Webinar – Reducing stress and increasing well-being –how to care for yourself and access psychosocial supports during and after COVID-19

Change of Date! Webinar – Reducing stress and increasing well-being – how to care for yourself and access psychosocial supports during and after COVID-19.

Target Audience – people with disabilities, their families and carers who support them

The above webinar originally scheduled for April 23rd will now take place on Friday 14th May at 2pm.

This webinar, hosted by the HSE Disability Services, will be held on Friday May 14th 2021 from 2:00pm – 3:30pm.

The webinar will introduce participants to the National Psychosocial Response to COVID-19 Framework and will feature a number of speakers who will discuss the importance of wellness and supporting one another, self-care and outline further practical support services that are available free of charge to people with disabilities, their families and carers.

A disabled person will also speak about how he has coped during the pandemic.

The event is free to attend.

Please note that this event will also have ISL support for people impacted by deafness or hearing loss.

Existing registration is valid for new date, so no need to re-register. 

Please register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_b4d6t9ybQpyB7UlCYCbNwg

Please check your spam/junk folder after you register to ensure that you receive confirmation and the link to join the webinar.

For the latest HSE Approved COVID 19 Guidance in Disability Services click here


NDA Vocational Rehabilitation Survey 2021

The National Disability Authority (NDA) would like to consult with persons with acquired disability and or long term health conditions about supports for employment on their journey back to work.


Through the questions in this survey, the NDA would like to understand people’s views on what the NDA has called ‘An Individuals journey through a vocational rehabilitation pathway’ (Vocational rehabilitation is a process that enables individuals to overcome the barriers they face when accessing, remaining or returning to work following injury, illness or impairment’.) This consultation will inform NDA actions within the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities 2015 – 2024 (CES).

This survey is open from Friday 12th March until Friday 23rd April 2021.


This is the link to the survey: https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/VocRehabConsult2020


If you  have any questions please contact: hcoleary@nda.ie

Grow It Forward Campaign

The pandemic has seen a record number of people turn to growing their own food and discovering the joy and pride that brings. The process of seeing a seed turn into a seedling and eventually food you can eat is full of magic and no shortage of optimism. Grow it Forward is all about sharing that feeling as far and wide as possible at a time when we need it most. That’s why we’re inviting people to get free seeds and do good deeds. – Michael Kelly, Founder of GIY


Grow It Forward is a national programme to help half a million people #KeepWell by growing their own food.

In partnership with Healthy Ireland and Libraries Ireland through the Government of Ireland’s Keep Well initiative, we are giving away 50,000 free seed packs and asking participants to use them to share the experience with 10 people. In all, we aim to support half a million people across Ireland to enjoy the wide range of benefits that come from growing food at home.


To get your free pack simply register using the form below and we will post it to your address. Alternatively, you can contact your local library, as all 330 branches are helping to drive the effort by sending out packs as well. If you get a pack from your local library don’t forget to sign up for your free growing plan HERE.


Each pack includes seeds for beetroot, carrots, salad leaves, peas, and tomatoes; a guide to help grow them, and a postcard and gift tags to help share them. Those who sign up will also receive regular e-mails with growing support, video clips, and ideas for how to ‘grow it forward’ by passing on seeds, seedlings, or produce in accordance with social distancing guidelines.


After you receive your free pack we ask that you share the experience with nine other people to help us reach our goal of 500,000 people in total. How you choose to share this growing experience is up to you – you can put seeds in the post, leave seedlings outside your house, drop fresh produce off to your neighbours or whatever you can think of. We will be sharing lots of Grow It Forward ideas and stories to give you some inspiration throughout the campaign


Covid-19: Latest info and updates

Public Health Measures

Ireland is at level 5 restrictions. This means everyone is asked to please stay at home, to protect friends, family and the frontline.

You can see the measures in place here.


COVID-19 Vaccination Programme

The vaccination programme continues to be rolled out nationwide, and more than 280,000 vaccines have been administered. This week we saw the vaccination programme go firmly out into the community, with people aged 85 and over beginning to be invited for their vaccines by GPs. When this group is complete, we’ll move on to the next age-group, people aged 80 and over.


COVID-19 Vaccine Deaf and Hard of Hearing Communications Resources

Irish Sign Language (ISL) videos explaining important information about the COVID-19 vaccine are available here.


COVID-19 Guidance for Health and Social Care Workers who visit homes to deliver healthcare

You can find the guidance here.


General guide on the management of COVID-19 outbreaks in the workplace

You can find the guidance here.


Public Health Advice for Construction Sector: key points for construction industry in responding to a case of COVID-19

You can find the guidance here.


COVID-19 Guidance for Healthcare Staff in Disability Services

You can access information from this webinar here.


