Peer Forum – Presentation On Managing Money

 

This week, on Thursday 8th April at 3p.m , Eve Curran from Ulster bank will give a presentation to the Peer Forum on managing money i.e. tips on saving, explaining the different types of accounts etc.

 

Eve will also be discussing how Ulster Bank have made their services more accessible. For more information on this click here

 

Anyone with a disability is welcome to join the group, they can email Nicola at nicola.meacle@corkcil.ie to get the ZOOM code.

 

ILMI Mailshot 1st April 2021

Welcome to our April 1st 2021 Mailshot

Ceol21

IMAGE: shows poster with the words CEOL21

A big thank you to everyone who came to the CEOL21 Event on Tuesday night. Hope you enjoyed it, I know we all did.

A huge big thank you to all the amazing performers for giving their time and energy so generously.

Orla O’Sullivan, Emilie Conway, Glen Hansard, Louis Younge, Mundy, John Kelly, Robbie Sinnott, James McCrory, Davey Cashin and Mick Martin of the Kilkennys, Tolü Makay, Hubert McCormack
Namel Norris of 4 Wheel City, and Maryam Madani.

A special thank you to Anne Rabbitte Minister of State at the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth and at the Department of Health for attending and all of her support.

#ceol21 #equality #humanrights  photos are here

Kindest regards,
The ILMI Team

OUR LANGUAGE IS ‘POWER’

??..…Why is this poster medical model?
IMAGE: shows poster with the words “See the person not the disability”

As an ancient saying – attributed to the English thinker Sir Francis Bacon, the key figure in engineering the creation of the British state 400 years ago – bluntly puts it: “knowledge is power”. In this first of a series on disability and language, ILMI’s Peter Kearns will set-out an argument that as social model inspired activists we must challenge the use of medical model language everywhere we encounter such a barrier. This includes taking to task disabled people and non-disabled who like to spout the so-called politically correct terminology of ‘people with disabilities’ (PwD). Such medical model language continues to remove us from effective engagement with Irish ‘power’ systems and the writing-up of social and legislative policy.

It is now widely appreciated that Disabled Peoples Orgs (DPOs), such as our national cross-impairment ILMI, have a role to play in spreading knowledge of disability equality which aims to impact and influence ‘power’ with mainstream organisations, sectors and agencies, beyond the PwD disability specific arena. Since the creation of ILMI in 201 DPOs have gained in confidence towards using the strong clear language of the social model to make sure that everyday mainstream services such as county councils, ETB or HSE are using such language when engaging with disabled people in every ROI county.  The ‘Politics’ of writing social model language into mainstream social agencies and their policy is about two things: social organisation and power. Disability Equality ILMI activists cannot get away with ignoring medical model language
Rest of the article can be found here

Let’s Get Political! ONSIDE Monaghan welcomes NCCWN Dochas for Women

IMAGE: shows screenshot of meeting participants

On Thursday, 25th March, the ILMI ONSIDE Women’s group welcomed Dochas for Women to their social inclusion workshop. Based in Monaghan Town, Dochas is a member of the National Collective of Community Based Women’s Networks (NCCWN). Since 1995, the group have been advocating for the human rights, equality and empowerment of women living in Co. Monaghan.

Ursula McKenna, Coordinator, began the workshop by sharing the motivation and passion behind the work that Dochas do, ‘There’s a lot of things that women still don’t have access to, it’s not equal and we are going to strive until there is equality’. She explained that a key role of Dochas is to listen to what women are saying. By doing this Dochas are ensuring that their work is informed by women’s lived experience and that they can authentically challenge structures, attitudes and behaviours that marginalise women.

Lynn McElvaney, Development Worker shared details of an exciting new opportunity for women living in the county. Launched on the 8th March 2021, Monaghan Women’s Assembly is a new platform that will bring the voices of women living in Co. Monaghan to local politicians. Lynn stated ‘Women are underrepresented at the decision making table, women need to involved in making decisions that impact on their lives’.  Membership of the Women’s Assembly is free and inclusive of all women, it is hoped that initiative will increase the participation of women in the 2024 elections. Lynn invited the ONSIDE participants to get in touch and to get involved with the Women’s Assembly, ‘No issue is too small and Dochas are available to support women in getting their voices heard!’

Audrey Wilson, ILMI ONSIDE Community Navigator commented, ‘The reality is that disabled women continue to be disproportionately excluded from decision making processes, policy making and the political structures of government at national, regional and local level. I’m heartened and excited to hear about Women’s Assembly initiative, this is definitely a space were disabled women should be’.
For more information about the ILMI ONSIDE project in Co. Monaghan contact Audrey Wilson, Community Navigator: audreywilson@ilmi.ie

ILMI eBulletin March 26th

Welcome to our March 26th E-Bulletin

Press Release from the Independent Living Movement Ireland 26th March 2021

“Full independent and transparent investigation into practices of Departments of Health and Education needed to restore disabled people’s trust in State”

Today (Friday 26th March) Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI) called for a full independent and transparent investigation into the practices of the Departments of Health and Education and HSE as revealed in the RTE Prime Time Investigates Report.

