January newsletter
Special Needs Parents Association
Welcome to our first monthly newsletter of 2013!

DCA Review

Early in 2012, due to lack of consistency and fairness in the administration of DCA (Domicilliary Carers Allowance) , the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton announced a full review of the scheme. A Public Consultation process was held and parents, individuals, groups and NGO's were invited to make submissions using a template as a guide.You can view SNPA's submission here.
SNPA also made a joint submission as part of the DCA Working Group consisting of The Carers Association, Inclusion Ireland, Irish Autism Action, Midlands Forum for People with Disabilities and Down Syndrome Ireland which you can access on our website The review conducted by the Department of Social Protection DCA Steering Group was completed in December 2012 following analysis of public consultation submissions and interviews with randomly selected DCA recipients and organisations. The process was both engaging and positive and a report with recommendations from the Steering Group was prepared for Minister Burton for consideration. We will update our members as we receive news of any changes to the scheme as a result of the review.


New Website Launched
Last November we launched our new website which has been kindly developed by Grafton Media. The launch at the Victory Centre in Dublin was followed by two hours of sublime music performed by David Byrne & Friends at a fundraising gig for SNPA.  
Many thanks to all who contributed and supported the event. It was a night to remember.For more photos of the launch night click here.
We hope that parents and carers in Ireland will find the website useful as we continue to add content over the next few weeks.
Respite Care Allowance Reduction
In the December budget the Department of Social Protection reduced the Respite Care Allowance by €375 to €1375 (almost back to 2006 levels). Protests against the reduction took place around the country and the Carers Association who helped to organise the Dublin protests strongly argued against this reduction which will put many family carers under even more pressure financially. SNPA released a press statement which you can read here. Unfortunately but not surprisingly the budget was voted through. 
You can find up-to-date information on entitlements on our website.

Free Nappy Scheme

The HSE operates a free nappy scheme for children with special needs over the age of 3. Due to a recent change in product brands, many parents were unhappy with the performance of the new brands being supplied and contacted us with their concerns. Following a meeting with the procurement department in the HSE we have jointly drawn up a new protocol to be used in situations where continence wear is not working well enough in individual cases.You can read more on this matter and see the new protocol on our website.

Flora Women's Mini Marathon

Would you believe that entry for this years' Flora Women's mini marathon opens in just a few weeks on 18th February? A massive thanks to those members and supporters who took part on our behalf last year and we hope that some of you will sign up to run/walk for us this year on 3rd June. Funds raised will help us to continue to help other parents throughout Ireland. We will have more info on how to register via the website and our Facebook page.

Bilateral Cochlear Implants Campaign
A group of parents have come together under the campaign name Our New Ears to lobby the HSE to provide bilateral cochlear implants to improve the quality of life for their children. They are calling on all parents to support a campaign for Bilateral Cochlear Implants in Ireland. Unlike other countries, Ireland does not follow best practice and does not offer two implants to children. They are asking parents to come together as one to support this campaign so that they a stronger voice together for all deaf children.Read more here.

Staying in Hospital

If your child is facing a hospital stay we have some helpful advice written from a parent's perspective on our website aswell as a link to a lovely "About Me" sheet for use by young or non verbal children so the nurses and doctors can get to know them and their likes and dislikes. there is also an app called Going to Hospital available on itunes which might be of help when preparing your child for a hospital visit or procedure.

Dance Event in Aid of SNPA

On 1st February Yolo Dance Fitness will be hosting a charity dance night at Club92 in aid of SNPA including a raffle and promotional prizes. They would love to see you there for a fab night of dance and fun and we are very grateful to them for offering to support us in helping to raise much needed funds.
February Newsletter
If you have any suggestions on what you would like included in our next newsletter please email

Mykidstime Charity of The Year
We're delighted to have been nominated in the Mykidstime Charity of the Year and could really do with your votes. The charity with the most votes by 31st January will become the Mykidstime Charity of the Year and will recieve support and advertising throughout the year which would enable us to reach out to many more parents. To vote daily please click here...we are number 22 on the list

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