ILMI eBulletin 24th of May 2024    

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ILMI eBulletin
ILMI eBulletin 24th of May 2024    

Sligo CoCo Disability Strategic ‘Launch’
Image: photo show the DPO members in the chambers

The Cathaoirleach, ILMI, Sligo DPO and the Council’s Disability Consultative Committee launched the Sligo County Council’s Disability, Inclusion and Access Strategy 2024-2027 at County Hall on Thursday 16th May 2024. The Disability, Inclusion and Access Strategy 2024-2027 builds upon and reaffirms the Council’s commitment to adopt the Social Model of Disability which was first adopted by Sligo County Council in 2018 and introduced in the Council’s outgoing Strategy for the period 2019-2022. The Strategy and its Action Plan, that was designed and social model proofed by ILMI’s local DPO Development Officer and members of Sligo DPO, includes actions to be delivered by all sections of the Council in the role out of its services over the period 2024-2027. Sligo DPO’s Chair Mark Kupczak and ILMI’s NW based Peter Kearns will be keeping in-check with members of the local DPO that the Council’s Disability Consultative Committee has effective monitoring and evaluation mechanisms in practice over the next four years to see a genuine role-out of the Strategy’s objectives for & with Sligo county and towns disabled people.

Action Plan for Disability Services 2024-2026
IMAGE: Shelly with Ministers Roderic O’Gorman and Anne Rabbitte

Shelly Gaynor, ILMI peer mentor, was part of the DPO Network delegation at a stakeholder event for the Action Plan for Disability Services 2024-2026. The event was attended by Ministers Roderic O’Gorman and Anne Rabbitte. DPO Network chair Jacqui Browne gave an analysis of the Action Plan from a DPO Network perspective, including the need for active involvement of DPOs. Jacqui also stressed the need to name barriers to implementing Transforming Lives implementation.

This stakeholder event brought together a diverse array of stakeholders from DPOs, service provider organisations, government departments, and statutory bodies. The purpose of the gathering was to discuss the implementation of the Action Plan and to drive its reform agenda forward, focusing on enhancing capacity in specialist disability services and ensuring sustainability in service delivery. Shelly’s participation underscored ILMI and the DPO Network commitment to advocating for the needs and rights of disabled people, ensuring our voices are heard and our perspectives are central to the ongoing reform in disability services in Ireland.

Sustainable Transport Forum
IMAGE: Claire Kenny and Minister Eamon Ryan

ILMI’s Claire Kenny represented us at the Sustainable Transport Forum in Portlaoise. As members of the forum, ILMI actively contributes to ensuring that all public and active travel measures and projects are accessible and inclusive for everyone.

ILMI Anti-Poverty partnership in Galway
IMAGE: photo shows a group of 18 people including ILMI's Nicola and Peter with the ILMI banner 

ILMI is a strong supporter of the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) and our DPO Development Officer Peter Kearns is ILMI’s EAPN Board Director rep and is supporting other community organisation reps with staff & volunteer Disability Equality Training (DET) towards their increasing dialogue with local ILMI supported DPOs. This month Peter delivered a full day of DET workshops to COPE Galway, which is an EAPN member and local Galway community development organisation that has been providing social services in Galway since the 1970s. ILMI is happy to support Galway COPE with helping us to develop a future Galway DPO, as they offer support services for individuals and families who are affected homelessness, especially women and children experiencing domestic abuse and older people in the community, and have seen a major increasing in disabled adults accessing their community development led services.

ILMI’s packed day long workshop included COPE managers and support staff of social care professionals, childcare workers, community support workers, chefs and administrative support staff. ILMI were also delighted that staff from Galway International Arts Festival (GIAF) joined the Westside Resource Centre workshops to engage with our producing support of Christian O’Reilly’s new disability play UNSPEAKABLE-CONVERSATIONS which runs at the July GIAF from July 14th to 27th. ILMI will be hosting a workshop for Galway disabled people to explore current proposed Dail recommendations favouring Assisted-Suicide and eugenics legislation, issues that are at the core of Christian’s new play with disabled actors Liz Carr & Mat Frazer, at the Westside Resource Centre on Tuesday 23rd July at 2pm – Please email Peter to register at

Disability Equality Session Update
 IMAGE: Crippen cartoon explaining the social model 

As part of our Strategic Values, ILMI is committed to creating spaces to build our collective shared analysis.

Fiona Weldon, ILMI Capacity Development Officer, has designed an online Disability Equality programme over four sessions for ILMI members to explore key ideas around disability.

In our last two Disability Equality Sessions we explored the many conflicts that Disabled People have when engaging with the Social Model of Disability. We are “forced into the trap of using the medical model of disability (what’s wrong with us) when applying or reapplying for a service or an assistive /adaptive device that we need to support us to live our life. Know that our support services – many of them “specialised” are not in the business of dismantling barriers. Services are cemented in keeping us from reaching our full potential.

Non-disabled professionals are in charge of assessing the functional capacity of a person in order to fit into the ever-changing criteria that is dependent of both the resources available and how bad a person’s impairment is to qualify for the most basic of things. We also chatted about how difficult it is to buy into the social model when Ableism is endemic in Irish society.

We had a lively discussion about the effects this has on the lives of Disabled People. It was unanimous that there needs to be a national campaign to change the narrative – SOCIETY IS THE PROBLEM, SOCIETY NEEDS TO CHANGE. DISABLED PEOPLE HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS AS NON-DISABLED PEOPLE – OUR LIVES MATTER!
We ended with a conversation about the Great Debate – using the term People with Disabilities “V” Disabled People.

What is Wrong with Using the Term – People with Disabilities

If we believe that a disability is the same as an impairment, then we might use “people with disabilities”. Meaning that the “problem” of ‘disability’ resides within the person.

If we believe that disability is separate from an impairment, then we would use “disabled people”. Meaning that the “problem” of “disability” resides within society (in the surmountable barriers that Disabled People experience when trying to participate in the ordinary rhythms of daily life).

The consequences of continuing to use “people with disabilities” allows those in “power” to avoid the reality that societal change could alter the experience of being a Disabled Person.

As a power-broker, it is much easier to continue to view “disability” as a problem of the disabled, rather than to accept that it is a problem created by the many man-made systems and structures that exclude us from taking part in the ordinary rhythms of life.

What’s Right with the term Disabled People

It clearly reflects the separation of impairment and disability. It shifts the focus from the person onto society. It allows us to reconsider “disability” as a social oppression, rather than a personal tragedy.

It also allows Disabled People to move away from having a spoiled identity, of being devalued, of being a burden on society. We need to move towards recognising our many identities (we are more than our impairments) taking into account our intersectionality and collectively strategise for change. Disability is a political issue, and using our lived experience as a driver for change is imperative.

Patient and Public Partnership network
Join the NSS’ Patient and Public Partnership network and have your say in shaping health services
What do Patient and Public Partnership (PPP) network members do?
The National Screening Service has four screening programmes. They are BreastCheck, BowelScreen, CervicalCheck and Diabetic RetinaScreen (an eye disease linked to diabetes). Working in partnership with HSE, PPPs:
More information on this link

 IMAGE: poster with link 

Why not explore the wealth of resources available to you on our website: from our strategic plan to our  invaluable SFC resources and our policy documents and submissions. At our core, we’re a cross-impairment disabled person’s organisation dedicated to tackling the topics that matter most. Let’s continue our journey toward inclusivity and empowerment together!  If you want to know more or sign up and get involved in our work please email




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