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Welcome to our May 15th E-Bulletin

Dates for Your Diary:

Photo shows the range of online communities available through ILMI this week (starting Monday the 18th of May):
  • Monday: Longford Community Platform 2pm
  • Tuesday:  12pm Drawing Classes, 2pm ONSIDE Cavan and Monaghan Platform, 3pm PAS Online Community
  • Wednesday:  2pm ONSIDE Sligo and Leitrim Platform, 3pm Introduction to Photography and Reportage Artwork; 7:30pm Conversations about Activism & Change
  • Thursday:  12-1pm Yoga, 2pm ONSIDE Donegal Platform, 4pm Minding Your Emotional Wellbeing (Open to Everyone) and 7pm Film Club
  • Friday: 1pm Clare Forum Community Platform
What's In This Issue:
ILMI Recruitment for the ONSIDE Project: DEADLINE TODAY (May 15th) at 5pm

Photo shows the INTERREG Logo

We are currently recruiting for two positions for the ONSIDE project. The Outreach and Navigation for Social Inclusion and Digital Engagement project (ONSIDE) is a dynamic and exciting creative venture that is co-ordinated by ILMI in the Republic of Ireland and by our partners in Northern Ireland, Disability Action Northern Ireland; Supporting Communities and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

From summer 2019 to summer 2022, ILMI will actively work with 375 disabled adults and young people in the counties of Cavan, Leitrim, Sligo, Donegal, Monaghan and Louth who wish to be more effectively involved in their own communities and lifestyle choices. Our vision is to facilitate disability equality led independent living as a feature of border county community choices, not ‘special-needs’ or ‘special-centres’ outside of mainstream local participation.

ILMI’s ONSIDE Project works by providing one-to-one assistance to disabled participants in the form of free IT equipment and training. We also organise inclusion workshops to support participants to access mainstream lifestyle choices above and beyond the traditional disability-service provider ‘care’ options. Additionally, we will organise training and support for project participants to learn how to access and effectively use current web-based technologies. This may involve a free tablet or laptop, with the relevant tailored accessible software for the disabled person to fully use the device to realise their individual lifestyle choices.

ILMI will be recruiting a Community Navigator for County Cavan and a Community Navigator for County Louth.

Full job descriptions can be found for each position in the following links:

To Apply: Please return your CV (with references) and cover letter outlining why you should be considered for this role to angelacoleman@ilmi.ieClosing date for applications is Friday 15th May before 5.00pm. Interviews with shortlisted candidates will take place on the week of the 19th May and interviews will be held via Zoom.

ILMI is an Equal Opportunities Employer and welcomes applications from disabled people for this position. This role requires applicants to have the right to work in the Republic of Ireland. The ONSIDE Project has been supported by the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

ILMI Team News
We have a range of online connection opportunities continuing, which you can find details of below. You do not have to be an ILMI member to participate in any of our online activities and all are free. Simply contact or any of the ILMI staff team who will be happy to register you to participate. 

ILMI Blog: On Language and Inclusion: Why we need to talk about the “Disability Sector”

ILMI have produced a blog aimed at creating a discussion on the language we use as a Movement and what it matters:

This is why we need to ensure that we continue to use the language of Universal Human Rights, Equality and Inclusion. We need to be clear about who represents our voice and why ILMI as a DPO (Disabled Person’s Organisation) is different, why that matters and why we need to talk about what representation means. And we need to talk to our politicians and policy makers about what that means and why it matters. It is putting into practice “nothing about us without us”.

Read more here

 PAS Community

Photo Shows the graphic for PAS meetings every Tuesday at 3pm. 

Our PAS Support and Information Community meets on a weekly basis on Tuesday's at 3pm. The purpose of the group is to provide peer support and information on maintaining and managing your PAS during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are in receipt of a PAS and would like to join this online community then please do let us know. You do not have to be an ILMI member, or in receipt of a service from a specific service provider, to take part and everyone is more than welcome. Contact any member of the ILMI team to register your interest in joining or email Susan at 

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Leader Training - Effectively Managing Your PAS

Photo shows the call for people to participate in Leader Training

In addition to our PAS community we are currently delivering training on Effectively Managing Your PAS. Delivered using Zoom technology this peer-led training recognises the challenge managing our own Personal Assistance Service (PAS) presents and the information we need to take our first step toward Independent Living (IL). A specific focus of this training is the information we all need to manage and maintain our PAS during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are running this training on Mondays and are in our third session but if you are interested in further training on managing your PAS please contact Susan at or read our information circular here

Conversations and Activism and Change

How do we as a Movement share our ideas about effective change and transformation? What motivates disabled people to become activists? How do we learn from struggles for equality in the past to inform how we as a collective talk for and with one another? If we are serious about real transformation of society's disabling barriers, how do we as a collective act for change in the future?
ILMI will host a series of short interactive Zoom interviews with disabled activists who will share their journey, their analysis and where the movement can learn from actions in the past. After the short interview, we will have a facilitated discussion with participants that will allow disabled activists to share their ideas.

