ILMI CREATE Initiative

CREATE is a new initiative from ILMI and stands for ‘Creating Raised Expectations and Aspirations Towards Employment’. The project will work with disabled people to develop their confidence and skills that supports them to start or progress on their employment pathway.

Our direct engagement with our members has identified the need for a DPO to create an employment supports programme led by a social model of disability, which would focus on raising expectations of disabled people through peer supports.

 

CREATE aims to run at least four programmes which will offer 1-to-1 and Group Coaching, Skills Workshops, and Peer Mentoring over the next 18 months. 10 disabled people, or Candidates, will participate in each programme where they will be supported to create and achieve their own personal goals. CREATE Candidates will all have different interests, experiences and ambitions, and each programme will be designed with this in mind. It is hoped this way CREATE will be accessible to as many disabled people as possible, who can all start or progress their own journeys as successfully as possible.

 

So, whether you are making your way already on your employment pathway, just starting out, or thinking about finding out more please contact Patrick via email patrickflanagan@ilmi.ie

CREATE Expression of Interest Form

We will be accepting expressions of interest on an ongoing basis throughout the CREATE project.

The first CREATE programme is expected to begin the week of July 12th. The first deadline for expressions of interest will be Friday June 25th.

 

‘The CREATE project was approved by Government with support from the Dormant Accounts Fund’.

ILMI June 4th 2021 E-Bulletin

Welcome to our June 4th 2021 E-Bulletin

The role of Assistive Technology (AT) in independent living:
Tuesday 15th June 11:00am to 12:30pm

IMAGE: poster with a mobile phone graphic ILMI logo and the words “The role of Assistive Technology (AT) in independent living: Tuesday 15th June 11:00am to 12:30pm”

Assistive Technology (AT) can play a huge role in the lives of disabled people giving them greater control in their lives to do the things they want to do. But is the system for accessing AT in Ireland working? How easy is it for disabled people to find out what AT is there that could work for them, and are AT supports readily available. ILMI is keen to get the views of disabled people in how they would design a truly accessible system for AT in Ireland.

If you are interested in being part of this discussion, please email info@ilmi.ie to register for the online event. Spaces are limited.

Bank Holiday Weekend

IMAGE shows a group of wheelchair users out on a hike with the words “have a great bank holiday weekend and here is some ILMI resources”

To all our readers the ILMI Team would like to wish you a fantastic bank holiday weekend and hope the sun is shining in your corner of Ireland. Here are some of the ILMI resources we have up on our website.

ILMI Podcasts

There is nothing like a good Podcast. Independent Living Movement Ireland’s Podcast page has the “Conversations About Activism and Change” series, where disabled Activists talk about the experiences that shaped them, the campaigns won and their views on building a disability rights movement in the 21st Century.

ILMI Blogs

There are some pieces on our blog page that will make you think, give you strength and sometimes give you another way of looking at things. Dive in and have a read.

ILMI Videos

We’d love to highlight the “Declaration of Independence series” if you haven’t already seen it.

ILMI Submissions

Just in case you’ve missed any of our submissions you can find them all here.

Public consultations on the Third National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based violence

The Department of Justice together with the National Women’s Council and Safe Ireland have launched a review of the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.

The consultants undertaking this work are very keen to engage with as many groups and individuals as possible to hear their feedback and recommendations on how the government should address domestic, sexual and gender-based violence, and we encourage you to make your own submission.

You can do this by completing the survey which is open to all until Friday 18th June 2021, or you can take part in an online workshop.

There are a number of online workshops, split by region which are open to all, however you must register in advance.

Leinster Workshop (Wednesday 16thJune 11am-1pm)
Connacht Workshop (Monday 21st June 11am-1pm)
Ulster Workshop (Friday 25thJune 11am-1pm)
Munster Workshop (Monday 28thJune 11am-1pm)
Dublin Workshop (Tuesday 29thJune 11am-1pm)

Click here for further information, the survey and to register for the workshops

New first-of-its-kind research published on decent work

New research published by IHREC and the ESRI holds insights for Ireland’s post-COVID work environment, by looking at the realities of people’s access to decent work before the pandemic.

The report entitled “Monitoring Decent Work in Ireland” sets out how young people, people with disabilities, Travellers and East European migrants are at much higher risk of disadvantage around employment, and have less access to what the International Labour Organisation defines as decent work.

It highlights how these groups have seen consistent inequalities in access to employment, job security and seniority.

“The employment rate for people with disabilities (41 per cent) was 32 percentage points below the national average (73 per cent), highlighting a significant gap in employment.”

The report’s analysis includes lessons stemming from the findings for Ireland:
“A focus on decent work should be a priority for Ireland’s implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).”

You can find the full report here 

ILMI – Welcome to our May 21st 2021 E-Bulletin

Welcome to our May 21st 2021 E-Bulletin

ILMI space to explore progress on the Personalised Budgets Demonstration Models

IMAGE: poster for consultation

Date: Tuesday 25th May 12noon to 1pm

In September 2019 the HSE out a call out for disabled people who were interested in participating in demonstration models to explore the implementation of personalised budgets.

These demonstration models are based on three approaches to personalised budgets from the Taskforce on Personalised Budgets  : a person managed fund (which is often referred to as a direct payment), a co-managed fund and a broker managed fund.

The announcement stated that the demonstration models will work with 180 disabled people over the next two years. What we want to explore is how far these demonstration models have progressed and what if anything is working.

ILMI is interested in creating a space for disabled people who applied to be part of these demonstration models to gauge what level of interaction they have had and where the process is at with a view to developing a shared analysis to influence a potentially vital part of independent living for disabled people in Ireland.

If you are interested in participating, please email damienwalshe@ilmi.ie

Public Consultation on Flexible Working

The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman T.D. has launched a consultation seeking the public’s views on flexible working. “The findings of the consultation will be used to develop a policy framework that is responsive to the changing business environment, promotes better work-life balance and supports labour market participation for parents and carers through family-friendly work practices. As a DPO ILMI will be making a submission.

