ILMI Mailshot 20th August 2021

As always if you want to know more about any of these articles or ILMI’s work in general then do get in touch. You can reach us at

Unsettled Book Review

(Trigger warning: sexual and physical abuse, self-harm and suicide)

IMAGE: the cover of Rosaleen’s book featuring a female figure who extolls grace and strength in spades.

“Unsettled” is the debut book by ILMI member and Irish Human Rights Equality Commissioner, playwright and activist, Dr Rosaleen McDonagh. Unsettled is a raw and uncompromising collection of essays exploring the intersection of Irish Society’s disabling barriers, impairment lived experiences and ethnicity. Rosaleen writes beautifully of Traveller identity, tradition and the warmth of her family bonds, but also pulls no punches about ableism, disablism and racism. The accessible and gripping narrative style of Rosaleen’s writing enables the reader to empathise with the impact of institutionalisation on her life, of sexual and physical abuse she experienced in these institutions, and the self-harm and suicide attempts resulting from these traumas.

There is also huge tenderness at the heart of Unsettled as Rosaleen writes of her pride in her ethnicity, her graduation from Trinity College, her long lasting and strong relationships with female disabled activists, and most importantly her love affair with the disability campaigner and cultural icon of David and the impact of his loss from her life.

Unsettled is available from book stores nationally and from Skein Press


Terminology around disability has changed substantially over the past number of decades.

At Noteworthy, in the past we used the phrase ‘people with disabilities’, but through speaking to people from disabled persons’ organisations (DPOs) over the course of this investigation, we realised our language needed an update.

Firstly, what are DPOs and why are they important? DPOs are distinguished by being “led, directed and governed by persons with disabilities”, according to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

In comparison, organisations that provide services or advocate for disabled people cannot be representative organisations. The UN Committee stated that this activity “may result in a conflict of interests in which such organisations prioritise their purpose as private entities over the rights of persons with disabilities”.

When asked about the best terminology to use, James Cawley from the Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI) told me that their DPO is “completely routed in the social model of disability”.

This is compared to the medical model of disability which Cawley said uses ‘person with disability’ and “basically says we need to cure the impairment or fix them”.

If you’re interested in reading more about this, ILMI have a detailed piece here on language and inclusion.

Because of this and other conversations, we adopted the social model and disabled people in our latest articles as part of this series.”

Link is here to the full Noteworthy article

NTA SPSV Accessibility Survey

Deadline for completion of our Accessibility Survey has now been extended until Thursday, 30 September 2021. The survey asks for experiences, opinions and advice on the demand for and accessibility levels of taxi, hackney and limousine services nationwide. The information obtained through this survey is crucial to future planning for improved Small Public Service Vehicle (SPSV – Taxi, Hackney and limousine) services for all but particularly for people with disabilities who are using or might use this door to door transport service.

The survey commenced on 2 July 2021 however response rates have been very low and not enough to properly be a part of NTA’s consideration of future plans and strategy in this important area. NTA is happy to facilitate the requests for deadline extension which have been received, in the hope that meaningful response levels will now be achieved.

The survey can be completed in the following ways:
1.           Online, via the  link which is compatible with screen-readers:

2.           By post: if you require a hard-copy version of the survey, please contact Behaviour & Attitudes at You will also receive a stamped addressed envelope to facilitate the return of your completed survey.

3.           By telephone: should you prefer to complete the survey in this manner, please contact Behaviour & Attitudes at  or on 01 2057561.They will arrange for an agent to call you to go through the questions with you.

Should you wish, someone else may complete the survey on your behalf.

Whilst it will not be possible for NTA to respond directly to any individual submissions received, all will be considered in detail and a report on the findings will be published.  NTA is subject to Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation and submissions may be published on foot of FOI requests, so please be mindful of adding any personal information to your submissions.

Finally NTA would like to express our sincere appreciation to everyone who has taken the time to complete the survey to-date.


WeThe15 “not superheroes” video, check it out as it is great!

A global campaign described as a “game-changer” has been launched to improve the lives of more than one billion disabled people by 2030.

WeThe15 wants to improve inclusion, raise awareness and end discrimination of disabled people around the world.

It brings together a coalition of organisations from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to Unesco.

The launch comes ahead of the delayed Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games which begin on 24 August.

Using the event as a springboard, the IPC and International Disability Alliance has joined forces with arts, business and human rights organisations including UN Human Rights and The Valuable 500 to “raise awareness, change attitudes and create more opportunities” for disabled people.

The campaign has been set-up to represent the 15% of the world’s population that is disabled – about 1.2bn people, according to the World Health Organization.

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