Latest disability data

National Ability Supports System (NASS)

In 2019, 22,434 service users are included in the NASS bulletin.  Of these, 18,919 (84%) were previously recorded on the National Intellectual Disability Database (NIDD) or the National Physical and Sensory Disability Database (NPSDD) and the remaining are newly added to NASS. While coverage achieved in the first year of collecting data on this new system is incomplete, the data we do have provides insight into the overall population of people who receive or require a disability‐funded service.

The 2019 NASS data show that:

  • For both genders, those in the 40-59 years age group are the most represented
  • Intellectual disability was the most commonly reported primary disability, followed by neurological conditions and Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Almost half of service users reported having a primary carer, 85%of whom were parents.
  • Services provided:
    • One in four (5,297) of those recorded on NASS receive a residential service
    • Two in every three (15,270) accessed specialist supports
    • One in six (3,892) were in receipt of supports for daily living 
    • 516 people access day respite services and 2,834 people access overnight respite services;
    • Three in four (16,805) access day services

Data relating to service users with intellectual disability are presented separately in the national bulletin as they make up the greatest proportion of those currently registered on NASS.

Separate supplementary reports have been developed for those recorded on NASS with Autism Spectrum Disorder and for those with a physical or sensory disability.

Additional breakdowns of NASS 2019 data are available on request from the Health Research Board. Simply fill out the data request form and return it to

About NASS

NASS is a national database that records information about disability‐funded services that are received or required as a result of an intellectual disability, developmental delay, physical, sensory, neurological, learning, autism spectrum or speech/language disability. NASS replaces the original HRB disability databases ‐ the National Intellectual Disability Database (NIDD) and the National Physical and Sensory Disability Database (NPSDD). Records from the NIDD and NPSDD were migrated to NASS if they had been included in the datasets for 2015‐2017.

The purpose of NASS is to gather information to underpin the planning, development and organisation of disability‐funded services. A person is eligible to be registered on NASS if they receive or require (in the next five years) a disability‐funded service.

Read the NASS 2019 bulletin (including intellectual disability section)

Read the ASD supplementary bulletin 2019

Read the Physical/sensory supplementary bulletin 2019

NIDD and NPSDD data 2017