ILMI eBulletin September 30th 2022

FREEDOM and CHOICE Marking 30 years of Independent Living in Ireland
IMAGE: Black and white photo of Dr Adolf Ratzka with Text that reads “Freedom and Choice marking 30 years of independent living in Ireland 5th October @5pm”

Want to know more about independent living? Join us for 4 online events over October exploring what it is and How to get it!

ILMI is extremely proud to kick off with Dr Adolf Ratzka 5th Oct from 5 pm to 6 pm via Zoom email to register, All welcome. Topic: “The Importance of Understanding Independent Living for disabled people”

Dr Ratzka, is quoted as saying: “Independent Living does not mean that we want to do everything by ourselves or that we do not need anybody or like to live in isolation. Independent Living means that we demand the same choices and control in our everyday lives that our non-disabled brothers and sisters, neighbours and friends take for granted. We want to grow up in our families, go to the neighbourhood school, use the same bus as our neighbours, work in jobs that are in line with our education and interests, and raise families of our own. We are profoundly ordinary people sharing the same need to feel included, recognised and loved.”

Budget 2023
“We would of liked to have seen more investments in long term supports that can support quality of life for disabled people such as housing, transport, employment and PAs”  Patrick Flanagan ILMI on the RTÉ News

IMAGE: Screenshot of Patrick Flanagan on the RTE news

Excellent article by ILMI Board Member Catherine Gallagher interviewed by Ciara O’Loughlin of the Irish Independent  “A one-off payment won’t reduce the poverty trap experienced by disabled people, and it won’t improve the overall quality of life; it’s not going to have a long-term impact,” Read the full article here

Representation Matters, we as disabled people are forced to pry open our lives and expose ourselves like no one else has too. Just to get a point across. However we in ILMI decided to represent ourselves as strong independent people who call out what is wrong on our own terms. Our take on the Budget was delivered without any of us having to showcase or let cameras in to view our private personal sock drawer!

This is eloquently tackled by our Chair Des Kenny in the Irish Times. “In terms of what disabled people and the families of disabled children are accessing, we as a country seem to be going backwards and leaving so many disabled people behind.” Full article is here

The Joint Committee on Disability Matters and the Joint Committee on Autism met on Thursday to hold a joint meeting on the topic of accessibility in the built environment, information, and communication.

In line with Article 9 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), a National Plan for Accessibility, as recommended by the Joint Committee on Disability Matters, would ensure that all sectors can work together to make society and communities more accessible to disabled people.

Representatives from Independent Living Movement Ireland, Des Kenny, Chairperson, Catherine Gallagher, Board member & James Cawley, Policy officer.

“The Committee can be passive watchers of this evolution, or, from time to time, you can look at failures of our planners to think access when designing our multiple environments which make-up our interface with the world of an inclusive society where all disabled people want to live.” Des Kenny.

“I have not had the privilege of always living with privacy, dignity, and discretion. Everything I turn my hand to, there are multiple government departments who need to be notified and several separate administrative offices.” Catherine Gallagher

Opening statement, Des Kenny, Chairperson and Catherine Gallagher, Board member, Independent Living Movement Ireland
Video is here

The Roadmap for Social Inclusion 2020-2025 is the national strategy for poverty reduction and improved social inclusion.

It aims to reduce consistent poverty to 2% or less and to make Ireland one of the most socially inclusive countries in the EU. The Roadmap translates this ambition into seven goals underpinned by 66 unique commitments to be taken to help deliver these goals. A public consultation is under way for the mid-term review of the Roadmap for Social Inclusion and ILMI will be completing a submission.

If you would like to feed into our submission please email our Policy Officer on or call James on 0867744991 no later than 6th October

ILMI SFC Project Update
IMAGE: screenshot of group

This week we were joined by Damien Peelo for our Strategies for Change session. He gave us a really interesting presentation about community development. We learned that community development is a long term process where marginalised people work together to figure out what they need and what they need to do to get what they need, I learned that there are 5 pillars to community development and theses are: identifying a common goal, creating a sense of belonging, fostering easy connection, learning and valuing and engaging with other people’s points of view. My favourite part of the session was the group work when my group and I had to identify an issue and figure out what the best methods to solve it would be. I always love the SFC group work because everyone in the larger group always has lots of different ideas and experiences which make for really interesting discussions. All in all it was another great Strategies For Change session and I’m already really looking forward to the next one.

