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Minister Phelan Launches Dublin South City Ability Program

Mr John Paul Phelan TD, Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform has launched the Dublin South City Ability Programme - a free voluntary programme for young people aged 18 – 29 offering support and guidance to develop positive pathways to work and study.

Ability connects young people experiencing emotional, psychological, mental health challenges and co-occurring disabilities with Guidance Workers to assist them engage with work and/or study, learn new skills, find volunteering opportunities and take steps towards finding sustainable employment.  Ability staff also work with local employers, employment services, education and training providers to support the progression of young people in their work and study.

The DSC Ability programme is one of 27 across Ireland funded under the “Ability Programme” to deliver pre-activation programmes for young people, aged 15-29 years with disabilities.

Minister Phelan said “Helping people with disabilities to enter the labour market has huge benefits for everyone involved. It is an opportunity to tap into the substantial talent pool available within the cohort of people with disabilities, and there are many positive effects from having a more diverse and cohesive work force.”  He commended the work of the Dublin South City Ability Programme and encouraged, the Participants to make good use of the opportunity over the coming months and years to engage in this exciting project.

The launch marked the successful collaboration of Dublin South City Partnership with Ballyfermot Chapelizod Partnership, Dublin City Community Cooperative and Rehab National Learning Network (NLN) to deliver this programme across Dublin South City and meet an identified need for the young adults in the areas covered by these organisations.

Deirdre Moore, Ability Coordinator said the day was a wonderful celebration of the programme delivery to date and opportunity to thank the participants involved, the organisations and educational centres working in collaboration with Ability and the various employers engaged to offer work experience and employment opportunities.

DSCP Board Chairperson Bruce Phillips and Ballyfermot Chapelizod CEO Anne Fitzgerald welcomed the audience and gave an overview of the important work of DSC Ability in engaging young people to develop person centred goals and take the steps towards meaningful social roles, education and employment of their choice.

“See Change” Ambassador Emma O’Toole shared her own personal experience of mental health difficulties. Emma’s inspirational story highlighted the importance of speaking about our challenges, reaching out for support and the benefits of services such as DSC Ability. See Change is a national organisation that challenges stigma around mental health.

Evelyn Langan and Audrey McPartlin from the Department of Employment & Social Protection presented on the supports and funding available to both employers and people with disabilities through the department.  

The DSC Ability team hope the launch will further promote the programme, raise awareness around social inclusion, mental health and disability and opportunities for young adults to fully participate in education, training and employment.

The Dublin South City Ability Programme is up and running across Dublin 2,4,6,6W,8,10,12,20.

We have workers based in Crumlin, Ballyfermot and the Inner city.

To find out more or to make a referral, please contact the Ability Programme on (01) 4732196 or

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