The Clare Leader Forum (CLF) ran an event based upon equal access to education. For the CLF true equality means having an equal opportunity to access education. CLF LIT student Noel Kearney explained "Disability rights are human rights and my right to access education are just as important as yours. The support I need to do so shouldn't even be an issue. I don't want charity I want you to respect my rights".
Delegates were also given the opportunity to listen to how they can access a wide range of support services offered by colleges in the area and how those skills can be utilised to secure employment. Presentations were made by UL, LIT, Intreo and Employability with the lived experience demonstrated by individuals who had returned to education with the appropriate supports.
A packed room in the Temple Gate Hotel ensured that IDPwd 2019 was respected in Clare with strong plans in place to continue the tremendous work of the CLF into 2020.
If you would like to learn more about the CLF or how you can get involved do please contact Susan who will be happy to help.
Photo shows Galway City Councillors Martina O'Connor, Pauline O'Reilly and Alan Cheevers with Galway Activism members.
Galway Activism celebrated IDPwD by hosting a 'Future is Accessible event, which focused on the issue of Personal Assistance Services (PAS). Presentations were provided by Cliona DeBhailis, from the Centre for Disability Law and Policy in NUIG, and real life testimonies provided by individuals in receipt of PAS.
As part of the evening celebration ILMI and Galway Activism presented a Motion to Galway City Local Authority, which supported our right to access PAS. Mayor Cllr. Mike Cubbard and Cllr. Colette Connolly explained the background to the Motion and why it is so important to us.The night culminated with ten sitting Galway City Councillors agreeing to support the Motion for #PASNOW and have it tabled at the next Galway City Council meeting on December 9th.
Galway are delighted to pave the way on this vital issue and if you would like support to contact your local Councillors about the #PASNOW campaign then do let Susan know.
Photo shows the audience at 'Smashing Barriers' on December 3rd.
In collaboration with Kate Harris, Theatre Maker, members of Smashing Barriers: Drama Collective created and scripted a play called ‘Dead or Alive’ that tells the story of disabled people in a different way and from a Social Model of Disability perspective. The play first performed our play to a packed audience in Ballyfermot last December and recently took a tour to Tallaght and Ballymun.
ILMI were delighted to participate in panel discussions in both locations and ILMI's ONSIDE coordinator Peter Kearns facilitated a disability equality workshop before the performance in Ballymun.
The play was a huge success and is unique in being developed, scripted and acted by disabled activists and hopefully the group will secure funding to bring the play to more venues in 2020.
Photo shows British Ambassador to Ireland Robin Barnett with ILMI Staff members Peter Kearns and James Cawley.
ILMI were delighted to be represented at the British Embassy in Dublin. James Cawley and Peter Kearns attended an event hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland Robin Barnett to mark International Day of Disabled People 2019.
ILMI Key Policy Submissions in November 2019
As a national representative Disabled Person's Organisation, one of the roles of ILMI is to bring together from facilitated member discussions collective ILMI submissions to influence the development of policy, practice and legislation.
Based on this, ILMI made two submissions last month. ILMI made a submission to the Cost of Disability research which can be accessed as a PDF here or as Word document here
ILMI also made a submission to the midterm review of the National Disability Inclusion Strategy (NDIS) and a PDF can be accessed here or a as a Word document here. If you are interested in participating in any ILMI policy discussions, please email James Cawley.
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Photo shows a screenshot of 'No Driver Found' information on a taxi app.
Hands up who orders an accessible taxi and watches the app go round and round until “no driver found appears”?
According to the NTA the number of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs) in the Small Public Service Vehicles (SPSV) fleet has increased significantly. SPSVs include taxis, hackneys and limousines. Transport for Ireland report that in In July 2014, a grant scheme and training were introduced to assist licence holders in the purchase and use of wheelchair accessible vehicles. The scheme has been running on an annual basis since then to increase WAV vehicles in the fleet. As we know transport is essential to aid independent living. Lots of disabled people rely on accessible taxis as their mode of transport.
Earlier this year our Policy Officer James Cawley was appointed to the Taxi advisory committee in which ILMI attend monthly meetings in the National Transport Authority. The committee gives us a unique position to represent from lived experience how consumers experience SPSV’s. Some key information from past meetings includes:
- WAVs now constitute 14.3 percent of the SPSV fleet which has exceeded the NTA target percentage of 10% by 2020. The NTA’s intention is to reach 15 percent by 2021 which looks extremely achievable. However, we know that disabled people face significant challenges in securing accessible taxis – low or no acceptance rates, cancellations or being late. It’s difficult to be spontaneous when you need an accessible taxi in Ireland.
- Currently 4.5 million has been spent on WAV grants. Very soon the NTA is going to list all the WAV registered SPSV on their website. (We will update you when this is live).
- The importance of lived experience in all WAV training is imperative. The NTA has confirmed they will factor lived experience going forward into the training drivers have to take to be awarded WAV grants.
- The NTA confirms that successful WAV applicants are of good geographical spread and the NTA will introduce electric WAVs into the fleet in the future.
- The NTA strongly encourages reporting of non-compliance within the fleets. So if you are experiencing difficulty with accessible taxis or other SPSVs let them know! You can do this on the NTA website.
In the New Year ILMI will pull together a zoom around SPSV’s in particular so you can voice your collective opinion which will be brought up at the next Taxi advisory committee meeting.
Watch this space!
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Photo shows some of the Donegal participants with ILMI team member Orla Beirne
Letterkenny third ONSIDE workshop took place on the 28th November. The guest speakers for this workshop included Siobhan from the Citizens Information Centre, Michael from Letterkenny Congress Resource Centre and John from the Donegal Volunteer Centre. This workshop included information on rights and entitlements, the supports available for job preparation (CV and interview prep) and local volunteer opportunities. If you would like more information then please contact Orla to find out how you can get involved.
Photo shows Fiona Stapleton of Donegal Hi! with ILMI team members Orla Beirne and Peter Kearns.
Donegal Hi! is a new Sight Seeing Geotourism Company based in Inishowen Donegal, set up by local geologist and Entrepreneur Fiona Stapleton. From Start-Up the company aims to provide a tour service that is accessible to everyone. Research is underway to provide bus tours for people who are often left out of mainstream services by not being adequately catered for, such as people with visual, sensory, physical or intellectual impairments.
The company is in its formative stages, with tours commencing April 2020, but it invites all guidance and suggestions from individuals and experts alike, on how to best provide a tour which would suit themselves or people that they care about.
Donegal Hi! were delighted to have met with ILMI’s Peter Kearns and Orla Beirne and undertook a very informative Disability Equality Training Workshop a couple of weeks ago. ILMI and Donegal Hi! aim to work together to document the process in how to set up an Accessible Business, in order to lead the way in best practice and encourage others to consider everyone in their business models.
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