ILMI eBulletin November 18th 2022

ILMI Logo Independent Living Movement Ireland. Freedom Rights Empowerment

ILMI Strategic Planning Process: Space for Members 24th Nov 11am to 1pm

IMAGE: poster with text that reads “ILMI Strategic Planning Process: Space for Members 24th Nov 11am to 1pm” email to register” and the ILMI Logo

ILMI’s current Strategic Plan outlines the core objectives of the organisation which informs how we work and what we work on. This plan finishes at the end of 2022. To develop a new strategic plan, ILMI is working with Values Lab to develop a new strategic plan to map out the objectives for ILMI as a DPO from 2023 to 2026.

As a grassroots DPO it is vital that we create ways for disabled activists who are involved in ILMI to shape our work. To begin that process we are hosting an online collective discussion for disabled people to inform the development of a new plan. We want to reflect on the successes and challenges for ILMI in the last three years and begin to identify how and what we need to strategically focus on for the next four years.

This workshop will be led by Values Lab, who will record key information to inform the new ILMI plan. To register, email

Sligo DPO

IMAGE: photo show a group of 6 people standing and 4 people sitting in front, all with broad smiles.

It was a busy day for Sligo DPO, with the second HSE consultation followed by Sligo DPO AGM. The HSE consultation workshop was focused on examining “what are the benefits and costs of supports we would need as disabled people to have a voice heard by HSE managers and staff.” The consultation was facilitated by ILM’s Peter Kearns and Claire Kenny. This will inform the development of a guidance document currently being developed by Inclusion Ireland and ILMI. After a tea break, Sligo’s first AGM happened. A very productive meeting took place.
Thanks to all that attended looking forward to future meetings

ILMI VOICE Project Cork

IMAGE: screenshot of a presentation slide from Uplift with text that reads “Uproot:  series designed for community leaders who are interested in growing campaign skills and leadership potential.” and the UPLIFT Logo

Cork VOICE are delighted to announce that Uplift – People Powered Change will be working with our online platform for three sessions, sharing their knowledge and tips for running campaigns. UPLIFT is a people-powered campaigning community who take coordinated action for progressive change across Ireland. They are a self-supporting independent organisation who believe that working together towards a common goal can create a better society and determine the type of society that we live in. Their campaigns are informed by their shared values; to promote social justice, defend fairness and protect our rights, preserve the planet and to deepen democracy. Using digital tools and a variety of campaigning strategies, UPLIFT members participate and take action to advance Uplift campaigns. The 1st session is on the 1st December. To find out more about Cork VOICE and the UPLIFT sessions, ring/text Nicola on 087 7189237 or email

The ILMI VOICE Kilkenny Project Update

IMAGE: screenshot of introductory slide for Kilkenny presentation and members of the group

On Monday 14 November, ILMI VOICE Project development officer Kilkenny Paula Soraghan had another workshop. Martina Ellis from National Advocacy Service Kilkenny was the guest speaker.

This is very important for VOICE, because disabled people are learning about advocacy and the importance of NAS in Kilkenny.

The workshop was very beneficial to VOICE Kilkenny because participants are learning about services in their communities that focus on disability rights and how disabled people become empowered. They are realising that barriers that we face are what disabled people have in common, not our conditions/impairment.

Martina spoke about case real life case studies where NAS has supported disabled people to have their voices heard around issues they face, as well as the importance of disabled people understanding that they have choice when using health services and housing.
Disabled people being protected by professionals can be problematic because it stops them from taking risks and making mistakes, which are a part of being an adult.

The workshops will continue on Monday, 21 November from 6-7pm and will run for another three weeks.

To find out more, please contact Paula by email:, or call/text Paula on 087 163 0433.

Atlantic Technological University Sligo (ATU) /St. Angela’s College Disability Equality Studies Graduation photo – Fri. 11th Nov. 2022

IMAGE: photo shows ILMI’s Peter Kearns and ATU’s Susan Carton with broad smiles wearing cap and gowns

Disability Equality Studies allow us to understand disability in a different way; as a positive social and political identity, rather than a health issue or something to be ‘fixed’ or arouse sympathy. The study of ‘disability’ is inextricably linked to the concept of ‘equality’, and for ILMI the promotion of ideas and concepts around Disability Equality led by the social model. The first Disability Equality Masters and Diploma graduates from the new Atlantic Technological University (ATU) enjoyed their well earned post-Grad rolls at Sligo’s Knocknarea Arena this month. ILMI’s scholarship partnership with ATU St. Angela’s College Sligo has a number of ILMI members and staff who are currently studying hard with disabled lecturers on the various post-Grad levels towards becoming Disability Equality scholars.

ILMI staff and member Peter Kearns scrubbed-up with a shirt & tie and swished around in his lecturer black-cloak at the Sligo graduation and was delighted to see disabled scholars getting their Masters with their non-disabled peers. Peter, who is a lecturer with ATU Disability Equality Studies, is constantly promoting the Course as may be of interest to disabled people in Ireland, or people currently working in the disability, community, health and social care sectors. Peter also suggests that people working for, or living with, disabled people may also be interested in the post-grad MA or Diploma or Cert. programme.
The three-year Masters, two-year Diploma and one-year Cert aims to provide Post-Graduate students with an appreciation of identifying, analysing and communicating the social model Lived Experience of Disability in 21st century Ireland as a genuine subject for exploration related to the contemporary Irish experience of disabled people and DPO activists. The many new and unique Modules developed by course colleagues Susan Carton, Peter Kearns & Dr Colin Cameron also explore impairment narrative & perceived narrative discourse and how we can transform the multitude of social and cultural barriers. ILMI’s ONSIDE Coordinator and Course lecturer Peter Kearns looks forward to this year’s, and subsequent years, graduates “becoming active-scholars in demonstrating the need to capacity build on the social model go out into mainstream Irish Society to design. Implement and evaluate its links with rights, disability equality and ideas of empowerment”. A current Masters student on the social model led course and ILMI member & staff said that “Disability Studies at St. Angela’s College is a provocative, enthralling and most importantly, a hugely educational experience for students hoping to learn about disability equality. Students are guaranteed to question their previously formed beliefs around the subject of disability”.

‘Planning 4 All’

IMAGE: Paula standing with a group of students and the ILMI Logo is being projected behind them.

On Friday 11 November, ILMI’s Paula Soraghan gave a presentation to TU Dublin final year students. The group are future planners and the presentation was for Planning Week, with this year’s theme being ‘Planning 4 All’

Paula spoke about the importance of planners engaging with DPOs and disabled people. This is a vital issue in communities as disabled people’s voices are not heard in these conversations.

Paula highlighted the importance of the UNCRPD, Article 9 and by planners understanding its role in planning, it will make their jobs easier.

Paula told the group that by disabled people and planners working collaboratively, there will be accessible communities for everyone in the future

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