“The revelations from the RTE Prime Time programme will have had huge impact not only on autistic children and their families, but to all disabled people. In the year that the State makes its first report to the UN Convention of the Rights of Disabled People (UNCRPD), it is hugely concerning that Government Departments would invest resources to potentially use against people who are forced to take legal action of the State to access their rights to appropriate supports and services. What sort of message does this send out to disabled people who must campaign continually for the supports to live our lives as equals in society only to find out that time and resources are being spent to undermine our rights?” said Des Kenny, ILMI Chairperson.

“Under the UNCRPD, Ireland as a signatory is bound to ‘undertake to ensure and promote the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms’ for all disabled people ‘without discrimination’. It is deeply concerning that intimate details of people’s lives, details about their impairments and their family lives are being shared and potentially used to undermine disabled people’s access to justice and appropriate supports” added Mr Kenny.  Complete ILMI Press Release can be read here

CEOL21

#Ceol21 will be coming live to homes across Ireland in just four days! We have been overwhelmed by the response for tickets since their launch last week. If you haven’t already secured your free ticket then please do so ASAP. We are down to the last batch and expect to be fully sold out by the weekend. You can register your interest through info@ilmi.ie. Together let’s make March 30th a night in to remember! #equality #humanrights for line up details  Face Book Link is here

Strategies for Change

IMAGE shows screenshot of SFC group

In this week’s SFC session we explored intersectionality in its intrinsic link to disability. Intersectionality gives impetus to the reality that all of us have multiple identities and these intersect to make us who we are. It also gives us a way to talk about the oppressions and the privileges that overlap and reinforce our combined selves.

“We come from all sections of Society – all age ranges, all ethnic groups (including Travellers, Hindu, Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, atheist, etc.), all genders, all sexual orientations and are married or single or just people demented with children” – see Crips are just not Crips written by our very own Peter Kearns – https://ilmi.ie/crips-are-not-just-crips/.

So, I am much more then Fiona who has cerebral palsy. I am a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a friend, and so much more.

My intersectional identities (a Disabled Woman, Wife, and Mother) and the inequalities that I experience as a disabled woman, wife, and mother enables me to make sense of my lived experience of ableism.

IMAGE shows Deep purple and blue gradient background with the following words: ABLEISM a·ble·ism \ ˈābə-ˌli-zəm \ noun A system that places value on people’s bodies and minds based on societally constructed ideas of normality, intelligence, excellence, desirability, and productivity. These constructed ideas are deeply rooted in anti-Blackness, eugenics, misogyny, colonialism, imperialism and capitalism. This form of systemic oppression leads to people and society determining who is valuable and worthy based on a person’s language, appearance, religion and/or their ability to satisfactorily [re]produce, excel and “behave.” You do not have to be disabled to experience ableism. a 2021 updated working definition by Talila “TL” Lewis

We (disabled people) are the largest marginalised group in the world, we are stigmatised and experience oppression on so many levels. Disabled people have poorer educational outcomes; are less likely to go to college, are 4 times less likely to have a meaningful job and are at risk of deprivation and poverty, I could go on and on… see – https://ilmi.ie/key-statistics/ for more statistical details.

Oppression has many layers, its Ideological, Institutional, Interpersonal and Internalising.

Ideological oppression is the idea that one group of people is better than another group of people. The dominant group associates positive qualities with itself and negative qualities with the marginalised or “other” e.g., rich people are better than poor people – classism, black people are dangerous, are less intelligent and mentally unstable – racism, disabled people are sick, can’t contribute to the economy, need to be fixed or cured – ableism.

Institutional oppression is the systems and institutions that control and disempower, it determines access, who is able and who is not.

Interpersonal oppression is the way people play out discrimination on each other, it promotes multiple discrimination and such discrimination can, and often does create cumulative disadvantage for many that are labelled disabled.

Last but not least is Internalised oppression, this is the end goal, those that belong to the marginalised group internalise the narratives of the dominate group and play out the roles that they are assigned. It is very important here to note that oppressed groups and individuals can, and do, oppress each another.

It is also very important for me to say here that I am privileged and many of us (disabled people) need to acknowledge this much more. I have some status, some power and it’s my job, our job to include all of us – people that are not doing this course, those that are living institutional lives, those that have severe impairments, those with autism and those with intellectual impairments.

These people are just as important as we are, they are part of “us” and we need to build a strong belonging”.

