Get Those Disability Stories Into Us So We Can be Heard!

A ground-breaking new campaign, which will launch this autumn, will showcase the incredible value and impact of the charity and community sector. Funded by the Community Foundation for Ireland via RTÉ does Comic Relief Fund, it has the budget to make a real impact.

 

It’s a unique campaign in that it covers charity, community, voluntary and social enterprise organisations. One of our biggest challenges is finding a name that really covers this great diversity!

DFI is one of six umbrella organisations on the campaign Steering Group. Over 470 representatives from across the sector attended virtual Town Hall meeting over the summer. Excellent training in communications has already been taken. Exciting details of further training will be sent to you via email tomorrow.

 

Tremendous groundwork is being done right now that will lay the foundations of the multi-media ad campaign this autumn. Everything will revolve around strong stories of the work we do. The professionals running the campaign will choose stories that show impact – that is first-hand personal accounts of the difference your work makes.

 

Make sure the disability voice is heard. We’d encourage you not to assume someone else has a better tale to tell.  Reflect now on the stories you have and the work you do and get in touch with our Communications Manager Clare Cronin at clarecronin@disability-federation.ie. We’d be happy to act as a sounding board.

ILMI Mailshot 20th August 2021

As always if you want to know more about any of these articles or ILMI’s work in general then do get in touch. You can reach us at info@ilmi.ie

Unsettled Book Review

(Trigger warning: sexual and physical abuse, self-harm and suicide)


IMAGE: the cover of Rosaleen’s book featuring a female figure who extolls grace and strength in spades.

“Unsettled” is the debut book by ILMI member and Irish Human Rights Equality Commissioner, playwright and activist, Dr Rosaleen McDonagh. Unsettled is a raw and uncompromising collection of essays exploring the intersection of Irish Society’s disabling barriers, impairment lived experiences and ethnicity. Rosaleen writes beautifully of Traveller identity, tradition and the warmth of her family bonds, but also pulls no punches about ableism, disablism and racism. The accessible and gripping narrative style of Rosaleen’s writing enables the reader to empathise with the impact of institutionalisation on her life, of sexual and physical abuse she experienced in these institutions, and the self-harm and suicide attempts resulting from these traumas.

There is also huge tenderness at the heart of Unsettled as Rosaleen writes of her pride in her ethnicity, her graduation from Trinity College, her long lasting and strong relationships with female disabled activists, and most importantly her love affair with the disability campaigner and cultural icon of David and the impact of his loss from her life.

Unsettled is available from book stores nationally and from Skein Press

LANGUAGE IS IMPORTANT

Terminology around disability has changed substantially over the past number of decades.

At Noteworthy, in the past we used the phrase ‘people with disabilities’, but through speaking to people from disabled persons’ organisations (DPOs) over the course of this investigation, we realised our language needed an update.

Firstly, what are DPOs and why are they important? DPOs are distinguished by being “led, directed and governed by persons with disabilities”, according to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

In comparison, organisations that provide services or advocate for disabled people cannot be representative organisations. The UN Committee stated that this activity “may result in a conflict of interests in which such organisations prioritise their purpose as private entities over the rights of persons with disabilities”.

When asked about the best terminology to use, James Cawley from the Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI) told me that their DPO is “completely routed in the social model of disability”.

This is compared to the medical model of disability which Cawley said uses ‘person with disability’ and “basically says we need to cure the impairment or fix them”.

If you’re interested in reading more about this, ILMI have a detailed piece here on language and inclusion.

Because of this and other conversations, we adopted the social model and disabled people in our latest articles as part of this series.”

Link is here to the full Noteworthy article

NTA SPSV Accessibility Survey

Deadline for completion of our Accessibility Survey has now been extended until Thursday, 30 September 2021. The survey asks for experiences, opinions and advice on the demand for and accessibility levels of taxi, hackney and limousine services nationwide. The information obtained through this survey is crucial to future planning for improved Small Public Service Vehicle (SPSV – Taxi, Hackney and limousine) services for all but particularly for people with disabilities who are using or might use this door to door transport service.

The survey commenced on 2 July 2021 however response rates have been very low and not enough to properly be a part of NTA’s consideration of future plans and strategy in this important area. NTA is happy to facilitate the requests for deadline extension which have been received, in the hope that meaningful response levels will now be achieved.

The survey can be completed in the following ways:
1.           Online, via the  link which is compatible with screen-readers:

2.           By post: if you require a hard-copy version of the survey, please contact Behaviour & Attitudes at glenn@banda.ie You will also receive a stamped addressed envelope to facilitate the return of your completed survey.

3.           By telephone: should you prefer to complete the survey in this manner, please contact Behaviour & Attitudes at glenn@banda.ie  or on 01 2057561.They will arrange for an agent to call you to go through the questions with you.

Should you wish, someone else may complete the survey on your behalf.

Whilst it will not be possible for NTA to respond directly to any individual submissions received, all will be considered in detail and a report on the findings will be published.  NTA is subject to Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation and submissions may be published on foot of FOI requests, so please be mindful of adding any personal information to your submissions.

Finally NTA would like to express our sincere appreciation to everyone who has taken the time to complete the survey to-date.

WeThe15

WeThe15 “not superheroes” video, check it out as it is great!

A global campaign described as a “game-changer” has been launched to improve the lives of more than one billion disabled people by 2030.

WeThe15 wants to improve inclusion, raise awareness and end discrimination of disabled people around the world.

It brings together a coalition of organisations from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to Unesco.

The launch comes ahead of the delayed Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games which begin on 24 August.

Using the event as a springboard, the IPC and International Disability Alliance has joined forces with arts, business and human rights organisations including UN Human Rights and The Valuable 500 to “raise awareness, change attitudes and create more opportunities” for disabled people.

The campaign has been set-up to represent the 15% of the world’s population that is disabled – about 1.2bn people, according to the World Health Organization.

Cork Sports Partnership Survey

Cork Sports Partnership through the Cork Active Cities project and in partnership with Cork City Council, Cork Cycling Campaign and Cork Healthy Cities are seeking to increase awareness of adaptive bikes and identify a variety of routes for people with a disability to enjoy in Cork City.

In year 1, this project will aim to capture experiences of cyclists who use adaptive bikes and identify 3 bike routes in Cork City that are adaptive bike friendly. Adaptive bikes for the purpose of this survey includes but is not limited to hand cycles, recumbent bikes, track racing chairs etc.

We are seeking your support as a cyclist of an adaptive bike or whose family member uses an adaptive bike to help us to get started. Please complete the below survey which aims to gather the necessary information to identify these routes. 

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RT2QQL9

Your feedback and input is important to us and will help design the first set of adaptive bike friendly routes in Cork. Please complete no later than Friday 20th August! 

Should you have any further information you wish to share that would add value to this above project, please do not hesitate to contact me:

Kate Feeney

Sports Inclusion Disability Officer

Cork Sports Partnership

Motor Tax Office, Model Business Park, Model Farm Road, Cork

Tel: 021-4347096 | Mob: 086 7947923| web: www.corksports.ie  | Facebook | Twitter

 

Survey AVAILABLE HERE 

ILMI Mailshot August 6th, 2021

Inside This Issue:

Welcome to our weekly mailshot, which includes:

As always if you want to know more about any of these articles or ILMI’s work in general then do get in touch. You can reach us at info@ilmi.ie

Tourism and Accessibility Consultation 


IMAGE: screenshot of meeting

Many thanks to everyone who attended our robust discussion on Tourism and Accessibility. Remember if you were unable to attend this morning’s session you can still send your thoughts to info@ilmi.ie. All inputs would be welcomed by Friday. These will then feed into our overall recommendations on a strategy for outdoor recreation. #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs

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ILMI member Ross Coleman’s article in the Irish Times


IMAGE: poster #PASNOW campaign photo of a female throwing her hat in the air on a beach depicting true freedom
.

