Photo Selina Bonnie graduating
IHREC / IPA Professional Diploma in Human Rights and Equality
In December 2018, ILMI Board member Selina Bonnie graduated with a Professional Diploma in Human Rights and Equality. We caught up recently with Selina to find out about the course, and how she ended up undertaking it….
“I already hold an MA in Disability Studies from the University of Leeds and have been working as the South Dublin County Council Disability Liaison, Access and Equality Officer since 2006 but when I heard about the Professional Diploma in Human Rights and Equality I knew that it would give me a more in-depth understanding of Human Rights and Equality legislation which would help me to carry out my work in a more effective way”.
This one-year, part-time programme has been developed by the Institute of Public Administration (IPA) in conjunction with the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC). It is accredited by UCD.
The Course is designed to foster a better understanding of the place that human rights and equality occupy in public management and administration. The responsibility to devise policy, deliver services, and follow processes that protect human rights and further equality has become explicit since the introduction, through legislation, of the new public sector duty in this area. It is aimed at public servants, but is of benefit to the NGO sector as well. In fact Selina’s fellow course members included staff from National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI), and Inclusion Ireland.
The course is delivered through blended learning comprised of four intensive seminar days in the IPA, four written assignments (one for each of the Modules listed below), and home study.
Module One: Philosophical and Political Perspectives on Human Rights and Equality which introduces students to the historical and conceptual foundations of contemporary human rights and equality law. Students learn about the major historical developments in this area, the key theories that have been advanced in support of the universality of human rights and equality, and the current debates about the application of these theories in national and international contexts.
Module Two: The International and European Frameworks for Human Rights which introduces the United Nations human rights system, the Council of Europe human rights mechanisms (including the European Convention on Human Rights), and the European Union human rights and equality framework. The module is essentially concerned with the international legal framework within which Irish laws and policies sit.
Module Three: Human Rights and Equality in the Irish Legal System aims to introduce students to the protections around human rights and equality provided by the Constitution of Ireland (Bunreacht na hÉireann), and to the very considerable body of legislation and case law that has developed in Ireland, particularly in recent years.
Module Four: Human Rights and Equality in Public Management module gives students the knowledge, resources, and skills they need to apply what they have learned about human rights and equality to their working lives and to their organisations.
“I found the course fascinating. I have always been interested in the law and I love Latin so although the modules were very intensive with a lot of studying, remembering dates and acronyms and four written assignments, I feel it was definitely time well spent. As a disabled person who uses a wheelchair I found the IPA staff very welcoming, helpful and eager to try to meet access needs, but unfortunately the IPA building was not properly accessible. The IPA Library is not on ground level and there is no lift access to it, and the one ‘accessible toilet’, is not very accessible!”
Each year IHREC offer a number of bursaries to staff from the public and NGO sectors to enable them to undertake the course. This is very helpful because it costs just under €2,000. Although Selina’s bursary application was not successful her employer saw the potential benefit of the course to her role and funded her to undertake it.
Information on the Professional Diploma in Human Rights and Equality.
No Magic Pill by Christian O’Reilly
In 1995, I was a struggling writer who needed a job. I replied to an ad in the DCU newsletter for an organisation I’d never heard of – the Center for Independent Living – for a job I couldn’t get my head around: a researcher/personal assistant/communications officer. I was invited to an interview in the Royal Dublin Hotel. A man with a beard and a fishing hat was pushed through the doors in a wheelchair with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. ‘Shake the thumb,’ he said. It was my first introduction to Martin Naughton. I can’t remember a thing about the interview other than he told me I was starting next week. Doing what? I wondered. He smiled and told me not to worry. The following week I was thrown head first into a conference in Jury’s Hotel entitled ‘Disability – Investment not Burden’. I had no idea wheelchair-users could be so angry and so militant. I had no idea they wanted to change the world. Weren’t they supposed to sit quietly and watch TV all day? Not these guys.
I spent two years working for Martin. He told me CIL were the ‘IRA of disability’ and that our job was to ‘plant bombs’ and agitate for change. I was a lobbyist who knew nothing about lobbying, but Martin only saw what I could do, not what I couldn’t, and because he believed in me, I started to believe in myself. He had a presence, an aura, a gravitas. He could command a room like a general and rule with an iron fist. And he could laugh and slag and have fun. When you walked into a room with him, you felt powerful because you knew you were with the smartest, most politically astute guy in that room and that he was already ten steps ahead of everybody else.
Click here for full blog piece
Photo campaigning for Human Rights and Equality graphic
Clare Disability Activists Undertake New Education Initiative
Next week sees a group of sixteen disability activists in Clare commence their Certificate in Campaigning for Human Rights and Equality. The course is now in its second year running in Clare with 15 people graduating from the Clare Leader Forum in 2018.
Developed in conjunction with LIT this year's course has been newly designed to capitalise on participant's experiences and how they can be supported through campaigns that focus on real equality for disabled people. Through participating in this new course it is envisaged that graduates will work with the CLF and ILMI toward having a more fulfilled life as active citizens, aware of their rights as equals within our society.
The CLF are confident that the development of this new partnership with LIT will continue to offer further education opportunities to Clare residents that may not always have the opportunities to access them. This exciting venture is facilitated through the support of Clare County Council. We look forward to learning from this year's graduates and working with them well into the future.
Photo SLIS graphic
Sign Language Interpreting Service By Sophie Flynn
The Sign Language Interpreting Service (SLIS) was set up to give Deaf people access to public and social services. SLIS develops and advocates for quality interpretation services for Deaf people and service providers. SLIS is supported and funded by The Citizens Information Board (CIB) to operate:
• 24/7 emergency service providing an interpreter for medical and legal emergencies only (Emergency Mobile: 087 672 5179).
• A free referral service to put Deaf people and service providers in contact with an interpreter.
• The HSE SLIS GP Primary Care Service providing GP and primary care appointments for Deaf people with medical cards or a GP visit card. (Text: 087 980 6996, Email: email@example.com)
• A social fund that pays for interpreters for funerals and hardship cases.
• The Irish Remote Interpreting Service (IRIS)
• Supports to enhance quality standards for professional sign language interpreters and their customers.
Two of the main services that SLIS provides are IRIS and the interpreter referral service.
The Irish Remote Interpreting Service (IRIS) allows you to video call a Sign Language Interpreter when you need to talk to public services or commercial organisations. A free 22-minute appointment can easily be booked online.
You can also use the SLIS referral service for free to find an interpreter when you need a face-to-face interpreter for meetings and appointments. SLIS will find an appropriate interpreter, which you or the service provider can book directly with the interpreter.
The National Disability Inclusion Strategy (2017-2021) is working to promote greater inclusion of people with disabilities in Irish society. SLIS has been tasked with expanding and improving their services. Last year, IRIS expanded its opening hours and SLIS is now working on a strategic framework to increase the number of working Sign Language interpreters. A registration scheme and training opportunities are also being developed in 2019. We can look forward to these services improving and developing over the coming years.
• Telephone: (+353) 0761 07 8440
• Mobile: 087 980 6996
• Fax: 01 838 0243
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
IRIS opening hours:
• Monday-Friday 8am-8pm
• Saturday 10am-4pm
• Sunday 12pm-1.30pm