So what does this mean for us as a learning group? We (all disabled people) need to fit into and belong to all social movements that effect our lives, be it, the human rights movement, the LGBT movement, the black lives matter movement, the women’s movement, the travellers movement and the disabled people’s movement. Combined we are stronger, and we can build strong narratives that effect meaningful change.

We need to be at all of the tables, we cannot talk about poverty without talking about disability, we cannot talk about educating everyone without talking about disability, we cannot talk about employment without talking about disability and we certainly can’t talk about genuine inclusion without talking to disabled people first. “Nothing About Us Without Us”. For more info contact fionaweldon@ilmi.ie

Gaining employment in the face of adversity

Image shows photo of Sean O’Kelly

According to the latest census in Ireland, 31% of people with disabilities are in employment in comparison to 71% without a disability.

MY STORY
I left school in 2011. Finding an accessible PLC college in my local area was not an easy task to start with. In my area, there are 5 PLC colleges, I rang each of them to ask if their place was accessible – 3 out of the 5 were not accessible.

During my second college course in 2013, I started on my employment-searching expedition. Looking back, I was naïve but the eagerness in me outweighed! During my second course I linked in with an organisation called Employability. While being part of Employability, I was applying for jobs with the help of my job coach. In a lot of my job applications, I wasn’t getting a response. Looking back, I now know that not all applications are replied to.

Over a 7 year period, I did 6 PLC courses while on the job hunt. The reason I did so many was because I wanted to keep busy (day to day) and gain as much work experience as possible. I quickly learned that my job applications would have to be all based around experience that I have had. Many of the job advertisements that I was looking at online required diplomas and degrees which I felt I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the work involved.

As time went by, it became more and more apparent that networking for me was key to having any hope in gaining employment. While I did have opportunities for interviews (each with great experience), my applications were rejected countless times.

A major turning point in my journey to finding employment was taking part in a jobs club with the local employment service near me while on an internship in Southside Partnership. During the short course, it opened my eyes to a lot of areas regarding employment; CV layout, interview preparations and how I would come across in interviews. During the start of my job searching journey, I had disclosed my disability during the application process. After a while I decided to change how I applied for jobs and only disclosed my disability when (and if) I was asked for interview. I saw a big change in positive response once I made that change.

While doing my internship in Southside Partnership, I joined the Irish Wheelchair Associations Ability Programme which is the equivalent of Employability. With my new mind frame in job search and interview preparation, I felt like I was starting off on a clean ‘sheet’. With my job coach, I applied for jobs and found this time round I was more successful in getting interviews. By Christmas in 2019, I was very optimistic that I was going to get employment because I had been successful in interviews.
In early 2020, my mum was talking to a friend of hers who is a consultant in a hospital about my employment endeavours. He suggested that I send on my CV which I did. Within a couple of days I got a phone call from HR in the hospital inviting me for interview.

In preparing for interview, I knew I didn’t want to let my contact down, so I prepared a lot (in as much as I could without a specific position to work off). On interview day, I was quietly confident that I would be successful judging by the amount of preparing I did.

The following week, I heard back from HR. To my delight I was successful in the interview. I was told that I would be taken on a part time basis for 3 months as a fill-in during the summer. I was really happy with anything that was offered. I had heard nothing back from my previous successful interviews so I was really holding out on this one.

My next (and final) hurdle I had to overcome was COVID-19. Having been successful in interview and got a verbal offering, COVID-19 greeted us in March 2020. As my interview and the success wasn’t linked to a particular role, I was very eager to keep in contact in fear my application would be moved down in workload.

In September 2020, I was asked for interview by the same organisation for a specific role. I knew this interview would be a follow on from my previous interview but with more specifics to the role, however, I still prepared for it as if it was a brand new application.

To my delight, I was successful in the second interview. When I got the all-important phone call, to say I was elated is an understatement.

For a long time during my employment journey, I knew that the icing on the cake to gaining further independence was to get on the employment ladder so I have achieved that, and you can too!

My message to all out there currently on the employment journey, don’t give up. My advice is you will have knock backs, but just pick yourself back up and treat every interview done as a learning experience for the next. You too, will get that perfect job!

Written by ILMI Member Sean O’Kelly

Where’s the suicide supports to be NOT DEAD YET?

IMAGE Shows: USA Connecticut disabled activist cartoon against worldwide suicide & Dying-with-Dignity lies and misconceptions

Activist and academic Peter Kearns has been engaging with ILMI’s spring E-Bulletin to post a brief series of articles on the cultural backdrop to why many Irish disabled activists are opposing Gino Kelly’s Dying-with-Dignity (DwD) Dáil 2021 Bill. This week’s blog is Peter’s concluding Bi-Weekly article and it is mainly concerned with exploring why Irish disabled activists should become more vocal in identifying the dangers associated with the call for assisted suicide to be legalised. Peter will introduce our readers to positive international arguments and actions by disabled activists who have turned the ‘dying’ discourse on its suicidal head. Activists worldwide are looking for more effective suicide supports for disabled adults and young people experiencing feelings of decreased quality of life or loss of autonomy or dignity as dubious reasoning for non-disabled proponents for rushing-in laws of assisted suicide.

