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Welcome to our April 17th E-Bulletin

Dates for Your Diary:

Photo shows the range of online communities available through ILMI this week (starting Monday the 20th of April):
  • Monday: 2pm Minding your Mental Health (ONSIDE Only participants)
  • 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 Team News
As we all continue to stay safe and connect in a different way ILMI remains as busy as ever. We now have a range of different connection opportunities running throughout each week, which you can find details of below. Please remember that you do not have to be an ILMI member to avail of any of these sessions.
If you have never used Zoom, the platform we are using to deliver these sessions, you can still take part. Simply contact or any of the ILMI staff team and we will be happy to organise a one-to-one Zoom tutorial to get you started.

Leader Training - Effectively Managing Your PAS

The first of our five-week Leader Training programme kicked off on Tuesday. 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.
Training is already taking place on Tuesdays at 11am for 5 weeks with each training session lasting for one hour.
However, Tuesday's programme is now fully subscribed so we are offering a second programme on Thursday's.
Advance registration is required. If you would like to learn more please contact Susan at or read our information circular here
 PAS Community

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. The group are currently seeking clarity from Government Departments and Agencies on a range of issues currently impacting upon our PAS. They will feedback to all PAS users through ILMI once feedback has been received.
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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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 will be with ILMI Chair Des Kenny and will take place on April 29th at 7:30pm sharp via Zoom. If you are interested in participating please email

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Social Media Training

We are continuing to roll out Social Media Training with this week's module focusing on WhatsApp. Running over six weeks modules covered will include:

  • Facebook
  • Zoom
  • Twitter
  • WhatsApp
  • Instagram
Each module will be delivered as a beginner's guide so please do not feel that you have to have any IT experience to take part. Delivery is via Zoom and by way of an interactive PowerPoint, which will be distributed to all participants in advance.
We are also offering one-to-one Zoom sessions for any individual who would like to avail of them.
If you would like to learn more about using any or all of these platforms then just let any of the ILMI team know or register with Susan at

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ONSIDE Community Platforms
ONSIDE is continuing to provide access to it's community support and training programme through a number of ONSIDE community platforms. Specific sessions include:

  • Tuesday: Cavan/Monagahn
  • Wednesday: Sligo/Leitrim
  • Thursday: Donegal
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.
Over the last three weeks we had a variety of guest speakers including:
  • Peter Kearns the project co-ordinator of the ONSIDE project facilitated a discussion around Coronavirus and how it has impacted on disabled people’s choice, independence and autonomy.
  • Eve Curran a community banker with Ulster bank delivered a talk on; ways to bank, online scams/frauds and informed people of useful numbers.
  • Helen Maguire an IT tutor with supporting communities who showed people how to access online library and shopping services. 
  • An informative IT workshop delivered by ONSIDE’s Digital Inclusion Officer who shared some excellent resources available online for free.
  • Liam Treanor, a Counsellor Co-ordinator from Cavan Family Resource Centre who discussed tips and techniques on how to manage feelings of stress and anxiety during this difficult time.
It is hoped that the ONSIDE Zoom 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 ONSIDE staff team or Peter at

Minding Your Emotional Wellbeing

Photo shows Therapist Maria Whelan

For ONSIDE participants every Monday at 2pm we will be Zoom broadcasting a 'live' Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) programme for stress and anxiety. Qualified CBT Therapist Maria Whelan will bring a practical approach and holistic view towards emotional wellbeing and physical health signs and symptoms of stress in relation to current health crisis.
Maria will introduce us to her 5-A-Day Actions for maintaining wellness and the concept of your own COVID-19 self-management toolbox. She will also show relaxation techniques and finding those inner 'Anchors' for getting grounded, plus getting the body and mind relaxed with simple breathing exercises.
Note as this Monday is a Bank Holiday this session will not be running this week. However you can still register your interest by emailing any of the ONSIDE staff team or Orla at

Photo Shows Therapist Michael Ryan

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 is looking forward to providing strategies and effective exercises for disabled adults to cope and possibly spring bloom out the other end of this national crisis.
Michael's one-hour workshop will be every Thursday from 4pm to 5pm starting on 9th April until May 7th. 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

Photo Shows photographer Dave McKane.

For anyone interested in learning a new skill over the coming weeks we will be hosting a Photography and Reportage Artwork course via Zoom.

This course is aimed at disabled adults and its goal is to enhance visual storytelling skills with your smart phone. It is not expected that participants will have a high level of photography expertise and images will be taken and processed on the phones using a freely available App (PS Express). Participants will be guided through the process of visual story telling through:

  • Instruction in how to compose using the rule of thirds, plus hints and tips for choosing a particular “look” for their projects, using filters and other image processing techniques. Guidelines for consistent visual story telling and regular comment and critique on their submissions.

The ZOOM Dublin based tutor is Dave McKane, who is a fine art photographer who over the years has owned and used over 30 cameras, covering all of the major brands. He is well versed in almost every camera available on the market today. Dave started teaching photography in 1985, and set up the Institute of Photography in 2005 (now the IOP-Online), since then, he has taught over 20,000 students. He has also been the lead trainer for both Canon and Nikon. Dave has vast experience in the field of using photography as a creative expressive medium. He has held multiple exhibitions of his own photography, mainly in the United States
The course started on Thursday however if you missed this lesson and are still interested you can take part in a once-off session this Monday at 2.30pm . You do not need any specific photography skills to take part however you must have either completed last Thursday's class or this Monday's to progress with the rest of the programme. If you would like to register your interest please contact any of the ILMI team or Maryam at 

Film Club
Our new Film Club is providing a new way to connect socially. Film buffs and movie lovers are invited together at 7pm ever week 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

Photo Shows photographer Artist Teresa Butler

Leitrim Development Company's (LDC) Teresa Butler will deliver a series of introductory art & drawing Zoom workshops with ILMI's ONSIDE project. Starting this Tuesday afternoon at 12pm 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.
Teresa tells ILMI that she has painted all her life, and in her Dromahair studio likes to work fast using pencils and acrylic paint and watercolours, but she also enjoys taking time-out to teach art with community groups. Mood and emotion inspire her paintings, and she typically paints from life or from memory. When the weather, and Covid-19 allows, Teresa paints outdoors and when she is not outdoors she can be found in her studio.
The Mum of five has painted over the years to record her children growing up and events such as family holidays on Innish Meain and trekking across Europe, Africa and Asia. She has grabbed drawings while hiking up to Everest basecamp in 2019 or scrambling up to sketch ancient churches on Turkey's silk-road mountains. Teresa says she particularly enjoys that drawing and painting allows her to have her ‘own space’.
If you would like to learn a new skill or improve an existing one why not give Teresa's class a try? Spaces are limited so please register your interest at as soon as possible. 

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Photo Shows Yoga Instructor Kieran O'Neill

ILMI are delighted to offer a 4 week course led by yoga expert Kieran O'Neill.  The focus will be 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.
Starting this Thursday and running from 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

Thousands of Disabled People with PAs Fearful of Virus Impact

Photo taken from the Irish Times Article, which shows Owen Collumb

This morning's Irish Times article highlights a growing fear within the PAS user community about maintaining our service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lack of consistency in information, redeployment of staff to nursing homes, lack of PPE equipment and training, combined with a wealth of other issues are putting our disability front and center again.This backward spiral away from Independent Living towards a medical focus on disability is causing serious fear and anxiety for many of us, as articulated every week by members of our PAS Peer-Support group.
You can read the full article here  

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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