The Government is seeking to develop a flexible working policy and guidance that takes account of the needs of families (particularly those with young children); of individuals, including those with disabilities; of employers and of the broader economy”.
This consultation is being undertaken to seek views from employers, employees and the wider public on:
•            the issues that are most important for them in terms of flexible working, the types of flexible working arrangements currently in place and the changes that they wish to see;
•            the potential impact of changes in technology, the workplace, the family and society on the types of flexible working arrangements available to, or sought by, employees;
•            the changing nature of flexible working arrangements in light of the pandemic;
•            the potential obstacles that may exist for small, medium and large employers when facilitating flexible working arrangements for employees as well as the potential administrative impact;
•            the success factors that will help the Government and businesses to develop flexible working options that suit employees and employers.

Read more HERE

Free Training Workshops for Disabled People Living in Co. Leitrim!

IMAGE:poster for workshops

Are you a disabled adult living Co. Leitrim?

Would you like to meet other disabled people to see how every-day life can be improved for disabled people in your local area?

Would you like to find out more about Leitrim Disabled Person’s Organisation?

Leitrim Disabled Person’s Organisation is pleased to invite you to two Zoom workshops facilitated by International Disability Equality Expert and Activist Maggie Cameron.

Workshop 1: Monday, 24th May 2021, 12PM – 1PM

Workshop 2: Wednesday. 2nd June 2021, 12PM -1PM

RSVP to audreywilson@ilmi.ie to register or to request further information

The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2018-2022 is funded by the Irish Government through the Department of Rural and Community Development and co-funded by the European Social Fund under the Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020

“ablesplaining”

IMAGE: two figures and a speech bubble with the word “ablesplaining”

“When we are more aggressive or personal, it’s often because our milder initial efforts have already been met with defensiveness, denial, or “ablesplaining” about why disabled people don’t understand how ableism works.

Most disabled people are already more knowledgeable and reasonable about everyday ableism than the stereotype of the vengeful advocate would suggest. If anything, too many disabled people worry too much about not hurting other people’s feelings or making a situation more awkward.

For non-disabled people, the best way to help is to take Emily Ladau’s advice. “If a disabled person is asking you to recognize your ableism,” she says, “please try to avoid jumping to defend yourself. Instead, take some time to listen, engage, and learn.”

That’s really that simple, and remarkably effective”. Full article is here

Written by Andrew Pulrang in Forbes magazine

ILMI Mailshot May 14th 2021

Welcome to our May 14th 2021 Mailshot

National Disability Authority (NDA) consultation event

IMAGE: Screenshot of Dr James Casey with the text “That if we are building back better, which we need to, then it shows possibly something was broken in the first place”.

ILMI’s Dr James Casey was one of the keynote speakers at the National Disability Authority (NDA) consultation event today. Called “Building Back Better: The Post Covid-19 world for persons with disabilities”.

Dr James said “Using these technologies we have been coming together as a collective, always with a rights based approach”. Speaking on the importance of a collective and how DPOs differ from service providers and charities. – “you wouldn’t go to a men’s shed for women’s issues”. He then went on to say “We have more in common than what drives us apart”- cementing a sense of solidarity and working towards a shared goal that will bring us all closer to achieving the social model envisioned by the #UNCRPD.

Strategies for Change (SFC) Session on Disability Policy

IMAGE: graphic of the SFC Logo

The SFC Project is an innovative online programme using insights from experienced disabled activists and legacy learning resources that build and support the development of disabled activists across Ireland. Online workshops on a range of topics underpin and foster a collective approach for building true equality. Topics such as disability equality, intersectionality and the social model of disability provide the raw materials that forge the exceptional learning within the workshops led out by ILMI’s project worker Fiona Weldon.

“In this week’s Strategies for Change session, we had James Cawley (Policy Officer with ILMI) talking to us about disability policy. He told us that central to the way ILMI work is to make sure that policy decisions that impact on the lives of disabled people have to be directly influenced by those whose lives are directly affected.

Policy concerning disability over the past 20 years has centred on supporting disabled people to lead full and independent lives, participate in work and society, and be free from discrimination….”
For more information on the policy session click here.

For more information on the SFC Project contact fionaweldon@ilmi.ie

SFC Learning Exercise

IMAGE: is a graphic with the words “I used to believe. Back then, in the times. Disabled people had no future. Had little opportunity. Just bus and day centre to go. And then I learnt some more…”

The rest of the verses from SFC participants can be found here and all based on the poem “Then I learned some more” by Pat Ingoldsby

The Lived Experience for Ourselves to Ourselves

IMAGE: shows a photo of green fields and the words “unquestioned medical model lived experiences”

In the this week’s ILMI E-Bulletin, Peter Kearns will follow-on from his previous article on the power of language by exploring how we use the phrase ‘Lived Experience of Disability’. Peter identifies how we can own the phrase more as a strong piece of terminology rather than just a flippant phrase, and as part of our social model led language.

Social model informed use of language enables and empowers our knowledge as a national DPO. At the heart of Peter’s ILMI E-Bulletin article lies a question: is there anything to be gained by identifying as a disabled person within ‘The’ Lived Experience of Disability?

The term Lived Experience describes the first-hand accounts and impressions of living as a member a minority or oppressed group, such as disabled people. Some Lived Experience promoters would state that you cannot argue against any type of lived experience and you should listen and not question the particular minority individual telling their lived experiences. Yet, many disabled activists would agree that many disabled people lived experience tales are often showing prominent medical model narratives. These unquestioned medical model lived experiences are often required to internalise the values which tell the disabled adult that they are inferior or special or brave.

On a very basic level, the Lived Experience of Impairment, and related impairment labels, is an individual experience of physical, mental and well-being and sensory conditions. The disabled person’s narrative can be either a medical or social model Lived Experience. This week’s spring ILMI article will set-out to argue that the Lived Experience of Disability should be concerned with social model informed societal and cultural identity experiences. Therefore, this article is proudly saying that Lived Experience of Disability should fundamentally not be a flippant catch-all phrase, but an official social model term emphasising rights and cultural identity by, for and with the Expert-of-the-Lived-Experience – the ‘Disabled Person’..