ILMI’s  #PASNOW Campaign to define, standardise, promote, invest and legislate for true Personal Assistance Services (PAS) – get involved email info@ilmi.ie

ILMI Member Ross Coleman’s article in the Irish. Powerful piece from a writer who crafts his work and uses an unapologetically frank perspective that really pulls no punches.

“State must fulfil its promise on personal assistants for people with disabilities”.

“Because of inadequate Government support, I have not been able to live my life.
I wake up and get dressed. I log on to my laptop and spend the next few hours glued to my screen. I look out the window. The weather is nice and the sun is peering through the blinds. It’d be really nice to go outside.

I can’t, of course.

The rest of the day passes in a haze of lunch, cups of tea and Zoom meetings.

Nightfall comes. I eat my dinner and trudge up to bed. I listen to a bit of an audiobook before falling asleep and doing it all over again the next day.
It truly is a dreary existence.

Thank God that things are finally opening up, right?

This has been my life long before any lockdown. As a disabled person, I often have no choice but to stay indoors due to a lack of personal assistant services. Because of my disability, I require help with basic living tasks: going to the bathroom, getting dressed, making a meal etc. At the moment, I must rely on…” Full article on this link
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Strategies for Change

IMAGE: poster with photos of Eileen Daly, Colm Whooley, Fiona Weldon, Des Kenny and Selina Bonnie.

In our Strategies for Change Activism in Action session, we had four people come and talk to us about their activism journeys. The panel included Eileen Daly, Colm Whooley, Des Kenny and Selina Bonnie.

Each activist was asked:
Too introduce themselves and share some of their activism experience’s
What were the key things to know about / tips you would give to disabled activists?
What are the challenges that disabled activists face, and what are the supports activists need to do to influence change.

Link for the full piece is here and any questions please direct them to fionaweldon@ilmi.ie the SFC project worker

 

ONSIDE – How to Get Involved


IMAGE: poster with photos of the Onside team

Want to know more about our Onside project and how you can get involved? Meet the team! They are waiting to hear from you now so why not get in touch and learn more about what ONSIDE is providing in your area and what it can do for you?

Louth: Clive Lowry clivelowry@ilmi.ie
Cavan: Mark McCollum markmccollum@ilmi.ie
Leitrim: Audrey Wilson audreywilson@ilmi.ie
Sligo : Fiona Brennan fionabrennan@ilmi.ie
Donegal: Contact Orla  Beirne orlabeirne@ilmi.ie
Monaghan: Edel McGinley edelmcginley@ilmi.ie

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ONSIDE LOUTH


IMAGE shows a screenshot from the latest Louth Social Inclusion Workshop

Our Onside Louth Social Inclusion workshop group were joined on week five by the Louth and Meath Education and Training Board Information Officer Ann Fallon. Ann showcased the wide variety of educational community and online supports that are available to participants.

These workshops give participants an excellent opportunity to ask questions about local community supports, in a safe and exclusive environment, that they might not have previously considered.
Following today’s highly interactive workshop, zoom poll results showed that 100% of participants are considering going back to mainstream education or adult learning classes. Equally important is that 100% of participants are now more confident about meeting new people through local education or community activities.

These finding illustrate just how beneficial the ONSIDE project social inclusion workshops are for equipping participants with the right information and links to community supports.

If you live in Louth and would like to take part in our ONSIDE project please get in touch with your Community Navigator Clive Lowry at clivelowry@ilmi.ie.

IHREC

IHREC Strategy Statement 2022-24 – Request for Submissions

ILMI are also inviting disabled people to provide your views by writing to IHREC, please see IHREC’s website: www.ihrec.ie – for more details about making a written submission. The closing date for submissions towards the next Irish Republic’s Human-Rights 2022-24 Strategy Statement is 16 August 2021.

ILMI E-Bulletin July 30th, 2021

Inside This Issue:

Welcome to our weekly mailshot, which includes:

As always if you want to know more about any of these articles or ILMI’s work in general then do get in touch. You can reach us at info@ilmi.ie

Disability Capacity Review to 2032


IMAGE: poster with the ILMI Logo and the words Invest in disabled people. Rights based, ring-fence, increase, legislate, experts, listen, choice, control, options, empowerment, engage, incude. Full review bit/ly/3bmatrh.

The Disability Capacity Review entitled Disability Capacity Review to 2032 – A Review of Social Care Demand and Capacity Requirements to 2032 was published by the Department of Health on Thursday 15th July. It sets out state investment for the next 10 years without referencing what disabled people need and want. The review is based on continuing to invest in the “Disability Industry” which will perpetuate a situation where many disabled people are segregated from society and makes little reference to State and International policy to invest in ensuring the full inclusion in society with the supports they need to do so.

The Disability Capacity Review worryingly looks to expand “services” that are based on the premise that non-disabled people know best and need to make decisions on what disabled people need and want. ILMI has concern that the Disability Capacity Review has no mechanism to talk directly to disabled people about where resources need to be invested. The review lacks the voice of disabled people in what they need and want to lead their lives. ILMI is also concerned that investing in segregated services and not independent living supports such as Personal Assistance Services (PAS) is contrary to our obligations under the UNCRPD.

ILMI has now conducted a full review of the Capacity Review.  Some of our key observations include:

  • An increase to €96 million for PAS in Ireland not the €32 million quoted in the Capacity Review. However, we welcome that the Department finally recognises the huge un-met need in terms of PAS.
  • It costs €25,000 to place a disabled person in day services for a year. Disabled people who receive a PAS get on average 12 hours a week. ILMI believes that if funds were given to the disabled person as a personalised budget, they would have more choice and control over their lives.
  • PAS to be a demand-led service with the disabled person at the centre of the decision-making process. Currently at CHO level disabled people’s lives, and supports such as PAS, are discussed without us (disabled people).
  • PAS should not be mixed with homecare funding. These services are distinctly different. The Government should invest in PAS allowing disabled people to have choice equal to others.
  • There is no legal right to a PAS in Ireland. ILMI call on the Government to prioritise investment in PAS and enact legislation so disabled people can live the life they choose.
  • Disabled people are often seen as a “risk”. ILMI believe that assessments and health and safety can be used to preclude disabled people from accessing certain supports or services.
  • The Capacity Review shows proposed state investment in disabled people’s lives for the next ten years. At no point engaging with disabled people about what they want or need to be in control of their lives.
  • It is the state’s obligation to put supports in place such as the Assisted Decision Making Act and independent living supports so disabled people can decide with who and where they live as per Articles 12 and 19 of the UNCRPD.
  • ILMI call for a “menu” of independent living supports where there is autonomous advocacy and self-assessment so the person can have a package of independent living supports or a blend of supports that meets their needs.
  • The “Disability Industry” and the services provided are based on the premise that non-disabled people know best. ILMI call for this to stop! Disabled people are experts of lived experience – Nothing About Us Without Us! 

To read ILMI’s full review please see the PDF version here bit.ly/3BMATrH and a Word version here https://bit.ly/3igOuQp.
Please note as with all our work this is only the start of a process and we welcome any questions or comments you may have on the Capacity Review or our ILMI Overview of the Review. You can address any comments directly to our Policy Officer James at jamescawley@ilmi.ie. 

