DPO Network Publications

The Irish Deaf Society is a founding member of the “Disabled Persons’ Organisation Network”, also called the “DPO Network.” The DPO Network is an alliance of five national Disabled Persons’ Organisations in Ireland. We work together to help ensure that the UN CRPD in Ireland is fully implemented. The five DPO member organisations are:

The DPO Network relies on disabled people’s lived experience, expertise and analysis. We are led and informed by the active input of disabled people. Their input provides a unique opportunity for an analysis of the issues faced by disabled people that truly covers all areas of society. The DPO Network is committed to the human rights and social model of disability. This model says that the exclusion, inequality, and discrimination that disabled people experience is not because of a person’s disability but due to economic, cultural, social, and political barriers that continue in society.

To find out more about the DPO Network visit the website www.dponetwork.ie

DPO Network Position Paper on the Role of Disabled Persons’ Organisations (DPOs) in Ireland

The DPO Network is calling for the Government to agree criteria for DPO recognition and support DPOs to meet these criteria as well as the need to establish and maintain a national register of DPOs. The emergence of DPOs in Ireland is a relatively new phenomenon but DPOs have the collective, shared expertise of lived experience and we bring a unique perspective to speak on the needs and issues of concern to disabled people. DPOs also foster the empowerment of disabled people by enabling their participation in the decision-making processes that affect their lives, which can lead to better quality of life outcomes. The crucial role of DPOs needs not only recognition but adequate multi-annual funding to support the UNCRPD being fully implemented in Ireland

Position Paper on the Role of DPOs in Ireland

DPO Coalition Consultation Report 2023

This Consultation Report presents the views and experiences of disabled people in Ireland based on 672 surveys and 8 focus groups. It also presents clear actions Government can focus on to improve disabled people’s lives and enable disabled people to participate fully in society.

DPO Coalition Consultation Report 2023

Why does the Irish Deaf Society work with Disabled Persons Organisations?

The Irish Deaf Society recognises the Deaf people as being part of a marginalised linguistic minority, not as disabled people. However, we also recognise the need to work within the laws, policies and services that are available to us so that we can consistently improve the human rights of Deaf people.

The Word Federation of the Deaf has published a position paper on why Deaf communities accept that we work in the context of disabiltiy legislation and services to achieve our rights. The main points are:

  • IDS is recognised under the UN CRPD as a Disabled Person Organisation, this gives us rights under UN CRPD which requires the Government to prioritise our views in relation to topics of interest to the Deaf community.
  • Deaf people consider themselves as a linguistic and cultural group, with highly complex natural languages but the rights of deaf people are however assured through disability policy, legislation and international instruments.
  • Deaf identity can overlap with other identities relating to gender, race, disability, socioeconomic status.
  • On the international level, the United Nations has assured human rights through the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). This convention supports the rights of Deaf people.

You can access the full World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) position paper at this link: Complementary or diametrically opposed: Situating Deaf Communities within ‘disability’ vs ‘cultural and linguistic minority’ constructs: Position Paper (PDF)


Irish Deaf Society