Policy Advice and Submissions

We prepare policy advice papers throughout the year on topics relevant to disability. These are in areas where we have identified a policy gap or at the request of a Government department.

We make several submissions each year to various consultations run by Government departments or public bodies. Some are relevant to disability but most are mainstream policies or strategies that we look at through a disability lens.

For example, we might make submissions on transport policies, local area development plans, a new children’s strategy or a new piece of legislation where we apply a disability lens.

NDA Research Funding Schemes

Increasing disability-related research is one of our key priorities. Our main funding scheme is the Research Promotion Grant Scheme which aims to fund high-quality research on disability. This scheme runs every two years and usually two grants are awarded subject to budget availability.

Proposals for research projects under this funding scheme are open to:

  • Research institutions

  • Service providers

  • Disabled Persons Organisations

  • Other disability organisations

Applications are scored based on:

  • Cost

  • The experience of the research team

  • The quality of the research proposal

  • Accessibility issues

Follow us on social media or sign up for our newsletter to be notified when the applications open for the funding scheme. The grants are also advertised on our website and on www.activelink.ie

You can find out more about the scheme on our Research Funding Schemes page.


The NDA adheres to the highest standards in relation to research ethics. We don’t have our own research ethics committee but we do obtain ethical approval for all our relevant research through our academic partners, service providers or other channels.

We have advised the Government about how people with disabilities who don’t have the capacity to explicitly consent should not be excluded from research.

To this end, we recommended the inclusion of an amendment in the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) (Amendment) Bill 2022 to facilitate people who cannot consent to research to be included in research where appropriate.

We have in the past produced ethical guidelines for research with adults with disabilities and guidelines for research with children with disabilities. We plan to update these to take into account new legislation such as the Health Research Regulations, the establishment of the Health Research Consent Declaration Committee and the pending Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act amendments.

Quality Criteria

We have a statutory duty to provide evidence-informed advice to Government on policy and practice, relevant to the everyday lives of people with disabilities in Ireland.

To ensure all our research is conducted to a high standard, we have developed Quality Criteria for NDA Research to guide the quality of our in-house research and research we commission or fund. These guidelines are standard for all NDA research contracts.