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Welcome to our May 1st E-Bulletin

Dates for Your Diary:

Photo shows the range of online communities available through ILMI this week (starting Monday the 4th of May):
  • Monday: Bank holiday no online communities
  • Tuesday: 11am Leader Training, 12pm Drawing Classes, 2pm ONSIDE Cavan and Monaghan Platform, 3pm PAS Online Community
  • Wednesday: 11am Social Media Training - Module 3 WhatsApp, 2pm ONSIDE Sligo and Leitrim Platform, 3pm Introduction to Photography and Reportage Artwork
  • Thursday: 11am Leader Training, 11am 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

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. 

 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.
Two programmes are already running on Tuesdays and Thursdays and these sessions are both fully subscribed. However we will now also be offering this training on Mondays. Training is 60 minutes per session, one day per week and our first Monday session will take on May 11th.
Advance registration is required. If you would like to learn more 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.
Our first interview was held with the ILMI Chair Des Kenny and the second interview will be with Eileen Daly. It will take place on May 6th at 7:30pm sharp via Zoom. If you are interested in participating please email

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As a Disabled Persons Organisation (DPO) we work to influence the policies that impact on our lives as disabled people. ILMI have been working on compiling and summarising policies relevant to Independent Living. These policies can be used as an informational resource for our members to be empowered going into spaces of representation at all levels National, Regional and Local. If you would like a summary of a particular policy let us know. You can contact any of the ILMI staff team or our policy officer James on

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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:

  • Tuesday: Cavan/Monaghan
  • Wednesday: Sligo/Leitrim
  • Thursday: Donegal
  • Friday: Clare
  • Longford: Coming Soon...
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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Social Media Training
As our online communities are being delivered via Zoom we are now offering one-to-one Zoom tutorials for anyone who may be nervous about getting started on the app. If you would like to learn more about using Zoom then just let any of the ILMI team know or register with Susan at

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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
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. 

Our new Film Club is providing a new way to connect socially. Film buffs and movie lovers are invited together at 7pm ever Thursday to discuss the latest cinema offerings and critique relevant movies.If you would like to register your interest please contact any of the ILMI team or James at

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 11am to 12pm 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

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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:


HSE Head of Disability Operations Video Message

The Head of Disability Operations in the HSE, Dr. Cathal Morgan, has recorded an update on disability and COVID-19, which may be of interest to people. You can view it here.

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Postdoctoral Researcher in Sociology or Cognate Discipline (DANCING Project)

NUI Maynooth are currently offering a 5 year post-doc opportunity in the Law Department, attached to Professor Delia Ferri's ERC-funded Dancing project. The specific role calls for a PhD graduate in sociology or a cognate discipline. It may be of particular interest to a person with a research interest in culture, disabilities, or both. The closing date is June 1st and for applications please visit



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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