Independent Living Movement Ireland launches new guide to the law in Relation to Disability

Press Release from Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI)

EMBARGOED UNTIL Monday 10th December

Today (Monday 10thDecember 2018) Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI) launched a new guide to Law in Relation to Disability to mark the 70thAnniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights in order that disabled people in Ireland are aware of the legal approaches available in Ireland to protect their rights and prevent discrimination.

Speaking at the launch of the report, ILMI chair Shelly Gaynor said “Our new strategic plan sets an ambitious set of objectives to bring about change for disabled people across Ireland and to build an Ireland where disabled people are empowered to live Independent Lives with control, choice and options. One of our core strategic aims is the promotion of equality and accessing human rights. Over the course of this plan Independent Living Movement Ireland’s work will be grounded in equality and a rights-based approach, working towards an inclusive Irish Society.”

“ILMI will use the information in this booklet to work with disabled people over the course of 2019 to promote awareness of the human rights and equality infrastructure in Ireland. We will work to empower disabled people to challenge inequalities that they face through legal means if required. This work will require ILMI to build on our strong links with the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC), Public Interest Law Alliance (PILA) and National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) Centre for Disability Law and Policy in order to create a legal support structure for disabled people who face discrimination” added Ms Gaynor.

Author of the report, Anna O Duffy said “The work undertaken by disability rights activists and organisations in Ireland has already advanced the rights of disabled people. However, while the law provides a significant opportunity to challenge discrimination and barriers faced by disabled people in Irish society, the number of cases appearing in Irish courts on issues involving disability rights remains small.

This guide informs disabled people about their rights, outlines the laws in Ireland relating to disability and most importantly, explains the routes available to people to protect their rights themselves.”

Speaking at the launch, Eilis Barry Director of the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) said “We were delighted to be involved in launching this important resource. I would like to welcome ILMI’s new guide to law in relation to disability, the work undertaken by Anna O’Duffy and look forward to building our links with ILMI over the course of 2019 and beyond”

“Our new strategic plan is based on three core objectives: Leadership and Representation; Equality and Human rights; and Strategic Political Campaigning. All the objectives are interlinked and central to them being effective is building a grassroots collective approach, where disabled people across the country become active participants in the Movement, are empowered to be part of policy development and political campaigns, and that the Movement is led by disabled people” said ILMI CEO Damien Walshe. “

“Core to our work on Equality and Human rights is ensuring that disabled people have access to information in relation to their rights and how to challenge inequality. I would like to thank Anna for her work in making this a reality and look forward to working with ILMI members over the course of our Strategic Plan using the Guide to Law in relation to Disability to empower people to bring about change in Ireland” added Mr Walshe.

Information for Editors:

CIL, trading as Independent Living Movement Ireland, was established in Carmichael House in 1992 by and for people with disabilities with the main aim of ensuring that people with disabilities 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.


For more information, contact Communications Manager Nina Byrne on
or mobile 086 774 4992

Read the IILMI Guide to the Law in Relation to DisabilityClick here to download pdf