This week's interview is with ILMI member Jacqui Brown and will take place on May 20th at 7:30pm sharp via Zoom. If you are interested in participating please email

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Employment Group: Call for Participants:


Disabled people in Ireland face many barriers when trying to access, progress in and retain employment. This area is very extensive and has no one size fits all approach. The way we work post the pandemic will change our ways of thinking, working and behaving. The idea of remote working will be a more accepted norm now in Ireland. ILMI want to create a space to discuss employment so we are going to host thematic discussions aiming to discuss different aspects of employment for disabled people.

Independent Living Movement Ireland is delighted to have Seònaid Ó Murchadha as our employment representative on the Comprehensive Employment Strategy Implementation Group. We will aim to support Seònaid by giving her evidence based examples in day to day experiences in relation to employment.

Our first session will be to collect the lived experience of job seekers with their local INTREO offices, their online supports and reasonable accommodations within that system. The session will be hosted online via Zoom on Friday 29th May @11 am.

We WANT to hear from you so get involved!

Email our policy officer on or contact him on 0867744991

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Community Platforms

 Photo shows ta graphic with the text Longford calling.

Both ILMI and the ONSIDE project are continuing to provide access to it's community support and training programme through a number of ONSIDE community platforms. Specific sessions include:

  • Monday: Longford
  • Tuesday: Cavan/Monaghan
  • Wednesday: Sligo/Leitrim
  • Thursday: Donegal
  • Friday: Clare
These platforms are an opportunity for you to stay socially connected and find out information on supports and services in your local community. We have guest speakers from mainstream services that give information and talk about what is available to you during COVID-19 and beyond.
It is hoped that the community platforms will provide a response to the challenge of social isolation caused by COVID-19, through creating a shared social space for the voices of local disabled adults. If you would like to register to take part in any of these community platforms then please contact any of the ILMI or ONSIDE staff teams.
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 Cavan  / Monaghan ONSIDE Community Platform
The Cavan / Monaghan Community Platform zoom continues every Tuesday 2pm-3pm. This week we had a very informative discussion and Q&A with Co. Monaghan based Nutritionist Alexia Treanor. Next Tuesday 19th May we have a meditation and relaxation session scheduled with reflexologist Francine O'Neill who will share tips and techniques for dealing with feelings of stress, anxiety and getting a good nights sleep. The platform is open to all disabled people living in Cavan and Monaghan, for more information on how to get involved contact

Sligo / Leitrim ONSIDE Community Platform

Wednesday 27 May, 2pm:  Orla Barry, Citizen Information, Sligo.  Orla will talk about the Citizen Information Service, how it came into being, its purpose and what services it provides. Orla will also talk briefly about the rights and responsibilities that being a Citizen in Ireland bring to all of us.

Wednesday 20 May, 2pm:  Mr Darren McGough, Civil Defence Officer, Sligo County Council.  Darren will be providing a basic introduction to first aid.  Topics covered will be, what should be in your first aid kit, how to dress most common minor injuries at home, how to know if you need to go to A+E or your GP.

Sligo / Leitrim ONSIDE Weekly Zoom Platforms take place every Wednesday at 2pm.  Over the previous weeks we have had IT specialist Colin Patton form Community Action Support talk about using the internet to explore Museums, Galleries and Libraries. Eve Curran from Ulster Bank spoke about online banking, protecting yourself against online fraud and managing your money.  This week we had Peter Kearns from ILMI facilitate a creative writing exercise to envisage a more inclusive Sligo / Leitrim.  The programme for the following three weeks is as follows:

Wednesday 3 June, 2pm:  Marie Gilligan, sexuality and relationship expert.  Marie is an expert in sexuality and relationships with an interest in disability and how disability interconnects with issues related to sexuality.  

Donegal ONSIDE Community Platform

The Donegal Platform has had a variety of guest speakers over the last few weeks. This platform was a facilitated space for participants to find out information on supports and services available to them during Covid-19.

Over the next two weeks the platform will have presentations/talks on; supporting your mental health during Covid-19, healthy eating, exercise tips and a talk from our ONSIDE peer research coordinator Emma O Neill.