The 19th Century German disabled philosopher Friedriche Nietzsche argued, that to name something is to determine its essence – to put a ‘name’ on something is to say what it ‘is’. A few years after Neitzsche’s death from syphlis, a sexually transmitted disease (STD), 1930s Nazi’s twisted his thinking around the essence of language by naming German disabled people Dasein ohne Leben  ‘Existence-Without-Life’.

2021 Irish Disability Lived Experience discussions survive in a world where there are still power-plays by governments, doctors, charities and the non-disabled public. Non-disabled professionals and ‘experts’ still hold power over naming and labelling disabled peoples basic humanity: whether we should be born; how we should be ‘cured’, stabilized or institutionalised; and when we should be offered the ‘choice’ of Dying-with-Dignity euthanized.

Faced with non-disabled powerful medical model language and narratives that fluctuate between basic-existence, contempt, pity and  ‘SuperCrip’ inspirational ‘overcoming’, how should we argue the worth of social model rights, culture, critique and discourse in the Irish Lived Experience of Disability?… you can find the rest of this article here

ILMI E-Bulletin May 7th 2021

Welcome to our May 7th 2021 E-Bulletin

ILMI webinar 5th May 2021: “Everything you wanted to know about disability but were afraid to ask” (part 1)


IMAGE: screenshot of the panellists Peter Kearns, Des Kenny, Amy Hassett, Selina Bonnie, Catherine White ISL Interpreter and Maggie Cameron.

As part of May 5th European Day on Independent Living, ILMI hosted our largest webinar “Everything you wanted to know about disability but were afraid to ask!”

With almost 400 people attending, ILMI’s first of a series of public webinars was an opportunity for politicians, policy makers, service providers, public and civil servants, community groups and human rights organisations an opportunity to hear disabled activists discuss the social model of disability and how it can and needs to be put into practice.

We were delighted to be joined by Minister of State Department of Children, Disability, Equality and Integration with responsibility for Disability Anne Rabbitte TD who will opened the webinar. It was an historic moment to have a Minister commit to a journey of exploring how to move fully to the social model of disability and to engage with Disabled Person’s Organisations (DPOs).

ILMI’s ONSIDE coordinator Peter Kearns was MC extraordinaire for the day and began the webinar with a question and answer session with our special guest Speaker, Maggie Cameron who is a freelance Disability Equality & Diversity Trainer with experience of developing Disabled Persons Organisations in Scotland. Maggie reminded us that “disability is a social construct” and that people have impairments, but disability is imposed on disabled people.

Peter then facilitated panel discussion with ILMI Chair Des Kenny, ILMI vice chair Selina Bonnie and Disabled Women Ireland (DWI) co-chair Amy Hassett. Over the course of a very short hour we were treated to a hugely informative discussion on the implementation of the social model of disability and the need to resource DPOs to engage and influence policy. Selina Bonnie ended the discussion with a reminder of the intersectionality of disability with other identities: “Disabled people exist in all areas of society – we are mothers, fathers, activists, workers. In reality everything needs to be accessible. We are more than JUST disabled people”

The video of the webinar will be available on the video section of our website

ILMI space to explore progress on the Personalised Budgets Demonstration Models
Tuesday 25th May 12noon to 1pm

IMAGE: poster for event with the words “ILMI space to explore progress on the Personalised Budgets Demonstration Models, Tuesday 25th May 12noon to 1pm”

In September 2019 the HSE put out a call for disabled people who were interested in participating in demonstration models to explore the implementation of personalised budgets.

These demonstration models are based on three approaches to personalised budgets:
1.           A person managed fund (which is often referred to as a direct payment)
2.           A co-managed fund
3.           A broker managed fund

Read more on the taskforce on Personalised Budgets here

The announcement stated that the demonstration models will work with 180 disabled people over the next two years. What we want to explore is how far these demonstration models have progressed and what if anything is working.

ILMI is interested in creating a space for disabled people who applied to be part of these demonstration models to gauge what level of interaction they have had and where the process is at with a view to developing a shared analysis to influence a potentially vital part of independent living for disabled people in Ireland.

If you are interested in participating, please email damienwalshe@ilmi.ie

Event invitation: online gathering organised by National Womens Council, Independent Living Movement Ireland and Disabled Women Ireland.


Image : poster of event

About this Event
This is an unique opportunity to hear from disabled women activists in Ireland and from around the world to discuss how we can learn from, share and support each other, and build greater international solidarity in our work ahead.

ILMI Vice chair Selina Bonnie and Nem Kearns will host two conversations with disabled activists including:

Dr Rosaleen McDonagh and Aoife Price, Ireland,
Penny Pepper, England,
Ruth Kamchacha, Malawi,
Pirkko Mahlamäki, Finland,
Gordana Rajkov, Serbia,
Ana Dones, Argentina.
Irish Sign Language Interpreting and real time captioning will be provided.

English to Spanish and Spanish to English translation will also be available.
For more information and to register click here 

Please contact catherinel@nwci.ie with any accessibility requirements before the 14th May. This will help us in our preparations for the event.

ILMI Tuesday Nutrition classes starting 11th May 1 – 2pm, running for 5 weeks


IMAGE: Poster of ILMI Thursday Mindfulness Classes starting 13th May 1 – 2pm

If you identify as a disabled person and would like to learn all about nutrition in a relaxed fun zoom class then this is the one for you. Email info@ilmi.ie to register, be amongst your peers and learn some strategies for success.

ILMI Thursday Mindfulness Classes starting 13th May 1 – 2pm, running for 5 weeks


IMAGE: Poster of ILMI Thursday Mindfulness Classes starting 13th May 1 – 2pm

If you identify as a disabled person and would like to learn about Mindfullness in a relaxed fun zoom class then this is the one for you. Email info@ilmi.ie to register, be amongst your peers and learn some practical techniques towards mindfulness.

