April 2011 - The Inclusive Hub

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New National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities (NAS)

Hands Open – first music video in Irish Sign Language

Local services crucial to ensuring that disability funds reach those who need them

Cycle 4 Sick Children‟s newest cycling Club

SKILL Programme sponsors another OTC student – where full fees can be paid to the value of almost
€12,000.s can be paid to the value of almost €12,

Community/Local Update

Doorway to Life, Abode: Independent Living Programme

See Change welcomes appointment of new Minister for Mental Health

Disability Access Certificates Information

Maynooth Access Programme – Disability Office

Programme for Government Must Name and Position Disability as Priority Societal Issue

European Trade Unions and disability movement: together for more inclusive labour market

Mayo shows way in making arts accessible to disabled

Fingal Development Board Annual Report 2010


State to review pay of disability service executives (Irish Times)

Central Mental Hospital 'unsuitable' (RTE News)

Law „must recognise‟ intellectually disabled (Irish Examiner)

Disability conference to discuss independent living (

Adare earl and disability rights campaigner (Irish Times)

Warning over effects of mild stress (Irish Independent)

Leaders reminded about disability promises (

New National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities (NAS)

A new National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities (NAS) has been launched, today, by the
Minister for Social Protection Ms Joan Burton T.D. The service will provide independent,
representative advocacy services for vulnerable people with disabilities. It is managed by five Citizens
Information Services with teams based around the country with regional offices in Dublin, Westmeath,
Offaly, Waterford and Leitrim. The service is funded and supported by the Citizens Information Board.

The keynote speaker Caroline Casey, Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Kanchi outlined the
importance of the new service and the benefits of supporting an inclusive society where everyone has
something to offer.

Speaking at the launch of the National Advocacy Service, Tony McQuinn, Chief Executive, Citizens
Information Board said: "Many people with disabilities are well equipped to make their own decisions
when they have access to the necessary information and advice. However, some vulnerable people
with disabilities are at a disadvantage when claiming their entitlements or making important decisions.
The new National Advocacy Service will give a voice to those who are isolated in the community or
who live in residential institutions and who cannot represent themselves. The Service will protect their
rights, help them gain their entitlements and make positive changes in their quality of life"

The new service follows the completion of a 5 year pilot Advocacy Programme for People with
Disabilities which supported 46 projects nationwide. An independent evaluation report praised the
achievements of the pilot programme for the innovative work undertaken and the number of cases
(over 6,000) dealt with. The report recommended the development of a national structure to create
better co-ordination and a more consistent service for people with disabilities.

Trained advocates will bring positive change for people with disabilities, supporting them to access
social welfare, housing and improved living conditions. They can help people reintegrate into the
community on leaving a residential institution and link them with local support services. Some of the
life changing improvements already achieved through advocacy are illustrated in the following case

Case A: Louise was in a residential institution for people with serious mental health issues. It was
meant to be a temporary solution following her brother's death. Five years later she was still there and
her behaviour and demeanour deteriorated. With advocate assistance her case was reviewed and
she was transferred to another service and is now living in a house setting with a small number of
people and is happy.

Case B: Mary had an intellectual disability and with support from an advocate went through a
Childcare case review process for [access to] her daughter who is in foster care. She attended
meetings and a subsequent court hearing in which access arrangements were made for her to see
her daughter. This was the first time in many years that she had access.

Case C: John wanted to issue instructions with regard to his savings and investments. Due to
paraplegia he was unable to sign his name on the required bank form. Following representations by
an advocate and confirmation that the client was able to make decisions, the bank issued a form that
could be signed by a witness. For the first time in four years he was now able to direct his financial

Feedback from advocates can facilitate change within services, raising expectations, giving people
with disabilities more choice, improving their social skills and supporting them to self-advocate.