International activists are also having face-2-face discussions with their governments about how the assisted suicide one-sided argument can prove a danger for those with impairment labels associated with terminal illness who are not being enabled to effectively engage with their national suicide prevention supports.

Many Irish disabled activists believe that legalising assisted suicide will inevitably lead to increasingly adverse judgements about the quality of life of disabled people. Learning from the lived experiences of activists in Oregon USA, Netherlands and UK, ILMI Social Inclusion Coordinator Peter Kearns suggests that “if we give in to the demand to protecting medical assistance in a suicide of a person with an impairment label, we are reinforcing attitudes that say that the lives of disabled people are not worth living – that they are a particular burden to themselves, their relatives and friends, the Taxpayer and the state”.  International disabled activists are also arguing that these negative attitudes are faced by disabled people all the time across the globe where Dying-with-Dignity laws are popping-up worldwide over the past two decades. The rest of the article can be read here as well as the two previous in this series

National Disability Authority (NDA) Important Research – Supports For Employment

 

The National Disability Authority (NDA) would like to consult with persons with acquired disability and or long term health conditions about supports for employment on their journey back to work.

Through the questions in this survey, the NDA would like to understand people’s views on what the NDA has called ‘An Individuals journey through a vocational rehabilitation pathway’ (Vocational rehabilitation is a process that enables individuals to overcome the barriers they face when accessing, remaining or returning to work following injury, illness or impairment’.) This consultation will inform NDA actions within the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities 2015 – 2024 (CES). This survey is open from Friday 12th March until Friday 23rd April 2021.

PLEASE HAVE YOUR SAY !!!!!

This is the link to the survey https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/VocRehabConsult2020

If you have any questions, please contact hcoleary@nda.ie

ILMI February 26th E-Bulletin

Welcome to our February 26th E-Bulletin

ILMI Choose to challenge 7:30 – 9PM celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8th 

ILMI is celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8th and you are invited.

“A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.
So let’s all choose to challenge.
How will you help forge a gender equal world?
Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.”

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.

IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.

Independent Living Movement Ireland stands for equality for everyone, we believe in challenging the status quo. Disabled women are a force to be reckoned with as are all friends, sisters, aunts, partners, organisers, administrators, directors, wives, re-creators, disbursers, economists, mothers, disciplinarians, teachers, health officers, artists and queens.

In March show your challenging nature, take a picture and tag us on your social media.
Hashtags are #IWD2021 is #choosetochallenge. The IWD strike a pose is a hand in the air you can check out the official IWD gallery here. We are passionate about making inroads to gender parity and hope you are too. Head to your social media and tag ILMI in your IWD “Choose to Challenge” social media post. Follow us on Facebook @ILMIreland   Twitter @ILMIreland or Instagram @ilmireland

The line-up for our event includes:

An original drama piece by Sarah Fitzgerald

Image: photo of Sarah Fitzgerald

Sarah Fitzgerald is a Freelance Writer, soon to be author and advocate for equality and disability rights. Sarah is a proud mum to her beautiful daughter Alison, a wife, family member, worker  and outspoken bastion for what is right. Sarah personifies righteousness rooted in reality, practical, always an insightful societal commentator and to top it all she really is a genuinely lovely soul a rare all-round good person. Her blog is regularly updated on wobblyyummymummy.com

Izzy Keane part of the sister duo powerhouse that is “izzywheels”

Image: photo of Izzy Keane

‘If you can’t stand up, stand out!’
Designer wheel covers for wheelchairs
Created by Irish sisters Izzy & @ailbhe.k
www.izzywheels.com

Izzy Wheels has been featured in Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle, The Oprah Magazine and TechCrunch and both sisters were featured in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 issue.

Emma Murray
Stylist & Content Creator

Image: photo of Emma Murray

Emma is the owner and founder of ELM Social Media where she provides 1:1 training to fashion and beauty brands who want to elevate their social media and stand out online. She is a qualified personal and fashion stylist who has been in the fashion industry for 10 years and works with women through her styling business, Emma Murray Stylist by providing a virtual styling service. The E Style Academy will also be launching in the coming weeks where training courses will be available exclusively to women who would like to unlock their personal style and transform how they look and feel.

