In This Issue:
SFC Employment Working Group
Joint Committee on Assisted Dying
Opinion piece in the Journal
National Disability Strategy survey
Disabled People and Employment Opportunities: Developing a DPO analysis of how systems need to change!
IMAGE: text reads “Systems need to change” in a text message format coming from ILMI, over a close up photo of a man in a suit holding plans using a wheelchair
Developing an ILMI vision for systems change in Employment
From January 2024, LMI is creating online cross-impairment thematic discussion spaces to develop our own vision for employment.
What the Green Paper discussions on social welfare changes and employment for disabled people demonstrated was the need for ILMI as a DPO need our own long-term vision that is based on the lived experience of disabled people for what systems should look like.
What is the need?
There is an absence of a DPO- led discussion on what actually needs to happen on a systems level to increase the participation of disabled people in employment. The Comprehensive Employment Strategy 2015 to 2024 was developed in a completely different context, where no collective spaces for disabled people existed (DPOs) for disabled people to develop their own analysis of what didn’t work, what would work and how disabled people would be part of building inclusive systems and supports.
What are we going to do? How will this work and what will we develop?
- We will create spaces for disabled people to move from how dysfunctional the system currently is towards disabled people identifying based on their expertise on how the system should change
- We will build a shared analysis for disabled people to bring to politicians and policy makers on real systems change for disabled people in relation to employment
- We will build a DPO led the narrative on how thing needed to change on clear but interlinked themes that show the complexity of employment.
Thematic discussions: Sign up to have your voice heard:
Working with the Strategies For Change employment working group, ILMI has identified themes that need to be explored to build a shared analysis on to inform an employment system that works for disabled people.
Themes and dates for discussions are as follows:
- ILMI Employment Strategy: A Call to get involved. What is this campaign? Why are ILMI doing this? When will this happen? And how will it be managed? January Wednesday 24th 12 noon to 2pm
- Expectations for disabled people in Primary and Post- Primary education; including Career Guidance and disabled people; the role of SNAs and Teacher training colleges and teacher expectations (including in-service training) January Tuesday 30th January 12 noon to 2pm
- Parental expectations (including education and employment) Thursday 1st February 12 noon to 2pm
- Experiences of further education and training; Tuesday 6th February 7pm to 9pm
- Peer support and internalised barriers Thursday 8th February 7pm to 9pm
- Mainstream employment services; including employment activation programmes such as CE, Tus and SICAP Tuesday 13th February 12 noon to 2pm
- Access to information on benefits and pathways; including reasonable accommodations and supports in employment; Thursday 15th February 12 noon to 2pm
- Role of entrepreneurs / business start-up supports for disabled people Tuesday 29th February 12 noon to 2pm
- Employment and cost of disability Tuesday March 5th 12 noon to 2pm
- Mainstream mentoring programmes (including within large corporations CSR) Thursday 7th March 12 noon to 2pm
All these discussions will take place on Zoom and be facilitated to develop collective analysis of how systems should be designed, built and resourced to realise disabled people’s potential in employment. These discussions will be guided by ILMI’s core values of human rights, collective empowerment and social justice.
What will this process deliver?
- ILMI will have its own vision for systems change to build expectations for disabled people in accessing employment.
- ILMI will have an analysis on what needs to change on different levels.
- ILMI can share this analysis with disabled people to inform local and national policy discussions (especially in relation to a new CRPD implantation strategy)
- ILMI can focus on key thematic policy issues under our Social Justice value in our new strategic plan to take strategic actions.
To register for specific thematic discussions, email email@example.com with the discussion you wish to attend.
You can also register to be on a mailing list for all discussions and opt in as suits your time.
These spaces are for disabled people only.
For disabled people who are unable to attend discussions, we will facilitate ways for people to feed in their thoughts to contribute to this ILMI process.