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CREATE


IMAGE shows a screenshot from the most recent CREATE session.
Our CREATE project is starting to get into the swing of things with Life Coaching, Workshop, and Peer sessions all taking place this week.

Thursday’s workshop focused on ‘Employment Policy, Rights and Entitlements’ and was delivered by ILMI Board member Jacqui Browne. Jacqui provided candidates with an overview of the UNCRPD Article 27, Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015, as well as various policies, strategies and schemes relating to disability and employment. It can often be a challenge finding the right information, or knowing where to look, so the workshop was really valuable in sharing and signposting important information that can help disabled people at different stages of their employment journey.

On Friday, ILMI Policy Officer James Cawley joined the CREATE Peer Session to talk about his own experiences starting out on his employment journey, and sharing some of the knowledge that he’s learned along the way. One of the biggest strengths of the CREATE Project is our emphasis on peer support, as our candidates can engage with and learn from others with lived experience and expertise. A big thank you to Jacqui and James for their contributions this week, as well as the CREATE candidates for their continued efforts and engagement!

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ONSIDE – How to Get Involved


IMAGE: poster with the words ONSIDE is a fantastic opportunity to meet new people, learn new things, and to share experiences and ideas. ONSIDE participant, Monaghan.

The ONSIDE project is accepting new participants in all regions. Our Community Navigator team of Audrey, Clive, Edel, Fiona, Mark and Orla are working to ensure that all participants get maximum value from project participation. If you want to learn more about how the ONSIDE project could have a lasting impact on your life then get in touch! You can contact any of the ILMI staff team or email info@ilmi.ie for further information.

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ONSIDE Social Inclusion Workshops


IMAGE shows a screenshot from the latest Louth Social Inclusion Workshop

ONSIDE have continued with their Social Inclusion Workshops this week with a presentation from Eve Curran of Ulster Bank. Eve provided participants with a very informative session on staying safe online and how to make online banking work in a safe and efficient way.
If you would like any further information on how you can get involved in these ongoing sessions do please get in touch with the ONSIDE Project Co-ordinator Peter Kearns at peterkearns@ilmi.ie. 

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ILMI Housing Network


IMAGE shows a screenshot of the Housing Network Meeting with Claire Feeney presenting.

Our housing network met again on Friday 23rd July where we had ILMI members from Leitrim, Donegal, Meath, Cork, Galway, Longford, Cavan, and Offaly.

Claire Feeney Senior Executive Officer from the Housing Agency spoke to the group about developing the new national housing strategy for disabled people, about round one of consultation on the strategy and how we as a national DPO can feed into the next round of consultation.

The next ILMI housing network is on Friday 6th August at 10am. If you would like to join the ILMI housing network to become an ILMI representative on your local Housing Disability Steering Group (HDSG). Get in touch and email with our policy officer jamescawley@ilmi.ie

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Dining, Tourism and Accessible Spaces


IMAGE shows a flyer for the meeting on August 4th at 10am with the text Dining, Tourism and Accessible Spaces. Join us on August 4th at 11am via Zoom, as we discuss our inclusion as Ireland reopens.

As Ireland begins to open up for Summer 21 do you feel that your community is becoming less accessible?
Have you concerns regarding access to local amenities given the increase in granting of outdoor licenses? Are you concerned about the resumption of indoor dining and the implications it will have for you? Or perhaps your area has never been more accessible, and you can provide guidance and advice on how to reopen outdoor dining and amenities in a way that includes us all.
ILMI are facilitating a discussion on August 4th at 11am, via Zoom, on the reopening of civic outdoor amenities, the increase in outdoor dining and the resumption of indoor dining. If you would like to be part of that discussion, then do please let us know. You can register by contacting any of the ILMI staff team or emailing jamescawley@ilmi.ie.

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#Addthe10th


IMAGE shows some of the participants in Tuesday’s #Addthe10th Meeting

On Tuesday 27th July, members of the #Addthe10th Alliance held a meeting to discuss the forthcoming consultation on the review of Irish Equality legislation. #Addthe10th is  a group of NGOs who have been lobbying for some time for the inclusion of socio-economic status as a 10th ground in Irish equality legislation.
Presentations were made by Andrew Holohan (ATD 4th World) on the individual and collective lived experience of the impact of being discriminated based on socioeconomic status. Brid O’Brien from the INOU gave an input on how the addition of a 10th Ground could be used in existing processes, such as the Public Sector Duty. Damien Walshe from ILMI gave an input on the background to the collective work that NGOs have done on this issue since 2001. Eilis Barry (FLAC) gave an input on broader issues on the current equality legislation that would need to be reviewed as part of this consultation.
The details of the for this consultation are available https://www.gov.ie/en/consultation/066b6-review-of-the-equality-acts/

ILMI will contribute to the collective #Addthe10th submission as well as developing a specific ILMI submission in due course. For more information, email damienwalshe@ilmi.ie

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A Disorder for Everyone


IMAGE shows a screenshot of the YouTube recording now online for A Disorder for Everyone.

On March 15th, ILMI were delighted to co-host an online seminar with AD4E (A Disorder For Everyone), featuring guest inputs from Jo Watson and Dr James Davies.
The ILMI / AD4E event brought together people who share similar values and looked 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”.The event was 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.We are delighted that a full recording of the event is now available on our YouTube page and can be found here https://youtu.be/VaM0O17ky6w.

Public Consultation on Effective Engagement with People with Disabilities
“Public consultation on effective engagement with people with disabilities” – NDA are updating their guidance to Government departments and public bodies in relation to engaging disabled people.
The NDA are inviting you to submit your views and experiences of how the government and public bodies can ensure the effective participation of disabled people, including children and young disabled people, in public policy development and in monitoring how well various policies and strategies are working.
Your submission will help them in updating their guidance.
The NDA are accepting submissions by email, post or by video where you speak or sign your views by 9th August 2021. For further information please visit https://bit.ly/3rEUQfn

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Building the Future – 2021 Careers Event


IMAGE shows the banner for Building the Future. A unique career event for students and graduates with disabilities or specific learning difficulties.

This week GetAHEAD announced their annual careers event – Building the Future, which will take place from August 23rd to 27th.

It has evolved from a one-day event to a week-long careers event for students and graduates with disabilities. Students and graduates will get an opportunity to experience mock interviews, CV clinics, attend workshops and also chat with employers face-to-face all from the comfort of their own home! All you need is access to the internet either from your mobile or a laptop and Zoom.

The event is free of charge, however you must register in advance to access any elements of the event. You can find out more and register at: https://www.ahead.ie/buildingthefuture

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Taxi
The National Transport Authority (NTA) has created a survey on taxis and hackneys, which will close on 31st August.
As we all know Transport is one of the pieces of the “independent living jigsaw” that lots of disabled people throughout Ireland have challenges with. Furthermore, getting an accessible taxi on demand can be a nightmare. Please participate in the survey and have your voice heard.

The survey can be completed in the following ways:

  • Online, via the following link which is compatible with screen-readers:  https://secure.bandasurvey.ie/WebProd/Start/Ba212691&B=5
  • By post: if you require a hard-copy version of the survey, please contact Behaviour & Attitudes at glenn@banda.ie. You will also receive a stamped addressed envelope to facilitate the return of your completed survey.
  • By telephone: should you prefer to complete the survey in this manner, please contact Behaviour & Attitudes at glenn@banda.ie  or on 01 2057561.They will arrange for an agent to call you to go through the questions with you.
  • Should you wish, you may also ask someone to complete the survey on your behalf.

