Moving to Ireland with a disability

Hello everyone,

Having a disability should not be a barrier to living abroad. While the intricacies of one’s move to Ireland may be specific to the individual, certain steps can be undertaken to make the process smoother.

What are the important aspects you would personally keep in mind during the planning phase (social security benefits, ongoing medical treatment, etc.)?

Are you required to go through a medical check-up before your move?

Are there any organisations or groups who lend support to expatriates who have a disability?

What are your thoughts on the infrastructure in Ireland (public spaces, transportation and buildings)?

Are there enough opportunities to make the most of your social life in Ireland? Are leisure activities made accessible to people with disabilities? 

Please do share your experience with us.



While I acquired my disability while living in Ireland I have traveled quite a bit since and there’s some good and not so food news.

Let’s start with the good news. Since I became paralysed down my left side, four years ago, I’ve traveled to 26 different airports across EMEA, North America and APAC. Mainly for work, some for leisure and I can, without a doubt, say that Dublin airport has the best special assistance out there. Depending on your needs they can pick you up outside or you can  go to the desk in T1 or T2. It’s well taken care of so you can be as independent as you like.

Overall, I’d say Dublin is reasonably accessible. You have to keep in mind that it’s an old city so quite a few buildings will have steps and stairs  and may not be accessible. It pays to call ahead for sure. A lot of beauticians for instance are at top floors of buildings without a lift and some restaurants don’t have a lift.

Healthcare is good, no doubt about it.

One of the things I love most about Ireland, both before I acquired my disability and especially now, is how friendly people are. There’s always someone willing to help!

Overall I would definitely say that Ireland is accessible, there’s lots of organisations that can help you (e.g ABI, Spinal Injuries Ireland or the Irish Wheelchair Association) and people are helpful. Nothing should stop you!

I'm autistic.
I'm planning on moving to Ireland. I'm an EU citizen;
What is Ireland like for autistic people?
Are there jobs available for autistic people?
Many thanks!

rbeleza wrote:

I'm autistic.
I'm planning on moving to Ireland. I'm an EU citizen;
What is Ireland like for autistic people?
Are there jobs available for autistic people?
Many thanks!

Welcome to the forum :)

Good news that you are EU citizen, and you don't require a visa. How about telling us on your work skills?

I'm really sorry it took me so long to answer this comment. I was moving to a new home and there were other setbacks. As an autistic person, sometimes it takes me a little longer to get used to big changes, than it would for a normal person.
I’m a late-diagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome carrier with the most unusual professional background.
I have shifted careers from Law to IT, but I still deal with both in the IT Corporate Governance department and Business Analysis. That gives me privileged perspective, which I use creatively to present new approaches to challenges, with an outsider’s point of view.
I had to learn about social interactions and emotional intelligence as a regular person learns a new professional skill, which means I am actively very perceptive of people around me – I have to be. I have gone as far as becoming a team manager, which might seem trivial for some, but was no easy task for me.
I’m methodic, I can hyper-focus on any given task and have a passion for Mathematics and Sciences.
My goal is to relocate with my family to a foreign country, preferably in the European Union, since I am an Italian citizen. I had to overcome many hardships in my life and this is the next one. I can work well in the legal, administrative, financial and IT fields; I have teaching experience and I’m an excellent writer and communicator. I have an aptitude to learn new languages and I’m not afraid of rolling up my sleeves.
Thanks for bearing with me.
My LinkedIn profile is in … -23a114175
Best regards,

Hi Rbeleza and welcome to the Forum.

I'm a bit confused as your LinkedIn profile says your a Brazilian, yet you say you're Italian.  Suffice to say, if you and your family hold an EU passport, then they'll have no problem with emigrating to Ireland.  You have an impressive skill-set, my only comment is if you are an Italian Citizen, then you may want to revise your LinkedIn data because recruiters will look at that and as such think you were Brazilian and would not be interested in you because you would struggle to get a work permit.

Recruiters have search software that reads the key sections of LinkedIn, I'm not so sure it will read your letter.  Review/update your languages section as they are confusing - you list English and Spanish in the Key Skills section, yet your Language section says you speak German and French.  If languages are important in a new role, then they will test you during the interview stage, so it's important; if recruiters are confused by your CV, then they will move on to the next one.  My advice would be to only list languages you are fluent in (reading. writing and spoken).  For example, I think I speak 4 languages, but I only have 2 that I'm really competent in, the other 2 are social language skills (hello, goodbye, directions, read a menu, buy a beer and ask for a receipt).

Long-range job searching is always problematic as the majority of recruiters want people who can start work tomorrow, whereas you would probably want to get a job, then plan to move with your wife and family.  If you have key skills that are hard to find in Ireland, I'd say it's doable, if you don't, then it will be harder.  Related to this, you need to ensure that any key skills and qualifications you have that are directly related to your job are up to date and recognised in Ireland.

If you have any specific questions, please come back to us.

Hope this helps.

Expat Team

Dear Mr. Cynic,

Thank you very much for reading my LinkedIn profile, for the input and the advice!

My family and I have dual citizenship Brazilian/Italian, and that is definitely not clear in my profile.

You are correct, I am fluent in English and Spanish - German and French come as social languages, although I've been studying both to achieve fluency.

I'll start to seriously consider the advice of moving and then searching for a job locally. I'll make sure my competencies can be officially recognized in Ireland.

Kind regards,


I know I'm kind of late to the game, but I just found this forum by coincidence, and it triggered my interest. You see, I'm wheeling around with a dream of moving to Ireland brewing inside of me, and I think the time has come to start realising it.

I currently live in Norway, and even though it is indeed a lovely and nice country, it's not a very good place to live if you're disabled. I have lived here all my life, but when I finally got the chance to go to Ireland in 2006, I felt like I was finally HOME. The feeling has stayed with me for all these years, and I have travelled back as often as possible since.

Now, I have decided that I need to get out of here and relocate to Ireland. I don't care where, but seeing that I am indeed disabled, I'm looking for tips on where I should be looking at moving to make it as smooth as something big as moving abroad could be. I want to buy a home, apartment or even a small house, but I am also open to renting in the beginning.

I'm very social and outgoing, so my preference would be to live in a city or close to one, to be able to go out and see people whenever I want. A priority would be to avoid any form of isolation. I have thought about Dublin, which might be too expensive for me, and also Cork.

The second obstacle to realising my dream is that I require personal assistance to live my life as normally as possible. Having a roommate/PA might even be a possibility.

Can anyone help me and point me in the right direction? Or maybe even take part in fulfilling my dream? I'm forever grateful. Thank you!

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