The Disability Stakeholder Group (DSG) has been in existence for 15 years. It is an established group recognised for the important role that it plays in the monitoring of the Government’s disability policy and strategies. It is appointed by the Minister of State for Disability. Appointments are on a 3 year cycle. The current DSG is the sixth cycle.
It is a voluntary group of individuals with expertise and lived experience of disability. The group is selected following an invitation for Expressions of Interest to participate in the Group. It currently comprises 25 members, representing a cross cut of the disability community, and includes an independent Chairperson.
Whilst voluntary, members are eligible to have their travel and subsistence costs met (in accordance with civil service rates) where meetings occur in person. Meetings are now held routinely online through Zoom and similar platforms. This development provides greater opportunity for geographic spread in the membership across the country.
What does the DSG do?
The current DSG is the sixth DSG. It has an important role in monitoring the implementation of the National Disability Inclusion Strategy 2017-2021 (NDIS). National Disability Inclusion Strategy 2017-2021 (NDIS).
The current strategy has been extended until the end of 2022. The NDIS is the key framework for policy and action to address the rights of persons with disabilities in Ireland. Through its actions the strategy supports effective progress in implementing the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of Persons with a Disability (UNCRPD).
The DSG carries out its role in three strands, by:
Attending meetings of the NDIS Steering Group
. This group is chaired by the Minister of State with Responsibility for Disabilities, Anne Rabbitte, T.D and attended by officials from government departments. The group monitors the implementation of the strategy and the DSG bring their expertise and experience to that process. The Chairperson of the DSG provides a report to the Steering Group at each meeting addressing the delivery of the Strategy, and other relevant matters.
Attending meetings of Departmental Consultative Committees (DCC).
DSG members also attend meetings held by individual government departments. NDIS actions relevant to those departments are monitored and disability issues generally are discussed at these meetings.
Meetings of the DSG.
Membership of the DSG meets regularly to examine the progress of the NDIS actions and consider related matters in the sector.
The DSG is not an advocacy, issue based or lobbying group. Its role is specifically to act as part of the monitoring structure of the NDIS and its actions.
The current terms of reference for the DSG are:
Work in partnership with Government Departments to monitor the implementation of the NDIS;
Work collaboratively to bring solutions to the NDIS Steering Group including actions which support the effective implementation of the plan;
Assist in developing a coordinated input, drawing on the lived experience of people with disabilities;
Assist in monitoring delivery against agreed targets and to bring constructive suggestions for improving implementation;
Work together to provide coordinated advice; and
Respect the independence of the Chairperson of the DSG as facilitating the input of the group to the wider NDIS Steering Group
Disability Stakeholder Group Meeting Minutes
Disability Stakeholder Group Minutes 16 March 2022
The term of DSG 6 runs from 2022 to 2024. Members of DSG 6 can be individuals appointed in a personal capacity, or persons appointed to the DSG in order to represent an organisation. The current membership is:
• Tom Casey (Individual member)
• Michelle Scanlan (Individual member)
• Brendan Lennon (Chime)
• Dee Hayes (Individual member)
• Elaine Rogers (Individual member)
• Michael McCabe (Individual member)
• Elaine Howley (Individual member)
• Des Henry (Individual member)
• Annette Costello (Individual member)
• Jacqui Browne (Individual member)
• James Cawley (Independent Living Movement Ireland)
• David Girvan (Individual member)
• John Dolan (Disability Federation Ireland)
• Desmond Aston (Individual member)
• Alison Harnett (National Federation of Voluntary Service Providers)
• Derval McDonagh (Inclusion Ireland)
• Roisín Clarke (interim cover for Fiona Coyle, Mental Health Reform)