Current recommendations for the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the management of suspected or confirmed COVID-19

You can find the current recommendations here.


Where to find COVID-19 Vaccination Information

We encourage everyone to read about the COVID-19 vaccine and to get their information from a factual, trusted source – here are the links to the pages with information on the vaccine:


Public Health Information

As always, for the most up to date information and advice on Coronavirus, please go to: https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/ and https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/. Clinical and professional guidance relating to COVID-19 is available on www.hpsc.ie where you’ll find up to date guidance for healthcare settings and non-clinical settings.


Please check here for the most up to date partner resources for COVID-19.


You can find the COVID-19 A-Z information here from the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).


Please also check the Healthy Ireland site here with further resources and information on the Keep Well campaign.


You can view the latest information on how Ireland is responding to cases of COVID-19 here.

The National Housing Strategy for Persons with Disabilities 2022-2027: Have Your Say

The National Housing Strategy for People with a Disability (2011-2016 (extended to 2020)) will come to an end this year. A new national strategy is now being developed. The strategy is about facilitating the provision of housing options and related services to disabled people to allow individual choice and support independent living.

Do you have a disability, care for a disabled person or work in supporting independent living for disabled persons? If yes, have your say on the plan.

We want to hear your views on the current strategy and what you would like to see included in the new national strategy. In order to get involved today, fill out this 10-15 minute questionnaire. The survey is anonymous and confidential.

Click here to carry out our short survey and have your say.

A further round of consultation on the drafted aim and objectives will be carried out over the Summer and Autumn months.

Thank you for taking the time to let us know your views, which will feed into the development of the new strategy.

Banner asking if you have a disabilityy

Press Release: HSE publish their Corporate Plan 2021-2024

HSE Press Release: 2 March 2021

This Plan sets out key actions to improve our health service and public health and well-being

The HSE has launched its three-year Corporate Plan. The Plan has been developed by the Board of the HSE, endorsed by the Minister of Health and is based on extensive research and consultation with staff, stakeholders and the public.

The HSE explain that patients, staff and service users are at the centre of the work and that the Plan builds on this ethos.

Ciarán Devane, Chair of the HSE Board said ‘I am delighted on behalf of the board to present the HSE Corporate Plan 2021-2024. While this plan is coming at a unique time, where we have faced unprecedented challenges, we know we have the right ingredients for success- we have a dedicated staff, supportive and caring communities and strong partnerships with our stakeholders.’

The Corporate Plan priorities and goals have been developed to enhance the progress of the Sláintecare vision (a 10 year vision to transform Ireland’s health and social care services).

Paul Reid, CEO, HSE said “Our Corporate Plan comes at a time of significant challenge for all those working in healthcare. Despite these challenges we are determined to turn this plan in to real action, to make improvements and to build and to enhance the progress of the Sláintecare vision.”

The HSE Corporate Plan 2021-2024 sets out the key actions the Executive plan to take over the next three years to improve
the health service and the health and well-being of people living in Ireland.

The Corporate Plan Focuses on 6 key objectives.

Objective 5  in the plan addresses the HSE’s intention to work on reimagining disability services, to be the most responsive, person-centred model achievable with greater flexibility and choice for the service user.

Read the plan here: HSE Corporate Plan 2021-24

Calling All Disabled Activists here is an opportunity to get your voice heard.

ILMI Consultations to respond to the Initial State report to the UNCRPD


The Irish State has developed its initial draft report to the UNCRPD. The report is 62 pages long and can be read here: https://www.gov.ie/…/dafb9-draft-initial-report-under…/


The State is asking individuals and organisations to make submissions into its first report by 9th April 2021.

As a grassroots DPO (Disabled Persons Organisation) we are committed to ensuring all our policy work is informed by the lived experience of disabled people across the country.


To build a strong ILMI submission to the State report, we are creating a series of facilitated consultation spaces. These consultation spaces will be held thematically. The spaces will look at specific aspects of the UNCRPD and make recommendations based on the State report and people’s lived experience.

Disabled activists who are interested in having their voices heard should note the themes for consultation and the dates and times below.

ILMI will send out collated information in advance of each discussion to each disabled activist who has registered: what the Article says under the UNCRPD, what the State Response says and key analysis from an ILMI perspective.

Each of these ILMI discussions will NOT be about reviewing, questioning or contesting the entire content of the state draft. Instead the process will be used to identify and build a strong case for addressing key areas for improvement. The agenda and questions will be sent out in advance to people who have registered in order to focus discussions to work towards information that can feed directly into the ILMI report.

Whereby disabled activists are unable to attend discussions, inputs via email will be accepted until March 19th.

