ILMI Mailshot 17th September 2021

Tonight for Culture Night: “I am out with lanterns, looking for myself.”

IMAGE: Poster for the ILMI Culture Night Storytelling piece “I am out with lanterns, looking for myself.”   Blue background orange and pink hued lantern with a heart.

For Culture Night 2021 ILMI is very proud to present “I am out with lanterns, looking for myself.” An original “lockdown” storytelling piece performed by Paula Soraghan. You can catch it at 7pm tonight on our Facebook and Twitter accounts #OícheChultúir

The title of the story is a quote from Emily Dickinson an underestimated powerhouse when she was young. It is also a now cherished quote for the young woman the story is based on. A documented moment of when you first roar and take control. Simple presentation. Honest interpretation. The piece is a story of joy, a rebellious love letter to a younger version of everywoman. Join us tonight at 7pm on any of our social media channels to immerse yourself in a heartfelt performance full of light and grace.

“I am delighted to have been chosen to share Tamara’s story. I can relate to feeling like I shouldn’t speak up for fear of being disruptive or making others feel uncomfortable. It is a very courageous and empowering thing to say, enough is enough. Then you start to live life on your own terms. I feel myself and the character “Tamara” are finding our voices and true sense of self….. Together”.

Paula Soraghan Actor

The SFC Update “Values and Social Change”

IMAGE: photo of a woman who is see through and the words “ilmi SFC project”, ” The media has too much power over how disabled people are portrayed – we are either superhuman or charity cases and in need of “care”. The language we use in our activism needs to be political. We are DISABLED PEOPLE, and we demand EQUALITY. We are not people with a disability; we are NOT incapable or abnormal or need to be fixed or cured. “All media platforms need to change how they portray and talk about disabled people”

In last week’s Strategies for Change Session, we reflected on Niall Crowley’s two sessions about Values and Social Change.

“We as activists need to start naming our values and defining our values.  So collectively, our values have the same meaning to affect change coherently and consistently; this is how we connect and build solidarity?

The two weeks with Niall were “eye-opening”, a full 360 degree turn around in my eyes. These sessions were refreshing, “I’m not damaged”, society is the problem, not us. Society has been constructed by non-disabled people, with non-disabled people in mind.

The media has too much power over how disabled people are portrayed – we are either superhuman or charity cases and in need of “care”. The language we use in our activism needs to be political. We are DISABLED PEOPLE, and we demand EQUALITY. We are not people with a disability; we are NOT incapable or abnormal or need to be fixed or cured. “All media platforms need to change how they portray and talk about disabled people”.

Disability identity is also an issue. Many disabled people feel different because of how society is constructed, which is very damaging to… Read the rest of this piece here

Traveller Pride Week 2021

IMAGE: Stylised old fashioned ornate wagon wheel in a bright orange on a navy blue background with the words “Traveller Pride Week 2021, ‘Stronger Together’”

ILMI would like to wish everyone a happy #TravellerPrideWeek 2021 which begins next Monday 20th September. The theme for this year’s Traveller Pride 2021 is ‘Stronger Together’, celebrating how Travellers have held firm as a community and supported one another throughout the pandemic.

ILMI recognises the intersection between impairment and ethnicity and wish to show our solidarity with all disabled and non-disabled Travellers celebrating their ethnicity, culture and heritage through a series of local and national events. For more details, see the Traveller Pride Facebook page 

Louth & Cavan ONSIDE participants come together for lively and enthusiastic Disability Equality Training.

IMAGE: photo of hills and a forest with the words “Cavan Louth” and Interreg, ONSIDE and ILMI Logos.

Disabled people form Counties Louth and Cavan came together on the the 16th of September, for a lively and enthusiastic workshop exploring disability equality.

The facilitators, Mark McCollum, Cavan & Clive Lowry, establishing a welcoming, inclusive, and safe environment for the participants with an open dialogue style of facilitation and this set the tone for the session, and introduces the idea that everyone has a right to express their opinion and respect afforded to differing views.

The two groups composed of disabled participants on the ONSIDE IT and social inclusion training explored a range of concepts in the workshop including compliance, defiance and boundaries, the characteristics and types of groups – families, schools children, sporting groups, LGBTQ & racial minority groups; what they have in common and what is their unique aspects. The group explored ‘Why’ the aforementioned collections of people obey the rules for being called a ‘group’? Ideas of ‘common purpose’ were mentioned, ‘finding their tribe! … ‘They have to fight from the ground up for their rights’; and notions of shared values and unity were all articulated.

The session further explored the notion of ‘impairments’ and the ‘social consequences’ of those said impairments, such as isolation, poverty, reproductive ‘rights’ and choices, feelings of inadequacy, unequal access to education and accommodation and transport, and what in reality is more ‘disabling’ the ‘impairments’ or the direct ‘social consequences’ and a New definition of the word ‘disability’ was presented and described to the group that stated;
DISABILITY[1] can be defined as:
People who have impairments experiencing a disadvantage caused by environmental or
Social barriers that disables them from fully taking part in mainstream activities.

