“I have so much more independence now and so many more goals to achieve and so much more understanding of my own worth and my own abilities”
– Áiseanna Tacaíochta Leader
Who We Are
Áiseanna Tacaíochta (ÁT) is the first and main organisation to faciliate Direct Payments to people with disabilities in Ireland. We represent a diverse group of people with different disabilities and different experiences, united by a common desire to direct our own lives.
Our model of Direct Payments redefines the lived experience of disability for our members – who we call Leaders – and represents the next step forward for the disability movement in Ireland. Together with our supporters, people with disabilities and wider communities, we are breaking the historical culture of dependency on service providers, and driving a shift towards a personalised and empowering model of support that gives power back to the person.
We are a non-profit organisation, operating as a Company Limited by Guarantee and granted with charitable tax exemption.
We began as a pilot project in October 2010, initiated by four people with the lived experience of disability, who recognised the problems and inadequacies of traditional models of service provision. These four founding Leaders were the first in Ireland to create a stuctured opportunity enabling people to use a Direct Payments model.
It was their innovation and passion for Independent Living which identified new solutions, which lead to the establishment and growth of our organisation, and which – shared by all our staff and Leaders – continues to shape everything we do.
Moving out of our pilot phase just over a year ago, today, we have over twenty-five new and existing Leaders.
Why We Matter
Almost 600,000 people in Ireland – or 13% of the population – live with a disability . Without empowering them with more control, independence and responsibility in their own lives, we are actively denying this group of people their fundamental human rights to freedom, dignity and respect. Crucially, we are also then accepting our communities as closed places, maintaining barriers which serve to disable people by preventing their participation and access.
Disability is not temporal or discrete; it is an enduring, societal matter. It will always be necessary to provide help and support, and we have identified and created a truly empowering way of doing so.
We work to promote cultural and structural change, always aiming to inspire the next major shift needed in Ireland to achieve real equality and independence for people with disabilities and their families. By giving people with disabilities more control, choice and freedom, we are moving towards a more fair, inclusive and progressive future – anchored by equality and active citizenship – for everyone.