Adult Services

Day Services

Ability West provides a wide range of day services to support people with intellectual disability and autism to achieve their goals as defined through Person Centred Planning (PCP).  

The services and programmes offered reflect the mission of Ability West and embrace the premise of New Directions in contributing and participating in communities.  The curricula and programmes reflect the fundamental needs of service users in relation to learning, personal development and capacity building for the person and their meaningful life objectives.  To this end the design of Adult Day Services programmes build on the potential of each person to expand their capacity to take their rightful place in their communities. 

Please see our referral and admission policy which outlines how to access Adult Day Services.

Residential Services

We provide residential services throughout Galway City and County on a part-time, five or seven day care basis which is dependent on funding received from the Health Service Executive (HSE).  The homes are built and modified to take into account the needs of service users and are set in the heart of communities and while the home provides the basic security and comfort that all of us value, there is strong emphasis on participating and contributing to the local communities.  The emphasis is on a home from home environment.  The service users are supported by a dedicated and professional team of staff and have access to support from our therapy team as required.  Service users enjoy an environment that provides common areas to socialise with fellow service users or their own space when preferring to relax and enjoy some quiet time.  All our residential services are registered and inspected by HIQA.

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Short Breaks

The aim of short breaks respite is to support people with an intellectual disability or autism within their family and community. 

Ability West aims to assist families to engage their own supports through their own natural support networks such as family, local community, neighbours and through our volunteer programme. 

However, we recognise the need for more formalised supports. 

It is recommended that where possible, respite supports should be provided in the home and in the community via Host Families, Community Support, Outreach Projects and in other innovative and inclusive ways.  

Residential respite is a prioritised and resource dependent service and services are registered and inspected by The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA)

The types of short breaks that can be accessed include:

  • Social Groups and Summer Camps
  • Home Sharing
  • Volunteers
  • Community Support/Outreach Programmes
  • Residential Respite

Take a look at our video on Home Sharing. Home Share Galway is a scheme ran jointly by Ability West & the Brothers of Charity Galway Services.

Home Sharing Claim Allowance Form

Multi-Disciplinary Supports

Our experienced team are trained in not only ascertaining the unique requirements and expectations of service users, but exceeding them.  Ability West’s therapists and support staff are experts in their respective fields including physiotherapy, speech and language, occupational therapy, social work, psychology and positive behaviour support.  They are equipped with extensive skills and experience and are here to help people achieve their individual goals with a variety of different therapy options.  We work together to help make positive progress in all aspects of the service user’s life.

Transition Programmes

We recognise the impact change can have on a person’s life who may have varying perceptions and mechanisms for coping with change.  To this end we offer a comprehensive transition programme in support of changes such as moving from school, home, life circumstance, etc.

Positive Intervention

Ability West promotes and facilitates a positive response to the individual support of a person who may require specialised interventions.

Support Staff

Our employees are selected not only for their knowledge and experience but for the right fit with our ethos and culture.  When staff are selected they receive additional and intense training dictated by the support needs of the people using the service and the individual requirements of the people we support.

Ability West promotes a “Right Relationship” ethos where the relationship between staff and the person is based on mutual respect and trust with an emphasis on facilitating the person to develop natural and long lasting relationships with others.


We implement the processes and systems of the National Safeguarding Policy to ensure all people using the service are educated and protected from all forms of abuse.  We have a zero tolerance approach to all forms of abuse.

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Post School Options

Ability West operates St. Joseph’s Training Services which provides training programmes in a number of locations throughout Galway City and County.  Rehabilitative Training provides opportunities to develop independent living skills through Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) accredited modules, work experience and community involvement.  It is in line with New Directions policy and reflects individual needs through a PCP approach. We have developed five community based hubs where local people who use the service plan and implement their programmes as members of their own community.  This is in line with New Directions and a process is in place for those wishing to access these services.

For more information on the services provided by us, please ring us on 091 540900 or email

Self-Directed Supported Living (SSDL)

SSDL is the model that Ability West introduced in 2016 to support people to live a life that is meaningful, rich in experience and allows them to be valued in their community.  The Discovery process assists the person and their family to design their needs in support of their life choices through PCP.

Ability West provides group SSDL/Discovery training to family members and staff.  It reflects the premise of recognition of the autonomy of the person who uses the service and their fundamental right to make choices and manage their future.

The system identifies the support and related programmes that facilitate this autonomy; reflecting the person’s capacity and individualised goals.  In some cases this has resulted in the person living in their own home and availing of specific supports from Ability West to suit their individual requirements.



Ability West has close links with EmployAbility Galway and was in fact one of its founding members.  EmployAbility Galway provides the necessary supports to assist people with disabilities to access the world of work.  A number of adults have been referred or self-referred to EmployAbility and have successfully gone through job profiling and job matching to find paid employment in a variety of occupations. 

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Active Ageing

Today people are enjoying increased longevity and where some people who use the service may experience age related changes in their abilities, the service endeavours to ensure that their support and programmes meet their changing needs. 

Our programmes are influenced by the findings and recommendations of The Intellectual Disability Supplement to the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (IDS TILDA) research and we are developing a model for people with early onset Dementia/Alzheimer’s. Responding to this challenge and in order to support this ageing population to continue realising their dreams and ambitions we have established active ageing programmes in a number of areas throughout Galway City and County.  We also model active retirement programmes in collaboration and participation with local community groups.


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We are a rights based organisation and this premise is reflected in all policies and processes throughout the organisation.  We have established a Human Rights Committee in this regard.  We respect the autonomy of people who use the service and the premise of positive risk taking within the parameters of our duty of care.  Ability West promotes and encourages the resource of independent advocacy.

Our Locations

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