Projects across Ireland eligible to apply for new funding

Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Disabilities, Anne Rabbitte, has launched the next iteration of the Disability and Participation Awareness Fund, designed to support people with disabilities to participate in community life.

The new €3.5m fund will help to promote disability awareness and training in local communities, increase participation among disabled people in social, cultural, arts and sporting activities, and support pathways for young people with disabilities in transitioning through education.

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A total of €1.1m will be made available for up to six strong performing projects that applied under the 2023 Disability Participation and Awareness Fund.

Additionally, an open call for funding will issue in respect of the remaining €2.4m available, which will allow up to a maximum of 10 projects to apply under the following strands:

Minister Rabbitte announces Disability and Participation Awareness Fund worth €3.5m 1
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Strand 1

Supporting community, social, cultural, arts, sports and physical participation: Funding projects/organisations that improve and encourage the accessibility of, and participation in, community life for persons with disabilities.

Strand 2

Promoting disability awareness and training: Funding projects/organisations that initiate disability awareness capacity building and training at local level in communities i.e. carrying out awareness training, supporting disability champions, engaging with Disabled Person’s Organisations.

Strand 3

Promoting innovation in supports and pathways for teenagers transitioning from secondary school through the use of innovative and meaningful services, products or programmes.

Each of strands has a distinct focus and will support organisations working with or involving people with disabilities.

Each applying organisation must seek to address one or more of the key issues contained in the strands. Rethink Ireland will operation the Fund on behalf of the Department, and applying organisations can make an application under the different strands through the Rethink Ireland website.

Support for organisations to make an application will also be available.

Announcing the fund Minister Rabbitte commented:

I am thrilled to announce the launch of the Disability Participation and Awareness Fund for 2024, which has a strong focus on supporting persons with disabilities in their own communities, with a view to increasing participation across the country of Ireland. I am delighted to again be working with Rethink Ireland on this important fund, which will promote disability awareness among our citizens, and support disabled people to get involved in a range of different community activities, as well as helping young people to transition through their education. This fund will provide organisations with an opportunity to consider new and innovative solutions to the challenges facing disabled people today, and to demonstrate the reasons why this fund is so beneficial.

Rethink Ireland, the funding operators, support the most innovative non-profit organisations working in communities across the country, striving to identify innovative and sustainable solutions to foster greater inclusion and equity within Irish society. Rethink Ireland has committed to funding in the area of realising goals under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Rethink Ireland has notably partnered with community groups nationwide dedicated to providing training and competitive employment for people with disabilities.

More can be read on Rethink Ireland funding activities in this area here.

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