The new service has 5 regional based Managers, 7 Senior Advocates and 28 Advocates. The names
and contact details of the NAS Managers are as follows:

Dublin Region: Ben North, Advocacy Manager, Clondalkin CIS. Tel: 086 0218778
North East Region: Louise Loughlin, Advocacy Manager, Co Westmeath CIS Tel: 086 4102083
South East Region: Selena Doyle, Advocacy Manager, Co Offaly CIS Tel: 086 0409978
South West Region: Patricia O'Dwyer, Advocacy Manager, Co Waterford CIS Tel: 086 0223984
West/North West Region: Josephine Keaveney, Advocacy Manager, Co Leitrim CIS Tel: 086 0201095

Other speakers at the event included Marie Wolfe, from Galway who spoke about the benefits of an
advocacy service that helped her to move to independent living. Also, Angelina Veiga of St John of
God's Carmona Services who spoke about the importance of independent advocacy from a service
providers point of view.

Hands Open – first music video in Irish Sign Language

A unique collaboration between two DIT student societies – DIT Sign Soc and DIT Guitar Society –
has launched the first ever music video in Irish Sign Language. Thomas Geoghegan, Chair of the
Sign Language Society, and Michael Monaghan and John Jereza from the DIT guitar Society, have
recorded Snow Patrol‟s “Hands Open” and judging by the growing number of hits on YouTube, it is
going down well with both hearing and deaf communities. Geoghegan is studying for Masters degree
in Renewable Energy in DIT. Although he is not deaf himself, and has no immediate family with
hearing impairment, he became interested in deaf culture through a friend who formed the Sign
Language Society in DIT. In the video, he takes centre stage signing “Hands Open”, while the music
and vocals are provided by Michael Monaghan and John Jereza. The filming of the video took quite
some time, as the performance had to be filmed from different angles to be understandable. Thomas
rehearsed the signs with Sign Language teacher, Bernie Walsh.

The video was launched as part of Think Inclusion, Think Integration - a week-long programme of
events hosted by DIT Sign Language Society and designed to raise awareness of disability issues.
According to the Sign Language Committee, “The aim of the week is to challenge perceptions about
disability and to provide opportunities for students to learn to see the person before the disability and
to understand that within disability there are more possibilities than limitations. We have a wide range
of activities planned from sports matches between DIT Sports teams and Deaf Sports Association
teams, a disability dance workshop, a poker night through Irish Sign Language, to talks in various
areas of disability. We are delighted that Caroline Casey from the Kanchi Foundation will be launching
the week‟s events with a talk on Monday at 1pm in Aungier St.”

Local services crucial to ensuring that disability funds reach those who need them

Speaking at the launch of WALK (formerly the Walkinstown Association), Dublin South Central TD
Eric Byrne said:

"The renamed WALK is an organisation that I have had the pleasure of being involved with for many
years and that I hold in utmost regard. I have witnessed its transformation from being a small
volunteer run club to the development of a professional organisation. What has not changed, is the
core values and beliefs of the organisation, which has always placed the person with a disability at the
centre of directing their own lives.

"WALK was initially established to meet the needs of our local community. Today, the level of
leadership and high quality service provision has surpassed the expectations of the community it

"Local organisations such as WALK are crucial to ensuring that disability funds reach those who need
them most."
Cycle 4 Sick Children‟s newest cycling Club

Cycle 4 Sick Children, Limerick‟s newest cycling club held its official launch on 12th March at 8pm in
The Pier Hotel, Sarsfield Street. The club was founded by Liam & Stacey Mulcahy as a means of
creating awareness of the plight of hundreds of sick children, including their daughter Sophie,
throughout the region. Cycle 4 Sick Children has grown into a club offering children and adults a fun
and social outlet for getting fit and staying healthy while helping promote the challenges facing
children suffering from illness.