Nina Tame

Image: photo of Nina Tame

nina_tame
She/Her/They/Them
Disability activist
Often wordy
Sometimes sweary
The Disabled Step-Mum you never knew you needed
https://linktr.ee/nina_tame

Mary Collins Artist

Image: photo of Mary Collins

Mary uses the medium of paint, inimitable flux and words to express ethos and concepts. Her visual works showcases space, representation, movement and time through many mediums especially her favourited water colour.
She says “My poetry, detailed in my book “The Circle” presents a twenty-five year journey through good days and bad”.
Mary is an expert in self advocacy and has also been involved in several other initiatives for independent living and through her peer focused approach has bolstered many community groups.
bluewavearts.ie

Email audreywilson@ilmi.ie to register, spaces are limited.

ILMI / A Disorder For Everyone (AD4E) joint event 15th March 2pm


(image shows  ILMI and AD4E logos)

Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI) is a cross-impairment DPO (Disabled Persons Organisation) and all of our work is informed through an equality, human rights and social model of disability lens.

The social model is based on the view that barriers are caused by society, rather than by a person’s impairments or diagnostic labels. We also reject a medical view of disability which always focuses on people’s impairments from a medical perspective, including “mental health” diagnostic impairment labels. In some ways, the medical model still looks at what is ‘wrong’ with the person and not what the person needs

ILMI is keen to ensure that the voices of people all people who with lived experience of emotional distress, trauma and madness (including psychiatric survivors) are involved to ensure that ILMI as a cross-impairment DPO is fully inclusive.

On March 15th, we are delighted to co-host an online seminar with AD4E (A Disorder For Everyone), featuring guest inputs from Jo Watson and Dr James Davies.

AD4E shares ILMI’s vision that emotional distress is caused by what is experienced and largely rooted in social factors and challenging psychiatric / medical diagnosis of distress. ILMI is delighted to work in partnership with AD4E and to listen and learn from their work in the UK and beyond.

ILMI’s aim for the event is to begin to explore and create a social-model of disability framework challenging discussions that individualise or disempower people with lived experience which are predominantly led by medical approaches to emotional distress and madness.

The ILMI / AD4E event in March can bring people who share similar values and look to explore shared language which is based on empowerment, rights, autonomy, choice and control for people who are experiencing or have experienced issues relating to emotional distress / “mental health”.
This event is for people with lived experience, disabled activists and allies who wish to explore a deeper understanding of emotional distress and building a shared analysis of emotional distress through the social model of disability.

The event will take place from 2-4pm on Monday 15th March via zoom. To register email info@ilmi.ie

ILMI Housing Network 16th March 2pm: First meeting

(image shows home blue prints and the words ILMI Housing Network)

ILMI is looking to develop a network of disabled activists who are seeking to bring about change in housing policy locally and nationally.

The National Housing Strategy for disabled people is being reviewed this year. A core part of the existing strategy is the development of local housing strategies for disabled people in each local authority area. Each of these plans is monitored by local Housing Disability Steering Groups (HDSGs).

At a national level, ILMI as a DPO has continued to push that disabled people need to be actively involved. We have stressed that HDSGs need to have the participation of disabled people in these local structures.

We are developing a housing network to build the capacity of disabled activists to take on roles on the HDSGs as they emerge over the course of 2021.

The ILMI Housing Network will aim to:
•            Develop training for disabled activists to represent their locality on the HDSG.
•            Build a network of HDSG’s across the country.
•            Support representatives to share and communicate their experiences.
•            Develop ILMI templates to use as submissions to Local Authorities on key housing issues.
•            Develop best practice on how representatives work with other disabled people in their locality to build an authentic voice of disabled people.

In developing the network and supporting local representatives, ILMI will provide training on:
•            Key housing policy.
•            Key equality and human rights policies.
•            Analysis of local and national housing policy in relation to disabled people.
•            Representational roles and responsibilities.
•            Building a local network to support HDSG representatives.

We are looking for disabled activists who are interested in learning more about housing policy and who are interested in being ready to put themselves forward for Housing Disability Steering Groups in their counties when opportunities arise. In developing the network, we need activists who will commit to working with ILMI and other activists in a social-model led analysis of housing and inclusion and communicating with the HDSG and the ILMI housing network.

If you are interested in finding out more on being part of the network, please email jamescawley@ilmi.ie to register for our first meeting on Tuesday 16th March at 2pm.

RESEARCH – INVITATION: Impact of Family Caregiving on lives of Disabled People

(image shows poster with the words RESEARCH – INVITATION: Impact of Family Caregiving on lives of Disabled People)

CONTEXT: ILMI are seeking disabled people to participate in research into the impact that forced reliance on family carers has / has had on the quality of life, and self-determination of disabled people living in Ireland.

The purpose of this research is to enable disabled people to share their lived experience of reliance on family carers; and how this has impacted on their lives and on their independent living choices.
ILMI intends to use the research findings to initiate a more holistic exploration of the impact of family caring on disabled people’s lives and choices and to highlight the importance of access to independent living for disabled people.

