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What is a disability?

Disability refers to a substantial impact in the capacity of a person to carry on a profession, business or occupation in the state by reason of an enduring physical, sensory, mental health or intellectual impairment.

Westmeath Council complete Disability Awareness Training

Ability Focus has been Ireland's leading provider of disability awareness training for over 4 years and during this period it's been great to see more organisations consider disability awareness training as a key first step in creating disability inclusive workspaces.

Tifco Hotel Group complete Disability Awareness Training in 2023

Ability Focus is proud to be recognised as Ireland's leading provider of disability awareness training.

Ability Focus & The CSO partner for Disability Awareness Training

The CSO is Ireland's national statistics office. Statistics from the CSO inform decision making areas across a range of areas.

Ability Focus joins The Valuable 500 Solutions Partner Directory

The Ability Focus team are delighted to announce that we have been selected as a Global Solutions Partner for The Valuable 500.

Disability was centre stage...

One of the most memorable moments in Glastonbury's history. And disability was centre stage. Lewis Capaldi was recently diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome.

1,000 An Post colleagues trained by the Ability Focus team

Ability Focus is Ireland's leading provider of disability awareness training, delivering training to many of Ireland's best organisations through high impact & contemporary live online programmes.

90% Disability Awareness Training Grant for the Private Sector

Did you know there is a government rebate scheme called the Disability Awareness Support Scheme (DASS) which will reimburse private sector employers 90% of the cost of disability awareness training?

Disability inclusion in Irish job advertisements

In Quarter 3 back in 2020 Ability Focus conducted a detailed review of equality statements in Irish job advertisements across each of the public, semi-state, non-profit and private sectors with some suprising results.

Longford CC complete disability awareness training

Ability Focus had the honour of delivering disability awareness training to staff from Longford County Council throughout 2022, when we delivered our programme to a hugely engaged group of Longford County Council Elected Representatives.

Newstalk Business Person of the Month for September

We are delighted to announce that our Managing Director, Stephen Kelly, has just won Newstalk Business Person of the Month for September 2022. This award is sponsored by Eversheds Sutherlands LLP (Ireland).

Client Profile: The Health Research Board

In the fourth instalment of our Client Profile Series for 2022 we profile The HRB. The Health Research Board is a State Agency under the Department of Health. They support & fund health & social care research & provide evidence to inform policy & practice.

An Post and Ability Focus partner for training delivery

At Ability Focus, we are absolutely delighted to announce our fledgling partnership with An Post to deliver disability awareness training to staff from across the entire An Post organisation beginning in 2022.

Client Profile: CNP Santander Insurance

In the third instalment of our Client Profile Series for 2022 we profile CNP Santander Insurance. CNP Santander Insurance is an international insurance company established in Ireland & operating with authorisation by the Central Bank of Ireland since 2011.

Client Profile: The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB)

In the second instalment of our Client Profile Series for 2022 we profile the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. The PIAB is Ireland's independent state body which assesses personal injury compensation.

Client Profile: SIRO Broadband

For the first week in our upcoming Client Profile Series, we profile a client that Ability Focus has worked closely with, who demonstrated such a genuine commitment to disability inclusion - SIRO Broadband.

Workplace disability inclusion in 2022

It is with the best intentions that we plan to take the time to sit down and write News Articles for our website, but the best intentions don't always translate into actionable results... so our News Articles section of the website has been gathering dust as of late.

75% of job ads in Ireland have no Equal Opportunity Statement

In their newly published Annual Report for 2020, The Irish Human Rights & Equality Commission (IHREC) stated that 35% of all complaints made under the Employment Equality Acts 1998 - 2015 were related to disability discrimination.

Diverse Group of People

Why is disability inclusion so important in business?

There are 1.3 billion people in the world living with a disability. This is the largest minority group on the planet. In Ireland there are well over 650,000 people living with a disability.

Vodafone Logo

A Busy Few Months

It has been quite some time since we last posted a news item on the Ability Focus website. Thankfully, we have simply been too busy to commit to writing updates since early spring.

CPD Accreditation for Ability Focus

Ability Focus & NRF Skillnet

Ability Focus are delighted to announce our partnership with the National Recruitment Federation to deliver Live Online Disability Awareness Training to their members.

CPD Accreditation for Ability Focus

CPD Accreditation for Ability Focus

We are delighted to announce that Ability Focus has achieved CPD accredited status for our Live Online Disability Awareness Training Programme.

Disability Awareness and the L&D profession - Part 2

Disability Awareness and the L&D profession - Part 2

As L&D specialists we must also ask ourselves, how confident are we when it comes to our own awareness of disability? Do we know the appropriate terms to use when delivering training?

Disability Awareness and the L&D profession - Part 1

Disability Awareness and the L&D profession - Part 1

There are 1.3 billion people in the world living with a disability. This is the largest minority group on the planet. In the Republic of Ireland there are well over 640,000 people living with a disability.

Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

For week 6 in our Client Profile Series we profile another client whose commitment to disability inclusion really stood out to us - The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

Screen Skills Ireland, Animation Skillnet and Animation Ireland

Screen Skills Ireland, Animation Skillnet & Animation Ireland

Screen Skills Ireland is the skills development unit within Screen Ireland, the national development agency for the creative screen industry.

