ILMI Mailshot  November 12th  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

ILMI is Hiring

ILMI Full Spectrum Community Development Worker (contract position December 2021 to July 2022)
Working with LGBT+ Disabled People across Ireland.

Location: This work will be delivered remotely.

Salary: €35,000 to €38,000 pro-rata commensurate with experience.

ILMI is seeking a dynamic, motivated and driven individuals to join our staff team to work as the Full Spectrum Community Development Worker (full time contract position December 2021 to July 2022).

Job Description
ILMI have chosen as one of the LGBT+ Community Services Fund 2021 administered by the Department of Children, Disability, Equality, Integration and Youth. ILMI seeks to employ a community development worker to work with Full Spectrum Ireland for a fixed contract period of 8 months until the end of July 2022.

Full Spectrum Ireland (FSI) started in June 2020 when a group of Disabled LGBTI+ people realised they had been having conversations amongst themselves and other disabled LGBTI+ individuals about the lived experience of intersectionality – that is to live as a disabled person in an LGBTI+ spaces and as an LGBTI+ person in disabled spaces. Those conversations highlighted how our lives become separated and segregated.

Full Spectrum Ireland is the result of efforts made to change this and create a safe space to explore our multiple identities and experiences with a view to building advocacy for disabled LGBTI+ people.

Full details and how to apply on this link.

Life time recognition award from the World Blind Union

IMAGE: the certificate.

A massive congratulations to ILMI chair Des Kenny upon his receipt of a life time recognition award from the World Blind Union. This is a hugely significant honour, reflective of Des’ long standing activism with the World Blind Union. Des’ involvement stems back to the 70s when he and other blind activists wrested control of the organisation away from the big service providers who had to that date called the grouping The World Council FOR the Welfare of the Blind.

As a Movement we are extremely lucky to have Des as a chair with all the experience he brings and it is brilliant that Des’ long-standing commitment is being recognised at an international level.

ILMI Housing Network

IMAGE: Screenshot of Group

ILMI CEO Damien Walshe delivered a session on “triggers” at our ILMI housing network this morning. The group identified this as a topic to explore after covering the areas of conflict management and negotiation. These will be important to bear in mind when representing ILMI as a collective at local decision making structures such as the housing disability steering groups (HDSGs). The ILMI housing network will come to a close on Friday 26th November as a reflective space for those who attended since its first session in July of this year. ILMI looks forward to seeing ILMI representatives transitioning onto the HDSGs.

Working-Class ‘Pride’ of Disabled Activism and DPOs

ILMI’s ONSIDE Coordinator Peter Kearns was a panel speaker at the first Irish organised Working-Class Studies International Interdisciplinary Conference on 10th November, zoomed from Dublin’s Liberty Hall. Peter gave a 30-minute presentation on about the role of recognising the power of the social model in celebrating working class lived experiences of disabled people.

Peter, who is also a part-time St. Angela’s College Sligo NUIG lecturer in Disability Equality Studies, argued that the prevalence of medical model impairment labels always trump and overshadow disabled peoples’ class, gender and ethnic real lived experiences. From his experience of supporting the establishment of ILMI facilitated Disabled Peoples Organisations (DPOs) in the border counties, Peter suggested that social model UN CRPD led DPOs like ILMI can enable a new collective voice alongside class, gender and ethnic valuable and ‘Pride’ lived experiences.

The Conference panel also included other working class activists and academics from USA, Canada, UK, India, Malaysia and South Africa who explored how do ‘activists’ from a working class background collectively propose measures to deal with growing inequity and growing inequalities in general?

As community development disabled activists, academics and researchers struggle to keep afloat, the working class conference speakers proclaimed that it is important that all activists see the impact on their work as part of broader global movements addressing oppressive inequalities and disabling barriers.

The International conference identified that many working class activists and academics have lost their jobs in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Saikat Majumdar, a working class English professor at Ashoka University India, also described how “the Covid situation has definitely sharpened already existent structures of inequity” for groups such as refugees and disabled people. ILMI’s Peter also addressed inequality with working class disabled people from a social model Intersectionality approach, challenging existing Irish disability-sector established medical model Intersectionality ways of thinking of ‘disability’ as something to be cured, stabilised or as segregated ‘special-needs’ and not recognising the more important role of poverty & working class pride lived experiences with disabled activists as appreciated and recognised ‘experts’.

Peter pointed out to the world wide on-line audience that social model DPO disabled activists also consider working class lived experiences in its many various forms, such as cultural, structural, social, and economic. Peter stated that the social model opens up discussion and discourse beyond just impairment ‘label’ narratives and demonstrates the positivity of dynamic difference and multifaceted nature of being working class and a disabled person.

National Women’s Council Event

IMAGE: screenshot of the panel and ILMI peer mentor Shelly Gaynor in action

The National Women’s Council (NWC) on Wednesday, 10th November launched the preliminary findings of its analysis of Budget 2022 from a women’s equality perspective. ILMI’s Peer mentor Shelly Gaynor attended the NWC launch and delivered a human rights disability perspective around equality budgeting. Shelly spoke about the fact that disabled people are expected to live on €203 per week when the pandemic payment was up to €350 per week. Shelly noted there was much welcomed increase in Personal Assistance Services (PAS) funding for the first time in years but explained that we also need this commitment year on year to allow disabled people across the country to live a life of their choosing. Shelly spoke about reinstating the mobility allowance and motorised transport grants and how vital they both are. Shelly concluded by raising the point about how young disabled people shouldn’t be living in nursing homes and the critical importance of disabled people’s voices needing to be heard at all levels of decision making. Press release for the event is here and the report will be available in due course.

What are PPN’s? The SFC Update

IMAGE: screenshot of SFC class in action

In our last Strategies for Change session, we had Catherine Lane come and talk to us about Public Participation Networks (PPN’s) and how they can support us in our activism work.

So, in theory, every Irish citizen now has a “right” to be consulted in what happens in their local community. Thus (by law) giving the Community & Voluntary Sector a “right to sit at the decision-making table”.

PPN’s are relatively a new structure (six years old), and Catherine told us they are “still trying to find their feet.” Still, in all their endeavours, they must strive to enable local citizens to take an active and formal role in the policy-making activities of Local Authorities that will affect their communities. She went on to say that a lot of the issues that Local Government have responsibility for can “have a huge impact on the quality of all our lives and how we live our lives”, so their entity is critically important to all of us.

PPN’s facilitates:
the participation and representation and nomination of communities in a fair, equitable and transparent manner through the three Colleges (as above)
build the capacity of the individuals within the three Colleges, enabling them to contribute to their local community

the provision of relevant and up to date information to the three Colleges and functions as a hub around which information is circulated and received.
So to sum it all up, PPN’s are made up of a diverse network of community groups representatives that work together with their local authority to make sure that all three Colleges have a voice and have a say on issues that concern them… the rest of the article is here 

Louth DPO

IMAGE: poster for event which is detailed below

On Friday, 3rd December, as part of the International Day of Disabled Person’s celebrations, Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI) and Louth Leader Partnership (LLP) are excited to collaborate with launching a local Disabled Person’s Organisation (DPO) in County Louth. The event will be hosted online via zoom, from 12 pm – 1 pm. If you have a keen interest in human rights and equality and want to learn more about the Social Model of Disability and the work that a Disabled Person’s Organisation does, please register for the event by emailing
More info on this link

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