Design communities for everyone: Call for non-profits to apply for Disability Participation and Awareness Fund 2024

From left to right are, Deirdre Mortell, CEO at Rethink Ireland and Anne Rabbitte, Minister of State at the Department of Health and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth with Áine O'Hara and AlanJames Burns, Project Initiators of the Disrupt Disability Arts Festival at Project Arts Centre pictured at the announcement of the 2024 Disability Awareness and Participation Fund. Photo: Damien Eagers

‘Design communities for everyone’ says Rethink Ireland 

Call for non-profits to apply for Disability Participation and Awareness Fund as Minister Rabbitte announces €3.5 million in funding for 2024

Funding announced by Rethink Ireland and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth is set to accelerate access and skills-building for people with disabilities, with a €3.5m injection of funding for the sector to support projects.

The 2024 Disability Participation and Awareness Fund is now open for applications from change-making non-profit organisations focused on supporting people with disabilities to participate in community life. This includes social, cultural, arts and sports participation, as well as promoting disability awareness and training at a local level, and supporting pathways for young people transitioning through education. Up to six high-performing projects that applied under the 2023 application process are to be awarded up to €1.1m, and up to ten new projects will be eligible to share in funding worth a total of €2.4m.

If you are a project or organisation who would be interested in applying to the Disability Participation and Awareness Fund, please visit the OPEN FUND.

Five additional organisations are being awarded funding under the 2023 application process. These include Project Arts Centre, SOS Kilkenny, Co. Wexford Community Workshop, The No Barriers Foundation, and Paralympics Ireland. To learn more about the awardees of the 2023 Fund, visit our FUND PAGE.

The announcement of this critical funding for the sector was made at the Project Arts Centre in Dublin, one of the organisations that will receive a share of €1.1 million in funding. The Project Arts Centre’s Disrupt Disability Arts Festival is changing the face of the Irish arts festival ecology, acting as a platform for connection, creativity and communication between the diverse intersections of the Irish disability community, as well as wider society. 

Anne Rabbitte TD, Minister of State with special responsibility for Disability at the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, commented: “The establishment of the Disability Participation and Awareness Fund is to support essential community-led initiatives around Ireland, and I am deeply pleased to announce funding of €3.5 million to the sector. This latest investment is critical to accelerating progress towards equality and access for people with disabilities in our society. As Minister, I am committed to creating communities that work for everyone, where people with disabilities are assured of, as is their right, equal access to social, cultural, arts and sports opportunities, underpinned by stronger disability awareness. The mission is clear: equality first. To this aim, we are delighted to continue our partnership with Rethink Ireland and to support even more projects to carry out vital work in our communities.”

Deirdre Mortell, CEO of Rethink Ireland, said: “The time is now on equity and inclusion for people with disabilities. We must design communities for everyone, and we know that social innovation leads the way in delivering this. Social innovations are regularly led by people who have a strong personal connection to the issues they aim to overcome. They often act at a local level, empowering people with lived experiences and those who feel passionately about the success of their communities. They are equitable, investing in talent regardless of background or (perceived) ability. They encourage responsible consumption and growth, and stimulate our economic development. They create jobs. I am proud that through the Disability Participation and Awareness Fund, we will be working with a total of up to 36 dedicated projects by the end of the year that will build skills and remove barriers for people with disabilities across Ireland.”