Written by Izzy Keane.

ILMI VOICE Project Kilkenny

IMAGE: screenshot of group

On Tuesday, 27 September, ILMI VOICE Project development officer Kilkenny Paula Soraghan had the second workshop. The group had a discussion with CREATE co-ordinator, Patrick Flanagan about the barriers disabled people face around employment.

Paula knows the group are learning a lot about ILMI from talking to Patrick and want to pursue employment themselves. The workshops are building their confidence and they are getting to know Paula and ILMI staff.

The workshop was very beneficial to VOICE Kilkenny because people are gaining a better understanding of who ILMI are and why our work is so important. It also means that participants are learning about Independent Living and why working as a collective is important to challenge barriers. It’s also a great social space to meet new people!

Want to know more or get involved call Paula on Mobile: 0871630433 or email

Clare Leader Forum “Revolutions Necessitate Revolutionaries”

A panel discussion: UNCRPD – fallacy or reality?

How do we:
•            Infiltrate the political system?
•            Conquer ableism?
•            Achieve Independent Living?
•            Consolidate the Disabled People’s (intersectional) movement?
•            Progress our rights with Allies’ solidarity?
•            Dr. Liz Brosnan, Researcher and Activist, post Academia and Health Service Executive
•            Peter Kearns, ONSIDE Project Manager ILMI, Activist
•            Elaine Grehan, Head of Advocacy, Irish Deaf Society
•            Trish Mc Namara, Clare Leader Forum, Activist
•            Ber Hoban, Special interest in age non-discrimination, Activist
•            Sarah Clancy, Published Author, Co-ordinator Clare PPN, Ally
•            James Sheppard, Film Maker, Musician, Ally and Father
•            Nem Kearns, Disabled Women Ireland, Neurodiversity Ireland
•            Emilie Conway, Artist, Disabled Artists and Disabled Academics Campaign
7th October @ 12:30-2pm, Zoom
Register by emailing
Do NOT miss it!

****Gentle Reminder to register
What do Disabled People want from Disability Service Providers: A Consultation to explore how disabled people can inform the delivery of their services Tuesday 11th October 11am to 1pm

IMAGE: Television service disrupted test card with text that reads “What do Disabled People want from Disability Service Providers: A Consultation to explore how disabled people can inform the delivery of their services Tuesday 11th October 11am to 1pm” register email and the ILMI logo.

ILMI as a Disabled Persons Organisation (DPO) recognises that many disabled people receive services through Disability Service Providers that allow them to live independent lives, with freedom, choice and control. Many of these services are vital to ensuring disabled people can be part of society, living their lives in an inclusive way based on principles of rights and equality.

However, how much control do disabled people have over these services? And what strategies can ILMI as a DPO put forward for how the Sector can be accountable to the needs and wishes of disabled people.

Join us on Zoom for an interactive discussion space for disabled people to discuss developing a position paper on Disability Services. This will take place on Tuesday 11th October from 11am.

To register email

ILMI “Education Equal to Others” Consultation

IMAGE: photo of autumnal leaves with one green leaf standing out from the other with text that reads “ILMI “Education Equal to Others” Consultation, Tuesday 18th October 11am to 1pm email to register” and the ILMI logo.

Tuesday 18th October 11am to 1pm

Article 24 of the UNCRPD guarantees a right to disabled people to education equal to others and calls on States to “ensure an inclusive education system at all levels and lifelong learning”.

In the last twelve months there has been an increasing call for “special” schools, “special classes” and reversal of hard fought gains that disabled people had campaigned for. Going hand-in-hand with this has been the transfer of Therapy services from the Children’s Disability networks to Special education locations.

ILMI is keen to explore this with disabled people to develop an analysis of how to practically implement the UNCRPD in relation to article 24 and key campaign asks to bring to the Department of Education and political parties.

This consultation will take place on Zoom on the 18th October from 11am to 1pm. To participate, email

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