Our Mindfullness and Nutrition instructor is none other than Sean “Power Fitness” himself.

Seán is a certified personal trainer, strength & conditioning coach and Yoga instructor with over a decade of experience coaching competing athletes and general public.

Growing up Seán bounced around from sport to sport, club to club before finding Martial Arts and the Gym. From this he developed a deep interest in everything fitness related and his knowledge began to grow.

He has competed in many Karate, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts MMA tournaments, he has taken part in specifically designed fitness photoshoots and just last year he travelled to India to further his studies in the art of Yoga.

Seán’s credo:
To be personally invested in the state of your well-being and making it Our personal goal to accomplish your goals. Optimising longevity and wellness in all individuals.

ILMI received funding from the Community Foundation of Ireland (CFI) which will allow us to run a series of inclusive digital training to disabled people over a series of structured workshops over the course of 2021

NDA  ‘Building Back Better’ Consultation event

Building Back Better: The Post-Covid-19 world for persons with disabilities
Date: Friday 14 of May 2021 Time: 10am – 1pm

ILMI’s Dr James Casey will be a keynote speaker the topic being “Opportunities and Barriers provided by technology in building back better in Employment and Education”

The National Disability Authority is holding an online consultation to listen to the views of persons with disabilities and DPOs on “Building Back Better: The Post-Covid-19 world for persons with disabilities”.

Obtaining the perspectives of persons with disabilities is essential for the work of the National Disability Authority as these inform our work and advice to government. The consultation will focus on employment and training, education, everyday living and the use of technology in these areas.

The keynote speakers will be providing input from their lived experience and the breakout sessions are designed so that we can hear from as many persons with disabilities or their representatives as possible.

The meeting will have ISL/English interpretation.

This is a free event.

To register click here

EDF Webinars

Facebook-EDF Policy roundtable on the European Accessibility Act (EAA)
For more information and to register click here

European Year of Rail 2021 – Towards independent and spontaneous rail travel for all
For more information and to register click here

European Accessibility Summit
We are pleased to invite you to our European Accessibility Summit 2021, which Microsoft is proud to be sponsoring. The summit will take place the 1st and 2nd of June on Virtual Conference Manager platform.

Organised by the European Disability Forum and sponsored by Microsoft, the Summit aims to raise awareness of the importance of accessible technology in furthering the employment of persons with disabilities in Europe. The virtual two days event is being held on Teams for a range of European partners, from the disability community, policy and business sectors.

This inaugural event will be part of a series of events related to the future of work and the role of digital technology.

Against the backdrop of the new European Disability Rights Strategy, this is an opportunity for us to discuss and share specific business innovations, employees’ stories, accessibility in online work, training, demonstrations of new technologies, and best practices in advancing the employment for persons with disabilities in Europe.

The online conference will be fully accessible for persons with disabilities including International sign interpretation and live sub-titling in an accessible online environment.

For more information and to register click here

Press Release: Friday 30 April 2021

Press Release: Friday 30 April 2021

Minister for Health and Minister for Mental Health and Older People welcome Government approval of the drafting of legislation to regulate home-support services

 

The Government has given approval to the Minister for Health to draft a General Scheme and Heads of a Bill to establish a licensing framework for publicly funded, for-profit and not-for-profit home support providers.

The drafting of the General Scheme is one part of the regulatory framework for home-support services currently being developed by the Department of Health.  It is envisaged that this framework will also include minimum requirements (regulations) which will form the criteria against which the regulator will determine providers’ eligibility to hold a licence to operate as well as national standards which are currently being developed by HIQA.

Speaking following the Government meeting, Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of supporting our most vulnerable people in society to be cared for in their own homes for as long as possible.  I am of the view that it is of the utmost importance that all home-support users are provided with a consistent, high-quality level of care, which is safe, effective, and person-centred.

 

I believe that the best and most appropriate means of ensuring this standard of service delivery is through the introduction of a comprehensive regulatory framework.  I am pleased to announce that Government has given its approval to draft legislation to regulate home-support services through the licensing of both public and private providers.”

 

Welcoming Government approval, Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler TD, said: “The development of a statutory scheme for the regulation and financing of home support services is a priority for me as Minister of State with special responsibility for Older People.  Today marks an important step towards meeting this Government’s commitment to introduce a statutory scheme to support people to live in their own homes, and provide equitable access to high-quality, regulated home care.

 

The aim of a licensing system for home support providers is to enhance service-user safety and quality of care by ensuring that each individual provider complies with minimum standards. I strongly believe that stakeholder engagement should be an intrinsic part of this process and the Department will be consulting widely throughout the development of the regulatory framework.”

A Message from Spinal Injuries Ireland CEO Fiona Bolger

As summer officially started in May and the vaccination programme rolls out we have a lot to be positive about although we are not experiencing the fabulous weather that we got in 2020. We live in hope that we will receive some of that Mediterranean heat over the summer months and that we all have the freedom to get out and enjoy it.

We know from all the calls and emails that we have received from you that people found the whole vaccination rollout quite frustrating. Spinal Injuries Ireland joined with the Neurological Alliance and the Disability Federation of Ireland to lobby on your behalf. We know from feedback that some of you are still not vaccinated and we recommend that you stay in contact with your GP. If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

As an organisation we field, on average, 5000 service user interactions monthly and we have been working over the last 6 months to redevelop our website so that it becomes the primary source of information for you. In the coming weeks we hope to start a community forum on the website whereby you can chat with your peers and discuss any matter that may be worrying for you.

April was a very positive month for the spinal cord community in Ireland. Firstly, the Mater Hospital was announced as the major trauma centre and we were delighted that SII’s Head of Services was invited to the announcement as the patient representative along with Minister Stephen Donnelly, Mr Keith Synnott and Dr Éimear Smith. We very much welcome this very important step in implementing the Major Trauma Strategy which was proposed in 2018. Receiving the right care, at the right time in the right place is paramount to reduce the odds of severe disability and death caused by major trauma incidents. Investment in rehabilitation and follow on care in the community must also be funded as part of this strategy.

