ILMI February 26th E-Bulletin

Welcome to our February 26th E-Bulletin

ILMI Choose to challenge 7:30 – 9PM celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8th 

ILMI is celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8th and you are invited.

“A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.
So let’s all choose to challenge.
How will you help forge a gender equal world?
Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.”

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.

IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.

Independent Living Movement Ireland stands for equality for everyone, we believe in challenging the status quo. Disabled women are a force to be reckoned with as are all friends, sisters, aunts, partners, organisers, administrators, directors, wives, re-creators, disbursers, economists, mothers, disciplinarians, teachers, health officers, artists and queens.

In March show your challenging nature, take a picture and tag us on your social media.
Hashtags are #IWD2021 is #choosetochallenge. The IWD strike a pose is a hand in the air you can check out the official IWD gallery here. We are passionate about making inroads to gender parity and hope you are too. Head to your social media and tag ILMI in your IWD “Choose to Challenge” social media post. Follow us on Facebook @ILMIreland   Twitter @ILMIreland or Instagram @ilmireland

The line-up for our event includes:

An original drama piece by Sarah Fitzgerald

Image: photo of Sarah Fitzgerald

Sarah Fitzgerald is a Freelance Writer, soon to be author and advocate for equality and disability rights. Sarah is a proud mum to her beautiful daughter Alison, a wife, family member, worker  and outspoken bastion for what is right. Sarah personifies righteousness rooted in reality, practical, always an insightful societal commentator and to top it all she really is a genuinely lovely soul a rare all-round good person. Her blog is regularly updated on

Izzy Keane part of the sister duo powerhouse that is “izzywheels”

Image: photo of Izzy Keane

‘If you can’t stand up, stand out!’
Designer wheel covers for wheelchairs
Created by Irish sisters Izzy & @ailbhe.k

Izzy Wheels has been featured in Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle, The Oprah Magazine and TechCrunch and both sisters were featured in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 issue.

Emma Murray
Stylist & Content Creator

Image: photo of Emma Murray

Emma is the owner and founder of ELM Social Media where she provides 1:1 training to fashion and beauty brands who want to elevate their social media and stand out online. She is a qualified personal and fashion stylist who has been in the fashion industry for 10 years and works with women through her styling business, Emma Murray Stylist by providing a virtual styling service. The E Style Academy will also be launching in the coming weeks where training courses will be available exclusively to women who would like to unlock their personal style and transform how they look and feel.

Nina Tame

Image: photo of Nina Tame

Disability activist
Often wordy
Sometimes sweary
The Disabled Step-Mum you never knew you needed

Mary Collins Artist

Image: photo of Mary Collins

Mary uses the medium of paint, inimitable flux and words to express ethos and concepts. Her visual works showcases space, representation, movement and time through many mediums especially her favourited water colour.
She says “My poetry, detailed in my book “The Circle” presents a twenty-five year journey through good days and bad”.
Mary is an expert in self advocacy and has also been involved in several other initiatives for independent living and through her peer focused approach has bolstered many community groups.

Email to register, spaces are limited.

ILMI / A Disorder For Everyone (AD4E) joint event 15th March 2pm

(image shows  ILMI and AD4E logos)

Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI) is a cross-impairment DPO (Disabled Persons Organisation) and all of our work is informed through an equality, human rights and social model of disability lens.

The social model is based on the view that barriers are caused by society, rather than by a person’s impairments or diagnostic labels. We also reject a medical view of disability which always focuses on people’s impairments from a medical perspective, including “mental health” diagnostic impairment labels. In some ways, the medical model still looks at what is ‘wrong’ with the person and not what the person needs

ILMI is keen to ensure that the voices of people all people who with lived experience of emotional distress, trauma and madness (including psychiatric survivors) are involved to ensure that ILMI as a cross-impairment DPO is fully inclusive.

On March 15th, we are delighted to co-host an online seminar with AD4E (A Disorder For Everyone), featuring guest inputs from Jo Watson and Dr James Davies.

AD4E shares ILMI’s vision that emotional distress is caused by what is experienced and largely rooted in social factors and challenging psychiatric / medical diagnosis of distress. ILMI is delighted to work in partnership with AD4E and to listen and learn from their work in the UK and beyond.

ILMI’s aim for the event is to begin to explore and create a social-model of disability framework challenging discussions that individualise or disempower people with lived experience which are predominantly led by medical approaches to emotional distress and madness.