Bank of Ireland

Client Profile: Bank of Ireland

When it comes to truly embracing a commitment to disability inclusion, Bank of Ireland certainly is regarded by many as a leader in this area.

Client Profile: The Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage

The Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage

The Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage is the department whose role is to ensure the effective planning of well-planned homes & support effective local government.

Client Profile: The Legal Aid Board

Client Profile: The Legal Aid Board

We profile another organisation who have really embraced disability inclusion in 2020: The Legal Aid Board. The Legal Aid Board is a statutory body which provides legal aid/advice in civil law matters.

National Concert Hall

Client Profile: National Concert Hall

We probably don't spend enough time on our news items, and should have started this quite some time ago, but we will be profiling organisations we have really enjoyed working with this year

Creating a society of 'us and them' during a worldwide pandemic

Creating a society of 'us and them' during a worldwide pandemic

With the government's latest announcement, once again we slip into the categorisation of society. Young people, elderly people, transport users, office workers, pub owners, school children.

36% of all Employment Equality queries to IHREC were disability related in 2019

36% of all Employment Equality queries to IHREC were disability related in 2019.

The Irish Human Rights & Equality Commission have published their Annual Report for 2019. The report makes for interesting reading when looking at the statistics relating to disability.

A new government & a cabinet seat for disability

A new government & a cabinet seat for disability.

Here at Ability Focus, we wholeheartedly welcome the inclusion of disability in the newly restructured 'Department of Children, Disability, Equality and Integration'. This is a most significant step, continuing the upward trend of rights recognition for people with disabilities in Ireland.

Benefits of Disability Inclusion in the workplace

Benefits of Disability Inclusion in the workplace.

While inclusion of people with disabilities in Irish workplaces is obviously the right thing to do, employers, human resource and talent acquisition teams must change this narrative and start taking the view that employment of this untapped talent pool is much more than an exercise in Corporate Social Responsibility.

Disability Awareness Supports - Every little helps!

Disability Awareness Supports - Every little helps!

Since Ability Focus offered our free services through Linkedin, email and other platforms a number of weeks ago, we have been working with several organisations to assist them and their staff members with disabilities with change management during this incredibly difficult time.

Barriers to Employment for People with Disabilities

Barriers to Employment for People with Disabilities.

There are many barriers faced by people with disabilities when seeking employment. According to the social model of disability, disability is caused by the way society is organised, rather than focusing on someone's impairments/differences, while current employment practices enable most, they certainly disable others.

Remote Disability Awareness Training Programme

Remote Disability Awareness Training Programme.

Ability Focus are delighted to announce the launch of our Remote Disability Awareness Training Programme. Remote or online Disability Awareness training is when the trainer facilitates a training session with a dispersed workforce who are at a number of different locations.

Disability, deserted streets and dismissive language.

Disability, deserted streets and dismissive language.

This will all be over, eventually. Life will return to whatever the new normal will be. Those of us tasked with working from home will return to the office. The cafes, restaurants and bars will reopen. The barbers will have queues of young lads outside waiting to get their first 'fade out' in weeks.

Coronavirus - Disability inclusion in protecting the most vulnerable.

Coronavirus - Disability inclusion in protecting the vulnerable.

The irony of us all having to pull together by staying apart is not lost on the majority of the Irish people. We are a small country that thrives on physical, social and emotional contact. But government instruction and medical advice requests us all to keep a little distance, just for a little while at least.

Disability and the Workplace Relations Commission

Disability and the Workplace Relations Commission

As Development Manager with North Leinster Citizens Information Service I acted as an Advocacy Case Manager where I was lucky enough to manage a fantastic team. With the assistance of Advocacy Support Workers, these dedicated Officers engaged in complex advocacy for Citizens Information clients.

Disability Awareness & The Wage Subsidy Scheme

Disability Awareness & The Wage Subsidy Scheme

For over 9 years I worked with EmployAbility Service, Ireland's national employment provider for people with disabilities. In this time, I worked both as Employment Facilitator and Company Coordinator and had the opportunity to work in rural & urban settings with employers from a variety of backgrounds.

Office Workers looking at camera

Why is Disability Awareness Training important?

Over the course of the coming weeks, I will write a number of brief articles referencing the importance as well as benefits to society of increasing knowledge around greater disability awareness. Disability Awareness Training is a key tool for organisations in increasing their knowledge base around disabilities.

Group of office workers smiling at camera including wheelchair user

Disability Awareness Support Scheme

Continuing with the focus on the importance of Disability Awareness training for organisations, The Disability Awareness Support Scheme (DASS) is a scheme whereby private sector employers that provide disability awareness training for staff can apply for a grant which can cover 90% of the cost of the training.

Workers in factory standing with arms folded

Benefits to Disability Awareness Training

While a good training programme should obviously result in greater overall awareness from business owners, line management, human resource teams and general staff when it comes to engaging disabled people, there are other, more specific benefits which will be looked at here.

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