Direct Payment Schemes for People with Disabilities: A New and Innovative Policy Approach to Providing Services to Disabled People in Ireland
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Nolan, Ann; Regan, Colm
[Excerpt] This research project commenced initially in August 2002 and was initiated by the Disability Cluster Group – a network of local disability groups and service-providers, facilitated by the Bray Partnership. The Disability Cluster Group established a Disability Research Steering Committee for the project which, in turn, employed 80:20 Educating and Acting for a Better World – a non-governmental development education organisation – to undertake the research. The core objective of the work is to explore and move forward the agenda relating to direct payments in the East Coast Area Health Board (ECAHB). This is primarily a piece of qualitative research focusing on the many elements that make up a direct payment scheme from a number of stakeholder perspectives. In terms of the cross-border comparative element of the research, 10% of the total number of direct payments users in NI were interviewed. Given low overall numbers of direct payments service users, this figure is too limited for any significant statistical analysis. Instead, they serve to highlight some of the issues, experiences and challenges associated with introducing direct payments for a number of people with disabilities in Northern Ireland and allows for a range of conclusions to be drawn out.
disability; benefits; public policy; poverty; direct payments