The following consultations will take place:


15th February 5pm: Children and young Disabled People (article 7)

16th February 7pm: Work and Employment (article 27)

18th February 6pm: Women and Disability (article 6)

19th February 10:30am Disabled people and Education (article 24)

23rd February 3pm: Independent Living (article 19)

24th February 7pm: Access, mobility and access to information (articles 9, 20 and 21)

26th February 10:30am: Disabled people and health (article 25)

4th March 12noon: Disabled people and family life (article 23)

11th March 11am: Participation of disabled people in political life (articles 4 and 29)


If you need to know more about the UNCRPD, the Irish Human Rights Equality Commission (IHREC) have produced a short video with ISL which explains how it works. You can view the video here: https://vimeo.com/292334901

The DPO Coalition (of which ILMI is a member) held a webinar on the 27th January and the inputs explain what the CRPD is and how people can get involved. You can view the video here: https://vimeo.com/508855589

Spaces for each of these are limited in order that they can be facilitated and notes taken to feed into the ILMI report. To register for any of the above, email: info@ilmi.ie and indicate your preference for which thematic consultation you would like to attend.

If you wish to attend more than one consultation, you must register separately. Given that spaces are limited and in order to be fair and promote participation of as many people as possible, it is not possible to register for more than 3 consultations per person.

If you want to submit some ideas on the above themes or other issues relating to the initial State report to feed into the ILMI report, email: jamescawley@ilmi.ie before March 19th.

Front page of guide

Building the right supports around us within our chosen Communities- by Positive Pathways

Building the right supports around us within our chosen Communities- Reframing our Approach and Mindset to our Recruitment Needs.

A Guide from the In Conversation Series, Irish Families Leading Change, Positive Pathways- by Molly O’Keefe

This resource addresses the personal support structures we have in our lives. When we think about this we naturally separate out the paid or professional supports and the informal/relationship based supports. This helps us find out who to go to for support depneding on the task.Reflections

For many people who are labelled as having a disability, we find that the natural and paid supports often get blended into one. This guide helps find clarification around the people that we choose to support us in our lives.

Typically paid supports can only offer us a traditional model of care, which means that we may forever be seen only as a client or disabled person. This resource identifies that we may all need paid support in our lives at some time and at varying levels. However, we all need freely given relationships, some of us may need support to build and sustain these. It is therefore important to reflect on what is important to us in creating and maintaining natural, as well as paid support in our lives.

Read here: Building the Right Support Around Us


My Emergency Support Plan

New Resource launched: MY EMERGENCY SUPPORT PLAN- by Positive Pathways

A Positive Pathways & Inclusive Living Network are proud to present a booklet called: My Emergency Support Plan- Helpful thinks to know when supporting me through a health emergency.

This booklet was developed by families for families. The aim is to be a helpful guide to enable families to plan and organise in times of need.

It can be completed as is or used as a template to develop a tailored plan for you and your family.

Access the Booklet here: My Emergency Support Plan

REPORT – Evaluation of personalised support and accommodation in disability and mental health services

Download here


Internationally, increased attention is focused on the provision of personalised supports to people with disabilities and enduring illness. Personalised or individualised supports are those which address the unique needs of the individual focusing on their strengths and abilities, which are chosen by the person and which are delivered in the community fostering inclusion and participation. Recent Irish policy documents have also described and recommended a way of supporting people with disabilities which involves a reframing of provision from services towards individualised supports. The Value for Money and Policy Review of Disability Services recommends that the goal of full inclusion and self-determination for people with disabilities be pursued “through access to the individualised personal social supports and services needed to live a fully included life in the community”.

Aims of the evaluation

In this context this evaluation was concerned with identifying the outcomes for people with disabilities and mental health difficulties receiving individualised supports; particularly on indicators of social inclusion and quality of life but also in relation to their individual aspirations, including;

  • the processes which have led to effective change and transition in terms of personal outcomes and the delivery of individualised supports.
  • the direct costs of providing the personalised support for people using services and how these costs have changed as a result of the changes in support provided.
  • the implications for the further development of personalised services in an Irish service context.


Follow-up study

A further data uplift by Prof. Roy McConkey and colleagues, Ulster University (UU) is taking place on this study. This will enable the longer-term impact of a move to independent living to be established as well as the impact on those individuals who had only just moved at the end of the initial study.


Key Points
  • Personalised supports for people living in their own homes produce better outcomes than congregated care/group homes.
  • Quality of Life improvements are clear for those who move from congregated care.
  • Personalised housing and support options are feasible to implement in Ireland across people with a variety of disabilities/mental health difficulties.
  • Personalised supports can save on costs for most people.
  • Group homes do not offer personalised accommodation or support – this has implications for how future deinstitutionalisation should be carried out.

Summary available here.