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Welcome to our May 29th E-Bulletin

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Dates for Your Diary:

Photo shows the range of online communities available through ILMI this week (starting Monday the 1st June May):
  • Monday: Bank Holiday,
  • 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 Blogs: Locked Down, But Won't be Locked Up
Why we need to talk about the "Disability Sector"


Image shows ILMI logo

ILMI have two new blogs on our website to provide analysis and discussion. This week's new blog comes from ILMI Secretary, Activism and writer, Sarah Fitzgerald and is called "Locked Down But won't be locked up":

"When Covid19 began to bring about “the new normal” back in March, I have to be honest and say that I did not expect ILMI’s Zoom interactions to harness the energy and enthusiasm that I have been a part of for the last three months. These “zooms” are now the highlight of my week, a place where I can kick off my metaphorical shoes and feel at home, where I feel like a valued member of a community which is based on activism and the pursual of rights. Over the last few weeks, there have been some newcomers in addition to the familiar faces and to me it feels like they have always been there, and I feel excited by the prospect of us all coming together to have our voices heard."

Read more here

A blog from ILMI called "Why we need to talk about the 'Disability Sector' from 15th May looks at the importance of language, the social model and the role of Disabled Person's Organisations (DPOs) separate from service providers:

"So if we are clear as a Movement that has a vision of an Ireland where disabled persons have freedom, choice and control over all aspects of their lives and can fully participate in an inclusive society as equals then we need to use language that reflects that struggle. The “disability sector” is not about disabled people’s lives and the need to challenge structural inequality. If the “disability sector” is to be spoken about we need to be clear as a Movement that it represents organisations that provide services, often vital services, to disabled people, but that they do not in any way represent or speak on behalf of disabled people".

You can more here

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 Submission: Disabled People and a Programme for Government

ILMI submitted "Disabled People and the Programme for Government" to the political parties negotiating a programme for Government based on the principle of promoting inclusion of disabled people as equals in Society. The core elements of the submission are the participation of disabled people in negotiating their rights through Disabled Person's Organisations (DPOs), The right to Personal Assistance; the continued committment to the Direct Payments programme; Housing for Disabled People; ending institutional life for Disabled People and Social Inclusion through digital access.

You can read a PDF of the submission here and an MS Word version 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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An Introduction to Independent Living: Starting Tuesday 9th June 11am

Photo shows sign for "coming soon"

ILMI is running weekly sessions on “An Introduction to Independent Living” from Tuesday 9th June @11am.

Are you starting your journey into independent living and want to know more about that journey? Why not join our sessions on “An Introduction to Independent Living”.

For more info contact our peer mentor Shelly on


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 Maureen McGovern and will take place on June3rd  at 7:30pm sharp via Zoom. If you are interested in participating please email

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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 (from Monday 8th June)
  • Wednesday: Sligo/Leitrim
  • 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 or email

The ONSIDE community platforms are going to move from weekly to monthly discussions as ONSIDE staff prepare for the delivery of the digital training as part of the ONSIDE programme. Email your local community navigator for more details:

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Sligo / Leitrim ONSIDE Community Platform


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.  This is open to all ILMI Members and not just ONSIDE participants from Sligo / Leitrim.

Longford Community Platform  

The Longford The Longford Community platform will have its first meeting Monday 8th June @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.


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. 

There is no Drawing class on Tuesday 2nd June but it will return on the 9th June for the final class.

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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

 Diet and Nutrition Workshops: starting 17th June s

Starting on Wednesday 17th June at 12 noon, Alexia Traynor will deliver five workshops to look at
what it means to be able to find a balance in order to maintain health and Vitality. This is open to all ILMI members, to register your interest, email


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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


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