Liam Mulcahy, founder Cycle 4 Sick Children, explaining the background to the club said, “Cycle 4
Sick Children was set up to remove words like „obstacles‟ and promote words like success and
overcome. But for kids with disabilities this is not so easy. We want to create awareness and support
these wonderful children and their parents who work and battle for their rights for equality. Every time
our club members get on their bikes they create awareness for children‟s disability and serious illness
in Ireland. We do this by educating the public and raising funds for children‟s services in Limerick and
beyond. We have already also supported organisations like The Jack and Jill Foundation, Enable
Ireland & Crumlin Hospital and have helped highlight the lack of services in Ireland for disabled and
seriously ill children. Upcoming fundraising cycles will take place for St Gabriel‟s Centre in Dooradoyle
& the Limerick Lourdes Charity cycle.”

“On a social & sporting note, the club‟s member‟s range from six and seven year olds in our weekly
Sprocket Rocket Programme, to adults of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels. We organize weekly
cycles on a Sunday from The Pier One Hotel and training sessions in our new home in the Delta
Retail Park that has been kindly provided by the Mid West Spina Bifida Association. Our aim is to get
people lucky enough to be blessed with good health to get out on their bikes and try to stay healthy.
We are always looking for new members and encourage even those with no cycling experience to
check out the club as the rewards both from a sporting point of view & in helping sick children and
those with disabilities are enormous.”

Cycle 4 Sick Children is supported by Hibernia Cycling Tours, The Pier Hotel, Mid West Spina Bifida
Association, the Sporting Limerick promotional brand, European City of Sport 2011, Sean Curtin
Photography, Design Locker, Limerick City Sports Partnership, Siopa Rothar Teo &
amongst others. Anyone interested in joining Cycle 4 Sick Children or in the work they carry out in
raising funds and awareness of children suffering from illness or with a disability can call into The Pier
One Hotel on Saturday night at 8pm for the official launch, contact Liam Mulcahy on 087 764 2550 or
check out

SKILL Programme sponsors another OTC student – where full fees can be paid to the value of almost

Given the current economic climate, the Open Training College is delighted to announce the
continuing funding support given by the SKILL Programme to another student of the BA degree in
Applied Social Studies (Disability). The support comes in the form of a financial sponsorship with a
combined value of almost €12,000 for any successful student studying the full four years of the
Ordinary and Honours degree courses with the College. Congratulations go to this year‟s recipient,
Ms. Ann Marie Watson.

The SKILL Programme is currently sponsoring two BA degree students at the Open Training College
and it is hoped that funding will be available to sponsor a third student entering the Applied Social
Studies (Disability) degree course in September, 2011. To be eligible to participate in the selection
process, strict criteria must be met by each student, including the presentation of an essay followed
by the completion of a panel interview. Only those students who have already completed the Health
Services Skills course scoring a Merit or higher in 5 subjects, and showing an academic aptitude for
completing the degree course, will be included in the selection process. One merit score must be
earned while studying the Person Centred Focus to Disability module – one of two modules delivered
by the Open Training College within the Health Services Skills course.
„Basically, the SKILL Programme has eased the immense stress of raising the fees to allow me to go
back to College and study a really valuable degree course in the human services sector. Not only do I
receive sponsorship for all my fees for my Applied Social Studies (Ordinary) degree, but I will also
receive sponsorship for the Honours BA degree too. Unbelievable! I can‟t be thankful enough,” states
Ann Marie, a Care Assistant working with the Brothers of Charity, Galway.

On completion of her Ordinary and Honours degree courses, Ann Marie hopes to become a Social
Care professional advocating for the provision of person centred services which promote choice,
community inclusion, independence and integrated employment for people with disabilities.

Community/Local Update

Doorway to Life, Abode: Independent Living Programme

This programme is designed for people with physical and sensory disabilities who have a genuine
interest in exploring independent living skills. Accommodation is available at the centre for those who
do not live within commuting distance.

The Independent Living Training Programme

Independent Living means living like everyone, having the right to make your own choices, to have
control over your own life, to have the opportunity to make decisions, to take responsibility and to
pursue activities of your own choosing.

