Rehabilitation and training services for people with disabilities


There is a range of employment supports for people with disabilities to help with getting a job and staying in employment. The Department of Social Protection provides these supports through local employment services offices and Intreo centres.

Vocational training is provided by SOLAS.

The Department of Health has responsibility for rehabilitative training (training that is not linked to the labour force) and sheltered work. Responsibility for the delivery of these services rests with the Health Service Executive (HSE). Rehabilitative training and sheltered work is provided largely in:

  • Accredited training centres that are run by the HSE or by service providers contracted by the HSE and
  • Designated sheltered workshops

Rehabilitative training focuses on the development of life skills, social skills and basic work skills with the objective of enhancing the trainee's quality of life and general work capacity.

The HSE has appointed Directors of Disability Services who are responsible, among other things, for the delivery of rehabilitative training services. The HSE has teams of guidance counsellors who offer information, advice and guidance on HSE training and sheltered work services.

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) has published a leaflet for school leavers with information on rehabilitative training options (pdf).

Sheltered workshops

Sheltered work gives people with disabilities the opportunity to take part in daily work in a sheltered setting where they receive personal support services. Trainees may produce goods that have a commercial value.


If you have a disability, you will be assessed by your Local Health Office to establish what level of rehabilitative training is appropriate for you.


Rehabilitative Training Bonus

Trainees in foundation training and sheltered workshops retain their social welfare payments, usually Disability Allowance. A training bonus of €31.80 a week may be paid to people who started rehabilitative training before 1 September 2019. The training bonus is not available to new entrants after that date.

How to apply

Contact the Disability Services section in your Local Health Office for more information on rehabilitative training and sheltered work in your area. Further information on employment services can be obtained from your local employment services office or Intreo centre.

Page edited: 30 July 2019