SFC Employment Working Group
IMAGE: Screenshot of group
One of ILMI’s most remarkable achievements over the three years has been the ground-breaking Strategies for Change course. It was designed to equip the participants (all disabled people) with the skills and knowledge to work collectively as activists and achieve change. The graduates have utilised their learning by establishing working groups that focus on a particular topic that disabled people have to contend with. One of the themes that emerged was employment, a subject that has many facets but the members of the employment working group were determined to work together to address some of the issues related to this topic and produce something of tangible benefit for all disabled people.
The working group recognised many of the barriers that disabled people encountered when trying to find employment, but they realised no one had ever directly asked disabled people what would the perfect suite of employment supports would like.
Now, The working group are very excited to see ILMI undertake the first intensive consultation with disabled people, an opportunity for people to articulate their vision of the type of employment supports that would really meet their needs. This process starts on the 24th of January until the 7th of March, each online meeting focuses on a particular topic and all the information will be compiled into a document which will be presented to relevant stakeholders.
Joint Committee on Assisted Dying met on the topic of “engaging with disabled people”
IMAGE Screenshot of Peter Kearns
Peter Kearns, a disabled activist, artist, and DPO development officer with the Independent Living Movement Ireland, expressed significant concerns about assisted dying at the Joint Committee on Assisted Dying. He highlighted the apprehension among disabled people, emphasising that the consideration of assisted dying comes at a time when they lack essential supports for leading fulfilling lives. Kearns cautioned that the introduction of assisted dying could lead disabled people to perceive themselves as burdens due to insufficient support. He urged the committee to focus on providing necessary practical, emotional, and medical support for disabled people to lead dignified lives, emphasising the importance of choice, control, and agency throughout their our course.
Video link is here
Opening statement, Peter Kearns, DPO Development officer, Independent Living Movement of Ireland (ILMI) link is here
RTE Article “Disabled people have ‘huge concerns’ around assisted dying, committee hears” link is here
IMAGE: poster for VOICE Coaching sessions detailed below
Exciting updates and upcoming events!
Come along to get involved!
On Tuesday, 23 January from 7-8pm via Zoom, the newest member of the VOICE team, Colm Whooley will talk about his role as VOICE Peer Mentor/Coach. Colm will explain how the process of Coaching works and answer any questions you may have. There will be opportunities to avail of a one-to-one coaching service.
The ILMI VOICE team will also outline how the project promotes the empowerment of disabled people and how you can get involved.
On Wednesday, 7 February from 2.30-3.30pm via Zoom, there will be an online consultation on the Green Paper. The session will be hosted by ILMI’s DPO development Officer, Peter Kearns. This will be a vital opportunity for any disabled people living in Kilkenny, Carlow, Cork, Kerry, Tipperary, Wexford or Waterford to have their voices heard on this significant proposal!
The VOICE Team will also be starting a five-week series of workshops on the 13th February that might be of interest to you. VOICE is a cross impairment space, so all disabled people over the age of 16 are welcome. The sessions take place on Zoom every Tuesday for five weeks from 7-8pm.
If you don’t feel confident about participating online, we can support you with training and we have a limited number of tablets that can be provided, if access to technology is an issue for any disabled person in Cork, Tipperary, Wexford or Waterford.
If you would like to register for the online session, please contact Nicola Meacle, VOICE Community Development worker for Cork and Tipperary, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone her on 087 7189237.
If you live in Waterford or Wexford, please contact Paula Soraghan, VOICE Community Development worker for those counties at email@example.com or phone her on 087 1630433.
Opinion piece in the Journal
Housing has always been a crisis for disabled people with thousands without a home
Jacqui Browne writes how Disabled Persons Organisations (DPOs) can bring about policies to give disabled people choice and control over their lives.
“Why do we as a country continue to ‘throw good money after bad’?
It goes back to who is sitting around the table and setting the agenda for what disabled people actually want and need.”
Full article here
National Disability Strategy
The NDA invite you to complete a short survey that will help shape the new National Disability Strategy. The survey will remain open until February 11 and is available in English, Irish, Easy to Read and a screen reader compatible version. Visit here for the links.
This survey is part of a wider consultation process that is explained further here