‘Disability’ is not the impairment.
‘Disability’ is created by social organisations which take little or no account of people who have impairment labels. Society disables people by excluding them from mainstream social, cultural & economic activities.

The participants actively engaged with the subject and information– some stated that they wanted to ‘educate people’, and that real change is needed from the ‘ground up’, in conclusion it was a powerful and vibrant session that made people think and reflect but it was delivered in an engaging, inclusive and fun way.

The ONSIDE Project has been supported by the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

GET #ONSIDE NOW! The ONSIDE County Community Navigators are waiting to hear from you!

Donegal: Orla Beirne
Louth: Clive Lowry
Leitrim: Audrey Wilson
Cavan: Mark McCollum
Sligo: Fiona Brennan
Monaghan: Edel McGinley

Workshop On the Marginalised and environmentalism in Ireland: a brief report

The event was a positive experience in which representatives from various organisations who aim to help spotlight and mainstream the views and issues of marginalised communities within the Republic of Ireland attended. I was there on behalf of ILMI. The event was also hosted and chaired by researchers for instance from DCU.

There seemed to be a general consensus that Ireland needed to take its environmental commitments seriously. Additionally, we all agreed that greater diversity was needed when it came to policy making around climate change, meaning those who make the policy should come from more diverse backgrounds, which represent the more modern complexion of Ireland as multi-cultural, increasingly liberal society.  There was some concern raised that way environmentalism was talked about at present was elitist and not in touch with the lives of ordinary people.

From ILMI’s perspective I brought up the POV of agreeing we needed to cut fossil fuels but stressed that this could only be done if there was a rapid transition to move towards accessible and sustainable public transport, such as better DART’s, trains, Luas’s and buses, otherwise many disabled people, especially those living in rural areas will be forced to rely on cars for mobility. This point was met with agreement within the breakout room I raised it in, and it aligned with other points such as a general underfunding of transport in rural areas not just for disabled people but the public at large.

We also discussed poverty, and how this prevented for instance renters from making easy transitions towards more environmentally friendly lifestyles. We ended with the agreement that in order to ensure action on climate change is taken in Ireland we also at the same time need social and economic improvement, and not everything should be left up to the market, but the state needs to take responsibility.

P.B. O’Dea. ILMI Member

The Family Carers Support Project

The Family Carer Support Project Leaflet


For more information about The Family Carers Support Project:

Call Amy 086 0759063

Family Carers Ireland is the national charity supporting Ireland’s 500,000+ family carers. We offer a range of supports and services, based on the needs of the family carer. These include: information, guidance, advocacy, education and training, carer clinics, wellbeing reviews, respite, emergency respite, counselling, homecare, peer support, membership (giving you access to over 100 offers and discounts), social events and a free emergency scheme for family carers. We also have a 24/7 Freephone Careline which you can ring for information or emotional support – 1800 24 07 24.

ILMI Mailshot 3rd September 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

Housing For All

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’ Brien yesterday launched the new policy entitled ‘Housing for All – a New Housing Plan for Ireland’. This is the government’s housing plan to 2030. It is a multi-annual, multi-billion euro plan which will improve Ireland’s housing system and deliver more homes of all types for people with different housing needs. The government’s vision for the housing system over the longer term is to achieve a steady supply of housing in the right locations with economic, social and environmental sustainability built into the system. Housing for All contains 213 actions which will deliver a range of housing options for individuals, couples and families. The pathways contain actions to be taken by government departments, local authorities, State agencies and others. It is estimated that Ireland will need an average of 33,000 new homes to be provided each year from 2021 to 2030. The proposals in the strategy will replace the Rebuilding Ireland strategy.

The Housing For All strategy has four pathways to achieving housing for all:
•            supporting home ownership and increasing affordability
•            eradicating homelessness, increasing social housing delivery and supporting social inclusion
•            increasing new housing supply
•            addressing vacancy and efficient use of existing stock

Pathway 2: “Eradicating Homelessness, Increasing Social Housing Delivery and Supporting Social Inclusion” includes the provision to “deliver a range of housing and related support services in an integrated and sustainable manner which promote equal opportunity individual choice and independent living for people with a disability”

Pathway two aims to “Increase and improve housing options and supports for people with a disability” and housing policy objective 7.1 to 7.6 outlines the following:
7.1 Deliver a new National Housing Strategy for People with a Disability (2022 – 2027) following stakeholder and public consultation and with a range of actions which will detail co-ordination and alignment of housing, health and community supports

7.2 Local Authority Housing Delivery Action Plans will set out how dedicated social housing provision appropriate to the needs of people with a disability will be delivered matching the scale and extent of housing need identified for people with a disability

7.3 Local Authorities will consider the housing needs of people with a disability through the Housing Need and Demand Assessment Framework and feed that into their Housing Strategies as part of their Development Plan process

7.4 Review the range of housing grants available to assist with meeting specific housing needs, including the Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability, and implement relevant changes

7.5 Nominate Disability Friendly Housing Technical Advisors in each Local Authority

7.6 Housing and Disability Steering Groups will report quarterly on the implementation of their local strategic plans regarding housing for people with a disability to the Chief Executive and the Strategic Policy Committee.

