About Us


The organisation began life as a small educational centre dedicated to the  needs of people who are deafblind, and is situated within the grounds of St. Joseph’s house, Stillorgan, under the auspices of St. Mary’s School for Deaf Girls in Cabra.  A number of current residents attended the school throughout the 1980s where teachers adapted the Department of Education’s mainstream curriculum to include adapted communication systems, tactile signing and multisensory activities.


In 1989 the Anne Sullivan Foundation was established by a group of pioneering parents and other interested people. Their vision to promote Deafblindness as a unique disability and enhance the lives of people who are Deafblind culminated in the opening of The Anne Sullivan Centre’s residential service in 1996.

Between 1997 and 2006, the Anne Sullivan Foundation purchased four additional houses in the area. This reflected an effort to move toward a less institutional model of care and promote the independence of service users. The centre itself was renovated and now boasts a number of therapy rooms that are open to service users around the clock, including a Multi- Sensory Room,  Jacuzzi room and Gym.

The Foundations’ name was chosen to pay tribute to an Irish immigrant who came to prominence as a Deafblind teacher in the United States.

as2Anne Sullivan’s parents left Limerick during the famine and settled in Massachusetts, where Anne was born in 1866.  At only five years old, Anne contracted an eye infection and began losing her sight. Three years later, Anne’s mother passed away and she and her younger brother were abandoned by their father and sent to an Alms house in Tewksbury.

It was there that Anne was afforded the opportunity to undergo surgery which helped to restore her sight.  She attended Perkins School for the Blind in Boston where having begun as a difficult student, she graduated as Valedictorian of her class, aged 20.

During her time at Perkins, Anne learned to communicate with Deafblind friends, including Laura Bridgeman the first Deafblind person to be educated. It was a skill that would come in handy when, in 1886, she was hired by the Keller’s to care for their daughter Helen in Alabama. Helen was a profoundly challenging student. But Anne was determined, to the point of obsession, and finally managed to help Helen communicate.

Anne Sullivan served as Helen Keller’s educator for over a decade and accompanied her to Radcliffe College where she became the first deafblind person to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. The pair remained lifelong companions and when Anne died in 1936, Helen was holding her hand.

More information about Anne can be found at




Our Vision

We want to see a society where all people are given an equal opportunity to participate fully and equally in society in line with the commitments set down in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities alongside the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.


Our Mission:

We continue Anne Sullivan’s legacy by empowering people who are deafblind to pursue meaningful, active and fulfilling lives. We do this by providing care, advocacy and support services in partnership with people who are deafblind, their families, statutory and non-statutory organisations and local communities.


We want to see a society where

  • The rights and needs of people who are deafblind are enshrined in Irish policy, legislation, planning and service development
  • The condition of deafblindness is recognised and better understood by society
  • Research is published and collated on the impact and prevalence of deafblindness
  • Our services are compliant with national regulations and standards and benchmarked against international best practice
  • People who are deafblind are supported through innovation in augmentative and alternative communication systems and tools
  • Staff are nurtured to achieve excellence, empowered to develop and excel and recognised for their skills and knowledge
  • A national service provider growing our network of supports and services and recognized as a centre of Excellence.


Our Values:

  • We are a person centred organisation that strives for equality, fairness and respect for all
  • We provide quality services that are inclusive; focussed on empowerment, communication and advocacy
  • We are accountable to each other, our service users and our funders; we use our resources in a way that is effective and efficient
  • We work as part of a team; always challenging ourselves to do better and measure our performance.

We are guided by the principles and commitments inherent in the UNCRPD

The Anne Sullivan Centre residential services are inspected and monitored by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) against the Health Act ( 2007) ( care and Support of residents in designated centres for persons ( children and adults) with disabilities) regulations 2013 and the National Standards for Residential Services for Children and Adults with Disabilities 2013

The Anne Sullivan Centre received it’s certification of registration in December 2016.

Inspection reports for all residential services are available to view online at www.hiqa.ie


The Anne Sullivan Centre’s Annual reports will appear here

The Anne Sullivan Centre has clear governance structures in place where accountability at individual, team and Board level is in place.

The Anne Sullivan Centre has clear governance structures in place where accountability at individual, team and Board level is in place.

Our statement of purpose supports an individualised person centred approach where transparency and accountability to our service users, funders, families and staff is promoted and encouraged at all times.


We are registered with the Charities Regulatory Authority  and with the charities section of the Revenue Commissioners  CHY-9900

In line with best practice we produce audited accounts annually which are publically available.

We fully support the Governance code for Community, Voluntary and Charitable organisations and commit to it’s Principles of Good Governance.

We have a number of sub committees in place:

  • Audit and Finance
  • Governance and risk
  • Human Resources Committee
  • Human Rights Committee
  • Safeguarding Committee

The Anne Sullivan Centre Limited is a Ccompany Limited by Guarantee Reg no 413994- Registered in Ireland

Registered address is The Anne Sullivan Centre , Brewery Road, Stillorgan, Co Dublin.

We are registered with the Charities Regulatory Authority  and with the charities section of the Revenue Commissioners  CHY-9900


Anne Sullivan Foundation for Deafblind People

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