ILMI Statement on the closure of the National Platform of Self Advocates

Press Release from the Independent Living Movement Ireland
Immediate Release 4th December 2019

ILMI Statement on the closure of the National Platform of Self Advocates

The role of Disabled People’s Organisations needs to be recognized and resourced in order to meet State commitments under UNCRPD

Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI) notes with regret that the National Platform of Self Advocates has been forced to close down due to the lack of long-term core funding for it to carry out its work. ILMI recognized the work of the Platform as a fellow Disabled Person’s Organisation (DPO), directed, managed and run by people with intellectual disabilities.

“The UNCRPD makes specific references to State party commitments to ensure disabled people are effectively involved in all policy forums. That commitment needs to be resourced to ensure Disabled People’s voices are heard. The most effective way to have our voices head is to provide sustainable, long-term funding to Disabled Person’s Organisations”, said Des Kenny, ILMI Chairperson.

“Article 4.3 of the UNCRP states that in the development and implementation of legislation and policies to implement the present Convention, and in other decision-making processes concerning issues relating to disabled people, Ireland needs to consult with and actively us “through their representative organizations”. The National Platform of Self Advocates have made a massive contribution to the discourse on disability rights and inclusion since 2011 and the their closure is hugely disappointing and a real lack of commitment to the spirit of the CRPD” added Mr Kenny.

“Article 29 of the Convention says that State Parties shall guarantee us “political rights” including the right to form organisations to represent us at local, regional and national levels. If the State is serious about its commitments under the UN Convention, then genuine Disabled Person’s Organisations (DPOs) which are led and managed by disabled people need to be resourced to have our voices heard” added Mr Kenny.

Information for Editors:

Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI) was established in 1992 by and for people with disabilities with the main aim of ensuring that disabled people achieved Independent Living, choice and control over their lives and full participation in society as equal citizens.

We are a campaigning, national representative organisation that promotes the philosophy of independent living and to build an inclusive society. Central to the way we work is to ensure that policy decisions that impact on the lives of disabled people have to be directly influenced by those whose lives are directly affected.

Our philosophy can be summed up as: ‘Nothing about us without us!’ and ‘Rights Not Charity’.

Our Vision

Our vision is an Ireland where disabled persons have freedom, choice and control over all aspects of their lives and can fully participate in an inclusive society as equals


We are working collectively to create an independent living Movement in Ireland which is led by disabled people and promotes a rights-based social model of disability, challenging the unacceptable charity / medical model of disability. We are working towards the removal of societal barriers that prevent active equal participation of disabled people, challenging the denial of people’s rights and the promotion of the philosophy of independent living.

Core Values

Our core values are underpinned by the philosophy of Independent Living and all activities are aimed towards promoting:

  • Independence
  • Options
  • Rights
  • Empowerment

Our Principles

  • We promote the active participation of leaders in all aspects of the work of ILMI: locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
  • We are a DPO (disabled persons organisation) formed to ensure that the voice of disabled people will be heard in campaigns, research and policy development.
  • We recognise and promote equality within our members, in terms of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, age, marital status, socio-economic status and impairment.
  • We will actively promote an understanding of disability as an interaction between a person’s impairment and the societal and environmental barriers that disable people’s participation in society – and actively lobby to remove these barriers to participation and challenge the unacceptable medical / charity model of disability.
  • We are committed that ILMI continue to develop new innovative models to achieve equality of outcome, recognising that people have a variety of abilities, needs and wants.


Independent Living Movement Ireland recognises that language is a very powerful and evocative tool. Therefore, the language and terminology used in this press release has been carefully chosen to reflect the values of equality and empowerment which at the core of this organisation. The term ‘disabled people’ has been used throughout the press release in accordance with the UPIAS classification of disability and impairment which has been developed by disabled people themselves (UPIAS 1976). Where disabled people are referred to in the website this should be understood to include all disabled people, including those with learning difficulties, mental health difficulties and sensory impairments.