If you want to report a taxi for any reason, please visit the transport for Ireland website. There is also a Transport for Ireland (TFI) “Driver Check App” it allows users to check that the vehicle they are about to hire has been registered correctly and that the driver has the appropriate license to operate the vehicle. If the information appears incorrect, it is possible to submit a report. All of Ireland’s taxis, hackneys, limousines and all SPSV (Small Public Service Vehicles) drivers are covered by this app. This includes rural locations as well as cities such as Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford. Visit the Driver check app here.

The Heart of Frontline Practice Reflective Space

The Heart of Frontline Practice alliance warmly invites you to join Dr Colm O’ Connor in a facilitated 2-hour workshop via Zoom on ‘The role of imagination and compassion in frontline work’ on Tuesday 5th October from 11am to 1pm.

The event will be hosted by Dr Maeve Hurley, founder and CEO of Ag Eisteacht, one of the three collaborators behind the Heart of Frontline Practice alliance.

Dr Colm O’ Connor is a Clinical Psychologist & Psychotherapist and a Family Therapist. He has presented countless workshops and seminars on a variety of topics related to marital and couple therapy, family therapy, domestic abuse and violence, happiness and well-being, human imagination and professional self-care.

He is the former Clinical Director of the Cork Marriage/Family Counselling and is now in full-time private practice as a marriage, family and child therapist. He is also the author of three books including ‘The courage to be happy.’

Dr O’ Connor’s inspiring presentation on Imagination and Self-Compassion in Practice at our Reconnecting with the Heart of Frontline Practice national seminar 2020 was warmly received by all attendees and we are delighted that he can join us again this year.

Given the enormous pressure on systems and people, we feel that it is essential to create these regular ‘touch points’ so that we can take time out to pause, reconnect and think about how we are feeling.

Also, with the ongoing need to connect virtually, which brings with it uncertainty and makes connecting more challenging, we are creating these predictable touch points to offer opportunities to engage with each other as a Heart of Frontline Practice community that feels safe – and where we can be open and curious.

Our vision is to create an on-going community of multidisciplinary reflective practice so that we might all feel more sustained and supported in our work ahead.

We hope that you can take two hours out of your daily routine work to join us for this nourishing and inspiring workshop on Tuesday 5th October from 11am – 1pm with Dr Colm O’ Connor who will share his wonderful wisdom and insight.

The cost of this reflective workshop is €30. Certificates are available for all attendees.

Bookings are now open and places are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment. To secure your place, please see the Eventbrite link here.

HOFP Reflective Space October 5th

If you are interested in attending this event, please contact the office

 

 

ILMI Mailshot July 23rd, 2021

ILMI Mailshot July 23rd, 2021

Inside This Issue:

Welcome to our weekly mailshot, which includes:

As always if you want to know more about any of these articles or ILMI’s work in general then do get in touch. You can reach us at info@ilmi.ie

Play It Forward


IMAGE: poster with the words Play it Forward

The Play It Forward Fellowships are aimed at nurturing and amplifying the talents of writers whose voices and stories have traditionally been underrepresented in Irish literature and publishing. A joint initiative between Skein Press and The Stinging Fly, spearheaded by poet and editor Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe, the programme seeks to advance new perspectives in contemporary cultural discourse, and broaden conversations around diversity, inclusion, access and opportunity across the literary landscape.

This pioneering 18-month programme is designed to create pathways for writers to develop, showcase and publish their work. Fellows will receive structured support including mentoring, editorial feedback, career consulting, participation in workshops, training, festivals and literary events, as well as opportunities to meet and build relationships with editors, agents, publishers and writers in order to significantly progress their writing practice.

The inaugural Play It Forward Fellowships have been awarded to Gonchigkhand Byambaa, Sara Chudzik, Neo Gilson, Majed Mujed and Sarah Fitzgerald. The 2021/22 fellows were selected from a strong field of applicants by a panel of writers and editors including Thomas Morris, Melatu Uche Okorie, and Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe.

Gonchigkhand Byambaa is a social worker and writer from Mongolia. She is one of the founders of Migrant Women Na hÉireann, which seeks to raise awareness and provide support to victims of domestic and gender-based violence. She writes about Mongolian culture in an attempt to honour her parents’ legacy and illustrate the beauty and hardship that comes with a traditional nomadic lifestyle.

Sara Chudzik was born in Poland and moved to Limerick when she was 12 years old. She is an NUIG graduate and currently works and lives in Dublin. In her writing, she explores themes of difference, female sexuality and being a migrant. Language — what it means to learn it, as well as know and understand it — is a thematic and stylistic focus of her work.

Neo Florence Gilson is from Kimberley, South Africa, and currently lives in Ireland. A poet, writer, singer, storyteller, and motivational speaker, she has a passion for influencing youth positively through social upliftment projects. Love, unity, respect, empathy, justice and affirmation are the themes she is most drawn to in her writing.

Majed Mujed is an Iraqi poet, born in 1971. Writing in Arabic, his poetry focuses on love as well as being a stranger in a strange land. One of the founders of the Iraqi House of Poetry, he has worked in the Iraqi cultural press for twenty years. He is the recipient of awards from the Al Mada Cultural Foundation, Iraqi House of Wisdom and Iraqi Intellectuals Conference.

Play It Forward is grateful for the support of the Independent Living Movement Ireland through the Declan O’Keefe bursary award, which honours the legacy of  founding member Declan O’Keefe. Declan was a librarian and keen patron of the arts. This bursary award sponsors a place on the Play It Forward Fellowships programme to support an emerging disabled writer who wishes to use creative writing to shine a lens on disability and independent living, challenge inequality and promote inclusion. The recipient of the inaugural Declan O’Keefe Bursary Award 2021/22 is Sarah Fitzgerald.

Sarah Fitzgerald is from Offaly. Her blog is a marriage of two of her greatest passions: writing and disability activism. Working primarily in fiction, she feels a responsibility to write about disabled characters in a way that challenges the paternalistic view of disability. She is currently compiling a book titled Conversations about Activism and Change, a collection of stories about the history of the Independent Living Movement gathered from ten disabled activists.

The Fellowships are funded through the generous support of the Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon, and enhanced by the expertise of strategic partner organisations including AosdánaPoetry Ireland, the Irish Writers Centre and Words Ireland.

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ILMI Call for Investment in Disabled People and Not in the Disability Industry


IMAGE: poster with the words ‘ILMI Call for Investment in Disabled People and Not in the Disability Industry.

Concern that the Disability Capacity Review has no mechanism to talk directly to disabled people about where resources need to be invested

Today (Friday 16th July) ILMI responded to the Department of Health “Disability Capacity Review to 2032: A Review of Disability Social Care Demand and Capacity Requirements up to 2032”.

“It is remarkable that an analysis of proposed State investment in our lives for the next ten years at no point engaged with disabled people about what we want or need. It is welcomed that the Department finally recognises the huge un-met need in terms of Personal Assistance Services, which is something that disabled people want. But the proposed investment for day services and residential settings are contrary to disabled people being included in all aspects of social, educational, cultural and economic life as per our obligations under the UNCRPD. The Capacity Review is based on continuing to invest in the “Disability Industry” which will perpetuate a situation where many disabled people are segregated from the society” said Des Kenny, ILMI chairperson.