By participating in this ground-breaking research, you will be helping to inform and influence the ILMI agenda.

HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE
The views of disabled people will be gathered the following ways:
a)           Focus Groups               via ZOOM in March and April
b)           Individual interviews     via ZOOM April

The first focus group will take place on Wednesday 22nd March. We are looking for people who have experience of reliance on family (including spouses) for support needs in absence of PAS to participate in this discussion.

You can register your interest by contacting info@ilmi.ie
More detailed information will be shared with you ahead of your participation.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
All information shared will be treated anonymously and ILMI confidentiality policies will be strictly adhered to.

The information gathered in this research will form an ILMI research paper which will be used to signpost further research in this area.

Marie Lynch has been engaged by ILMI to carry out this research

Activist and academic Peter Kearns

(image shows photo of Peter Kearns)

Is engaging with ILMI’s E-Bulletin to post a brief series of articles on the cultural backdrop to why many Irish disabled activists are opposing Gino Kelly’s Dying-with-Dignity (DwD) Dáil 2021 Bill. Peter’s Bi-Weekly articles will explore how disabled activists in Republic of Ireland (RoI) have steadily become aware of the dangers associated with the call for assisted suicide to be legalised based on the campaigning lived experiences of our international colleagues.

“The social model informed NOT DEAD YET movement believe individual disabled people’s suicidal cries for help are mainly coming from a lack of proper practical, emotional and medical support needed to live dignified lives, rather than from the ‘suffering’ they experience as a result of a medical condition. Such loss of hope – which forces some disabled young people and adults, especially those with acquired impairments, to see death as their only option – is easily misinterpreted as a ‘choice’ in a society that continues to see and treat disabled people as ‘special’ second class citizens, something the current Covid-‘crisis’ has amplified with medical model language such as ‘vulnerable’ and ‘cocooned’.”
More on this LINK 

Cork CIL Peer Forum

The next Cork CIL Peer Forum will meet online at 3 p.m. next Thursday 25th February.

Laura Beresford who works with MABS, (Money, Advice, Budgeting Service) will give a presentation on the service they provide.

This event is open to people with disabilities. If you would like to attend and want to be sent the ZOOM link, please email nicola.meacle@corkcil.ie

International Women’s Day 8th of March 2021 ILMI IWD Event 7:30 – 9PM

A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.
So let’s all choose to challenge.
How will you help forge a gender equal world?
Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.
ILMI will be celebrating so watch this space for more information.
If you would like to get involved and be on the guest list for the ILMI IWD event email audreywilson@ilmi.ie

ILMI Mailshot 5th Feb 2021

The Irish State has developed its initial draft report to the UNCRPD. The report is 62 pages long and can be read here State Report

The State is asking individuals and organisations to make submissions into its first report by 9th April 2021.

As a grassroots DPO (Disabled Persons Organisation) we are committed to ensuring all our policy work is informed by the lived experience of disabled people across the country.

To build a strong ILMI submission to the State report, we are creating a series of facilitated consultation spaces. These consultation spaces will be held thematically. The spaces will look at specific aspects of the UNCRPD and make recommendations based on the State report and people’s lived experience.

Disabled activists who are interested in having their voices heard should note the themes for consultation and the dates and times below.

ILMI will send out collated information in advance of each discussion to each disabled activist who has registered: what the Article says under the UNCRPD, what the State Response says and key analysis from an ILMI perspective.

Each of these ILMI discussions will NOT be about reviewing, questioning or contesting the entire content of the state draft. Instead the process will be used to identify and build a strong case for addressing key areas for improvement.  The agenda and questions will be sent out in advance to people who have registered in order to focus discussions to work towards information that can feed directly into the ILMI report.

Whereby disabled activists are unable to attend discussions, inputs via email will be accepted until March 19th.

The following consultations will take place:
15th February 5pm: Children and young Disabled People (article 7)
16th February 7pm: Work and Employment (Article 27)
18th February 6pm: Women and Disability (article 6)
19th February 10:30am Disabled people and Education (article 24)
23rd February 3pm: Independent Living (article 19)
24th February 7pm: Access, mobility and access to information (Articles 9, 20 and 21)
26th February 10:30am: Disabled people and health (article 25)
4th March 12noon: Disabled people and family life (Article 23)
11th March 11am: Participation of disabled people in political life (Articles 4 and 29)

If you need to know more about the UNCRPD, the Irish Human Rights Equality Commission (IHREC) have produced a short video with ISL which explains how it works. You can view the video here

The DPO Coalition (of which ILMI is a member) held a webinar on the 27th January and the inputs explain what the CRPD is and how people can get involved.