On the 29th April, we were delighted to announce SII’s affiliation to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. This partnership was over a year in the making while we discussed common practices and how we could improve services and work on research projects. As you all know Spinal Injuries Ireland very much focuses on care post injury and how we assist people to live their best lives post injury. This affiliation now also gives us an opportunity to be part of a global community who continues to research best therapies for people with a spinal cord injury and also to focus on a cure in the future.

As you know prior to Covid we used to run educational meeting and coffee mornings in person around the country. Now that we have moved these online, more people can join from the comfort of their own chairs. If you haven’t checked out our events, please do so here https://spinalinjuries.ie/allevents/
Finally as you know we work closely with the NRH. One of the key annual events is Womens Day which unfortunately had to be cancelled in 2020 but this year it has been decided to hold a virtual event with loads of wellness ideas and speakers and plenty of spot prizes. So make sure you put May 27th in your diary and we will send you details nearer the time. And men, your day will be in the autumn!

Enjoy the summer and if we can ever do anything for you please do not hesitate to contact us

Kind Regards

Fiona Bolger

CEO

ILMI April 30th Mailshot

Welcome to our April 30th 2021 Mailshot

ILMI Submission to the Student Grant Scheme Review: April 2021.

ILMI welcomed Minister Harris’ announcement on the review of the student grant scheme.

As a national disabled person’s organisation (DPO) we felt we were extremely well placed to make an authentic written submission on the issues facing disabled students in relation to student grants. Under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD) article 24 recognises that disabled people have the same rights as others to education. To read about the issues we highlighted on the review of the student grant read our submission here MS Doc and PDF versions 

ILMI Film Making Workshop update

IMAGE Screenshot of the filmmaking class

Here is a taste of the exciting ILMI Film Workshop class with Johnny Goggins and Peter Kearns which is going from strength to strength.

History of the Genre Development: By the end of the silent era, many of the main genres were established: The melodrama  –  The western  –  The horror film  –  comedies  & action-adventure films (from swashbucklers to war movies).

Musicals were inaugurated with the era of the Talkies, and the genre of science-fiction films wasn’t generally popularized until the 1950s.

One problem with genre films is that they can become stale, cliche-ridden, and over-imitated. A traditional genre that has been reinterpreted, challenged, or subjected to scrutiny may be termed revisionist.

Many films currently do not fit into one genre classification. Many films are considered hybrids – which means they straddle several film genres. There are many examples of present-day filmmakers reflecting familiar elements of traditional or classical genres, while putting a unique twist on them.
For more info contact peterkearns@ilmi.ie

ILMI Deepening Social Model Thinking at Maynooth Youth Studies

ILMI continues to roll-out social model led Zoom and TEAMS on-line Disability Equality Training (DET) to mainstream Irish institutions. This month’s DET Zooms particularly addressed supporting university youth work studies students to effectively engage with young disabled people. ILMI are encouraging universities to capacity build their youth work students to enable disabled young people to access their local mainstream community resources such as youth clubs, scouts, arts and sport.

ILMI ONSIDE Coordinator Peter Kearns facilitated a DET evening with Maynooth University alongside ILMI supporter John Kelly who also spoke about his long-term social model informed work with Dublin’s Crumlin DMAP mainstream access programme.
For the complete article click here. 

Garda Strategy 2022-2024 Public Questionnaire

This short questionnaire asks you (the public) about your views on the following:

•            Accessibility of An Garda Síochána
•            An Garda Síochána’s engagement with communities
•            Inclusivity and diversity
•            Garda service delivery
An Garda Síochána hope to incorporate your views in developing the Garda Strategy for the next three years and appreciate and thank you for taking the time to respond to this survey. For more information and a link to the survey click here 

BeLong To Survey

IMAGE shows poster for BeLong To Survey

What’s life been like for #LGBTI+ young people during COVID-19? Take the @BeLonG_To ‘LGBTI+ Life in Lockdown’ survey & share your experiences. Complete the survey & be in with a chance to win an €80 One4All voucher

The Strategies for Change Project Update

In this week’s Strategies for Change session, we had Iris Elliott from the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) talk to us on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled People (UNCRPD). Iris kicked off her presentation by sharing her journey to becoming a proud “Rights Holder.” She grew up in the North of Ireland and later became involved in the Women’s Rights Movement. Her lived and later learned experience helped her be the person that she is today, proudly belonging to a movement that fights for the rights of everyone.

Building a culture of disability rights within Ireland and elsewhere is about embedding, owning, understanding, and realising that each and every one of us are deserving citizens. For this to happen, we need legislative, institutional, and organisational systems to change as well as attitudinal and behavioural.

We are all human; we are all equal; disability is not going to disappear; it’s part of the human experience. Disabled people have diverse needs/wants and want to live and participate in society like everyone else. But

•            Why can’t a house “just be a house” – built for everyone?
•            Why do disabled people have to be “inspirational”?
•            Why are disabled people treated differently?
•            Why is “stigma” and “oppression” part and parcel of a disabled person’s lived experience?

“Diversity is beautiful,” and it should be celebrated

We all know that disabled people are more likely to experience discrimination and have their human rights restricted; the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD) is a living and breathing document and is an agreement between different countries and, when signed and ratified, informs them about what they have to do to ensure that all disabled people enjoy the same rights as their non disabled counterparts.

The UNCRPD does not give disabled people any new rights (written by disabled people) and is a tool to help countries understand what they have to do to ensure that this group has the same rights as everyone else. There are 50 Articles in the Convention, and all of these relate to a different human right, and many are interconnected. For example, the right to Independent Living includes having a right to housing, human support, privacy, transportation, education, and employment. The right to having a family includes having the right to make decisions, have intimate relationships, and have children.

