Personalised budgets for disabled people

Center for Independent Living calls on Department to make personalised budgets a reality for disabled people

The Center for Independent Living (CIL) welcomed the publication of the Task Force on Personalised Budgets on progressing personal budgets for people with disabilities in Ireland and called on the HSE to work with Disabled People to put systems in place to make personalised budgets by direct payments a simple process for disabled people.

“CIL welcomes the commitment to personalised budgets in the Task Force Report. Having control over your budget shifts services from being something you access towards something you control and have a right to manage. Disabled people need to be trusted that they can and will manage their own budgets in order to live independently. The report recommends developing demonstration models to show how personalised budgets can be made work. Any model that is to be developed has to be led by disabled people in order that any system meets our needs and gives us control over our budgets, and not place undue bureaucratic pressure on us. It should be as simple as possible and not overburden disabled people with reporting and administration but give us freedom to manage our resources and direct services how we see fit” said Shelly Gaynor, Chairperson of CIL.

However, CIL recognises that by excluding children from potential demonstration models is short-sighted and that no lower-age limit should apply for personalised budgets. “The Philosophy of Independent Living is about control, choice, empowerment and options and these do not begin or end at any age. Children need to be given options to build their capacity to manage their resources from as early an age as possible, rather than waiting until they are 18. The pilot programmes need to include working with younger disabled people to make sure how we practically make personalised budgets a reality that is based on experiences of younger disabled people as well” added Ms Gaynor.

CIL also feels the Task Force represents a missed opportunity given that it solely focuses on budgets related to HSE-funded services.  Damien Walshe, CEO of the Center for Independent Living Ireland, said, “A personalised budget should be about giving disabled people freedom and control to live independently, including the choice of services they need to live their lives in an inclusive society. It is disappointing that the taskforce is limited to HSE funded services when what is needed is a cross-departmental approach to ensure that disabled people’s needs are appropriately addressed in a way that allows people to maximise the choice and control over their services to live independent lives.”

“The development of any demonstration projects to inform the design of a personalised budget needs to be supported by a commitment that other relevant Government departments work in an collaborative approach to ensure real control over personalised budgets across a range of services that allow people to live independent lives.”

From publication of the Task Force recommendations, CIL is eager to work with the Department of Health and Children and the HSE to ensure that disabled people lead the development of demonstration models to ensure they are tailored to their needs. “Personaslied budgets are fundamental to Independent Living and policy makers need to be led by the needs of disabled people to ensure that direct payments and personalised budgets are delivered in a simple matter that doesn’t place undue reporting burden on disabled people. The goal of personalised budgets is greater control and choice and this shouldn’t be restricted by unwiedly systems based on compliance and reporting. Where disabled people want a personalised budget and direct payment, the demonstration models should develop a system that makes this as easy as possible” said Mr Walshe.

Information for Editors:

Center for Independent Living (CIL) 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 CIL: 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 CIL continue to develop new innovative models to achieve equality of outcome, recognising that people have a variety of abilities, needs and wants.


The Center for Independent Living 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