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Welcome to Our January 17th 2020 E-Bulletin

Dates for Your Diary:
  • Our Voice Our Vote Election Events:
    • 27th January, Carmichael House Dublin, Time TBC
    • 30th January, Temple Gate Hotel Ennis, 11am - 1pm
    • 3rd February, Tullamore Court Hotel, 11am - 1pm
    • 4th February, Radisson Blue Letterkenny, 11am - 1pm
    • 4th February, Connacht Hotel, Galway, 7pm - 9pm
    • 5th February, Loughrea Hotel, Co. Galway, 11am - 1pm
    • 6th February, Glen Resource Centre Cork, 11am - 1pm
What's In This Issue:
Are You Registered to Vote?

Voting is important. It is what makes us a democratic republic and all Irish citizens living in Ireland over 18 are entitled to vote in the General Election.
Firstly, if you are unsure if you are registered to vote check the official Register of Electors’ website to see if your name and correct address are included. 
You can also find the updated Register of Electors at your local Garda station or library. If your details are correct then you are good to go – a polling card will be sent to your home address and you bring this along with a form of ID to the polling station on the day of election.
As the election is only a couple of weeks away, it is now too late to be added to this list of voters – but don’t panic! You can still vote in the General Election by applying to be on the Supplement Register (if you aren’t already on it) and this is how you can apply:
Go to your local Garda barracks, public library or council offices and ask for form RFA2, which can also be downloaded. Fill out the form and ask a Garda to witness and sign the form. Then you must post (FREE POST), or deliver, the form to your local authority by Wednesday 22nd January 2020 to be included in the Supplementary Register of Electors.
If you are already registered to vote, but your address has changed then you need to request form RFA3 and follow the above steps. 
Remember, we want rights, not charity and that is what they need to hear. Make our politicians earn your vote and attend local events where possible to meet with your candidates and have your voice heard!

Our Voice Our Vote

Photo shows Our Voice Our Vote Poster for Clare

Over the coming weeks disabled people and their families will have an opportunity to come together and highlight our main priorities for General Elections 2020. As we are all aware many of us are still forced to live on the margins of society denied any real independence or opportunity to contribute. On February 8th we all have an opportunity to exercise our right to vote and secure independence and equal rights for all disabled people. 
ILMI CEO Damien Walshe explains that 'Our candidates need to understand that disabled people can speak for themselves. It is a matter of equality, not wasted resources and charity. Over the coming weeks we are encouraging all disabled people to come together and attend local Our Voice Our Vote events. It is vital that disabled people take these opportunities and meet with their candidates, here they can meet their constituency candidates and raise issues in person. Nobody can speak for us but ourselves. We know what we need and this is our opportunity as voters and citizens to say it".

Meetings are running as follows:
27th January: Carmichael House Dublin, Time TBC
30th January: Temple Gate Hotel, Ennis, 11am - 1pm
3rd February: Tullamore Court Hotel, 11am - 1pm
4th February: Radisson Hotel Letterkenny, in partnership with Donegal CIL, 11am - 1pm
4th February: Connacht Hotel Galway, 7pm - 9pm
5th February: Loughrea Hotel, in partnership with the IWA, 11am- 1pm
6th February: Glen Resource and Sports Centre Cork, Time TBC

Everyone is welcome to encouraged to attend these free events. If you would like more information please contact Susan.
Welcome to Shelly Gaynor