As Ireland has now ratified the UNCRPD, it must make sure that all disabled people can access and exercise all of the rights listed in the Convention. Alongside the Convention there is a way for disabled people to make individual complaints. This is called the Optional Protocol. This allows disabled people to make individual complaints to the UN. However, Ireland has decided not to sign this part of the Convention yet as they need to make changes to existing laws that restrict disabled people’s rights.

Every 4 years, the Irish Government has to write a report about how they are making sure that disabled people have the same rights as everyone else. This report was written and made public for review this January. Many disabled groups, including ILMI, had many consultations with disabled people, these were wrote up and submitted to the Irish government. The content of these submissions included what needs to happen/change to make sure disabled people are treated equally. The Government has to look at these submissions and may make changes if needed to their final report. This is then sent to the United Nations Committee where the report is checked to make sure that Ireland has stuck to what they have signed up to do. The committee will then write to Ireland to inform them how they are doing and will also give guidance to what they need to achieve in the following 4 years.

The Irish Government must make sure that there is an independent organisation to monitor how the Convention is being put into practice. In Ireland, this is being done by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC). IHREC have set up a committee made up of disabled people that are expert in the area of human rights to support this monitoring.

All disabled people need to feel deserving; they need to be “Rights Holders” and use the CRPD whenever their rights are restricted. For example, if a disabled person needs a Personal Assistance Service to live like everyone else, then they need to use Article 19 – the right to Independent Living, if they need Assistive and or Adaptive Devices to live like everyone else, then they need to use Article 20 – Personal Mobility, if they want to get involved in politics, then they need to use Article 29 – Participation in Political and Public Life.

Some important observations by participants included:

•            That the Convention needs to be enshrined into law/legislation to make a real difference
•            Our rights cannot be achieved under our current system of support because it is resource based and is entrenched in the Medical Model of Disability
•            That the Convention does not use Social Model Disability language.

For more information contact fionaweldon@ilmi.ie

Donegal ONSIDE

I recently attended the Independent Living Movement of Ireland’s onside project in County Donegal. This seven-week course was split into two parts: digital skills training and social inclusion workshops.
There is a Chinese proverb that runs along the lines of “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.  For me this course was about the latter half of that quotation – it was about giving people skills to feel empowered and foster their independence.
Each week in the digital skills training, I learned new skills for e.g. learning about zoom, apps, e-safety, online shopping, library services, (Learning about the library services was a complete revelation) entertainment, social media, and health & well-being were among the topics covered during the digital training.

The social inclusion workshops did so much to expand my awareness on what’s available in our local communities. There was talks and presentations on disability equality training, community banking, Donegal ETB, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Donegal Volunteer Centre, Donegal Local Development Company and the local Job Club.  I also learnt about the sterling work of the ILMI at influencing national and European policies I’m really pleased to have done this course because it’s provided the venue to learn about 21st century digital life skills and what supports are available in our local communities.

I would like to thank Orla for being such an excellent community navigator. For more information contact orlabeirne@ilmi.ie

Joint Statement from:  LGBT Ireland, Equality for Children, the National Infertility Support and Information Group, Rainbow Families Equality Network, Irish Gay Dads and Independent Living Movement Ireland. 28th April 2021

Government must act immediately on recommendations from Report reviewing Children’s Rights and Irish Law.

The publication this month of the Report by Prof. Conor O’Mahony, Special Rapporteur on Child Protection on the rights of the child in relation to donor assisted human reproduction (DAHR) is strongly welcomed by the LGBT Ireland, Equality for Children, the National Infertility Support and Information Group, Rainbow Families Equality Network, Irish Gay Dads and Independent Living Movement Ireland who have joined forces to form the Assisted Human Reproduction (AHR) Coalition Group.

The AHR Coalition Group is made up of organisations and support groups representing individuals and couples who have, or are planning to, access AHR treatment, including single people, couples from the LGBT+ community, disabled people and couples where a health or fertility condition is preventing them from conceiving a child.

The recommendations contained within the report provide clear and practical legal solutions, which uphold the rights and best interests of children including their right to family life, identity and non-discrimination.

In doing so, the report recognises the reality of AHR treatment which can often involve needing to access services abroad. The report also highlights the need for legislation to address the real-life circumstances of individual children including those already born, so they can establish a legal parental relationship to their parents who love and care for them daily.

The report also considers in detail the regulation of surrogacy including what form of regulation is optimal from a children’s rights perspective.  In doing so, Prof. O’Mahony notes that “Ireland’s failure to regulate surrogacy to date has had negative consequences for Irish families, children and parents have been left in vulnerable legal positions for lengthy periods of time due to the failure of the Oireachtas to legislate to address their status” and calls for “an acceptance of the reality of surrogacy as an international phenomenon”.

Equality for Children Chairperson Elaine Cohalan supports this view, stating that “the Government needs to take on board Professor O’ Mahony’s advice to build on the learning from other jurisdictions by publishing AHR legislation that meets the highest international standards, protects all parties involved and makes provisions for both domestic and international surrogacy”.

Acknowledging that recent commencement of provisions from the Children and Family Relationships Act (CFRA) 2015 only provide for recognition of same sex female parents in limited circumstances, the report also recommends amendments to the 2015 Act so more families can avail of this legislation. This includes a recommendation that provision be made for second parents of children born through non-clinical procedures, to be able to make an application for parentage through the District Court.  The report also recommends that retrospective declarations of parentage be provided through a Court process where a known donor was used, provided the donor does not object.  These recommendations are vital to providing legal parental recognition for many more female same-sex parents not currently covered by the Act.

Ms Cohalan also called on the Government to include provisions in the forthcoming AHR Bill that allow for retrospective declarations of parentage in DAHR and Surrogacy cases, “our organisations support families who have been living in legal limbo for years, with only one parent recognised. This can have far reaching consequences for children and their parents including impacting on citizenship rights, healthcare, childcare, educational provisions, social welfare, inheritance and much more”.

