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Welcome to our July 10th E-Bulletin

What's In This Issue:
Welcome to the New ILMI Team Members
We are delighted to welcome two new members of staff to the ILMI team. Mark McCollum and Clive Lowry have joined the ONSIDE project as Community Navigators for both and Louth respectively. 

Mark McCollum, Cavan ONSIDE Community Navigator

Photo Shows the new ONSIDE Community Navigator Mark McCollum

Mark has recently joined ILMI; he is a psychology graduate from the University of Ulster with over 20 years experience in the fields of arts-based community development, group and one-to-one training, advocacy, issues pertaining to older people, an inclusive ethos. Mark was director of Blue Drum – The Arts Specialist Support Agency, responsible for developing the use of Arts-Based Community Developing in Ireland, He established the Balor Developmental Community Arts Group; a pioneering creative company aimed at developing socially engaged art projects. Mark was also the Irish representative on the European Reminiscence Theatre Network, developing innovative training for families of people with dementia. He is a passionate advocate for an inclusive, fair and equal society. He is a thalassophile; a sea swimmer all his life and a founder member of the Gartan Open Water Swimmers and an international Cardiac athlete. He has two teenage daughters; Jade & Lauren and he lives in Raphoe, Co. Donegal with his faithful German Shepard – Imme. You can contact Mark at

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Clive Lowry, Louth ONSIDE Community Navigator

Photo Shows the new ONSIDE Community Navigator Clive Lowry

Since graduating from Cavan Institute in 2011 with a BTEC Higher National Diploma in Health and Social Care, Clive has supported disabled adults in the community under the social model of disability ethos for almost ten years. During which time he has acquired skills, experience and expertise with supporting disabled adults to actively participate in their own community, achieve personal goals and enhance their emotional health and wellbeing.  Clive is a sport enthusiast with links to the GAA Community and is an activist with lived experience of disability.  He is eager to learn new skills professionally and draw from the highly skilled and vast expertise of the ONSIDE Project and ILMI staff team. The ONSIDE project will support disabled people to remove societal barriers and take control over of all aspects of their lives, thus promoting freedom, choice and equality by utilising the right’s based social model of disability.  Clive is looking forward to developing new skills in the area of community development, activism and the development of a disabled person’s organisation in Co. Louth. You can contact Clive at

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ILMI Women's Group

Photo shows the call for people to participate in the ILMI Women's Group

ILMI are delighted to announce a new zoom space for disabled women to come together and discuss the issues they face in a safe and confidential space. This will be a peer-led community so why not come and join us Tuesday morning at 11am and share your knowledge. If you would like further information or wish to register your interest in taking part then please contact Shelly Gaynor at

ILMI are pleased to be supporting Full Spectrum:Disabled LGBTI+ Peer Network, which has their first meeting next Tuesday 14th at 7:30pm. Full Spectrum is a new national network for disabled people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Intersex, Asexual, Non-Binary, or simply non-heterosexual in orientation/gender identity. We are launching a regular virtual community drop-in space by and for disabled LGBTI+ people. This will be a safe and welcoming peer-support space where we can come together to get to know each other, share experiences, support one another, and build a community identity.
If you are a disabled adult and identify as LGBTI+ (or any other letter of the alphabet!), then you are welcome to join our space of equals. There are currently three people acting as a steering group; Maureen, Niall, and Isolde. At least one of us will be present at each session to facilitate discussions and deal with the inevitable technical hitches.
We are delighted to be supported by ILMI (Independent Living Movement Ireland), who can offer technical training for anyone unfamiliar with using the Zoom platform. You do not need to be a member of ILMI to take part.
For further information, and to register your interest in taking part: email or call / text 085-2277033

Spanish Classes

Photo shows the text Want to Learn Spanish?

