Ability West – Éirim An Iarthair, formerly known as The Galway County Association for Mentally Handicapped Children, was set up by parents and friends in 1962. Over the past 50 years Ability West has grown from strength to strength and we now provide high quality services and supports to over 500 children and adults with intellectual disability. Ability West is a voluntary organisation dedicated to enabling people with intellectual disability to realise their dreams and ambitions and to take their rightful place in society.
We are a grass roots organisation with local branches of Ability West located in parishes throughout County Galway. Membership of the branches mainly comprises of family and friends of service users, and the general public. These branches are the link to local people, businesses and communities and are vital in adhering to our ethos and vision which is to provide each person with opportunities, supports and services that will enable them to be an active and valued member within their community. The branches are also very important in that they are the link between the Board of Directors and the community.
Ability West operates a vibrant volunteer programme and we currently have over 200 male and female volunteers who bring with them their talents, skills, commitment, enthusiasm and energy. See the Volunteer Section for more information on volunteering.
We currently have 55 centres located across Galway City and County. Services include day, residential, respite, rehabilitative training, supported employment, active ageing, community support and multidisciplinary supports. Ability West is also patron to four special schools located in Ballinasloe, Carraroe, Galway City and Tuam.