Spaces for each of these are limited in order that they can be facilitated and notes taken to feed into the ILMI report. To register for any of the above, email info@ilmi.ie and indicate your preference for which thematic consultation you would like to attend.

If you wish to attend more than one consultation, you must register separately. Given that spaces are limited and in order to be fair and promote participation of as many people as possible, it is not possible to register for more than 3 consultations per person.

If you want to submit some ideas on the above themes or other issues relating to the initial State report to feed into the ILMI report, email jamescawley@ilmi.ie before March 19th.

10 weeks to wellness

Well done to everyone who took part in the start of our new 10 Weeks to Wellness Programme with nutritionist “Eat well to feel better” Alexia Treanor on Tuesdays and our Yoga and Stretching class with Sean Power on Thursdays.

FULL SPECTRUM DISABLED LGBTI+ PEER NETWORK

Full Spectrum online drop-in space will re-open next Tuesday, February 9th from 7pm until 9pm via Zoom.

As you may be aware, we took some time off over the Christmas and New Year period to relax, recharge and also – yes – to reflect.
As a steering group we consider it vitally important to listen to the voices of the membership. We sent an online survey to all our existing members, and the results were very helpful. So thank you very much for taking the time out to fill in the survey! As ever, we want to welcome any new members along to our next drop-in on Tuesday.

We will be joined by Úna Rafferty, who comes with extensive experience in facilitation and working with community groups. Úna is passionate about the human rights of disabled people and is a strong ally to the LGBTI+ community. She works as a community development activist, also working with the Ballyfermot Chapelizod Partnership supporting the BC Disability Action Collective.

Úna will be leading us in a workshop style approach for this Drop-In, so even if you’ve missed the online survey please do drop in and share your thoughts on the journey and development of this group. Don’t worry; you won’t need any tools or implements for this workshop, simply tune in and feel free to participate!

For more information, and to receive the Zoom link for next Tuesday’s meeting, please email:
Full Spectrum: Disabled LGBTI Peer Network dlgbtqpeer2020@gmail.com
(D L G B T Q Peer 20 20 at G Mail dot Com)

Hope to see you all soon as we gear up for 2021!

Best wishes from the steering group,
Niall, Maureen, Isolde, Brendan and Claire

ILMI eBulletin January 29th 2021

ILMI submission in relation to Dying with Dignity Bill

Disabled People and the Dying with Dignity Bill: Prioritising the right to die, over rights to live

“We are not Pawns, we need to be listened to and heard in this discussion”.

Independent Living Movement Ireland submission in relation to Dying with Dignity Bill January 2021 Full PDF   Full Word Document

ILMI Education group: Language

IMAGE: language graphic

Disabled children and disabled young people have been the subject of media coverage in the last number of weeks. There has been a very worrying trend where media have debated school closures and the impact on disabled children and young disabled adults. Moreover, there has been a total absence of voices from disabled children and young adults in this discussion.

In January ILMI called for Young Disabled People’s Voices to be heard in discussions about education and COVID-19 and we called on all media, Government departments and teacher unions to directly reach out to young disabled people in discussions about their education support needs during the COVID-19 lockdown. As we know language is a very powerful and evocative tool and unfortunately we have seen the use of much medicalised language in these debates day in and day out.

On Friday the 19th February @ 10:30am ILMI will host an education group to explore how we as a collective can influence the language used in the media, with our government colleagues, in education and in society as a whole. If you are interested in a discussion around that importance of language we want to hear from you!

Email our policy officer on jamescawley@ilmi.ie

ILMI at INAR Irish Network Against Racism

IMAGE: INAR logo

On Tuesday 26th January, James Casey of our ONSIDE project gave a presentation to the members of the Irish Network against Racism of which ILMI is a proud member. INAR is a national network of diverse civil society organisations committed to combatting racism and all related forms of discrimination in every sphere of life in Ireland. James talked about the social inclusion workshops of the ONSIDE project and also the IT workshops and how we are actively looking for disabled people in direct provision, amongst migrants and Traveller communities and beyond, he also talked to the members about the Onside Information Day which is happening in February (More on this in the next E-Bulletin). Thanks to INAR for the opportunity to present to the other members of the INAR network.

