The Executive has a strategy to improve the lives of disabled people.

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On 11 May 2015, Junior Minister Michelle McIlveen and Junior Minister Jennifer McCann announced that the Executive’s Disability Strategy would be extended until March 2017 to allow additional time to ensure that focus remains and to give additional time for priority areas in the strategy to be progressed. The extension will have the additional benefit of providing adequate time to consult on and develop a new strategy.

A copy of the press release can be found via the link below:

A strategy to improve the lives of people with disabilities - 2012 to 2015

The Executive's strategy acknowledges that people with disabilities deserve to be treated equally alongside those without disabilities. It recognises that women and children especially face particular challenges and have needs which have previously been overlooked.

The purpose of the strategy is to:

  • set out a high level policy framework to give coherence and guidance to Northern Ireland Departments’ activities across general and disability specific areas of policy
  • drive improved performance of service delivery leading to improved outcomes for persons with a disability
  • increase the understanding of the needs of persons with a disability and ensure these needs are recognised when policy is developed or when implementing initiatives which impact on disabled people
  • improve their opportunities

As stated above, this strategy has now been extended until March 2017.

You can download the strategy using the links below:

Alternative formats of the strategy can be made available on request and you should forward any such requests to the contact points detailed below.

UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) came into force on 8 July 2009. As a signatory to the Convention member states we are required to submit a comprehensive report by July 2011 on measures taken to meet its obligations.

Along with other devolved administrations, the Executive was invited to contribute to the UK Government’s report. The Executive's contribution to this report was submitted to the Office for Disability Issues (ODI) in January 2012.

The report sets out the measures that are being taken to implement the convention, and the progress made in protecting and delivering the rights contained within the convention articles. It also reports on key legislative and policy work that delivers outcomes for disabled people and which deliver the rights contained in the convention's articles.

ODI combined the material received from all devolved administrations and GB Departments into a composite report. In order to meet UN requirements in terms of the amount of text that will be accepted in the final report, ODI has had to substantially condense the original material provided by the Executive.

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Disability Branch

Disability discrimination legislation

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 aims to end the discrimination that faces many people with disabilities.

This act has been significantly extended, including:

Disability Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 2006

The order strengthens the coverage of the DDA 1995, increasing the scope of legislation to include more people with disabilities.

For example, people diagnosed with cancer, HIV and multiple sclerosis (MS) but not yet showing signs of their illness are now protected by disability legislation.

People with mental ill health will no longer have to prove their condition is 'clinically well-recognised'.

The new laws also provide extra protection for disabled people in other areas such as private clubs and in discriminatory job advertisements. Also disabled people living in rented premises will now find it easier to have their homes adapted to meet their needs.

Transport will become more accessible to disabled people as all trains will have to be fully accessible by 2020. The order also extends current legislation to bring the functions of public authorities within the scope of disability legislation for the first time and imposes a new duty on them to promote positive attitudes towards disabled people and encourage their participation in public life.

Alternatively, copies may be purchased from the Stationery Office Bookshop, 16 Arthur Street, Belfast BT1 4GD.

Disability Discrimination (Transport Vehicles) regulations (NI) 2009

These regulations remove the transport exemption from Part III of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 for land-based public transport, vehicle hire, breakdown services and leisure and tourism transport vehicles.  They came into operation on 25 January 2010.

The regulations can be accessed via the links below:

Statutory rules

Further consultation on the regulations arising from the Disability Discrimination Order resulted in the creation of four Statutory Rules:

Consultation on indicators for ‘A Strategy to improve the lives of people with disabilities 2012 - 2015’

To monitor the success of the ‘A Strategy to improve the lives of people with disabilities 2012 - 2015’, OFMDFM, in conjunction with advisory groups, has developed an interim set of draft indicators.

Measuring progress of ‘A Strategy to improve the lives of people with disabilities 2012 – 2015’

The strategy contains eighteen key priorities which were agreed following a public consultation in summer 2012. Since the launch of the strategy, OFMDFM has been working to create indicators that will be used to measure progress being made against those eighteen priorities.

An interim list of draft indicators was drawn together. This interim set of indicators was put out for public consultation between 24 November 2014 and 27 February 2015.

This consultation is now closed.

Analysis is currently underway on the responses received to the consultation.

The consultation document with a list of the interim set of draft indicators can be found at the link below:

Alternative formats can also be made available on request, please contact OFMDFM Statistics and Research Branch.

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