The previous strategy “Rebuilding Ireland” which was rolled over to 2020 only mentioned disabled people so ILMI welcomes the involvement of disabled people in this strategy (see objective 7.1 to 7.6).

Pathway two acknowledges the additional crisis that disabled people face in relation to housing. However, there is no clear message that the overall investment in Housing For all will deliver for disabled people. For example the strategy lacks on specific targets and implementation of housing options and supports for disabled people. ILMI believes that “Housing For All” needed to have a commitment to say 10% of all housing using public funds should have been ring fenced for disabled people. We welcome towards the end of this year the launch of the new “National Housing Strategy for Disabled People 2022 – 2027”. The development of this strategy will be the driver for achieving targets, including mechanisms to monitor implementation of the plan by disabled people at a local level. ILMI as a national DPO will continue to work with disabled people to ensure their voices are heard in all policy spaces involving their lives. Read more on Housing For All HERE 

Nothing About Us, Without Us!

ILMI Housing Network

IMAGE: Screenshot of the ILMI Housing Network Meeting

In our ILMI housing network this morning we had ILMI CEO Damien Walshe delivering the 3rd of a series of sessions on “Representation and Participation”. Today the group discussed “Negotiation and conflict”.

The ILMI CREATE Project Update

IMAGE: screenshot of the Create class in action via Zoom

The CREATE project focused on the nuts and bolts of everyone’s employment journey, focusing on the practical aspects of Jobseeking and CV writing.

This week we welcomed guest speaker Richie Smith who spoke to the CREATE members about eight important ideas and techniques that can boost your prospects. This includes taking a more focused approach to employment opportunities, where you target specific jobs that you want. Really take your time researching and preparing for a few applications, rather than applying for many jobs at a time.

The next session we were joined by Mary Doyle from Rocket Girl Coaching who delivered the first of three workshops about CV preparation, Job applications, and Interviews. The in-depth informative workshop focused on CV preparation and looked at the structure of a CV, key information to include, and, very importantly, communicating your strengths, skills and values.

Thank you to Richie and Mary for joining CREATE this week and for sharing your knowledge and experience with us.

ILMI’s CREATE 1-to-1, Group Coaching, Skills Workshops & Peer Mentoring October programme is open for candidates to register right now! We want to hear from disabled people who are interested in starting their employment journey for the first time, or have limited experience of work, education and training please email for more information and to sign up

Youth Work Ireland’s YES Project and ILMI

IMAGE: poster in red with the words” Youth Work Ireland’s YES Project and ILMI: More often than not, young disabled people are left out of the conversation when it comes to sexual health and reproductive education. Not anymore ILMI and Youth Work Ireland (YWI) have partnered up to offer a series of youth sexual health and reproductive education spaces starting in October! Register now space limited: or give him a call on 087 7198521” and ILMI YWI logos.

More often than not, young disabled people are left out of the conversation when it comes to sexual health and reproductive education. Or the whole focus is on our impairments being a major issue – an obstacle to us being treated like our nondisabled peers or learning and discussing what they are discussing. Well, you know what – not anymore.

ILMI and Youth Work Ireland (YWI) have partnered up to offer a series of youth sexual health and reproductive education spaces starting in October! YWI’s Tracey McArdle delivered a taster workshop recently to ILMI’s Onside Youth Camp gang during the summer and it was tremendous, building on this we are delighted that Tracey is going to deliver the interactive workshops for young disabled people (18+).
The Yes Project is a Europe wide initiative to provide young people with empowering sexual health and reproductive education in a community setting and it will cover three topics:

1.           Sexuality Identity and Healthy Relationships
2.           Communicating Consent
3.           Wider Influences and Decision Making

We will have more info to share in the next few days but if you want to find out more or register your interest in taking part (spaces will be limited, so get moving), then contact James at or give him a call on 087 7198521

Croí Glan Integrated Dance Company premiere their latest work In Place in the unique courtyard setting of IMMA, Dublin. Comprising solo and a duet choreography, specially commissioned music, costume and lighting, In Place is an aural and visual feast for the senses.

16/ 17/ 18/ 19 September 2021 at 8.00pm Courtyard IMMA
For tickets and more information click here, an experience not to be missed!

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 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

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


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 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  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 “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.

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:  | Facebook | Twitter



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

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 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

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 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
Cavan: Mark McCollum
Leitrim: Audrey Wilson
Sligo : Fiona Brennan
Donegal: Contact Orla  Beirne
Monaghan: Edel McGinley

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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


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: – 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

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 and a Word version here
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 

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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 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 

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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

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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

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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

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

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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

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

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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:

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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:
  • By post: if you require a hard-copy version of the survey, please contact Behaviour & Attitudes at 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  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