ILMI July 2nd 2021 eBulletin

Welcome to our July 2nd 2021 eBulletin

Independent Living Movement Ireland in conjunction with Enable Ireland’s Assistive Technology (AT) Department  Announce 5 scholarships

IMAGE: poster which has the ILMI Enable and ESB logos and the announcement message detailed below.

Are Delighted to Announce 5 scholarships places to support 5 ILMI members to complete the Foundations in Assistive Technology Course which is accredited by Technological University Dublin and supported by the ESB Energy for Generations Fund.

Commencing on the 7th September 2021: About This Course, this is a Level 6, online learning course and requires a commitment of 100 hours from participants, including the completion of a Course Project. It includes eleven webinars which will take place via the Microsoft Teams Platform. Each webinar will be two and a half hours long.

The aim of this course is to build the capacity of disabled people in the area of Assistive Technology across Ireland.

ILMI will expect that those that are successful in securing a scholarship will assist / mentor other disabled people that need Assistive Technology support after they have completed the course.

It is essential that the 5 successful candidates are fully committed to see the course through to completion, including submission of a course project. Further details of the course can be found here

Those interested in securing a scholarship must fill out an Expression of Interest Form by Friday the 30th July. Email for an Expression of Interest Form.

ILMI housing network!

IMAGE:shows 3 cartoon figures crammed into the outline of a house

The first ILMI housing network met on Friday 25th June! It was a coming together of likeminded disabled activists who want to work towards getting housing for all. There is still room for you to join this dynamic group and work towards real change email for details.

The National Housing Strategy for Persons with a Disability (NHSPWD) (2011) was the Government’s strategy to specifically address the housing needs of disabled people over the period of 2011 to 2016.The National Housing Strategy for People with a Disability (2011-2016) was extended to 2020 and will come to an end this year. Now a new national strategy is being developed. One of the objective of these housing strategies was to establish Housing and Disability Steering Groups (HDSGs) in all local authority areas. Each HDSG is required to have prepared a local Strategic Plan on housing disabled people for its own City/County area. These HDSGs are chaired by the Directors of Housing with membership including the HSE and disability representatives; although there was lack of clarity whether these representatives were disabled people or people working in organisations that provide services to disabled people. Therefore, ILMI as a National Disabled Persons Organisation (DPO) has been calling on the Department of Housing, the Housing Agency and all local authorities to have the voice of lived experience represented on these decision making structures. With that ILMI has been engaging with local authorities to get ILMI reps on all HDSGs to represent us, disabled people – Nothing About Without Us!

In March ILMI held an initial “housing network” meeting. It was identified at this meeting that there was a need to develop training for disabled activists to represent ILMI on their local Housing Disability Steering Groups (HDSG). We want to build a network of ILMI reps on HDSG’s across the country to effectively communicate back to us as a National Disabled Persons Organisation (DPO), connecting the local with the national and the national with the local in supporting representatives to share and communicate their experiences across the HDSGs.

Over the course of the ILMI Housing network we hope to explore:
Key housing policy.
Equality and human rights policies.
Provide an analysis of local and national housing policy in relation to disabled people.
Explore representational roles and responsibilities.
Move towards building a network to support HDSG representatives across the country.

The first session which was held on Friday 25th June was an introductory meeting and explored the current policy context, looked at the function of Housing Disability Steering Groups (HDSGs) and drew on ILMI research conducted in 2019 which provided an analysis of local strategic plans to house disabled people. The vibrant session ended with participants breaking into break out rooms doing an activity. Participants had to imagine they were the minister for housing and apologise for the failures of the state in relation to housing disabled people in Ireland.

This activity allowed the groups to work together as a group but also to identify the challenges disabled people face in relation to housing.

The next session of the ILMI housing network is on Friday 9th July at 10am. If you want to get involved email our Policy Officer James at: or if you are interested in becoming an ILMI HDSG representative on your local authority please do get it touch!

ILMI’s Women’s Group

Image: The back of a woman in a swimsuit in a deep blue sea up to her hips and the words detailed below across the polaroid looking image.

Lynn Swinburne senior health promotions officer from the National Screening Programme will present a brief presentation on the programme to ILMI Women’s group on July 8th 2021 from 7-8pm, Lynn is very keen to hear from the direct experience of disabled women in accessing screening services in Ireland today, so why not come along and share your views and experience on this very important topic. To register for this zoom please email peer mentor

Accessible Taxis

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has created a survey on taxis and hackneys. As we all know Transport is one of the pieces of the “independent living jigsaw” that lots of disabled people throughout Ireland have challenges with. Furthermore getting an accessible taxi on demand can be a nightmare. Please participate in the survey and have your voice heard.

If you want to report a taxi for any reason please visit the transport for Ireland website

Also there is a Transport For Ireland (TFI) “Driver Check App” it allows users to check that the vehicle they are about to hire has been registered correctly and that the driver has the appropriate license to operate the vehicle. If the information appears incorrect, it is possible to submit a report.

