The Department for Communities has lead responsibility for disability policy. Almost one in four people in Northern Ireland have a disability. Discrimination based on a person’s disability can create barriers to their full participation in public life.This can lead to social isolation, not fulfilling their potential and, ultimately, to poorer levels of mental and/or physical well-being. People with disabilities live and work and learn and contribute to society in the same way that people without disabilities do. We are committed to working to ensure that Northern Ireland is a diverse, inclusive and supportive society.

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, 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 contributes to the UK Government’s reports. The Executive's contribution to the UK’s last report was submitted 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.

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

Further information on UNCRPD can be found on the United Nations website.

Disability Discrimination Legislation

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 provides legislative protections for disabled people.

The Act has been significantly extended by subsequent pieces of legislation, including:

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