Ms Gillian Keegan, representing the National Infertility Support and Information Group (NISIG), also warmly welcomed the report stating that “the Government should take on board Professor O’ Mahony’s advice in relation to applying learnings from other jurisdictions, providing adequate protection for all parents and children regardless of  how, when or where they were conceived, ensuring the intended mother is the legal mother from birth and that provisions are made for both domestic and international surrogacy”.

LGBT Ireland, Equality for Children, the National Infertility Support and Information Group, Rainbow Families Equality Network, Irish Gay Dads and Independent Living Movement Ireland are jointly calling on the Government to ensure no time is wasted in implementing the recommendations from the O’Mahony Report and to also consider the recommendations by the Oireachtas Committee for Health submitted to the Department of Health in relation to the General Scheme of Assisted Human Reproduction Bill 2017.

Queries to Elaine Cohalan, elaine@equalityforchildren.ie
Full report
ENDS.

About the AHR Coalition
The driving principle behind the work of the Group is to ensure that equality is secured, and the human rights of children conceived using AHR, their intended parents and families are protected and advanced in laws or policies.  The primary objective of the Group is to inform the development of laws or policies pertaining to Assisted Human Reproduction (AHR) from the perspective of the human rights and equality of children conceived using AHR, their intended parents and families.
Current membership of the AHR Coalition
LGBT Ireland
Equality for Children
National Infertility Support and Information Group
Rainbow Families Equality Network
Irish Families Through Surrogacy
Irish Gay Dads
Independent Living Movement Ireland

Call to participate in the research project Non- Traditional Pathways into Parenthood: A Quantitative and Qualitative Study.

Ciara Bradley (Maynooth University) Ann-Marie Hanlon (Dundalk IT) Anne Marie Whelan (RFEN)

This research has ethical approval from Maynooth University and is being conducted in conjunction with RFEN.

The aim of this research is to document the prevalence and the experiences of parents and families in the context of using a range of pathways to parenthood. In particular, this research would like to identify the issues faced by families who have used particular forms of conception arrangements which may not be currently recognised in Irish law. These include those who have used known donors or home insemination, surrogacy, and/or seek recognition of foreign births and international surrogacy arrangements.

It is hoped that this study will contribute to a better understanding of the social, legal and personal issues facing families, in addition to informing advocacy with respect to the content of the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill.

Phase 1 of the research takes the form of an anonymous online survey which takes about 15 minutes to complete and is available through the project website   inviting responses until the 31st May 2021

At the end of the online survey, participants will be invited to volunteer for Phase 2 which will involve more in depth interviews with some of the families.

If you have any queries with respect to the above, please contact us at nontradfamresearch@mu.ie

“Everything you wanted to know about disability but were too afraid to ask!” – ILMI Webinar

 

Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI) would like to invite you to a webinar Everything you wanted to know about disability but were too afraid to ask!, which will take place via Zoom on Wednesday 5th May at 3pm.

 

May 5th is European Independent Living Day and ILMI are hosting this event at 3pm to bring disabled people and their supporters together to raise awareness of Independent Living. The webinar will be an opportunity for people to come together and listen to people from a social movement discussing the reality of living with a disability in Ireland. Through the webinar you can listen informally to information around the social model of disability and how it really informs the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD). You can also listen to a number of disabled activists discussing the use of language and the role of Disabled Persons Organisations (DPOs) in modern Ireland.

Guest Speakers:

On May 5th ILMI are delighted to be joined by the Minister of State at the Department of Children, Disability, Equality, Integration and Youth with responsibility for Disability Anne Rabbitte TD. The webinar will also feature a short input from special guest speaker, Maggie Cameron followed by a facilitated panel discussion with a number of disability activists.

Who is this webinar for?

Everyone is most welcome. It is particularly relevant to disabled people, politicians, policy makers and everyone in all areas of disability, education, community and social movements. This ILMI event is a unique opportunity for anyone who wants to listen directly to disabled activists and hear about the issues facing disabled people through an equality and human rights lens. Anyone with an interest in equality, human rights, community development, policy development and building an inclusive Ireland may wish to attend.

How Do I register?

Tickets are free. However, as it is a Zoom webinar spaces are limited.

If you would like to take part, please email susanobrien@ilmi.ie or call Susan on 086 1712648 as soon as possible to reserve your ticket. Once spaces are full a waitlist will apply, and tickets are being allocated on a first registered basis.

ILMI April 16th 2021 Mailshot

As a Disabled Persons Organisation (DPO), ILMI directly consulted with disabled people to relay the lived experience of disabled people and make a robust submission on Ireland’s state report. We believe it is the lived experience of disabled people that is vital to informing policy that impact on our lives and this way it highlights what is working and areas where improvement is needed.

ILMI conducted 10 facilitated consultations throughout February and March 2021 to bring disabled people together from across the country.

This submission was made to the Department last week  and can be read here 

Event invitation “Everything you wanted to know about disability but were afraid to ask!”
Wednesday 5th May 3pm (Zoom)

Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI) would like to invite you to our webinar “Everything you wanted to know about disability but were afraid to ask!” which will take place via Zoom on Wednesday 5th May 3pm.

May 5th was designated by the European Network on Independent Living as European Day on Independent Living and this event is part of ILMI’s celebration of this date.

The webinar will be an opportunity for people to listen in informally lean about the social model of disability an how that informs the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD). Disabled activists will discuss the use of language and the role of Disabled Person’s Organisations (DPOs) and how the social model of disability can inform the implementation of the CRPD.

We are delighted to be joined by Minister of State Department of Children, Disability, Equality and Integration with responsibility for Disability Anne Rabbitte TD who will open the webinar.

MC for the webinar will be Peter Kearns and will feature a short input from special guest Speaker, Maggie Cameron who is a freelance Disability Equality & Diversity Trainer with experience of developing Disabled Persons Organisations in Scotland.

