The members of The Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland are exclusively people with a disability working for people with a disability, promoting independence and equal opportunity through mobility. The founding ethos of the organisation was that people with disabilities would make their own decisions about what services to advocate, to agitate for or to provide.
The policies and the direction of the Association are dictated through the Board. The eight member Board is directly elected from the ordinary members of the Board. Each year, members are offered the opportunity to go forward for at least two Board positions. Through the individuals on Association’s Board, the DDAI has sustained itself over four decades. It is hoped it will continue to engage people with disabilities to act on issues relevant to them into a fifth decade and beyond.
The members are an important source for generating new initiatives. Awareness of needs or services that exist is often prompted by individual members or a combination of individual contributions by letter or by phone or indeed nowadays by email.
For example, the compilation of the list of service stations that provide attended service was begun at the instigation of an individual in a contribution at our AGM. Positive information for other members on the benefits of a specific car model to a person with a particular disability to the accessibility of a holiday destination is of great use.
Through the personal stories related by members we have tackled many inequalities, from motor insurance to driver testing. In turn we attempt to communicate the useful information, established rights, and cautionary tales derived from the experiences of individual members to our general membership.
There are many events which occur at national and local level, which the DDAI would wish to be represented both to promote the services of DDAI and to gather information that can be distributed to members. Members who to be active in the Association, can contribute greatly by being willing to attend and report on the Association’s behalf.
An active Board is also vital in generating new initiatives and in making choices about what policies and plans the Association should pursue. Successive Boards and individual board members have been central in ensuring that the Association’s activities are sustainable and delivered competently.
The willingness of members to participate to join the Board is central to the health of the Association, as every Board needs a regular influx of fresh enthusiasm, expertise and ideas. It is as a result of their efforts and the competence of previous general secretaries that the association is in such a healthy position today.
Over time, as needs have changed and services were provided in the mainstream, it has evolved and sought to meet new needs that are not being met by mainstream services in the State or private sector. The association tries to provide some direct benefits in return for the support we receive. For details of these benefits please see of list of members benefits.