Through the Disability Awareness Support Scheme (DASS), my department provides financial assistance to private sector organisations to undertake staff development in order to assist the integration of people with disabilities into the workforce and to eliminate mistaken perceptions about the capacity of people with disabilities to be productive and effective employees and colleagues.
This scheme is open to all organisations in the private sector and is available for raising the awareness of personnel at all levels and in all occupations. The DASS is suitable for the following:
- Organisations interested in employing or retaining people with disabilities;
- Organisations interested in promoting the employment of people with disabilities.
The trainer/facilitator proposed by the applicant organisation for this grant should:
- Have a training qualification and/or relevant experience;
- Have a strong social model perspective. This means that the trainer should focus on how the physical and social barriers in society can disable an individual;
- Have an extensive knowledge of disability policy issues. The trainer should be up to date with current developments in the disability sector in Ireland;
- Have experience or awareness of disability and have developed their training programme in consultation with people with disabilities.
In relation to the details supplied with this question, it is important to note that any application by a private sector organisation for a grant under the DASS should be submitted between three weeks and two months prior to commencement of the training.
The Disability Awareness course provider selected by applicant organisation must be approved by my department's Case Officer and Assistant Principal prior to the commencement of the training programme or course.
Applications cannot be processed for training which has already commenced.
DASS guidelines can be downloaded from the Department's website https://www.welfare.ie/en/downloads/DisabiltyAwarenessSupportSchemeGuidelines.pdf
Further advice and help can be sourced from the following publications produced by the National Disability Authority (NDA): Guidelines for Purchasers of Disability Equality Training.