Research Networks

Discit - making persons with disabilities full citizens


The EU-funded project DISCIT – Making Persons with Disabilities Full Citizens had its kick-off event in Brussels on February 27th and 28th2013. Organised by NOVA – Norwegian Social Research the event featured academics, policymakers and advocates from ten EU countries, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, and the US. The event included representatives from the European Commission Directorate General for Justice, the International Labour Organization and the European Disability Forum. According to Monica Menapace from the European Commission Directorate General for Research and Innovation “this project represents new ways of meeting social needs which are not adequately addressed by the market or public sector”.  See press release here.

DISCIT aims to produce new knowledge enabling Member States, affiliated European countries and the European Union to achieve full and effective participation of persons with disabilities in society and the economy. In investigating the social and political conditions for making such participation a reality, the project adopts a multifaceted understanding of Active Citizenship to operationalise the notion of “ full and effective participation” in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Adopting a multilevel and institutional perspective, DISCIT examines how different types of policies can be mutually supportive in enhancing Active Citizenship for persons with disabilities. DISCIT’s results will support the redefinition of the European Social Model, in particular by facilitating the implementation of the  UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at European Union level and in Member States. Read more about the DISCIT objectives.

DISCIT consortium members include universities, research institutes and two civil society organisations. The consortium is supported by a Scientific Advisory Committee with distinguished members mainly from countries not covered by the consortium members, a European Stakeholder Committee and eight National Stakeholder Committees in Norway, Germany, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Serbia.

Person - partnership to ensure reform of supports of other nations

PERSON (Partnership to Ensure Reforms of Supports in other Nations) is funded by the EU DG Enlargement as an Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA). It is one of number (20 approximately) funded under the Partnership Programmes for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

The Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway co-ordinate the project and have five leading CSOs as partners based in Serbia (MDRIS), Croatia (SHINE), Bosnia and Herzegovina (SUMERO), Kosovo (ISDY) and Turkey (RUSIHAK).

The specific objective of PERSON is to increase competencies of CSOs in Balkan states on both regional and national levels to strategically advocate and monitor reforms affecting persons with psycho-social and intellectual disabilities.

PERSON is the only disability-related programme within the EU Partnership Programmes for CSOs.


For more information, see

DREAM - Disability Rights Expanding Accessible Markets


Disability Rights Expanding Accessible Markets or DREAM is a training network for early stage researchers stemming from the EU Marie Curie Initial Training Network Funding Programme. The primary aim of DREAM is to professionally develop and educate the next generation of disability policy researchers and entrepreneurs to assist the EU and its Member States in their efforts to implement the UN CRPD at EU and Member State levels. This will involve exploring options for European Union disability law and policy reform in light of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006).

The idea behind DREAM is premised on the insight that respecting disability rights is not only good in itself but helps create economic opportunities for over 60 million European citizens with disabilities and also expands markets for European business.

Fourteen Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) will be recruited across the network on a full-time basis over three years and will explore and develop recommendations for European Union disability law and policy reform in light of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006).

The ESRs will be hosted for three years by the Full Network Partners; the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the National University of Ireland, Galway, Technosite (Spain), Maastricht University (Netherlands), University of Leeds (UK), NOVA Norwegian Social Research, the University of Iceland and Swiss Paraplegic Research.

The ESRs will be provided with rigorous professional development skills to ensure that they can use their research knowledge and be attractive to potential employers in both the private and public sectors.

All of the researchers will also have the opportunity to gain invaluable and funded work experience with leading European civil society groups such as Interights (London), Mental Disability Advocacy Centre (Budapest), the European Disability Forum (Brussels) and the European Group of Human Rights Commissions. This will help sharpen their analysis and lead to policy recommendations that are well grounded in experience.

ANED - Academic Network of Experts on European Disability

The Academic Network of European Disability experts (ANED) was created by the European Commission in 2007 to establish and maintain a pan-European academic network in the disability field to support policy development in collaboration with the Commission’s Disability Unit.

The Network is comprised of country experts from each of the EU Member States, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Experts undertake thematic research on national disability law and policy. Research themes to date have included employment, independent living and social protection and social inclusion.

The Centre for Disability Law and Policy is responsible for preparing the annual ANED thematic reports for Ireland. The Centre has to date submitted three thematic reports to the ANED. These are:

  • Report on the implementation of policies supporting independent living for disabled People in Ireland
  • Report on the Social Inclusion and Social Protection of Disabled People in Ireland
  • Report on the Employment of Disabled People in Ireland

Reports are available at

The Centre for Disability Law and Policy has also compiled the ANED country profile for Ireland. The Irish country profile provides a wealth of information on disability related topics. Details are provided on important laws, policies and strategies concerning disabled people, significant national organisations of disabled people as well as academic networks and institutes active in disability research. Facts and figures are also provided on disability and a number of relevant policy areas including education, employment and long-term support and care.

USICD - United States International Council on Disability

The United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD) is a federation of US-based non-governmental organisations (NGOs), federal agencies and individuals committed to advocacy and action on behalf of the global disability rights agenda. Through its network of disabled people’s organisations and other NGO stakeholders, government members and individual advocates, USICD has the advocacy reach to impact emerging issues both in the United States and internationally. USICD’s Board of Directors includes the most recognised leaders in the American disability rights movement, providing experience and guidance to USICD’s mission and sharing a vision for the full inclusion, access, and human rights of people with disabilities internationally.  (

Gladnet - The Global Applied Disability Research and Information Network

The Global Applied Disability Research and Information Network (GLADNET) brings together research centres, universities, enterprises, government departments, trade unions, and organisations of and for persons with disabilities. Their aim is to advance competitive employment and training opportunities for persons with disabilities.

GLADNET's objective is to promote disability policy and program reform with emphasis on integrated training and employment options for working age persons with disabilities. These objectives are achieved through collaborative applied research projects, and by the global exchange of information via the Internet.  GLADNET provides resources such as checklists, brochures, tools and information sheets along with good practices and contacts relevant to the ten articles in the U.N Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. (