ILMI eBulletin November 4th 2022

ILMI Logo Independent Living Movement Ireland. Freedom Rights Empowerment

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

IMAGE: Poster with text that reads “SMASHING IT with Dr Rosaleen McDonagh”

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 two: ILMI proudly presents Dr Rosaleen McDonagh
Tuesday 8th of November at 7pm via Zoom
Be part of the audience, email

IMAGE: Mat Fraser and Catherine Gallagher

On the 2nd of November Mat Fraser was in conversation with Catherine Gallagher and they “Smashed It”. Fabulous conversation about art, life, love and strife! Look out for the recording of this, which will be available shortly.

We are Hiring

ILMI is seeking a dynamic, motivated and driven individual to join our staff team as Policy Officer.

ILMI is a national cross-impairment Disabled Persons Organisation (DPO). Our vision is an Ireland where disabled people have freedom, choice and control over all aspects of their lives and can fully participate in an inclusive society as equals.

Full time: 35 hours per week, initial one year contract.

Details on this link 

The last Freedom & Choice Session

IMAGE: Zoom screenshot of Fiona Weldon, Damien Walshe and Patrick Flanagan

In our last Freedom & Choice Session we had Fiona Weldon & Patrick Flannigan come and talk about what a Personal Assistant is, the pathways to applying for one and how this can benefit disabled people if and when they need it.

Tips and Tricks included:

  • Please learn from and seek support from experienced Personal Assistance Service (PAS) Users
  • Fill out our Independent Assessment of Need with support / guidance from an experienced PAS user and please dream, dream and dream – fill in every detail, ILMI are here to support and guide and mentor when required
  • Seek support from your GP, your consultant, your Occupational Therapist, know about the National Advocacy Service  use them if needs be, identify allies like your local Co Councillors, TD’s and Government Officials, especially those that have a value base of supporting the rights of disabled people
  • Know that Personal Assistance (PA) is a Service to support disabled people to live as their non-disabled peers do, and it is a human rights issue – it is not about getting up, eating and going to bed
  • Never, never, ever give up – applying for a PAS is a long and exhausting process – systems can be broken, and disabled people can and will break this system together
  • Know that you rarely get the number of hrs that you actually need but look for them anyway, you can build on existing hours
  • Know that policy is in accordance with the provision of PAS – use this knowledge again and again – use policy documents, Slaintecare, our National Disability Inclusion Strategy and its implementation plan, the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Disabled People with particular reference to article 19
  • Know that the HSE do not know what a PAS is – we need to educate them
  • Know who is the disability manager in your area – this can be hard because they are always changing
  • Know that if you are already receiving a HSE-funded day care service, you can seek support from the Day Service Opportunity Officer in your area to change the type of service you receive including moving from a Day Service to a PAS
  • It is our lived experience that PA’s do not require experience nor do the need to complete caring courses. Obviously they need manual handling and need to be Garda vetted.

Look out for the recording as it will be available in the near future. If you need any further information on this topic please contact


IMAGE: Zoom screenshot featuring Claude Clancy

On Thursday 27 October, VOICE project workers Nicola Meacle & Paula Soraghan & ILMI CEO Damien Walshe presented to LCDC members in the VOICE region.

Damien opened the webinar by presenting who ILMI are, what we do, what a DPO is and how the local feeding into the national and vice versa benefits disabled people.

It was fantastic to meet LCDC members and discuss the VOICE project. Paula presented the objectives of VOICE, how it is funded, our approach and why it is unique. Paula stated the importance of VOICE being delivered by disabled people for disabled people via Zoom in Kilkenny, Carlow, Waterford, Wexford, Cork, Kerry & Tipperary.

Nicola presented on the progress of VOICE so far, the mapping and communication involved with digital outreach to various organisations in each of the seven counties. Nicola also spoke about how the success of VOICE is dependent on organisations that deliver services to disabled people and NGO’s in each county informing their members about the project.

Sligo DPO Workshop

On Wednesday, the 26th of October, ILMIs Peter Kearns and Claire Kenny were in Sligo at the Northside community centre for the first HSE consultation Workshop with Sligo DPO.   Peter and Claire facilitated the active discussion about what effective participation looks and feels like. The consultation will inform the development of a guidance document currently being developed by Inclusion Ireland and ILMI, for more information contact

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