Here are links to resources on special needs, special education, disability and advocacy that may be helpful to you. The top section is for organisations in Ireland. Links for organisations outside of Ireland are available by scrolling down.
Organisations based in the
Republic of Ireland
AHEAD is an independent non-profit organisation working to promote full access to and participation in further and higher education for students with disabilities and to enhance their employment prospects on graduation.
Arthritis Ireland provides “support to people living with all rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (MSDs) and related conditions which affect peoples’ability to live well” and “fund pioneering research to increase the knowledge base and use that knowledge to transform the lives of people living with the disease”.
Aspire was established by parents to offer support for those with the syndrome and their families, and to encourage and undertake research into the condition. It is our aim to support people with Asperger Syndrome (AS) to lead full and independent lives.
A national voluntary organisation for Ireland’s family carers. The association lobbies and advocates on behalf of carers.family carers. The association lobbies and advocates on behalf of carers.
The Center for Talented Youth provides enrichment courses for students with high academic ability. There are programs for students at primary and secondary level. The goal of CTYI is to help talented students reach their academic and social potential.
The CAA provides supports to people with autism from the age of 16 years (Home Support & Respite) or 18 years (Residential, Day Service, Outreach Supports).
CF Ireland (CFI) is a voluntary organisation that was set up by parents in 1963 to improve the treatment and facilities for people with Cystic Fibrosis in Ireland. CF Ireland also co-operates with medical professionals to give maximum assistance to both parents and children/adults with Cystic Fibrosis.
Down Syndrome Ireland is a national voluntary organisation supporting people with Down syndrome and their families in twenty-five branches nationwide.
The Dyslexia Association of Ireland (DAI) aims to promote the understanding, treatment and prevention of the problems which can be associated with dyslexia, a specific learning disability.
This association was formed by parents to raise awareness of dyspraxia in Ireland and create a better understanding of the difficulties children and parents face.
Epilepsy Ireland’s vision is to achieve a society where no person’s life is limited by epilepsy.
The vision of Galway Autism Partnership is that the people and families affected by autism spectrum disorders have services and support in Galway city & county.
A group of parents of gifted children in Ireland. The purposes of this voluntary group are:
- To help other parents find support and advice in their local communities.
- To develop a strong and unified voice of advocacy on behalf of our children.
- To help and support those involved in the care and education of our children.
- To raise awareness of the unique social, emotional and academic needs of gifted children and adults.
HADD is an organisation in Ireland made up of volunteers – parents of children with ADHD, individuals with ADHD and professionals. We are dedicated to providing as much up-to-date information, resources and networking opportunities to individuals with ADHD, parents of children with ADHD and the professionals
who serve them.
Inclusion Ireland campaigns for changes in services and legislation that will improve the quality of life and participation of people with an intellectual disability in Irish Society.
Irish Autism Action was founded in 2011 by parents of children with autism. It is an umbrella organisation with 51 member groups and 900 individual members. IAA provides information and support to families and children with autism.
Irish National Council of AD/HD Support Groups is an umbrella organisation for the AD/HD Support Groups active throughout the country. The support groups operate at a local level and provide services such as information, advice and emotional support to families of children with AD/HD.
Muscular Dystrophy Ireland aims to provide information and support to people with neuromuscular conditions and their families through a range of support services. Our objective is to promote through practical empowerment, independent living for people with the condition muscular dystrophy.
MDI supports advocating for services to enable people with neuromuscular conditions to fully participate in society and to live a life of their own choosing. MDI also aims to support and fund research into neuromuscular conditions.
Muskerry Autism Support Group is a newly launched charity, set up to enhance the lives of children on the autistic spectrum. This group was originally an affiliate of Shine Ireland. In 2011 we decided to form our own independent charity so as to better address the growing demands for local services. Relying on a network of families, we strive to empower these children, to develop their knowledge, skills and confidence.
The NCSE was set up to improve the delivery of education services to persons
with special educational needs arising from disabilities with particular
emphasis on children. This government agency oversees Special Educational
Needs Organisers (SENO) that determine the supports given to students with
The National Disability Authority is the independent state body providing expert advice on disability policy and practice to the Minister, and promoting Universal Design in Ireland.
NEPS supports the personal, social and educational development of all children through the application of psychological theory and practice in education. Psychologists work with teachers, parents and children in identifying educational needs.
The role of the Special Education Support Service (SESS) is to enhance the
quality of learning and teaching in relation to special educational provision. The service co-ordinates, develops and delivers a range of professional development initiatives and support structures for school personnel working with students with special educational needs in mainstream primary and post-primary schools, special schools and special classes. It is part of the Department of Education and Skills.
A national parent-run organisation which provides support and information for
families who have children with disabilities and special needs in Ireland
regardless of age or diagnosis.
UK based charity providing information and support to those affected by ADHD and promoting inclusion.
Information on Aspergers Syndrome as well as High-Functioning Autism.
Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN)
Organisation run by and for people with autism. Focus is on empowering people with autism to “take control” of their lives.
US based information and advocacy organisation
Disability Rights UK
UK charity run by and for people with disabilities.
Promoting inclusion and success for people with disabilities. The DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) Center is dedicated to empowering people with disabilities through technology and education. It promotes awareness and accessibility—in both the classroom and the workplace—to maximize the potential of individuals with disabilities and make our communities more vibrant, diverse, and inclusive.
UK based charity founded by 2 mother of children with dyspraxia. Goal is to spread information and awareness of dyspraxia.
Down’s Syndrome Association
UK charity providing information and support to people with Down’s Syndrome and their families.
Friendship Circle of Michigan
Support organisation for children with special needs. Lots of online resources.
Interactive Autism Network
News and information on autism research from US-based organisation.
John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth
Goal is to identify and develop the talents of gifted students.
UK charity for people with autism and aspergers and their families.
US based site with information on:
- Various types of disabilities including autism, adhd, dyslexia, dyscalculia etc
- Study Skills
- Assistive technology
Based in Virginia, provides information and training to families of children with disabilities.
Detailed database of goals for IEPs
By Todd Erik Henry lawyer and advocateSpecial Olympics (International)
Goal is to provide year round training and athletic competitions for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. This site has links to special olympics organisations throughout the world.Understood
15 nonprofit organizations have joined forces to support parents of the one in five children with learning and attention issues throughout their journey.We Connect Now
This website is for people with disabilities in, or going into college/third level
Watch Grow Learn
An online library of over 5,000 educational videos on a wide variety of topics including foreign languages, career development and Common Core subjects.
The focus of this website is special education law and advocacy. The site is US based but includes valuable information for parents no matter where they are located.
Lots of resources for parents, teachers and anyone else affected by dyslexia.