Becoming a Member
Here at Áiseanna Tacaíochta (ÁT), we’re building a strong new community which empowers people with disabilities in Ireland to live with independence, dignity and choice.
If you are interested in getting involved, we’d love to hear from you!
If you have any queries about any aspect of our membership, please just get in touch with our staff at any time: our contact details are available by clicking here.
At ÁT, our Leaders comprise people with different disabilities who are using Direct Payments to self-direct their services, and family members directing on behalf of a person with a disability.
As one of our Leaders, you are empowered and independent; you live with self-determination, making choices and decisions on a daily basis which reflect your personal needs, preferences and ambitions.
You gain control of your own budgets and services – mainly Personal Assistant (PA) – in a way that’s never happened before in this country. We act as an intermediary between you and the Health Service Executive (HSE) to set up a Direct Payment to you so that you can purchase your own care and support services. We support you with every aspect of establishing and running your own company so that this funding can be channeled straight to you, and assist you in setting up a Circle of Support – made up of people in your own community – to support you in everything you do. You can find out more about how this works by clicking here.
A Direct Payment is the difference, for example, between a college student being able to hire a PA to start work at 7am, to enable them to attend their lectures instead of missing everything because they’re told they have to wait for one who starts at 10am. It’s the colleague being able to take on a full-time role for the first time because they can, at last, rearrange their support. It’s the friend being able to meet for a coffee or enjoy a night out, instead of being stuck home alone.
It gives you new freedom and independence, and empowers you to pursue your personal goals and ambitions. Being a Leader puts you in control of your services, ensuring that these supports fit in with your life, not the other way around.
If you are interested in becoming an ÁT Leader, please complete the form at the bottom of this page or call our office on 01 525 0707.
Circles of Support
Circles of Support play a key role in empowering Leaders by assisting them with the running and management of their companies / social enterprises. Circle members become Directors and much more by helping to focus Leaders on their goals and to make plans to achieve them, as well as supporting them to be more active in the community.
As a member of a Circle of Support, you bring your skills and expertise to the company so that the Leader is fully supported in everything that they do. We match you to a Leader based on your interests and experience, and on the areas in which they need support.
People with experience in areas such as accounting and payroll, human resources, governance, facilitation or life coaching will bring very useful skills to a Circle of Support. However, it is much more important that you are open-minded, have good listening skills, have an encouraging and motivating manner, enjoy teamwork and come with a willingness to learn.
Circle members gain a real understanding of what life is like for someone living with a disability, the type of challenges and obstacles faced, and an idea of the inequality and exclusion that still exists.
If you are interested in volunteering in a Circle of Support, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office on 01 525 0707.