: Goods and services provided to public bodies should be accessible as far as practicable
Section 28: Communication (oral, written or electronic) should be provided in a form that is accessible to people with hearing or visual impairments. Information relevant to people with an intellectual disability should be easy to understand and in clear language
Section 29: Heritage sites under public ownership, management or control and open to the public, must be accessible to people with disabilities. This requirement won’t apply if making the site accessible would impact the conservation of the site
The NDA is the national independent statutory body established to advise Government on policy and practice relating to people with disabilities.Learn more about what the NDA does
Here is what’s involved in making a complaint to the NDA:
- Any individual can make a complaint to the NDA if the NDA has not complied with sections 25, 26, 27, 28, or 29 of the Disability Act 2005 (as outlined above).
- A complaint can be made:
- In person
- In writing
- By phone
- By fax
- Over email
- With minicom
- With an assistant
- In most instances, the complaint will be made to the Director of the NDA. However, the staff members receiving the complaint will notify the inquiry officer and the personal assistant to the Director upon receipt of every complaint.
- You’ll be informed of the contact details of the inquiry officer.
- All complaints will be logged by the staff member who receives the complaint and the complaint will be referred to the inquiry officer.
- The NDA’s inquiry officer is Suzanne Lambe who will act in an independent capacity as required in the Disability Act.
- The NDA will always follow the Ombudsman’s Guide to Internal Complaints Systems.
The inquiry officer will maintain an electronic and paper file for each complaint and will acknowledge receipt of the complaint as soon as possible but no later than five working days after receipt.
The inquiry officer will screen all complaints in order to establish if it relates to an alleged failure by the body that complies with sections 25, 26, 27, 28, or 29 of the Disability Act.
However, if this is not the case, they will advise on alternative avenues of redress.
If the complaint is frivolous, the complainant will be notified of this and the Ombudsman’s Guide to Internal Complaints Systems will be applied.
The inquiry officer may request further details or information from the complainant and, if deemed necessary, the inquiry officer will consult with all relevant parties or sections regarding the issued complaint.
Any information requested should be supplied to the inquiry officer within a maximum period of two weeks from the date of request.
In the absence of a response, written reminders or telephone reminders will be made if deemed appropriate.
In the absence of receipt of a submission from the complainant, the inquiry officer will proceed with an investigation.
In the course of the investigation, it may be necessary to interview the complainant or staff members within the organisation. This can be to discuss questions of interpretation or to elicit information.
A record of interviews will always be maintained.
At the end of each interview, a check will be carried out to ensure the account contained in the notes is accurate.
All interviews are arranged in advance and all staff members are obliged to co-operate fully with the inquiry officer's investigation.
The inquiry officer examines all the information received and records their findings. If a failure is identified, they will outline the steps that are needed to be taken to ensure future compliance.
If the inquiry officer doesn’t think the complaint is frivolous or vexatious they’ll investigate the complaint further. They’ll prepare a written report of the results of their investigation and detail their findings in relation to:
Whether there has been a failure by the NDA to comply with the relevant provision of the Disability Act
If such a determination indicates there has been such a failure, the steps that are required to be taken by the NDA to comply with the relevant provisions of the Disability Act
The written report will be completed within three working weeks from the date of receipt of the complaint where possible, or as soon as possible in instances where information is not readily available.
A summary of the findings and decision of the report will be given to the complainant and the Senior Management Team.
The complainant should be advised of his or her right of appeal to the Ombudsman at the Office of the Ombudsman, 18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2.
If the determination of the inquiry officer is that the NDA has failed to comply with a provision of the Disability Act, then the Director will be informed and the report will outline the steps required to fix the issues presented.
Once the complainant has been given the findings of the report and has been notified of the decision, the complaint is closed.
The electronic and paper file will record the result, the date the file was closed and any other relevant details.
The inquiry officer will also present an annual report, including complaint statistics, to the senior management team on the operation of the complaints procedure.
For further information about complaining to a Public Service Provider see ‘How To Complain To A Public Service Provider’ on the Ombudsman's website.