ILMI is a cross-impairment Disabled Persons Organisation. Our vision is an Ireland where disabled persons have freedom, choice and control over all aspects of their lives and can fully participate in an inclusive society as equals. The provision of many disability services are diametrically opposed to inclusion.

“We know that many segregated services (residential centres, day centres) which were established in the past were done so by non-disabled people to keep disabled “safe”, to “look after” disabled people. What they have done in effect is keep disabled people out of society. They have ostracised us and they have acted in a way that has denied mainstream services and indeed Irish society from changing to become inclusive” said Selina Bonnie, ILMI Vice Chair.

“For example, disabled people who should be accessing accredited learning provided by their local Education and Training Board are often directed to access learning solely with other disabled people through “special” day centres. Not only does this infringe on disabled people’s rights to access the education of their choosing it also prevents spaces for disabled and non-disabled people to share as equals and ultimately build an inclusive society” she said.

“The Disability Capacity Review shows us that it costs €25,000 per year per person to fund day services. Why not give that money directly to disabled people through a personalised budget and allow us to decide what to do, and when to do it? The “Disability Industry” and the services they provide are based on the premise that non-disabled people know best and need to make decisions on what disabled people want are not and can never be inclusive” said Des Kenny. 

“It is not just that “activities” that take place in day services should be controlled by disabled people, disabled people need fundamentally in control of the “disability industry” so we can decide whether it is appropriate to have spaces that segregate us and separate us from our non-disabled peers; or whether those resources that finance separate services would be better used in providing disabled people with the resources we need to participate in society as equals” added Mr Kenny.

“Ireland is bound under the UNCRPD to support the inclusion of disabled people in all aspects of life. Yet the Disability Capacity Review states that “Participation in day services is virtually lifelong”. How is that acceptable that disabled people are to be segregated into these services for their entire adult life? How is that compliant under UNCRPD?” said Mr Kenny.

“The commitment of Ministers Donnelly, O’Gorman and Rabbitte to ensuring there is strategic long-term investment is welcome. But they must ensure under article 4.3 of the UNCRPD and General Comment 7 to speak directly to Disabled People through their representative DPOs to ensure to invest in what disabled people want and need to participate in society as equals. The “Disability Industry” cannot be part of these discussions as they have vested interest in ensuring investment continues to support the Status Quo of exclusion and segregation,” said Selina Bonnie.

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ONSIDE – How to Get Involved


IMAGE: poster with the words ONSIDE “As a disabled woman living alone, ONSIDE has provided me with a way to connect with the world around me. I use my tablet to attend courses and groups in my area and to connect with friends on social media” – Participant Monaghan. What could ONSIDE do for you? Info@ilmi.ie

Our ONSIDE project continues to grow from strength to strength, with participants from the initial rounds of social inclusion workshops and training beginning to see real benefits in their daily lives. If you would like to learn more about what the ONSIDE project could do for you and how you can get involved please do let us know. We have Community Navigators in Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan and Cavan that would be delighted to work with you. Just contact any of the ILMI staff team or email info@ilmi.ie.

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ONSIDE LOUTH


IMAGE shows a screenshot from the latest Louth Social Inclusion Workshop

ONSIDE Louth participants have now completed their third social inclusion workshop. Our ONSIDE team facilitated a joint platform for the ONSIDE border counties, with guest speaker Martina Kilgallon from the National Advocacy Services (NAS). We had a very engaging and interactive session.
Following the workshop our zoom poll results showed that:

  • 60% of participants would like to explore a personal advocacy issue with their local advocate;
  • 60% of participants would like to get involved in promoting ‘speaking up’ and advocacy with other disabled people; and
  • 50% of participants are interested in joining their local Disabled Person’s Organisation in the future.

If you live in Louth and would like to take part in our ONSIDE project please get in touch with your Community Navigator Clive Lowry at clivelowry@ilmi.ie.

IHREC
This hot and sticky week in July fired-on ILMI to get disabled activists voice to shine through at the ‘Civil Society Consultation’ zoom meeting held by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission. IHREC, Ireland’s national human rights and equality institution, invited ILMI and other public citizen enablers to feed into their next Strategy Statement 2022-24.

All public bodies in Ireland have responsibility to promote equality, prevent discrimination and protect the human rights of their employees, customers, service users and everyone affected by their policies and plans. This is a legal obligation, called the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty, and this means that IHREC are keen to listen to ILMI as a national cross-impairment social model Disabled Persons Organisation (DPO). Peter Kearns represented ILMI at the half-day consultation and promoted the strong collective argument to IHREC that “DPOs should continue to be the first point of contact and dialogue for IHREC with disabled people throughout the Republic. There is always room for IHREC to enhance and effectively resource its ‘Dialogue’ led engagement with DPOs such as ILMI. Especially when disabled activists are supportive of IHREC wanting to independently identify and address disabling state and private-sector multi-billion medical model gaffs and gaps, while seeking to remove ongoing social policy engagement structural barriers in the Republic”. ILMI is always ready to engage with IHREC’s goal and purpose is to protect and promote human rights and equality in Ireland and build a culture of respect for human rights, equality and intercultural understanding in the State.

Written Submissions
Although, ILMI and other DPOs are always attending IHREC consultation meetings, ILMI members should know that our strong collective voice is not the only way to contribute to the development of the next Civil Society Strategy Statement development. ILMI are also inviting disabled people to provide your views by writing to IHREC, please see IHREC’s website: www.ihrec.ie – for more details about making a written submission. The closing date for submissions towards the next Irish Republic’s Human-Rights 2022-24 Strategy Statement is 16 August 2021.

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Button by Neatebox


IMAGE shows the word Button

South Dublin County Council (SDCC) has installed the ‘Button by Neatebox’ touchless pedestrian crossing control system in two locations within Dublin. They can be found at Tallaght Hospital and Ninth Lock Road Clondalkin near the post office.

With Button you can use your mobile phone to virtually ‘press’ the pedestrian crossing button. It can be used to operate pedestrian crossings safely and confidently. This free App is available on both IOS or Android and allows you to focus on your surroundings without having to stretch or search for the button.
If you would like to use the Button system you can read more about it or download the Button app from the link below:
https://www.sdcc.ie/en/services/our-council/policies-and-plans/disability-access/accessible-south-dublin-county/button-by-neatebox/ 

 

Taxi
The National Transport Authority (NTA) has created a survey on taxis and hackneys.
As we all know Transport is one of the pieces of the “independent living jigsaw” that lots of disabled people throughout Ireland have challenges with. Furthermore, getting an accessible taxi on demand can be a nightmare. Please participate in the survey and have your voice heard.

The survey can be completed in the following ways:

  • Online, via the following link which is compatible with screen-readers:  https://secure.bandasurvey.ie/WebProd/Start/Ba212691&B=5
  • By post: if you require a hard-copy version of the survey, please contact Behaviour & Attitudes at glenn@banda.ie. You will also receive a stamped addressed envelope to facilitate the return of your completed survey.
  • By telephone: should you prefer to complete the survey in this manner, please contact Behaviour & Attitudes at glenn@banda.ie  or on 01 2057561.They will arrange for an agent to call you to go through the questions with you.
  • Should you wish, you may also ask someone to complete the survey on your behalf.

If you want to report a taxi for any reason, please visit the transport for Ireland website. There is also a Transport for Ireland (TFI) “Driver Check App” it allows users to check that the vehicle they are about to hire has been registered correctly and that the driver has the appropriate license to operate the vehicle. If the information appears incorrect, it is possible to submit a report. All of Ireland’s taxis, hackneys, limousines and all SPSV (Small Public Service Vehicles) drivers are covered by this app. This includes rural locations as well as cities such as Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford. Visit the Driver check app here.

