ILMI eBulletin March 11th 2022

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

ILMI’s VOICE project update

IMAGE: Screenshot of participants in the Disability Matters Joint Oireachtas committee

Nicola and Paula have been busy connecting with organisations to let them know about the VOICE project. The response has been very positive and Nicola and Paula are busy working toward Online County platforms when the social inclusion aspect is up and running via Zoom. Paula will be piloting the project in Kilkenny and Nicola in Tipperary.

Nicola Meacle & Paula Soraghan attended the Disability Matters Joint Oireachtas committee on Thursday morning. Nicola gave a strong opening statement. The theme was ‘Enabling Financial Independence for women with disabilities’ and Nicola and Paula really emphasized the importance of choice for disabled women’s financial independence and highlighting the systemic barriers that they face. Article 6 of the UNCRPD was highlighted by Nicola. DWI were also present and gave a strong opening statement. It was a great space for DPO representatives to highlight the voices of lived experience on this important issue.

Well done to Paula and Nicola our ILMI representatives at the Joint Oireachtas on Disability Matters: Enabling Financial Independence for Disabled Women event. With our Disabled Women Ireland colleagues Nem and Amy, they highlighted the significant barriers disabled women face, together with the importance of consulting with the voice of lived experience to ensure appropriate solutions and supports are put in place to enable a movement towards real choice for all disabled women.


IMAGE: photo of the “rights based approach” jigsaw pieces presentation

ILMI’s Policy Officer James Cawley spoke at yesterday’s All Ireland Conference on Integrated Care 2022. James presented ‘The Independent Living Jigsaw’ as part of the day’s plenary 2 session. Along with Jacqui Browne, ILMI board member, James also co-facilitated a workshop on the UNCRPD in the afternoon.

The UN Committee on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights

IMAGE: screenshot of participants
In January ILMI made a short submission to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR and were invited to participate in the on-line oral Briefing on Ireland with the Committee members on Wednesday, 9 March 2022. The purpose of this meeting is for civil society representatives to exchange with the Committee members. ILMI’s ONSIDE Project Community Navigator Clive Lowry attended. Issues discussed in relation to disability included independent living, poverty, housing, employment, insufficient health and social services.

International women’s Day Event

IMAGE: screenshot from event featuring Baroness Campbell

When I started in ILMI one of my big aims was to get an insight into behind the scenes of events. I have been lucky enough to have gotten plenty experience about speaking engagements from a guest speaker perspective but I honestly had no idea of all the hard work, organising and meetings that go on behind the scenes to make these events such a success. That is why when I was given the opportunity to join the International Women’s Day organising committee, I jumped at it.

Shelley Gaynor ILMI’s Peer Mentor was such a wonderful MC and did a fantastic job at steering the event. Damien Walshe ILMI CEO spoke at the beginning of the event and set a context that a vital component for International Women’s Day to achieve its aim is for men to also be behind the movement.

The speakers on the night were so brilliant and I genuinely learned a tonne from listening to each of them. I found Blessing Dada’s piece about how she is not afforded the level of care she requires in medical settings because the knowledge that student doctors learn in Ireland is so white-washed so shocking. It reminded me once again how ultra- focused I am on my own experience as a white disabled woman and how oblivious I am too many of the experiences of other disabled women.

As a self- confessed politics nerd I was so excited to have Baroness Jane Campbell speak at our event! It was so interesting but also heart breaking hearing about the many barriers she had to address in order to be “allowed” to have a PA with her in the chamber of the House of Lords. It broke my heart to hear that the British parliamentary system was so (and continues to be) so ableist. Baroness Campbell is clearly such a powerhouse though and I have no doubt that she will continue to battle against the biases she faces for her own sake but also for the sake of other disabled women who wish to enter politics now or in the future. It also made me giddy to think that Baroness Campbell was speaking to us from the actual House of Lords.

I loved what Cathy Reay said about how disabled women are often not encouraged to feel sexy. I 100% agree with the assertion. I thought that her story about her big boobs being ignored as being attractive just because she is below average height so funny but I definitely could not relate to it. When Cathy spoke in depth about her experience of having a period it definitely made me feel very uncomfortable but I am angry at myself that I allowed it to make me feel that way because they are something 50% of the entire population experiences or will experience at some point.

I was struck by Emilie’s words about wanting to be able to be private because I have personally never felt the desire to keep aspects of my disability completely private. Emilie’s poem and her song were so beautiful. She really is so talented and clearly so creative.
Written by Isabel Keane

ILMI would like to sincerely thank the IWD Team for all their hard working in making this year’s event so successful.

ILMI’s Strategies for Change Project Update: The Importance of Understanding Hierarchies

IMAGE: screenshot of the session participants via zoom

Hierarchies are everywhere, they are part and parcel of every society. They are based on a belief that a system (way of working, organising, thinking & living) can be based on some groups being “better” or superior to others”. These are based on systems that classifies and categorise people based on legal, medical, or “scientific” principles.

They are not only used to rank disabled people, but can be used to justify……. Full article on this link


Housing Information Session 15th March

Are you a disabled person who is starting your journey in accessing housing or independent living?

Inclusion Ireland and Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI) are coming together in partnership to host information sessions about accessing housing and independent living supports.

The information sessions will have information and discussion about:
1) Options and steps to applying for housing for disabled people
2) Pathways to steps to accessing a Personal Assistance Service (PAS)
3) Pathways and steps to accessing additional independent living supports
4) Top tips on beginning your journey and advocating for yourself

The information sessions will take place online on Zoom on
Tuesday 15th March at 11am until 1pm (morning) and
Tuesday 15th March at 7pm until 9pm (evening)

Please choose one information session to go to. They will both be the same.  We are running 2 groups so you can go at the time that suits you best.

To register for an information session please contact Alex at Inclusion Ireland at or call 01 8559891

ILMI Culture and Drama

IMAGE: poster with a man looking up a mountain with the words “Your journey starts here, ILMI, The Half Made-Up Drama Collective” and the ILMI logo

Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI) will be hosting a drama & theatre introduction and taster workshop on Tuesday 15th March (11am to 3pm) at our Carmichael House Headquarters in Dublin. Any disabled person from around the country who has an interest or even an acting curiosity, can sign-up for the fun workshop by emailing Peter Kearns at More info on this link  

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