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Community, Personal Identity, Personal Identity, Resources, Uncategorized

Manifesto Point 3: Our lives are better when we focus on each other’s strengths, abilities, interests and gifts.

Introducing a Booklet from the Community Resource Unit Ltd: BUILDING BELONGING IN THE SCHOOL COMMUNITY: Finding Roles that Help Students Participate and Contribute

Download the Resource here.

This booklet has been designed for families and teachers of children with a disability from Kindergarten to High School.

Inclusion is about more than physical presence at school. It is about belonging, being valued, and being able to fully participate in that school community.
All parents want their child’s school years to be full and productive, for them to have opportunities to discover their gifts, to grow and to ‘shine’ in many small ways. Students with disability are vulnerable to only being seen for their challenges or negative stereotypes. Helping children have access to valued social roles is one way families and schools can guard against this vulnerability. Valued roles provide opportunity for connections, personal development, self-esteem (and much more!) both at school and across the whole of life.

Personal Identity, Relationships, Resources


Begin again to the summoning birds
to the sight of the light at the window,
begin to the roar of morning traffic
all along Pembroke Road.
Every beginning is a promise
born in light and dying in dark
determination and exaltation of springtime
flowering the way to work.
Begin to the pageant of queuing girls
the arrogant loneliness of swans in the canal
bridges linking the past and future
old friends passing though with us still.
Begin to the loneliness that cannot end
since it perhaps is what makes us begin,
begin to wonder at unknown faces
at crying birds in the sudden rain
at branches stark in the willing sunlight
at seagulls foraging for bread
at couples sharing a sunny secret
alone together while making good.
Though we live in a world that dreams of ending
that always seems about to give in
something that will not acknowledge conclusion
insists that we forever begin.

— From The Essential Brendan Kennelly


Audio version available here


Community, Personal Identity, Relationships, Resources

What does Person Centered mean? A Conversation with Jack Pearpoint & Lynda Kahn

                                                                                                   Watch the interview here

“Person Centered” is a phrase used by organisations and individuals, relating to care, planning, education…but its often misused. What does person centered actually mean? I chatted to Jack Pearpoint and Lynda Kahn, both renowned worldwide for their work in the field of inclusion and planning, about the ideas behind the person centered approach and what happens when it is mis-used, with a particular slant towards planning.

~~~~ Useful Links ~~~~~

Inclusion Press:

~~~~ Social Media ~~~~~  

Jenny Trott’s social media

Community, Housing, Personal Identity, Resources

Research Report: Supporting people to live self-directed lives in the community: Learning from 54 Irish projects

Founded in 2008, Genio works to achieve a vision where all people are valued and supported as equal members of society

Genio’s current programmes in Ireland are reaching whole populations of need in disability, mental health and homelessness in Ireland, in many cases underpinning national reform programmes.

Genio is a European organisation based in Ireland working with philanthropy and government at national and EU levels. Specialising in social service transformation, Genio has a deep understanding and track record of complex system change and combines fund-management, capacity-building, action research and impact-measurement to effect public service reform. The hallmark of Genio’s work is to strive to ensure service user involvement at every level of service design and delivery.

This work has been supported by the Atlantic Philanthropies and is now being sustained by Government. In the last 10 years Genio has helped to facilitate change and improvements for over 8,500 people across disability, mental health, dementia and homelessness services.

In 2014 Genio published a research report on how to support people with disabilities to live self-directed lives in the community. This research was drawn from 54 innovative projects across Ireland that were supported by Genio.


The paper outlines the key learning from 54 projects which have been supporting people with disabilities and mental health difficulties to move, usually from institutional settings, to live self-directed lives of their choosing in their local communities. The paper describes the implementation learning that has taken place; how this happens in practice; and the factors which lead to and support positive outcomes for the individuals. The paper draws on a significant body of data collected from these projects during on-site visits which included meetings with the project leads, key staff and the people being supported as well as family members, advocates and other allies.