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Cork Platform


IMAGE shows a screen shot from the presentation provided by James O’Donovan from Cork Environmental Forum.

The Cork Platform continue to meet every two weeks. This week’s meeting involved a presentation from James O’Donovan from the Cork Environmental Forum. James gave a brief outline of why Ireland declared a Climate and Biodiversity crisis in 2019. He also explained further about the work that the Cork Environmental Forum does and provided the group with useful tips on producing less waste at home to save on energy bills.
If you would like to join the Cork Platform and take part in any of their Zoom sessions then do get in touch at info@ilmi.ie.

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ESRI

The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) are inviting Personal Assistance Service (PAS) users to take part in a study that wants to understand the experiences of people who use PAS. The study is funded by the National Disability Authority.

The aim of this research project is to better understand the experience of personal assistance service users in Ireland. The NDA defines a personal assistance service user as someone ‘employed by the person with a disability to enable them to live an independent life. The personal assistant provides assistance, at the discretion and direction of the person with the disability, thus promoting choice and control for the person with the disability to live independently’ (Buchanan, 2014). The research considers areas such as:

  • How do the experiences of personal assistant service users differ?
  • What are the personal goals that persons with disabilities aim for in using their personal assistant services?
  • How do personal assistance service users fare in terms of their quality of life?
  • How do personal assistance service users describe their relationships with their personal assistants?
  • What are the challenges of personal assistance service users and what do they recommend for the development of personal assistant services in Ireland?

The survey, which takes about 15 minutes is anonymous and will not be linked to you or your services. By completing this survey, you are eligible to enter a prize draw to win one of 10 One4All vouchers worth €50 each. If you choose to enter this prize draw, we will ask you to share your personal information in a separate form. This information will not be linked to your survey responses.More information about this study is available here.
More information about how your data is protected at the Economic and Social Research Institute is available here.
Please send any questions you have about this study to Selina McCoy at selina.mccoy@esri.ie

ILMI E-Bulletin July 18th, 2021

 

Inside This Issue:

We have a bumper packed edition this week, which includes:

As always if you want to know more about any of these articles or ILMI’s work in general then do get in touch. You can reach us at info@ilmi.ie

ILMI Call for Investment in Disabled People and Not in the Disability Industry


IMAGE: poster with the words ‘ILMI Call for Investment in Disabled People and Not in the Disability Industry.

Concern that the Disability Capacity Review has no mechanism to talk directly to disabled people about where resources need to be invested

Today (Friday 16th July) ILMI responded to the Department of Health “Disability Capacity Review to 2032: A Review of Disability Social Care Demand and Capacity Requirements up to 2032”.

“It is remarkable that an analysis of proposed State investment in our lives for the next ten years at no point engaged with disabled people about what we want or need. It is welcomed that the Department finally recognises the huge un-met need in terms of Personal Assistance Services, which is something that disabled people want. But the proposed investment for day services and residential settings are contrary to disabled people being included in all aspects of social, educational, cultural and economic life as per our obligations under the UNCRPD. The Capacity Review is based on continuing to invest in the “Disability Industry” which will perpetuate a situation where many disabled people are segregated from the society” said Des Kenny, ILMI chairperson.

ILMI is a cross-impairment Disabled Persons Organisation. Our vision is an Ireland where disabled persons have freedom, choice and control over all aspects of their lives and can fully participate in an inclusive society as equals. The provision of many disability services are diametrically opposed to inclusion.

“We know that many segregated services (residential centres, day centres) which were established in the past were done so by non-disabled people to keep disabled “safe”, to “look after” disabled people. What they have done in effect is keep disabled people out of society. They have ostracised us and they have acted in a way that has denied mainstream services and indeed Irish society from changing to become inclusive” said Selina Bonnie, ILMI Vice Chair.

“For example, disabled people who should be accessing accredited learning provided by their local Education and Training Board are often directed to access learning solely with other disabled people through “special” day centres. Not only does this infringe on disabled people’s rights to access the education of their choosing it also prevents spaces for disabled and non-disabled people to share as equals and ultimately build an inclusive society” she said.

“The Disability Capacity Review shows us that it costs €25,000 per year per person to fund day services. Why not give that money directly to disabled people through a personalised budget and allow us to decide what to do, and when to do it? The “Disability Industry” and the services they provide are based on the premise that non-disabled people know best and need to make decisions on what disabled people want are not and can never be inclusive” said Des Kenny. 

“It is not just that “activities” that take place in day services should be controlled by disabled people, disabled people need fundamentally in control of the “disability industry” so we can decide whether it is appropriate to have spaces that segregate us and separate us from our non-disabled peers; or whether those resources that finance separate services would be better used in providing disabled people with the resources we need to participate in society as equals” added Mr Kenny.

“Ireland is bound under the UNCRPD to support the inclusion of disabled people in all aspects of life. Yet the Disability Capacity Review states that “Participation in day services is virtually lifelong”. How is that acceptable that disabled people are to be segregated into these services for their entire adult life? How is that compliant under UNCRPD?” said Mr Kenny.

“The commitment of Ministers Donnelly, O’Gorman and Rabbitte to ensuring there is strategic long-term investment is welcome. But they must ensure under article 4.3 of the UNCRPD and General Comment 7 to speak directly to Disabled People through their representative DPOs to ensure to invest in what disabled people want and need to participate in society as equals. The “Disability Industry” cannot be part of these discussions as they have vested interest in ensuring investment continues to support the Status Quo of exclusion and segregation,” said Selina Bonnie.

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Summer 21 – Want to be Included?


IMAGE: poster with the words ‘Outdoor Dining, Tourism and Accessible Spaces. How can we ensure real access? Join us on August 4th at 11am, via Zoom, as we discuss our inclusion as Ireland opens up for Summer 21.

As Ireland begins to open up for Summer 21 do you feel that your community is becoming less accessible? Have you concerns regarding access to local amenities given the increase in granting of outdoor licenses? Or perhaps your area has never been more accessible, and you can provide guidance and advice on how to reopen outdoor dining and amenities in a way that includes us all.
ILMI are facilitating a discussion on August 4th at 11am, via Zoom, on the reopening of civic outdoor amenities and the increase in outdoor dining. If you would like to be part of that discussion, then do please let us know. You can register by contacting any of the ILMI staff team or emailing jamescawley@ilmi.ie.

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ILMI Housing Network


IMAGE shows a key in a door lock. The text reads ILMI Housing Network. Are you a disabled activist who would like to be part of your local Housing Disability Steering Group? Would you like to have your say on housing issues that impact on your life? Then why not join our Housing Network and learn more through our training and networking programme about how you can really influence housing policy?

On Friday 9th July the ILMI housing network met again, and this session focused on “Representational Roles and Responsibilities”.

As we know “representation” is vitally important for us as disabled people to be sitting at the decision-making table! Article 4.3 and 29 B of the UNCRPD states that “In the development and implementation of legislation and policies to implement the present Convention, and in other decision-making processes concerning issues relating to persons with disabilities, States Parties shall closely consult with and actively involve persons with disabilities, including children with disabilities, through their representative organisations.” This is why it is really important that Disabled Persons Organisations (DPOs) are consulted and engaged with in all decision making structures going forward. ILMI welcomes the development of the new housing strategy. ILMI are members of the Department of housing sub group on housing and are members of the new advisory group with the housing agency tasked with developing the new strategy.