ILMI are delighted to offer a series of four Beginner Spanish classes via zoom with Marcus Ward, Co. Donegal based Spanish teacher and ILMI member. These 1 hour workshops will run every Friday from 12pm to 1pm for 4 weeks, starting on July 24th. Marcus has always had a strong passion for languages and he holds an honours degree in modern languages from Open University. Marcus' mindset for teaching Spanish is that language learning should be a fun and enjoyable experience, with a focus on engaging speaking activities rather than long, boring essays. This short series of Spanish classes will serve as an introduction to the world of language learning at a complete beginner level. You will learn introductions, how to talk about yourself, how to ask a question, and much more. This programme is open to everyone however there are limited spaces available. Please register your interest now by emailing

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Cork Community Platform

ILMI are creating an online platform to create an opportunity for disabled people in Cork City and County to stay socially connected and find out information on the various supports and services in your local community. We have guest speakers from mainstream services that provide information and talk about what is available to you during COVID-19 and beyond. If you have an interest in this new Cork Community then please register your interest at

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ENIL Survey on Independent Living
The European Network on Independent Living is launching its first Independent Living Survey with the aim of getting a better picture of access to Independent Living in Europe. Responses will be analysed and published in December 2020.
The Independent Living Survey should be completed by disabled people, DPOs or NGOs familiar with access to Independent Living and/or provision of Personal Assistance (PA), ideally by or in close consultation with PA users. The general section on Independent Living should be completed by everyone, whereas information about the PA scheme/policy should only be completed for those countries where PA is available in some form. All questions are presented as multiple choice and the survey should take no longer than 30 minutes to complete.
ILMI is a member of the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) and we are calling on all disabled people to complete the survey to give a strong analysis on Independent Living from an Irish perspective. 
Click here to complete the survey, which should be completed and returned by July 15th.

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ILMI submission to the Special Committee on COVID-19 Response: The Impact of COVID-19 on Disabled People’s Lives: Challenges faced, Opportunities Created

On Thursday 25th, ILMI created a space for disabled people to come together to look at the impact of Covid-19 on disabled people’s lives. From this very strong and passionate discussion, ILMI developed and submitted the following to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the State response to COVID-19 which can be accessed here as a PDF and here as an MS Word document.

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ILMI responses to the formation of a new Government and appointment of new Ministers

Back in April, ILMI mailed the leaders of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Green Party when they began negotiating a Programme for Government. This submission can be accessed here as a PDF and here as an MS Word document.
On Friday 26th a Programme for Government was agreed with new Ministerial Portfolios announced. ILMI released a press release calling on the new Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration Roderic O’Gorman TD to work directly with Disabled People’s Organisations, not service providers. This Press Release can be accessed here.
With the announcement of Junior Ministerial Portfolios appointments, ILMI issued a press release stating that the Junior Ministers should not relegate disability from Cabinet Discussions and that targeted approaches to inclusion of disabled people across all Departments was welcomed, but disabled people’s voices must be heard at the highest levels. This press release can be read here.

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Clare Leader Forum Petition: Jennifer Hynes needs a home, not a nursing home

The Clare Leader Forum have created an online petition calling on the Minister for Disabled People Roderic O'Gorman, Government TDs Cathail Crowe and Joe Carey and Government Senators Roisin Garvey, Martin Conway and Timmy Dooley to seek agreement with the HSE in Clare and the Local authority to provide Jennifer Hynes with a place to live with supports fit for purpose.
Jennifer Hynes is a 42 year old woman, forced to live in a nursing home in Ennis since April 2019 with no plan agreed to end it. Up to then Jennifer lived in her own house. Due to lack of HSE support she was moved into a nursing home. Jennifer passionately wants her forever home in Ennis.
The Clare Leader Forum is calling on officials and politicians as a matter of urgency to ensure Jennifer's human rights are met under Article 19 of the UN Convention for People with Disabilities.
ILMI are asking everyone to take a few moments to sign this petition and share as widely on their social media to raise further awareness politically of another instance where a disabled person is denied the right to live independently. You can access the petition through Uplift here.



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