All of Ireland’s taxis, hackneys, limousines and all SPSV (Small Public Service Vehicles) drivers are covered by this app. This includes rural locations as well as cities such as Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford.

Visit the Driver check app or website here

Housing Focus Groups

IMAGE shows two houses one with the logos of ILMI and Inclusion Ireland. The text reads Housing Focus Groups July 7th. Morning Group 11am to 12.30pm and evening group 7.30pm to 9pm. To register email or call 01 8559891

Inclusion Ireland and ILMI are coming together to host two focus group sessions around important housing issues. We want to hear directly from you and the views we hear will be part of a bigger campaign to impact change in the housing sector.
Specifically we want to hear from disabled people and family members on issues such as:
– What has been your experience in trying to find accessible housing and what changes would you like to see?
– What has been your experience in relation to getting affordable housing and what changes would you like to see?
– What are the housing and support services you need to live independently in the community and what has been your experience in accessing those?
Two focus groups will be held on July 7th both through Zoom. Both sessions will be the same and you have a choice of one session to attend:
Morning Session: 11am – 12.30pm
Evening Session: 7.30pm – 9pm

To register for a focus group please contact Alex at Inclusion Ireland at or call 01 8559891

Declan O’Keefe bursary to the Play It Forward fellowship programme

IMAGE: shows a black and white photo of Declan O’Keefe (RIP) with the words Declan O’Keefe bursary to the Play It Forward fellowship programme and the ILMI Logo

Call for expressions of interest for disabled creative writers: Deadline Wednesday, 7 July 2021

Declan O’Keefe was a founding member of CIL who sadly passed away on Thursday, 3 October 2019 after a short illness. Declan generously has left a bequest to ILMI and in order to honour Declan’s memory as a founding member, ILMI will invest some of Declan’s bequest to sponsor a place on the Skein Press “Play it Forward” fellowship programme.

Declan was a librarian and keen patron of the arts. The “Declan O’Keefe bursary” for this fellowship will support an emerging disabled writer to use creative writing to shine a lens on disability and independent living.

It is ILMI’s intention to source funding to resource the Declan O’Keefe bursary on an annual basis to ensure his legacy will continue to inspire future disabled activists to use the arts to challenge inequality and promote inclusion.

What is the Play it Forward fellowship?

The Play It Forward fellowships will commence in July 2021 and run through December 2022. Over the course of eighteen months, fellows will receive structured support including mentoring, editorial feedback, career consulting, participation in workshops, training, festivals and literary events, as well as opportunities to meet and build relationships with editors, agents, publishers, writers and industry experts.

The successful candidate to the ILMI Declan O’Keefe bursary can anticipate spending up to four hours a month on fellowship-related activities including mentoring meetings, masterclasses and writing workshops. The candidate will also participate in the week-long Stinging Fly Summer School in July 2022, as well as attend occasional literary festivals and events which may occur on weekends or select evenings.

Are there any pre-conditions or requirements to apply to the programme?
Disabled writers who are interested in applying for the Declan O’Keefe bursary are not expected to have any formal or informal education in creative writing, or publishing history. All applications will be considered on the strength of the writing sample as well as the candidate’s vision for their writing, alongside a willingness to engage with and the programme and inaugural cohort of fellows.

I write across fiction, non-fiction and / or poetry — can I submit in multiple categories?
No, please select a single category for submission. We wish to open up this opportunity to as many writers as possible, so will only be able to consider one submission per applicant.

I have a finished or near-finished manuscript, can I submit it as my writing sample?
No, please adhere to the page limits indicated in the submissions form (a maximum of 10 pages for fiction or non-fiction, and six pages for poetry). Submissions with sample sizes over this limit will not be read, and the corresponding application will not be considered.

I would like to write in a language other than English, can I apply for a fellowship?
In the pilot phase, we are unfortunately only able to support writers working primarily in the English language, though we hope to expand this offering in future iterations of the programme.

I have an agent and / or I have already published a book, am I still eligible to apply?
The Play It Forward fellowships are aimed at nurturing and amplifying the talents of writers from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds or communities who do not already have access to opportunities within the literary sector. For this reason, we will prioritise applications from those who do not have literary representation or have not previously published a book.

How do I apply for the Declan O’Keefe bursary?

To apply for the ILMI Declan O’Keefe bursary, please email for an application form. The application form will ask aspiring disabled writers some questions about their work and how being part of the Play it Forward programme would benefit their writing. You will also be asked to send examples of your writing will your completed application.

Please note that the timeframe for this is extremely short and completed application forms and examples of writing will have to be returned by Wednesday, 7 July 2021 at 5pm. so This will enable the  panel of experts to review and notify the successful candidate in advance of the announcement of the 2021 Play it Forward Programme.

If you have additional questions, please email

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