ILMI also welcomes the call for people with lived experience onto all Housing Disability Steering Groups (HDSGs) as part of the new strategy. From our own research and ILMI housing network it is very clear many disabled people are interested in becoming involved in decision-making structures about their lives such as the HDSGs. As a national DPO led by and for disabled people the ILMI housing network is working to prepare Disabled people and build their capacity to enable them to contribute and participate effectively on their HDSGs. ILMI policy officer James Cawley gave a recap of the first session and then the workshop was led by ILMI CEO Damien Walshe where the larger group broke into breakout rooms to discuss various aspects of representation. The next session of the ILMI housing network is on Friday 23rd July at 10am.

Finally, if you are interested in representing ILMI on your local HDSG – Do get in touch too!

If you are interested in registering or want to find out more email our Policy Officer at jamescawley@ilmi.ie

Accessible Taxis

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has created a survey on taxis and hackneys.
As we all know Transport is one of the pieces of the “independent living jigsaw” that lots of disabled people throughout Ireland have challenges with. Furthermore, getting an accessible taxi on demand can be a nightmare. Please participate in the survey and have your voice heard.

The survey can be completed in the following ways:

  1. Online, via the following link which is compatible with screen-readers:  https://secure.bandasurvey.ie/WebProd/Start/Ba212691&B=5
  2. By post: if you require a hard-copy version of the survey, please contact Behaviour & Attitudes at glenn@banda.ie. You will also receive a stamped addressed envelope to facilitate the return of your completed survey.
  3. By telephone: should you prefer to complete the survey in this manner, please contact Behaviour & Attitudes at glenn@banda.ie  or on 01 2057561.They will arrange for an agent to call you to go through the questions with you.

Should you wish, you may also ask someone to complete the survey on your behalf.

If you want to report a taxi for any reason, please visit the transport for Ireland website. There is also a Transport for Ireland (TFI) “Driver Check App” it allows users to check that the vehicle they are about to hire has been registered correctly and that the driver has the appropriate license to operate the vehicle. If the information appears incorrect, it is possible to submit a report. All of Ireland’s taxis, hackneys, limousines and all SPSV (Small Public Service Vehicles) drivers are covered by this app. This includes rural locations as well as cities such as Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford. Visit the Driver check app here.

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ILMI Women’s Group


IMAGE shows three women with the text ILMI Women’s Group Focus Group session on women’s screening services in Ireland. Presented by Lynn Swinburne, HSE. July 8th 7pm to 9pm. To register email shellygaynor@ilmi.ie

On the 8th of July ILMI were delighted to welcome Lynn Swinburne Senior Health Promotion Officer from the HSE screening programme.
Lynn gave a very comprehensive and clear outline of how each of the screening programmes run. The members of the group were able to ask questions that they had regarding queries on different aspects of screening. Lynn also provided important information on Access Officers, whom you can call if you have a query prior to an upcoming screening appointment. Lynn was very keen to hear about the lived experience that members of the group had in using or accessing the different type of screening available. The zoom with Lynn will hopefully be the start of a great relationship between Independent Living Movement Ireland and the HSE to ensure that disabled people’s voices are heard when it comes to women’s health going forward.

If you would like to contact an Access Officer, you can do so through 1800 45 45 55. Or if you would like to be part of the ILMI Women’s Group please contact Shelly Gaynor at shellygaynor@ilmi.ie.

Money Matters!


IMAGE shows part of the Money Skills presentation with some of the participants.

On Tuesday 13th and Thursday 15th July, the ONSIDE project hosted two ‘Money Skills for Life’ workshops. More than 30 disabled participants attended the workshops, facilitated by Eve Curran of Ulster Bank. The workshops aimed to build on the previous Money Skills workshops facilitated by Eve as part of ONSIDE’s recurring social inclusion programme. The topics covered included, Sorting Out Your Money, Saving and Investing, Insurance, Borrowing Money, Dealing with Debt and Planning for Later Life. There is no doubt that financial skills and effective money management are essential to living independently and the ILMI ONSIDE team wish to extend their thanks to Eve for her ongoing input to the social inclusion programme.

For more information about the ONSIDE project in your area contact info@ilmi.ie.

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Disability Proofing with Mental Health Reform

ILMI continues to roll-out social model led Zoom and TEAMS on-line Disability Equality Training (DET) with our colleagues across the disability sector. During July ILMI delivered two zoom-morning DET workshops with over 30-members of Mental Health Reform. The workshops, led by ILMI’s Peter Kearns with tech support from Dr James Casey, particularly addressed supporting disabled people connected to disability-sector organisations and encouraged participants to view themselves as social model informed activists. The fun and creative group work sessions gave participants the thinking skills for challenging and changing the language of Mental health and well-being towards are more effective social model lived experience affirmative approach.

Through further DET workshops across the Country ILMI are encouraging mental health and well-being organisations to capacity build their disabled members to effectively engage and identify medical model barriers and enable social model thinking on transforming such oppressive lived experiences.

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ILMI Film Workshops


IMAGE shows International Director and Producer Johnny Gogan.

With 2021 Covid-‘crisis’ funding from Leitrim County Council, ILMI successfully rolled-out 10-weeks of zoom Film Making workshops. From early spring through to summer, ILMI facilitated the fun workshops with international Director & Producer Johnny Gogan and ILMI’s very own film production guru John Owens and whip cracking film producer Peter Kearns. The two film ‘Johnnies’ encouraged those that turned-up every Tuesday morning at the 11am zoom workshop to get their stories of disabled people beating Covid isolation onto screens by making their own 3-minute video shorts. Participants have since grabbed that opportunity to make some short films which are currently being shot on participants mobile phones over the summer ‘break’. The 3-minute finished shorts will be shown and mentored to a broadcast standard by Johnny Gogan, John Owens and Peter when film workshops return in the autumn and will be exhibited in ILMI’s new ‘IS’ Gallery later in the year.

The 10-weeks of ILMI Film Making workshops involved Johnny Gogan and Peter Kearns delivering weekly breakdowns of all the business and creative steps towards realising participants’ first short films. Workshops included showing excerpts from Johnny Gogan’s 2020 space documentary Prisoners-of-the-Moon and his recently premiered 2021 documentary Groundswell that also featured ILMI Peter as Executive-Producer, highlighting the misconceived plans of gas and oil Fracking corporations that led to the 2018 Anti-Fracking Dáil Act. Peter was then joined in 2nd-half of the 10-weeks by film camera-person and all-round techy edit king John Owens. John put together a series of short videos on post-production editing skills and free Apps that were shown in the second half of the 10-week programme.

John Owens and Peter also told the ILMI Film workshop participants about their award winning short-films shown at international festivals from San Francisco to Berlin. These film-shorts were all scripted, directed, shot and produced by disabled people from Lights-Disability-Action TV & film training programme (1998 to 2001). Our ILMI film participants are continuing with disabled people telling the lived experiences through film by using this summer to script, direct, shoot and produce a short-story film or documentary using their mobiles and ONSIDE Tablets. Over the summer months Peter Kearns and John Owens will support the new filmmakers to design, shoot & edit their ‘shorts’ towards exhibition on ILMI’s ‘IS’ Gallery and possible social media broadcast.

