The Department for Communities has lead responsibility for disability policy. Almost one in five 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, the State Party (UK) is required to report every four years on measures taken to meet its obligations. Along with other devolved administrations, the NI Executive contributes to the UK Government’s reports with material received from all devolved administrations and GB Departments being combined into a composite UK report. 

The UN last examined how well the UK is implementing the treaty and published Concluding observations in October 2017 – this was the UK’s first periodic review since ratification in 2009. 

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 next periodic review is due in 2023.

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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