Strategies for Change (SFC)


IMAGE: Strategies for Change (SFC) logo with picture of Fiona Weldon

In this week’s SFC session we explored the medical, charity and social model of disability and the effects that it has of disabled people. Some of the comments from participants included;

“The medical model makes me so angry”. “The HSE forces us to use the medical model to get the equipment we need to enable us to live our lives”

The charity model of disability was then explored. For those that don’t know what this is – again created by non-disabled people, this depicts us as again tragic and again pitiful and is used to use and exploit us to fundraise. Again disability is seen as the problem of the body and good non-disabled people should pity us and give disability services/organisations (run by non-disabled people) monies to “service us”). The impact of this model as told by participants include:

“Loneliness”
“Our impairments have to be cured”
“Victims of our impairments”
Other comments – “you poor pet” – we might be “lucky” and get a pat on the head, we can’t take part in “normal” everyday things and of course we “cannot learn” so we cannot work.
“The medical model is like being in a Straight jacket”

As quoted by Peter Kearns “The key to unlocking this process of transformation of disabling barriers lies in the knowledge & life experience of disabled activists working from the social model. This is why WE are experts of the ’Lived-Experience’ and need to take the lead as Disabled-Activists at all stages of Transformation of disabling Societal oppression”.

For information please contact the SFC Project officer fionaweldon@ilmi.ie

10 Weeks to Wellness programme

IMAGE: poster for 10 Weeks to Wellness programme

A reminder that our 10 Weeks to Wellness programme kicks off next week. We will be closing registration for this programme on Monday and have very few spaces for both the nutrition and yoga communities remaining.

The programme starts on Tuesday (February 2nd) and will run as follows:
– Tuesdays: Eat Well Feel Better, with nutritionist Alexia Treanor (5 Week Programme running every Tuesday from Feb 2nd from 11am to 12pm)

– Thursdays: Yoga and Stretching, with fitness coach Sean Power (10 Week Programme running every Thursday from Feb 4th from 12pm to 1pm)

You can pick and choose what communities you wish to take part in. Of course you can participate in both communities but you have to register for each of the Tuesday and Thursday classes. To register for your free place please email info@ilmi.ie before Monday.

We look forward to a positive 10 week programme!

ILMI Cork Community Platform

IMAGE: shows screenshot of ILMI Cork Community Platform

Brilliant ILMI Cork Community Platform with a fantastic presentation by Helen Roche of Cork City South Citizens Information. Very informative and great discussion afterwards.

Join us on the 11th February 3pm for the next ILMI Cork Community platform email info@ilmi.ie to sign up

Adam Pearson ILMI Social Night

IMAGE: Adam Pearson ILMI Social Night zoom screenshot

A fantastic Social Night with Guest Speaker Adam Pearson! Brilliant craic and many, many thanks to Adam for sharing his time with us! Genuinely great evening.  Adam Pearson Nothing about us, without us!

Next ILMI Social night 11th February 2021 NEVEN MCGUIRE

IMAGE: shows poster for ILMI Social night 11th February 2021 NEVEN MCGUIRE

Neven Maguire is one of Ireland’s best loved chefs. The restaurateur and media personality is well known for his award-winning MacNean House & Restaurant. He has published 12 cookbooks and is currently to be seen on RTÉ One with his seven part series the popular “Neven’s Irish Seafood Trails”. This is the third series Neven has dedicated to seafood, and his search for the finest and freshest produce takes him to Kerry, West Cork, Mayo, Galway, Louth and Clare.

At the core of Neven’s philosophy is a commitment to using only the finest local seasonal ingredients. Email info@ilmi.ie to register

The DPO Coalition Webinar

IMAGE: shows zoom screenshot of DPO Coalition Webinar

The DPO Coalition held a very successful webinar this evening about the UNCRPD and Disabled People can feed into the State’s First report to the CRPD Committee. The webinar was expertly led by the DPO Coalition Chair Jacqui Browne, with inputs from Alice Griffin from Dessa and Dr Lucy Michael. Many thanks to all who attended on behalf of the DPO Coalition Irish Deaf Society Asiam.ie Disabled Women Ireland The  National Platform Of Self Advocates Ireland.

ILMI and European Network on Independent Living – ENIL

LMI had a great meeting 27th January with our colleagues in the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL).Photo shows  Kamil Goungor – Development Officer and TRIPS Project Assistant, Ines Bulic Cojocariu – Deputy Director ENIL and ILMI staff Shelley Gaynor, James Cawley, Damien Walshe (CEO) and James Casey

The ONSIDE update

IMAGE: Screenshot of some of the latest ONSIDE graduates and Onside team at the feedback session.

What an awesome way to start the week! Monday 25th of January, the ONSIDE team had one of our feedback sessions with the latest group of participants who have completed the workshops. In the anonymous polls, we learned that 95% of participants found the workshops useful and educational and 100% of people would recommend the programme. It was exciting to hear about what plans the guys have for their new found skills – one person is going to learn Polish, another person is going to try their hand at Croatian, some folks are accessing their local library to download books, another one of the guys is now able to use audio books better and one of the participants is brushing up on their admin skills to start looking for a new job! All the participants are looking forward to taking part in further ILMI groups and connecting more with their local communities, thanks guys – it was great to see you all!

Onside project Special EU Programmes Body – SEUPB

Contact jamescasey@ilmi.ie for further information.