A facilitated panel discussion with MC Peter Kearns will feature disabled activists Des Kenny, Selina Bonnie, Amy Hassett and Maggie Cameron.

Who is this webinar for?
It is a unique opportunity for anyone who wants to listen directly to disabled activists and hear about the issues facing disabled people through an equality and human rights lens.
Anyone with an interest in equality, human rights, community development, policy development and building an inclusive Ireland should attend to begin to explore how we collectively need to think about disability in Ireland.
We are inviting:
•            Politicians,
•            Policy makers,
•            Public servants,
•            Community Development Organisations,
•            Trade unions,
•            Equality and human rights organisations
•            Local Area-based partnerships
•            Disabled activists
Please free to circulate among your colleagues and contacts who you think would benefit from listening in.

To attend, please email info@ilmi.ie by Tuesday 4th May at 12 noon.

ILMI Submission to the review of the Mental Health Act 2001

“The medical / charity model individualises the term ‘disability’ to equate with an individuals proscribed impairment label and impairment. It encourages the idea that people are disabled by their impairments or perceived differences, including psychiatric “diagnostic” labels. The medical model constantly focuses on people’s impairments from a western professional medical perspective. This medical model paradigm of thinking proposes the person needs to be ‘fixed’, to be ‘cured’, to return them to an acceptable level of normality in mind and body.

The medical model has sub-headings such as the Charity ‘model’, where disabled people are marketed as ‘vulnerable’ passive objects of ‘care’ that must be paid for by ‘normal’ duty-of-care fearful citizens and multi-billion euro private organisations. Frequently, the medical/charity approach to impairment still looks at what is ‘wrong’ with the person and what in their ‘best interest’ and not what has happened to people that has caused emotional distress or what the person effectively requires to access pathways towards their individual lifecourse wishes and preferences.

Emotional distress is almost exclusively viewed in Ireland through the lens of the biopsychosocial model, which is a medical model of disability. The biopsychosocial model is predominantly an epidemiology (disease) model that looks at the interconnection between biology, psychology, and socio-environmental factors. Ultimately, as a medical model, it predominately looks at impairments relating to emotional distress as being something that is “wrong” with the individual that needs to be treated. It states that people who have experienced distress are “broken” or “flawed” and that it is something “inherent” that needs to be “fixed”. Extreme forms of this medical approach can lead to refusal to engage with people’s lived experience and life history and can have medical professionals remove autonomy from people, including forced detention and denial of basic human rights.

PDF:

MS-Word:

Selina Bonnie Podcast:

ILMI Vice Chair Selina Bonnie is this week’s guest on the “Are Kids for Me” podcast where she discusses the barriers disabled people face who want to be parents and how important autonomy and choice are for everyone in this very personal decision.
Link to Podcast is here

Meet ILMI’s CREATE Project Coordinator Patrick Flanagan

IMAGE photo of Patrick Flanagan

Patrick joins ILMI after spending six years working with Muscular Dystrophy Ireland where he was responsible for Fundraising and PR, while also leading a 2019 Independence and Engagement Project.
After graduating from DCU with a BA in Communication Studies, and MSc in Multimedia, Patrick pursued independent living which he achieved through securing Employment, Housing and PA Services. He is a strong believer in the value of social engagement and activity and has played an active role in disability sport and adapted physical activity for over ten years. Patrick had represented Ireland playing powerchair football since 2011, and has been an advocate/ambassador for a number of events and campaigns with CARA – Sport Inclusion Ireland.

As CREATE Project Coordinator, Patrick hopes to be able to bring his own experience and the experiences of other ILMI members to inspire and empower CREATE Project participants to achieve their own goals relating to employment and independent living in general.

Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI): Invitation to tender Life Coach for CREATE project

The ILMI Create (Creating Raised Expectations and Aspirations Towards Employment) Project works directly with disabled people across Ireland in a dynamic online training programme. ILMI’s CREATE programme works with disabled adults through coaching, mentoring, peer support and tailored training to build confidence and self-belief through creative online group and one to one workshops.
CREATE supports disabled jobseekers on their pathway to mainstream employment and self-employment.

ILMI is seeking tenders from qualified life coaches to tender to work with the CREATE project coordinator to provide both one to one and group coaching sessions to CREATE participants. These sessions will take place at the start, middle and end of the programme, and will provide reflective spaces for disabled people to work with life coaches to identify new goals and expectations. The sessions will also help participants develop greater levels of Confidence, Assertiveness and Resilience in disabled participants around their employment journey.

For more details

My Journey Into Activism by Sarah Fitzgerald

(This blog has been inspired by a group of stories which I hope will be published soon, called Conversations about Activism and Change)

It was never my life ambition to work in, or to have much to do with the disability sector. I came from a background where much of the focus was on self-improvement, on getting better, on fitting in. The closest I had experienced to disability activism as a teen was when I stayed in Clochan House with a group of seven other disabled teenagers, (including my future husband!), and we decided to keep in touch. We worked together to raise money to go away for a week to Cuisle in Co. Roscommon, which was run by the Irish Wheelchair Association. I remember feeling lazy and as if I’d let the group down because I wasn’t comfortable with the notion of raising money.

I remember one of the fundraisers entailed holding a raffle, and so I ventured out around my housing estate on my blue tricycle, knocking on doors for money. Some of these families could barely feed themselves. I remember going to one particular door. The garden was overgrown and the front step was unkempt, the paint chipped away. When I rang the doorbell an elderly lady answered, looking frightened. I think she was expecting to be mugged. She saw my money bag and the raffle tickets, and she felt sorry for me! This turned my stomach. I remember wishing that I could make a real difference, without having to blackmail others for money.

Having the privilege of availing of mainstream education had its drawbacks. I spent so much time trying to prove myself and fit in that I never gave any real thought into my identity as a disabled person. I always maintained that I wasn’t ashamed of my impairment, but yet I refused to embrace it. In secondary school, when I was exhausted from studying for my Leaving Cert, I was offered… for the rest of this piece please click here