ILMI eBulletin 31st of May 2024    

ILMI Logo Independent Living Movement Ireland. Freedom Rights Empowerment

In this issue:
Social Inclusion Forum
ILMI Training
ILMI and Paralympics Ireland
ILMI in the
Open Consultations

Social Inclusion Forum
IMAGE: photo shows ILMI's Paula Soraghan and James Casey at event

ILMI were part of the Social Inclusion Forum dialogue facilitated by The Department of Social Protection. Paula and James gave a presentation on the social Inclusion of disabled people and the vital role of co-implementation of policy. There was a vibrant discussion from the people in the workshop with the recommended outputs for the continued need for DPOs, the importance of public sector duty for disabled people towards mainstream supports and services and the requirement that policy makers recognise, fund and utilise collective movements like DPOs. Many thanks to the organisers, Dept and workshop participants.

IMAGE: photo shows six people in a classroom setting 

This week, Nicola was delighted to bring the VOICE roadshow to Moorehaven in Tipperary town where she met with a group of young disabled people attending the Moorehaven hub.  Nicola spoke about the benefits of joining an online platform where they could make peer connections and avail of capacity building through training inputs delivered by ILMI staff and guest speakers. They discussed how a DPO (Disabled Person’s Organisation) in Tipperary might work to address the barriers in their local community.

If you are a disabled person living in Tipperary and would like to hear more about VOICE, contact Nicola on 087 7189237 or email

ILMI Training
IMAGE: screenshot of the group in action

In our 4th DET session, we delved into the topic of collective activism and the importance of singing from the same hymn sheet for real change to happen. The first step is stepping away from believing that disabled people are the problem. We must become social model thinkers and shake off the baggage of living in an ablest society. This means reclaiming our power, connecting with peers, and engaging in ILMI spaces and other platforms. Use the “fire in your belly” to fight for your rights and the rights of all disabled people to live fully as rights holders and Irish citizens.

Reflecting on the course, one participant noted, “It was a confidence booster, I know now what I felt wasn’t wrong, it is the system that’s wrong. I feel energised,” while another shared, “I don’t feel as isolated as before, it’s good to meet a group of people who can work together.” We are all in this together. Watch out in the coming weeks to hear more from this group.

ILMI and Paralympics Ireland
IMAGE: photo shows the board of Paralympics Ireland

On the 21st of May the Board of Paralympics Ireland completed a one-day Disability Equality Training Workshop. Our agenda was packed and by the end of the day members of the board were “definitely thinking about the importance of the social model and the premise of being consciously aware of the language they use” across all media platforms. Topics covered included; the difference between the Medical Model of Disability, its key concepts and the language that stem from the model
And the Social Model of Disability, its key concepts and the language that stem from the model. We then explored Unconscious Bias, Ableism and Inspirational Porn.

Brilliant Noteworthy article in the on the lack of diversity in political representation, featuring ILMI Chairperson Des Kenny.

Des Kenny, chair of Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI) said that Irish MEPs are supportive of issues they raise, but the voice of disabled people is missing.

He said that MEPs in general often look at the bigger global picture when it comes to disability, but a disabled MEP would examine the minutiae of an issue impacting their community and work on its various aspects of development.

He compared this to looking at a knitting pattern and said “if you’re a disabled person you’re actually going to take to time to knit it”.

Quotas are one tool but practical support is also needed in order to empower political ambitions and remove existing barriers.

In addition to accessibility issues facing disabled people, including not being able to go to certain meetings due to their location upstairs or with difficult access, many face extra costs to run for election.

According to ILMI, this could be personal assistance service hours to perform specific tasks such as driving a car or providing guidance from door to door, and in the case of deaf candidates, sign language interpreters for meetings and canvassing.
Kenny said there is funding in place for disabled people in some other countries to participate in elections.

These funds operated in the UK in the past, with the ‘Access to Elected Office Fund’ running up to 2022 in Scotland and an ‘EnAble Fund’ worth £250,000 open from 2018 to 2020 in England.
A report on the previous version of the English fund up to 2015 found that the average value of grants paid was £4,455. Most of the funding went towards support workers and sign language interpreters.

Full article on this link

Open Consultations

Night Time Economy Accessibility Survey
This survey is being conducted on behalf of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

The purpose of the survey is to understand how disabled people experience night life in Ireland.

If the Night-Time Economy is to be truly inclusive and diverse it is imperative that we examine the current challenges for people and disabled Artists and those with the ID impairment label in order to find solutions together on how we deliver this objective.

This research, has been developed in consultation with individuals and organisations from these communities. We really appreciate and sincerely thank everyone who took the time to assist us in this regard.

This survey is open until June 10th 2024 all details on this link 

Consultations for the National LGBTI+ Inclusion Strategy
The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth is developing a successor strategy to the National LGBTI+ Inclusion Strategy (2019-2021) to promote inclusion, protect rights and to improve quality of life and wellbeing for LGBTI+ people; enabling them to participate fully in Ireland’s social, economic, cultural, and political life.

As part of this process the Department wants to gather the views of members of the LGBTIQ+ community and those who engage with LGBTIQ+ issues through their own lived experience, at a local level, in a manner that will contribute most effectively to the development of a new whole of lifecycle strategy.

A series of regional consultation workshops will be facilitated by key LGBT experts – Dr Grainne Healy and Dr Kathy Walsh, in partnership with LGBT Ireland. The regional consultations are aimed at those aged 18 and over. A separate consultation process will take place with children and young people.

Please follow the relevant link to the register your interest in attending a consultation and to detail any accessibility requirements. Please note that ISL interpretation will only be available at the online consultation workshop on 2nd July.

All details on this 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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