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The launch of the National Disability Inclusion Strategy (NDIS) in 2017 and the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) in 2018 has put a greater onus on providing a robust evidence base to allow progress and change to be measured.
The National Disability Authority (NDA) has a statutory role to monitor policy and practice in relation to disability; this includes the promotion of Universal Design and the development and use of statistics.
The NDA was well placed to develop the indicators, and to analyse and report on the data. However, data gathering is currently not standardised across the public sector. There are also some challenges in ensuring that data regarding disability is gathered regularly and can be disaggregated by other variables, e.g. disability type, gender etc.
The NDA continues to work closely with the Central Statistics Office and other public bodies to encourage robust data collection, and to explore ways of making this data available for analysis and information.
As such, the indicator set has been adopted as a ‘living document’. This is to take into account new data sources that may emerge over time allowing new areas to be measured. It may also allow revised indicators measuring overall outcomes and progress to be explored as various actions within the Strategy are delivered.
The data gathering for the indicator set is intended both to enhance the body of reliable data available on disability and to help drive the collection of this data in a timely and regular manner by mainstream departments and agencies. This also helps in being able to compare Ireland’s progress in disability matters to that of other jurisdictions.
The availability of data is essential in highlighting issues, challenges and gaps in service/support provision. This will ensure the rights of people with disabilities are recognised and addressed in public policies and practices.
The indicator set was developed by the National Disability Authority as the independent state body providing expert advice on disability policy and practice. It selected 58 indicators corresponding to 19 objectives in eight thematic areas.
An early draft of the indicator set was reviewed by the National Disability Inclusion Strategy Steering Group which comprises government departments and agencies, as well as disability sector representatives. This group provided comments on earlier drafts, suggested additional datasets for investigation, and subsequently agreed the adoption of the indicator set.
In addition, a number of NDA staff, who have deep knowledge of different sectoral areas, either provided input directly or consulted with relevant government departments. Comments and information were received from a broad range of organisations including the Health Research Board, Central Statistics Office, Department of Health, Department of Children and Youth Affairs, Department of Education and Skills, Solas, the Health Service Executive, the Health Information and Equality Authority, the Mental Health Commission, and Mental Health Reform, all of whom collect data relevant to people with disabilities.
A decision was taken early on to use, as far as possible, data that were already being collected.
The indicators currently selected have been identified from data that are:
National Disability Authority
Email: nda (at) nda (dot) ie