What the NDA does

The National Disability Authority is the independent state body providing expert advice on disability policy and practice to the Minister, and promoting Universal Design in Ireland.

The National Disability Authority’s mandate is set out in the National Disability Authority Act 1999 and the Disability Act 2005, and in summary is:

  • To provide policy advice to Government and public bodies
  • To undertake, commission and collaborate in disability research and assist in the development of statistical information
  • To advise on standards and guidelines in services to people with disabilities
  • To develop standards, education and promote awareness of Universal Design

The full list of our statutory functions is here.

The National Disability Authority's work guides on policies, practice, and technical standards that address the challenges to full inclusion of people with disabilities in Irish society, across a wide range of areas such as employment, housing, support services, transport, information technology and the built environment.

The statutory Centre of Excellence in Universal Design is an integral part of the National Disability Authority. It promotes the design of places; products; services; and Information and Communications Technology; that can be accessed, used and understood in a natural way by people regardless of age, size, ability or disability.

Our vision

Our vision is of an inclusive Irish society in which people with disabilities enjoy equal rights and opportunities to participate in the economic, social and cultural life of the nation, and of an environment which is accessible to all.

How we work

The National Disability Authority’s advice and guidance is independent and impartial, rooted in what the evidence shows. In developing advice and guidance, we consider the national and international evidence, and listen to the lived experience of people with disabilities and other stakeholders through consultation and listening. We work in partnership, guided by the need to deploy resources as effectively as possible.

Background to the NDA

There have been major changes in disability policy in Ireland in the last few years. These began with the publication of the Report of the Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities, entitled A Strategy for Equality, in 1996. This report in turn was the result of a major consultative process involving people with disabilities. On the basis of a recommendation in this report the government set up an Establishment Group for the National Disability Authority. The Authority was established on June 12, 2000.


Page last updated: 01/29/2013