Enabling Participation and Contribution
DESSA is about promoting disability rights in Ireland. The purpose of DESSA is to create a society where everyone with lived experience of disability and their families can participate equally as full citizens. We do this by to eliminating barriers to enable disabled people to reach their potential and participate fully in their community.
DESSA’s core remit entails the delivery of direct training, advocacy and information support services to individuals and families with lived experience of disability and to organisations supporting them. DESSA also works to develop the capacity of organisations in the Community & Voluntary sector to enable disabled people to actively engage in community life.
DESSA was established in 2001 as an independent, not-for-profit organisation which is committed to supporting and defending the rights and interests of disabled people and their families.
DESSA is a national community development organisation, with charitable status and is core funded through the Scheme to Support National Organisations fund by the Department of Community & Rural Affairs. This fund is a key element of the State’s support for the role of the sector in contributing to the development of strong and vibrant civil society and in improving outcomes for those most disadvantaged.
DESSA’s mission is to pursue the active involvement and full participation of disabled people in Irish society. At the heart of this is the belief that people who experience disability are citizens with rights, not objects of charity.
DESSA’s work is based on the Social Model of Disability. This recognises that it is attitudes, practices and structures that are disabling, preventing people from enjoying economic participation, social inclusion and equality and not an individual’s impairment.