Who we are

The CDLP is engaged in many international and European research networks and partners with a range of national research bodies on disability in Ireland. Within the University it collaborates actively with the Centre for Child and Family Support and the Centre for Social Gerontology in order to advance a coherent lifecycle approaches to policy development in the new Institute for Lifecourse and Society.

We place our research at the disposal of the disability community in Ireland and abroad and we warmly welcome feedback and suggestions.

The formation of the CDLP coincides with one of the most intensive periods of disability law reform in Ireland as well as internationally. The adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2007 should help accelerate this worldwide trend and give it further direction. The disability action plans of both the European Union and the Council of Europe help frame the policy choices facing Ireland and other European Member States. And the Irish Governments’ National Disability Strategy of 2005 provides a clear strategic direction and an unprecedented opportunity for rational developments in the field. The main challenge ahead is implementation and the Centre will produce research that contributes to that process.

A Case Study in Policy Entrepreneurship

 This case study published in May 2015 by The Atlantic Philanthropies documents how the CDLP became such an integral resource to policymakers and practitioners. It highlights the practical stepsit took to become so useful to so many people and institutions. In addition to capturing the CDLP’s key accomplishments, the case study includes its challenges and lessons learned—both for funders considering an investment in such centres and other university centres seeking to make a bigger impact.

It highlights that carefully researched studies are essential for advocates to make persuasive arguments to legislators and for policymakers to make informed decisions. But too often academic research is disconnected from the real world concerns of those who make or wish to influence policy. The CDLP is presented as a rare example of a university research centre that is having a positive impact on policy and practice. It has influenced domestic, regional and international policy in disability rights. It has done so through its accessible research and training of advocates and academics in the field. Few such research centres have made this kind of impact.

The CDLP was an Atlantic Philanthropies grantee.

Download case study here (PDF): Atlantic Philanthropies Case Study