The following characteristics have been identified as most strongly associated with good outcomes for the person and the organisation;

  1. Multi-level leadership – there should be ‘a champion’ at all levels of the organisation who supports and drives the move to a new way of supporting those using the service.
  2. Involving families and allies – needs to be done in a way that acknowledges their concerns, that considers how they want to be involved in supporting their family member and that considers the wishes of the person.
  3. Engaging and consulting with stakeholders – engagement should be future-focused on how different stakeholders are going to contribute to the new supports being developed.
  4. Staff skills and training – staff need to be trained/supported into these new ways of working.
  5. Readiness -the starting point should be that everyone is ready to move, with the emphasis on what supports needed to be put in place to ensure this happens safely and in a way that is designed by the person.
  6. It’s about more than housing – time should be built in for a process of really getting to know the person so that informed decisions can be made about accommodation options.
  7. Building strong and lasting relationships with the community – links with the community should be made in a very intentional and purposeful way for each person based on their abilities, contributions, wishes and needs.
  8. Start small and ‘model’ change – those involved act as ‘peer models’ for the process and the change involved. For those who will be moving, seeing their peer preparing and then successfully move, can give others encouragement that this is possible.
  9. Challenge of reconfiguration – in order to provide the supports for those who have moved, existing resources must be reconfigured so that the supports can move with the person.
  10. This takes time – to be done really well for each person, this process takes time.
  11. Focus on outcomes and monitor progress – progress can be greatly assisted by monitoring progress towards agreed outcomes.

Download here


Circles of Support, Community, News, Resources

Living Room Conversations…ideas that influence Person Centered Work

John O’Brien and Connie Lyle-O’Brien have spent a lifetime moving our thinking about how people with developmental disabilities can be supported, shifting from institution and program centered life, to the person centered life of citizens contributing to the communities where people live. This video explores a framework for thinking that John and Connie began to develop more than 40 years ago, incorporating the five valued experiences and the five accomplishments that can shape the intent, focus, and delivery of support.

Click on the picture to watch the video or click here

Covid 19, News, Resources

The ILN are conscious of the extra stress facing many family members with regard to supporting their family during the current crisis.

Some families face a reduction in formal supports, closure of schools, loss of employment and reduced income. 

We hope to provide important updates and supports for you during this time.


Resources during Covid-19:



The Department of Education and Skills has prepared information about Talking to children and young people about COVID-19 (pdf).



Community Groups:

COVID-19 Government Action Plan to support the community response.


COVID-19 Posters/Videos English & Irish, available here.


To support the community response to COVID-19 the DRCD have developed a suite of leaflets about volunteering, on supporting communities and advice during this time. Find out more here.


Irish Rural Link have prepared a useful ‘Protocol for Community Groups and Volunteers in delivering services’ during COVID19. Access the protocol here.



Essential Services:

Galway County Council has updated its provision of services during COVID-19.



Emergency measures were announced on 19 March 2020 to protect tenants who have been impacted by COVID-19. 




Immigration permissions during COVID-19 have changed. Immigration Services Division has a list of frequently asked questions about these changes.



HSE (Health Service Executive) COVID-19 updates available here.

HPSC (Health Protection Surveillance Centre) – Guidance for healthcare professionals on COVID-19 available here.

Government of Ireland ( COVID-19 – Latest Updates available here.


Mental Health:

List of Mental Health Supports from, available here.

Advice on Minding your Mental Health during the outbreak available here

Jigsaw Resource to Coping with the impact from Corona Virus.


Online and phone supports: Face-to-face interaction may be limited during this period. There are many online mental health resources and phone services that can help. Check here.


Older People:

Information on supports for older people during the coronavirus pandemic.

Older people who have questions or concerns can contact:


  • ALONE helpline on 0818 222 014
  • Senior helpline on 1800 804 591

Advice for the elderly and those who need supports- Advice during COVID-19.

Information on how to guard against fraud and generate trust-Protecting against fraud.


Social Security:

If you have lost your job, or been laid off because of COVID-19, you can apply for the COVID-19 Unemployment Payment.


How to nominate a temporary agent to collect DEASP payments: An Post Temporary Agent Form


On 19 March 2020, DEASP announced that social welfare payments will paid on a double (two-week) basis. You can find out more about these changes.

The DEASP also have a dedicated COVID-19 Income Support Helpline (open from 9am-5pm, 01-2481398 / 1890-800-024.

All of our updates, contacts, links & info here.


Find out more about your employment rights during the COVID-19 restrictions.




If you are planning to travel abroad, you should follow the travel advice of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.




Advice for those who want to volunteer- How can I volunteer in response to COVID-19?


‘Do’s and Don’ts’ of volunteering – Sensible volunteering in response to COVID-19


‘How can we get volunteers’? – Advice on the recruitment of volunteers for community groups.


If you are well enough and would like to volunteer, or are looking for volunteers, in response to COVID19 please register with Volunteer Centre Galway.




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