ADI grew out of Very Special Arts Ireland (VSA Ireland), set up in 1985 and allied to the VSA network based in the US. Its main focus was artists with disabilities. VSA Ireland was also part of the innovative artistic programme of City Arts Centre, Dublin.
In 2001 VSA Ireland changed its name to Arts & Disability Ireland (ADI) in order to reflect contemporary thinking about disability inclusion.
In 2005 we broadened our scope to include audiences with disabilities. It was at that time that ADI graduated from supporting just two Dublin-based drama and dance programmes to developing new partnerships in locations throughout Ireland in a range of artforms. ADI’s purpose evolved to demonstrate new approaches to engaging and involving artists and audiences with disabilities through partnership working.