Longford Community Platform  

The Longford The Longford Community platform will have its first meeting this Monday (18t May) @2pm. If you are intetrested in participating email 
For more information on the Longford Community Platform, read this piece in the Longford Leader here

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Minding Your Emotional Wellbeing

For ONSIDE participants every Monday at 2pm we are Zoom broadcasting a 'live' Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) programme for stress and anxiety. Qualified CBT Therapist Maria Whelan is bringing a practical approach and holistic view towards emotional wellbeing and physical health signs and symptoms of stress in relation to current health crisis. If you are an ONSIDE participant and are interested in taking part in this course please contact Orla at This programme will finish up on Monday 25th May

Then on Thursday's we are delighted to bring you a Zoom 5-part series of Minding Your Emotional Wellbeing that everyone can avail of. Michael Ryan is an ILMI member and a qualified Counsellor/Psychotherapist. Michael provides strategies and effective exercises for disabled adults to cope and possibly spring bloom out the other end of this national crisis. His one-hour workshop takes place every Thursday from 4pm to 5pm. If you’re are a disabled adult interested in taking part then please email any of the ILMI staff team or James at 

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Introduction to Photography and Reportage Artwork

We are currently hosting a Photography and Reportage Artwork course via Zoom with photographer Dave McKane. This course is aimed at disabled adults and its goal is to enhance visual storytelling skills with your smart phone. Unfortunately this training programme is now full. However, iIf you would like to register your interest please contact any of the ILMI team or Maryam at and we will notify you should a second course be offered.

Film Club

Photo shows a graphic for the ILMI Film Club every Thursday. 

Next Thursday, 21st April, is the last Film Club meeting for a few weeks. Over the past eight weeks, the discussion group has enjoyed some vibrant conversations about disability and film and many other facets of our shared experiences around impairment, society and cinema. Next Thursday, we will be looking at the 1992 Irish documentary about the disability rights movement and independent living In From The Margins. If you would like to join the conversation then please email before 6pm on Thursday evening.


Drawing Class

Leitrim Development Company's (LDC) Teresa Butler is delivering a series of introductory art & drawing Zoom workshops with ILMI's ONSIDE project. Classes started on Tuesday and will run over the coming weeks. These basic drawing-classes are also open to everyone. To take part in Teresa's sessions all you will need is just a rough sketchbook or large sheets of paper and a pencil, or pen, or crayon or marker of your choice. Spaces are limited so please register your interest at as soon as possible. 

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ILMI are delighted to offer a 4 week course led by yoga expert Kieran O'Neill.  The focus is on yoga, mobility and toning exercises, which will help focus: the mind, body soul with stretching and breathing exercises; loosening your the body and easing any build of stress the body is holding on to; and building up strength and endurance in the working muscles. Classes started this week and are running for one hour from the new time of 12 to 1pm each class will be done with an aim to enjoy and improve each week. If you are interested in taking part please register your interest at

 Photographing being disabled by a garden gnome

Photo shows Photographer and Tutor Dave McKane
Every Wednesday at 3pm ILMI are Zooming a 'live' introduction Course to using your mobile phone camera to create a Covid-19 'crisis and opportunity'  'Reportage' storyboard. The 17 photography students are learning to document through a storyboard of mobile photos how disabled adults are tackling the Covid-Crisis. At the end of the course the work will be exhibited on ILMI's brand new on-line Art Gallery, which is being developed by ILMI's Dr James Casey, Peter Kearns and our ILMI Communications intern Maryam Madani.

ILMI Photography Course Tutor Dave McKane has asked students to see themselves as disabled activists wishing to tell a story about positive change in time of Covid-19 through  a series of photos about overcoming disabling isolation barriers. After weeks of workshops with Dave, the activists now know that there's a need to be consistent in how 'Reportage' photographers shoot the images to tell a true lived experience story. With Tutor Dave, activists are exploring an option that might be to take a anti-cocoon trip outside as a storyboard approach, or even to shoot from the road (be safe, please!) or move up the path and around the buildings...where naughty things happen.

Our ILMI budding Covid-crisis 'war-photographers' are also exploring another option which might be to place the same disabling object in each photo (such as a everyday disabling domestic barrier.... or even a grumpy looking garden gnome). Dave says "It’s up to the activists whether they shoot wide shots or close up frames" to compose their storyboards using something called 'The Rule of Thirds',  something this E-Bulletin writer needs to go to the workshops to discover. Activists are now moving-on to engage with hints and tips for choosing a particular “look” for their projects, using filters and other image processing techniques, plus guidelines for consistent visual story telling and regular comment and critique on their weekly reportage photo submissions to the course Tutor.


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Creative Writing

Photo shows a Creative Writing graphic with the words Read it, write it, share it.

ILMI are delighted to be working with Leitrim Artist Isolde Carmody to bring a series of Creative Writing workshops over the coming weeks. Places will be extremely limited so advance registration is required as soon as possible if you have an interest in taking part please contact or Isolde herself at for further information.

