The History of the National Platform of Self-Advocates
For many years people with intellectual disabilities talked about setting up an independent national self-advocacy organisation.
In 2011 we agreed to develop an organisation which would be independent and run by people with Intellectual Disabilities.
We talked about the following things at meetings across Ireland:
- Why a Platform was needed?
- What would a Platform do?
- How would a Platform get funded?
In April 2012 a meeting to talk about creating a Platform was held in Tullamore. A speaker came from a group in Scotland called People First Scotland. Sixty people were at this meeting. We decided to set up a steering committee. Twelve people were elected to the committee at this meeting.
Setting up the Platform
The committee decided to look for money to run the National Platform. We were given a grant from a group called GENIO.
The committee decided to look for a facilitator to support the work of the Platform. We wrote a job description and an advertisement. We interviewed people and selected a facilitator.
The steering committee developed a vision and we wrote our first strategic plan.
You can see a summary of the strategic plan here.
In 2015 Atlantic Philanthropies gave us a grant for 3 years.
The Platform are now looking for funding to make sure that our work continues after August 2018.
In 2015 we got an office in the Carmichael Centre, Brunswick Street, Dublin.
We have 2 part time staff. We have a facilitator and an administrator.
Since the beginning, a team from the Centre for Disability Law and Policy (N.U.I.G.), Inclusion Ireland and Seasamh have supported the work of the Platform. They give us advice and information. They also give us other supports when we ask them.
We are supported by Arthur Cox Solicitors who advised us on the legal structure of the organisation. They are available to advise us on other legal issues we might need help with.
Willis Towers Watson supported the Platform by advising on Staff Appraisals. They gave the full steering committee training to help us manage our staff.