|ILMI Team News
ILMI AGM and Conference 'Nothing About Us Without Us: What does Representation Mean in Building a Grassroots DPO'
Photo shows some of the participants at the ILMI Conference on September 26th
In our Strategic Plan 2019 –2022 one of our core objectives is leadership and representation, where we aim that “Independent Living Movement Ireland’s work will continue to be led and represented by disabled people at all levels. ILMI will create structures to generate evidence-based policies and expertise based on lived experience” .
Another strategic aim is political campaigning and strategic policy development where we aim to “empower members to be active agents of social change by participating in collective strategic campaigns to promote independent living and ensure effective policy development and implementation”.
With almost a year working on the plan, our annual conference took place on Saturday 28th September where disability activists came from across Ireland to collectively reflect on what progress we have made, and what we need to do to realise these aims. One of the challenges in building a representative disabled person’s organisation (DPO) is: building a collective with shared analysis, approach and a commitment to working together. In order to generate discussion, we were privileged to be joined by ILMI members Elaine Howley, Padraig Hannafin and Seònaid Ó Murchadha as well as disability activists from the UK Colin Cameron, Maggie Cameron and Ellis Palmer.
ILMI ONSIDE health and Housing and officer James Casey was MC for the panel discussion and a lively open mic session. There was huge energy and ideas about how to represent disabled people, disability equality, the importance of language, tokenism, the need for disabled people to work collectively and the need for ILMI to provide strategic focussed campaigns for people to mobilise on.
ILMI would like to thank our panellists for their time and expertise and all the activists who joined us on Saturday for a wonderful event which will hopefully provide us with energy and ideas into the remainder of 2019 and beyond. A live stream of the debate can be accessed as a video on the ILMI Facebook page.
Prior to the Conference, ILMI had a very successful AGM, which included a strong debate on a developing a declaration to service providers, Statutory bodies and NGOs on what “Nothing About Us Without Us” means. This will be circulated as a press release in due course this week. From the AGM the members of ILMI re-elected Selina Bonnie, Audrey Brodigan, Sarah Fitzgerald, Shelly Gaynor, Dermot Hayes, Des Kenny, Sinead Murtagh, Michael Nestor, Dr John Roche, Gordon Ryan as the board of ILMI for 2019 / 2020. Many thanks for all ILMI members for their participation at the AGM.
Make Way Day Clare
Photo shows Make Way Day participants from the Clare Leader Forum.
On Thursday the 26th of September the Clare Leader Forum took part in Make Way Day 2019. As part of their ongoing work students from the Forum, who completed the LIT Certificate in Advocacy and Leadership this year, worked with Clare County Council to bring Make Way Day to Clare in 2019. Findings from the Forum’s accessibility audit will be presented as part of the CLF conference on October 4th.
Is the Disability Act 2005 Working for Us?
Photo shows the poster for the CLF event on October 4th.
On Friday October 4th the Clare Leader Forum, in partnership with the Citizens Information Centre Clare and Clare Local Development Company, will host a conference "Is the Disability Act 2005 Working for Us?" Taking place in the Temple Gate Hotel from 10am to 1pm, this conference is open to all disabled people and their supporters with registration on the morning from 9.30am. Finian McGrath, Minister for Disability Issues, will address delegates on the day with keynote speakers from the NDA, National Advocacy Service, Clare Citizens Advice Centre and Clare County Council. Testimonies will follow from people with the lived experience to demonstrate how the Disability Act 2005 impacts on our lives. If you would like further information on this event please contact Susan on 086 1712648 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Introducing Maryam Madani, ILMI’s new Intern
Photo shows new ILMI Interm Maryam Madani
My role as intern for the next six months will involve working with the staff team to build on the work of previous interns in building a political lobbying database to ensure that all councillors, TDs and senators are aware of ILMI as a DPO, are perhaps willing to support and engage with us, and that ILMI's policy discussions are disseminated to them.
As for myself, I am a proud disabled woman and wheelchair user with a BA in English Honours from Trinity College Dublin and an MA in Journalism from TU Dublin (DIT). I've worked as a journalist, jazz singer and housing activist for Dublin Central Housing Network. My MA thesis on media representation of disability in the abortion referendum coverage highlighted the lack of self-representation of disabled people and lack of awareness of the social model in the discussion, issues which are central to ILMI's philosophy. I am honoured to work for a DPO which espouses these ideals and which is genuinely led by disabled people for a change. I can be contacted at email@example.com
Galway Activism October Meeting
Photo shows a call out for the next Galway Activism Meeting
Galway Activism will meet again on October 8th in NUIG. The group is open to any disabled people who are based in Galway and want to be part of a new and exciting movement. If you are interested in being part of a truly representative DPO and want to know more about how you can take part please contact Susan on 086 1712648 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
HSE National Disability Services Sharing Day
Photo shows ILMI Chairperson Shelly Gaynor and ONSIDE Team Member James Casey at the HSE Conference
The first National Disability Services Sharing Day took place in the Pillar Room of the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin on Wednesday 25th of September. Leigh Gath, the HSE Independent Confidential Recipient was one of the keynote speakers at the event. ILMI was represented by James Casey and Shelley Gaynor and both worked hard and engaged in lively discussion about ILMI’s core values of independence, disability, and human rights, in addition to independent living practices with many of the attendees. There was a real, genuine, interest and appetite for what we do and what we stand for as a collective and we will build upon many new and positive connections.