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ILMI Part of the #Addthe10th Alliance

On the 22nd June the Minister for Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, announced a consultation on the review of Irish Equality legislation. The details of the for this consultation are available https://www.gov.ie/en/consultation/066b6-review-of-the-equality-acts/

A number of groups now calling themselves #Addthe10th Alliance, has been lobbying for some time for the inclusion of socio-economic status as a 10th ground in Irish equality legislation. Members include:

– All Together in Dignity (ATD) Ireland

– Community Action Network (CAN)

– European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) Ireland

– Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC)

– Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI)

– Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed (INOU)

While the review may be an important opportunity to address a range of gaps and weaknesses in our equality legislation, we are anxious that this review finally results in the inclusion of socio-economic status as a 10th ground.

As you may be aware there is sections of Irish society in an urban and rural setting which come from deprived backgrounds and areas that have experienced systemic and generational discrimination relating to their socio-economic status which is not prohibited or protected. On this note, while the Alliance members seek a protected ground for this section of society, we are also conscious that discrimination based on socio-economic status intersects with the discrimination and inequality experienced by people covered under other grounds in Irish equality legislation, including disabled people.

Therefore, the Alliance is organising an informal meeting between organisations representing people covered under the 10 grounds to discuss the Government’s review of equality legislation, the need for a socio-economic ground in Irish equality legislation and the intersectional nature of the discrimination and inequality experienced by people across the grounds.

The meeting will take place on Tuesday 27th July at 11am. If you are interested in attending, please email damienwalshe@ilmi.ie.

#Addthe10th

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Social Night with Judy Heumann


IMAGE shows a screen shot from the ILMI social night with Judy Heumann.

We are delighted to say you can now watch the recording of our hugely successful ILMI Social Night with Judy Heumann. To access the recording please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMlQgg4eiIQ

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Strategies for Change

IMAGE shows an image of the words Strategies for Change.

Last week’s Strategies for Change session involved a presentation from Jacqueline Healy of the Irish Human Rights Equality Commission (IHREC). Jacqueline came along to talk to the group about the Public Sector and Human Right’s Duty.
If you would like to read more about the session and how the Public Sector Duty relates to disabled people please visit https://ilmi.ie/the-public-sector-human-rights-duty/.

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IHREC and WRC annual reports: Are disabled people using the Equal Status Act to challenge discrimination?

Two key institutions in Ireland’s Equality and Human Rights Infrastructure, the Irish Human Rights Equality Commission (IHREC) and the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) have published their 2020 annual reports. These reports give us an insight into discrimination in Ireland and where people have sought to have inequality challenged.

IHREC is our National Human Rights Institute (NHRI) and is an independent public body that accounts to the Oireachtas, with a mandate established under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014 (IHREC Act 2014). The IHREC Act includes and further enhances the functions of the former Irish Human Rights Commission and the former Equality Authority. IHREC’s role is to protect and promote human rights and equality in Ireland and build a culture of respect for human rights, equality and intercultural understanding in the State.

The WRC is an independent, statutory body which was established on 1st October 2015 under the Workplace Relations Act 2015 (No. 16 of 2015). It plays a vital role in Ireland’s equality and human rights infrastructure as it assumes the role of the Equality Tribunal and Employment Appeals Tribunal, which are key spaces to hear cases under the Equal Status Act (2000-2018) and the Employment Equality Acts (1998-2015). It also assumes the roles and functions previously carried out by the National Employment Rights Authority (NERA), Labour Relations Commission (LRC), Rights Commissioners Service (RCS).

IHREC and WRC annual reports: what do they tell us about disabled people challenging discrimination?
IHREC’s annual report was published this week and its information section makes for interesting reading. Disability discrimination the highest area of public contact representing 54% of all equality related concerns in 2020.
Broken down, of the 610 queries IHREC received under the Equal Status Acts 2000-2018, of which 34% related to the disability ground. Of the 328 queries under Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015, of which 35% related to the disability ground.

Interestingly, the WRC Annual report saw a decline in complaint referrals under the Equal Status Acts 2000-2015. In 2020, some 305 referrals were made under the Acts, relating to 452 specific grounds. The reason for the larger number of grounds is that when people are making a complaint under the Equal Status they can report that they were discriminated under more than one ground (such as disability and gender, for example).

The figures for 2020 compared to 439 referrals in 2019 relating to 648 specific grounds: an annual reduction of just under 30% on referrals compared with 2019 and continues a trend first apparent in 2017. However, within the overall referrals, some increases took place in relation to Civil Status (360%), Sexual Orientation (75%) and Disability (25%) on 2019. This meant that in 2020, 91 complaints were made to the WRC under the disability ground of the Equal Status Act as compared to 73 complaints in 2019.

The WRC report showed that in 2020, it received 939 Employment Equality complaint referrals, citing 1,260 specific grounds compared to 1,288 referrals citing 1,733 specific grounds in 2019. This represented a 27% decrease on 2019 complaint referrals. Within this, the number of complaints in relation to Religion declined by 61%, Age by 54%, and Civil Status by 50%. Disability (290) and Gender (278) were the most cited grounds of referrals made under the Acts although both respective figures were somewhat lower than 2019.

What do the reports tell us?
There always has been an issue with the under-reporting of discrimination and human rights abuses (http://17october.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Underreporting-and-access-to-justice-september-2013-final-new-format-1.pdf) For example, in the 2014 Equality and Discrimination module of the Quarterly National Household (QNHS) survey, 16% disabled people said that they had experienced discrimination in the previous two years, compared to 11% of non-disabled people. In the 2019 Equality and Discrimination Survey, this gap had increased, with 24.1% of disabled people reporting that they had experienced discrimination compared to 16.7% of non-disabled people. It is clear that those numbers are not reflected in the IHREC or WRC report. However, there is also a considerable gap between the numbers of disabled people contacting IHREC for information relating to discrimination under Equality Legislation and complaints being received by the WRC.

Even if we disregard the time lag, in 2020 IHREC received 207 queries under the disability ground under the Equal Status Act, yet only 91 complaints were made to the WRC (albeit an increase from 2019). Interestingly there were 114 queries to IHREC under the Employment Equality Act but 290 referrals under this Act to the WRC (albeit down from 329 referrals in 2019, a reduction of 12%).

Given that cases taken under the Equal Status Act under all nine grounds are falling year on year since 2017, there clearly is an issue with how the WRC is promoting its role as a crucial part of Ireland’s Equality and human rights Infrastructure. Whilst disabled people experiencing rights violations and discrimination in the workplace are aware of the WRC, there is a direct link with the name and role of the organisation (Workplace Relations) that perhaps makes the process easier to manage.

ILMI will raise this issue with IHREC and the WRC separately to ensure that they are aware of concerns of why so few disabled people are taking cases under the Equal Status Act. Given that Article 5 of the UNCRPD (Equality and Non-Discrimination) address these issues, it will be important for ILMI to work with both bodies to ensure that disabled people can access both organisations to challenge discrimination whenever they experience it.

ILMI published a Guide to Disability and Law, which outlines steps disabled people need to take to challenge inequality and discrimination.

The next Peer Forum session will be on Thursday the 22nd July at 4p.m.

We welcome James O’Donovan who works with the Cork Environmental Forum. He will give a brief outline of why Ireland declared a Climate and Biodiversity crisis in 2019,and the work that the Cork Environmental Forum do. James will also give the group tips on producing less waste at home and saving on energy bills and if anyone in the group have tips themselves, please share with the group.

This session is open to disabled people in Cork.

Please email Nicola at nicola.meacle@corkcil.ie  if you want to be sent the ZOOM link.