Appointments to the Board of the National Disability Authority
The Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan and the Minister of State with special responsibility for Disabilities Finian McGrath today announced details of the new membership of the Board of the National Disability Authority (NDA).
The NDA is mandated to provide advice on disability policy and practice to the Ministers; to undertake, commission and collaborate in disability research; advise on standards and guidelines in services to people with disabilities; and to develop standards, education and promote awareness of Universal Design.
The appointments are for a four-year term and five positions on the Board were filled following a process of inviting expressions of interest undertaken by the Public Appointments Service.
Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan said: “I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate the new members of the NDA, to wish them well in their future work and to thank them for their commitment to improving the lives of people with disabilities in the State.”
“The expertise of the new board will be essential in leading the Authority to deliver on its responsibilities to provide information and evidence informed advice to guide Government policy and practices that are relevant to the lives of persons with disabilities, and to promote the principles of Universal Design.”
Minister of State Mr Finian McGrath TD, who has responsibility for developing and articulating Government policy on improving the lives of people with disabilities and their carers said: “I would like to congratulate the new members on their appointment to the Board and I wish them well in their work setting the future direction of the NDA.
I look forward to continuing to work with the Authority in its vital role of providing advice, information, and research to government and the public sector on policy and practice relating to people with disabilities.”
“Since becoming Minister with special responsibility for disabilities, the Government has achieved significant milestones in relation to improving the lives of people with disabilities.”
“Foremost amongst these are the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, the launch of the National Disability Inclusion Strategy 2017 – 2021 and the continued implementation of the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities 2015 - 2024. “
“The Authority plays a key role in the implementation of both these strategies and will be invaluable in ensuring the proper implementation of the Convention.
In line with Government policy, the work of the Authority will help to support and ensure that people with disabilities have more choice and control in how they live their lives in as full a manner as possible.”
Background notes for Editors:
The National Disability Authority is the lead state agency on disability issues and is charged with promoting and helping to secure the rights of persons with disabilities. The Authority advises Government on disability policy, research and standards and ensures the continued monitoring of implementation of standards and services.
Members of the board of the National Disability Authority
August 2018 - 2022
Ms Helen Guinan, Chairperson
Ms Guinan has been reappointed as chairperson of the National Disability Authority and is a retired Principal of Saint Paul’s Special School, Montenotte, Cork.
Ms Teresa McDonnell
Ms McDonnell was a member of the previous NDA Board and is the Co-founder and Chair of ‘Sharing the Journey’ (parental support group).
Ms Aisling Glynn
Ms Glynn was appointed to the previous NDA Board in late 2017 and has been reappointed for a second term. Amongst her extensive qualifications, Ms Glynn holds an LL.M in International and Comparative Disability Law & Policy and is a solicitor with McMahon & Williams.
Ms Ruthann LaMalfa
Ms La Malfa was a member of the previous NDA Board and has been reappointed for a second term. She brings her lived experience of being the parent of two children with disabilities to the Board.
Ms Deirdre O’Connor
Ms O’Connor was a member of the previous NDA Board and is the representative of Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU).
Dr Cathal Morgan
Dr Morgan is the Health Service Executive’s Head of Operations - Disability Services, and is a representative of the Minister of State with special responsibility for Disability Issues on the Board.
Ms Grainne Collins
Ms Collins is the NDA staff representative on the Board pursuant to section 20(4)(b) of the National Disability Authority Act 1999
Mr Brian Callanan
Mr Callanan is the representative of the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC) on the Board.
Mr Jack Kavanagh
Mr Kavanagh is a qualified pharmacist from Trinity College Dublin and is also an executive producer of the Amazon / TV3 / 3e documentary “Breaking Boundaries”. Mr. Kavanagh has lived experience of disability following a spinal injury.
Mr Damian Gordon
Mr Gordon is a lecturer in the School of Computing, Dublin Institute of Technology and has significant expertise in the field of Universal Design.
Ms Kathryn O’Donoghue
Ms O’Donoghue has over 30 years of extensive leadership experience in the business sector and has held senior positions in companies such as Google, General Electric and Ernst and Young.
Ms Martha Griffin
Ms. Griffin is employed as an Expert by Experience, Lecturer in Mental Health In Dublin City University.
The final vacancy to be filled, an officer the Minister for Justice and Equality, will be filled in the coming weeks.