HSE and NPHET Guidelines During COVID-19

The National Quality Improvement Team  (HSE) has circulated a number of useful resources relating to COVID-19, which have all been approved by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET). They include a number of useful resources; with the list being continually updated. There is a useful guide on the use of PPE included and remember your PA can also complete PPE training online using their HSE Land account.  The full current (Friday) list of resources includes:


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Go on be a Master Post Graduate Disability Studies Programme in St Angela's College

Photo shows ILMI ONSIDE coordinator and St Angela's Lecturer Peter Kearns and participants on Disability Studies Programme

If you're an ILMI member who attended last year's AGM, at the First-Dates Gibson  Hotel in Dublin, you may have enjoyed our UK guest speaker Dr Colin Cameron who linked the social model to activist and collective led DPOs. If you fancy seeing a lot more of Colin and also get a NUIG Post-Grad qualification at the same time, you can now check-out Sligo's St. Angela's College QQI-Level 9 Disability Equality Masters starting in autumn 2020. Colin, who wrote the essential social model book Disabilities Studies: A Students Guide, is a main lecturer alongside ILMI's ONSIDE Coordinator Peter Kearns (pictured in another dodgy shirt lecturing this year's students).

The Masters is delivered through a blend of on-line evening tutorials (1-hour video X 3 evenings at 6.30pm) and a one full-day Saturday per term, and assignments are continuous assessments on the NUIG College's Moodle website.

Recruitment is well underway for the Post Graduate Disability Studies programme in St Angela’s College. The Social model led Course will be of interest to disabled people, people currently working in the disability community, community development, health and social care sectors. People working with disabled people may also find this programme of value. Colin and Peter are very keen that disabled people, and especially activists, apply for the Masters or even the shorter 1-year Post-Grad. Students can also apply for financial access support through St. Angela's College, Sligo specific Course scholarship. Check-out the Course 'Links' below:
Post-Graduate Certificate (1 year) Post-Graduate Diploma (2 years) Master of Science in Disability Studies (3 years) (Level 9)
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And twitter: @STACSDisability


Being at the Back of the House
Here's one for any of our Irish language speakers. Ross Coleman has written an interesting piece for, on how being stuck at home is nothing new for disabled people due to a lack of PAS support. Ross goes on to detail his fear of how the COVID-19 pandemic may be detrimental to the Government's protection and prioritisation of PAS. You can view the full Irish language version here…/
Ross has also kindly translated the article for any of our non-Irish speakers. The text of which is below:

Being at the Back of the House
Whilst leaders all over the world are talking about the sacrifices we all have to make, I think to myself that this is nothing new to me as I’m a disabled person and so I’m used to being at the back of the house.
As a person with a disability, I need help with certain tasks. For example, going to the bathroom, putting on my clothes, and taking a shower. Usually my parents help with this. I get a Personal Assistant when I’m in college but apart from that, I spend most of the summer at home because I don’t have a Personal Assistant of my own.
A Personal Assistant would vastly improve my independence. It would allow me get a job, do voluntary work, or go to the Gaeltacht to improve my Irish. It would allow me have my own life without having to rely on my parents. I would have the same chance as my peers have to try and lead the life that I want to lead.
Unfortunately, the HSE does not have enough funding to provide Personal Assistants. Waiting lists are long and even if people do get a PA, they only get around 40 minutes a day. In that time period, you could take a shower and put on your clothes, and maybe have a nice breakfast if you’re fast enough. Little chance of someone having a full and fulfilled life, however.
The government has made very little progress on this. When the economic recession came in 2008, funding that was put aside for people with disabilities was cut and hasn’t been put back. As well as this, even though the government agreed to the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2006 , it wasn’t ratified until 2017, over ten years later. Indeed, it was announced only a year ago that the training grant for people with disabilities was going to be discounted. No surprise them that Ireland is the worst country in Western Europe in which to have a disability: there is a 38.5% risk that people with disabilities will live in poverty, according to figures from the EU.
With another recession looming, I fear that more cuts will be made to the funding for the disability sector and disabled people’s rights will be put on the long finger yet again. The way the government has dealt with people with disabilities shows, that in times of crisis, they rank low on their list of priorities.
I’m 22 years of age. I’m about to finish university in a few weeks. I should be excited about what the world has to offer me. I’m the exact opposite. I’m scared that there won’t be any support available. I’m scared that I will have to spend my time at home reading books and writing stories. I’m scared, that when I die, I’ll be put in a nursing home before my time and be at the back of the house forever.
Yes, I know that we are all knee-deep in a crisis at the moment. But when this crisis is over, the majority of people will be able to return to their normal lives. People with disabilities, however, will still be at the back of the house.

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