Pictured is Shelly Gaynor ILMI Peer Mentor

Hi folks,
My name is Shelly Gaynor. I have recently joined the ILMI team as Peer Mentor for the Greater Dublin Area. My role is to directly work with disabled people in the Greater Dublin area to access the supports and services they need to live independent lives. I’m very excited about this role as I have been involved in the Independent Living Movement for over twenty plus years in Ireland. I have had the pleasure and privilege to call many of the founders of the movement personal friends of mine not only were they friends but also peer mentors to me on my own journey to independence and onto independent living.
Independent living is something I’m very passionate about and ensuring that disabled people have freedom, choice and control in their lives, something that non-disabled people take for granted. With this I have joined many activists across the country on numerous campaigns that had a focus on “rights not charity”. A personal highlight for me was in 2012 when I was part of a small number of people who did an overnight stay outside Leinster house to make sure the government took us seriously and to ensure Personal Assistance Service funding was not going to be cut by 50 percent. We maintained that we were not going anywhere until we had the commitment in writing that this cut would not happen. It is moments like this that remind me of the importance of collective action and the strength of a movement of people working together. Personally, I have been using a Personal Assistance Service (PAS) since the age of 18. I was with a service provider for nearly 20 however in recent years I have moved to direct payments via Aiseanna Tacaiochta (AT). A PAS allows me to be me, the person I want to be. I’m delighted to join the staff of ILMI in light of the momentous unanimous passing of the motion on PAS that happened in November 2019.
I hope to bring and indeed pass on the guidance and insight I have gained throughout the years to fellow disabled people that was shown to me. I was always told that if you really want something in life that in can be achieved once one is willing to work towards it. Nothing is handed to anyone on a plate disabled or not. Once you have the right mind-set that distant dream can become a reality.
I look forward to working with existing ILMI members and spreading the message and philosophy of independent living to other disabled people. I feel it’s important to let people know that they are not alone in the everyday struggle of daily living with a disability and that the movement is full of people with shared lived experience that is worth sharing. 
Please don’t hesitate to contact me.

As part of our strategic plan, we are looking to build a network of disability activists across the country who share ILMI's vision and values and who can mentor other disabled people in representation roles.
Led and developed by ILMI ONSIDE coordinator Peter Kearns and based on Peter's extensive experience in adult education and mentoring, this course will be a mix of face-to-face sessions and Zoom mentoring over the course of 10 sessions.
Activists will learn about the social model of disability, the UNCRPD and its practical application, disability equality and human rights, key policy discussions, the equality and human rights infrastructure in Ireland, representation roles and the role of ILMI as a Disabled Person's Organisation (DPO). Peter will lead the training and it will feature inputs from other disabled activists.
ILMI will aim to support the activists on this course to engage on local and national structures and put their learning into practice. There will 8 workshops in total, with a delivered as mixture of face to face workshops in Dublin and via Zoom as well.
Expressions of interest for interested activists will be considered. Places are limited to 15 participants and by application only. Where numbers exceed 15, interviews will be held to choose the most suitable candidates. To apply, email with a short introduction on who you are and why you want to participate on this course and what you would like to achieve from it by the 14th February.
Once participants have been selected, dates for workshops and course outline will be circulated.  


Seanad Election 2020: Call for people to express interest in being ILMI nomination
Under the Seanad Electoral (Panel Members) Acts 1947 to 2015, ILMI is registered as a nominating body. This means that ILMI can propose a candidate to seek election to the Seanad.
Expressions of Interest will be considered from disabled persons who are ILMI members or from disabled persons who would meet the eligibility for acceptance into ILMI membership.
 The nominee must e-mail their expression of interest to by 5.00pm on Friday, February 7th, 2020. The expression of interest should take the form of a statement of suitability to be a senator representing the interests of disabled persons in no greater than one thousand words.
The expressions of interest will be considered by a sub-committee of the ILMI board who may seek to meet with candidates and invite presentations to the sub-committee in the event of a number of persons seeking the ILMI nomination.  The sub-committee will bring their selection for ratification to a meeting of the ILMI board.
The successful candidate would thereby be listed as one of the candidates under the Administrative panel, which elects seven Senators. Candidates seeking election to the Seanad would need to canvass Members of the incoming Dáil, Members of the outgoing Seanad and Members of county councils and city councils who have voting rights for the Seanad.
The Seanad elections must take place up to ninety days after the Dáil is dissolved and our understanding is that we will have a date for Seanad elections sometime next week.


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Center for Independent Living · Carmichael Centre · North Brunswick Street · Dublin, D D7 · Ireland

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