ILMI eBulletin November 11th 2022

ILMI Logo Independent Living Movement Ireland. Freedom Rights Empowerment


IMAGE: Zoom screenshot of Dr Rosaleen McDonagh and Christian O’Reilly

On Tuesday 8th of November ILMI had a truly wonderful session. It was like an overheard conversation between two old friends. Intimate, warm, funny at times and very very real.

Huge thanks to Smashing It with Dr Rosaleen McDonagh and Christian O’Reilly, A Masterclass in the inner workings of two truly artistic spirits – many messages but embrace the shame, embrace the fear, embrace the pain because then, they have no power over you!

Thank you to everyone who attended.

SMASHING IT: Disabled People tearing up the script in the 21st century

IMAGE: photo shows Samantha Renke a young white woman, glamorous blonde, smiling, seated in her wheelchair in a blue peacock inspired b oho chic style flowing dress

Over the month of November ILMI will have Zoom sessions with some very well-known Disabled Actors, Writers, Artists, Journalists and Comedians talking about their work, what drives them and their brand of Activism. Something for everyone and a series of sessions you do not want to miss!

Session three: ILMI proudly presents Samantha Renke in conversation with Paula Soraghan.

Author of “You Are The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread”- Actress, broadcaster and activist Sam Renke brings you her no-holds-barred look at life and plenty of advice, which will inspire you to live boldly and follow your dreams.” More info here 
Monday the 14th November at 7pm via Zoom
Be part of the audience, email

IHREC’s ‘Achieving Gender Equality in the Workforce’

IMAGE: shows (left to right) ILMI’s Paula Soraghan & Fiona Weldon

It was fantastic for ILMI to be represented by two strong disabled women at IHREC’s ‘Achieving Gender Equality in the Workforce’ conference.

ILMI’s Fiona Weldon spoke on the Panel discussing Disabled People, Older People & Care.

Quite an in-depth poignant conversation, but in a nutshell  how ‘care’ is a loaded term for disabled people and that expectations are extremely low for disabled women in terms of employment.

There are real tangible barriers that disabled women face in employment, altogether at once or at different times over the lifetime of one’s career. They can include ableist attitudes, wage subsidies and lack of personal assistance supports. Fiona has a wealth of lived experience in this area and stressed the importance of genuine inclusion of disabled people in society. Disabled women lead fulfilling lives when given the chance and having appropriate supports, we are talented people who are valuable employees.

Disability is not something a person has, it is something that is done to someone with an impairment label by society in the form of ableist attitudes, inaccessible built environments and policies that do not include the authentic voices of disabled people.

We are mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, aunts, friends and colleagues. The biggest barriers that disabled people face are discrimination and ableist attitudes. We need to be treated equal to non disabled women.

Leitrim DPO drama & disability advocacy workshops

IMAGE: photo of the group sitting around a small table having a discussion

Leitrim DPO drama & disability advocacy workshops with ILMI’s Peter Kearns at Manorhamilton Glens Arts Centre yesterday Tuesday the 8th of November.
Drama can be used to guide disabled people to be self-advocates and advocates for others. They, in turn, can use drama techniques to help peers build their self-esteem and communication abilities in order to stand up for themselves. Inclusion and equality can be explored freely and in-depth through the means of drama in a empowering way as you are able to learn from scenarios (in a “safe” peer led space) you may experience in your everyday life but thought you must simply endure rather than question.

SFC Update

In our 3rd last SFC Session we had Laurence Cox come and talk to us about the Role of Social Movements in Collective Activism. At the very CORE of every Social Movement is Conflict; about money, about power, about cultural norms or a combination of all THREE.

Conflict with our Government, its laws and policies that systematically excludes a group of people – in this case disabled people. Our CONFLICT is with dominant social values of who is “normal versus who is not (abnormal)”, “ability (doing things for yourself by yourself versus a “perceived dependence on others (we need looking after and special structures)” and “power (non-disabled political and medical professionals) versus perceived powerlessness (about “what is wrong with disabled people”).

So why Should Movements such as the Disability Movement Exist?

Collectively We Need to Tackle:

Oppression, exploitation, and cultural stigmatisation.

Official structures, laws, policies, institutions and normal procedures that do not work the way they should or the way we hope – in part because of underlying interests involved in oppression.

The reality of powerful groups do not want to:

End oppression.

Wealthy groups don’t want to end exploitation.

Culturally respected groups don’t want to end stigma.


Video links to support article:

Handicapism 1979

A Brief But Spectacular take on the disability rights movement 

My Body Doesn’t Oppress Me, Society Does

Intro to Social Movement Theory

Sligo’s Disabled Persons Organisation (DPO)

IMAGE: Poster for the event with text detailed below

Sligo’s Disabled Persons Organisation (DPO) is holding an event workshop on implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) into Sligo, this workshop will also coincide with International Disabled Day on the 3rd of December.

This will take place on the 9th of December @2pm until 3:30 pm in the Northside Community Centre, Sligo.

Peter Kearns from ILMI will present the workshop

The workshop will be all about implementing the UNCRPD at a local level with the involvement of TD’s, Cllr’s, and Sligo’s DPO.

For more information email: Mark Kupczak on

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