The ILMI / AD4E event in March can bring people who share similar values and look to explore shared language which is based on empowerment, rights, autonomy, choice and control for people who are experiencing or have experienced issues relating to emotional distress / “mental health”.
This event is for people with lived experience, disabled activists and allies who wish to explore a deeper understanding of emotional distress and building a shared analysis of emotional distress through the social model of disability.

The event will take place from 2-4pm on Monday 15th March via zoom. To register email

ILMI Housing Network 16th March 2pm: First meeting

(image shows home blue prints and the words ILMI Housing Network)

ILMI is looking to develop a network of disabled activists who are seeking to bring about change in housing policy locally and nationally.

The National Housing Strategy for disabled people is being reviewed this year. A core part of the existing strategy is the development of local housing strategies for disabled people in each local authority area. Each of these plans is monitored by local Housing Disability Steering Groups (HDSGs).

At a national level, ILMI as a DPO has continued to push that disabled people need to be actively involved. We have stressed that HDSGs need to have the participation of disabled people in these local structures.

We are developing a housing network to build the capacity of disabled activists to take on roles on the HDSGs as they emerge over the course of 2021.

The ILMI Housing Network will aim to:
•            Develop training for disabled activists to represent their locality on the HDSG.
•            Build a network of HDSG’s across the country.
•            Support representatives to share and communicate their experiences.
•            Develop ILMI templates to use as submissions to Local Authorities on key housing issues.
•            Develop best practice on how representatives work with other disabled people in their locality to build an authentic voice of disabled people.

In developing the network and supporting local representatives, ILMI will provide training on:
•            Key housing policy.
•            Key equality and human rights policies.
•            Analysis of local and national housing policy in relation to disabled people.
•            Representational roles and responsibilities.
•            Building a local network to support HDSG representatives.

We are looking for disabled activists who are interested in learning more about housing policy and who are interested in being ready to put themselves forward for Housing Disability Steering Groups in their counties when opportunities arise. In developing the network, we need activists who will commit to working with ILMI and other activists in a social-model led analysis of housing and inclusion and communicating with the HDSG and the ILMI housing network.

If you are interested in finding out more on being part of the network, please email to register for our first meeting on Tuesday 16th March at 2pm.

RESEARCH – INVITATION: Impact of Family Caregiving on lives of Disabled People

(image shows poster with the words RESEARCH – INVITATION: Impact of Family Caregiving on lives of Disabled People)

CONTEXT: ILMI are seeking disabled people to participate in research into the impact that forced reliance on family carers has / has had on the quality of life, and self-determination of disabled people living in Ireland.

The purpose of this research is to enable disabled people to share their lived experience of reliance on family carers; and how this has impacted on their lives and on their independent living choices.
ILMI intends to use the research findings to initiate a more holistic exploration of the impact of family caring on disabled people’s lives and choices and to highlight the importance of access to independent living for disabled people.

By participating in this ground-breaking research, you will be helping to inform and influence the ILMI agenda.

The views of disabled people will be gathered the following ways:
a)           Focus Groups               via ZOOM in March and April
b)           Individual interviews     via ZOOM April

The first focus group will take place on Wednesday 22nd March. We are looking for people who have experience of reliance on family (including spouses) for support needs in absence of PAS to participate in this discussion.

You can register your interest by contacting
More detailed information will be shared with you ahead of your participation.

All information shared will be treated anonymously and ILMI confidentiality policies will be strictly adhered to.

The information gathered in this research will form an ILMI research paper which will be used to signpost further research in this area.

Marie Lynch has been engaged by ILMI to carry out this research

Activist and academic Peter Kearns

(image shows photo of Peter Kearns)

Is engaging with ILMI’s E-Bulletin to post a brief series of articles on the cultural backdrop to why many Irish disabled activists are opposing Gino Kelly’s Dying-with-Dignity (DwD) Dáil 2021 Bill. Peter’s Bi-Weekly articles will explore how disabled activists in Republic of Ireland (RoI) have steadily become aware of the dangers associated with the call for assisted suicide to be legalised based on the campaigning lived experiences of our international colleagues.

“The social model informed NOT DEAD YET movement believe individual disabled people’s suicidal cries for help are mainly coming from a lack of proper practical, emotional and medical support needed to live dignified lives, rather than from the ‘suffering’ they experience as a result of a medical condition. Such loss of hope – which forces some disabled young people and adults, especially those with acquired impairments, to see death as their only option – is easily misinterpreted as a ‘choice’ in a society that continues to see and treat disabled people as ‘special’ second class citizens, something the current Covid-‘crisis’ has amplified with medical model language such as ‘vulnerable’ and ‘cocooned’.”
More on this LINK 

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