Doorway to Life‟s Independent Living Programme provides people with physical and sensory
disabilities with the opportunity to explore their options regarding how they would like to live. We also
examine possible work and training options. The programme is a FÁS Introductory Skills Programme
and is registered with FETAC to offer programmes leading to FETAC awards in the National
Framework for Qualification.

The programme covers the following areas:

•Home management-which includes housekeeping, food preparation, shopping, budgeting and safety
in the home. FETAC Foundation Modules in Food and Nutrition and Food and Cookery are covered.
•Personal development-includes confidence building, self-esteem, assertiveness, and communication
skills. We use FETAC Foundation Modules in Communications, Personal Effectiveness and Personal
and Interpersonal Skills.
•Community skills- concentrates on developing a knowledge of community facilities, use of local
services and safety in the community.
•Social and cultural skills-includes planning leisure time, home-based leisure and community-based
leisure. FETAC Accreditation in the areas of arts and crafts can be obtained.
•Forward planning-includes setting aims and objectives and exploring work and training options.
FETAC modules in Career Information, Work Orientation, and Computer Literacy are studied in this
part of the programme. ECDL is also run at this time. Each participant will be encouraged to take part
in at least one Work Experience Placement in an area of interest to them.

Throughout the programme, each participant works with his/her trainer to develop a personal training
plan to ensure the programme meets his/her needs. During the programme, the above skills are
explored, using Doorway to Life‟s independent living unit as the main base. This unit is an accessible
bungalow situated in the community near our premises. It has been made available by Cork
Corporation and Cluid Housing Association and is a vital element of the programme as it provides
ideal training facilities and the opportunity to practice independent living. Each participant has the
opportunity to practice the skills they have developed in the independent living unit. Participants are
expected to do as much as possible for themselves, but are assisted by staff where necessary. As
skills are developed, participants are encouraged to do more and more for themselves without

The main aim of this programme is that participants will be able to make an informed decision with
regard to how they would like to live. Some will wish to live independently. Others will prefer to remain
within their own family environment, but will wish to fend for themselves as much as possible and
make their own decisions and choices. Each person‟s aims and abilities will differ, but it is intended
that the programme will enable each participant to live the life of his/her choice to its fullest potential.

How to apply
If you have a physical or sensory disability, you may be eligible to take part in the Independent Living
Programme. You can check with your local FÁS office to find out if you quality for Introductory Skills
Training. FÁS will then refer you to us. You must also complete an Abode application form. Whilst on
the Programme, you will receive a FÁS training allowance.

For further information, contact Clodagh or Barbara at Abode, Blackrock, Cork.
Telephone: 021 4916180

See Change welcomes appointment of new Minister for Mental Health

Appointment of Kathleen Lynch TD as Minister for Disability, Equality and Mental Health 'an
encouraging sign that government intends to follow through on its commitment to tackle stigma of
mental health problems' - See Change

Dublin, 10 March 2011: See Change - a partnership of 41 organisations working to change minds
about mental health problems in Ireland - today welcomed the appointment of Kathleen Lynch TD as
Minister for Disability, Equality and Mental Health. John Saunders, Director of See Change said that
the appointment "is an encouraging sign that the new government intends to follow through on its
commitment to reform mental health services and tackle the stigma that surrounds mental health

"As Labour Party spokesperson for equality and disability issues in the last Dail, Kathleen Lynch was
a strong and empathetic advocate for people experiencing mental health problems. I want to extend
my good wishes on her appointment as Minister for Disability, Equality and Mental Health and I look
forward to working with her on a shared commitment to reduce the stigma and discrimination that
surrounds mental health problems in Ireland," said Mr. Saunders

Reacting to the inclusion of the equality brief in the re-aligned department, Mr Saunders said, "the
treatment of people experiencing mental health problems is not just a services issue and certainly not
just a resources issue; it is fundamentally concerned with dignity and human rights. The inclusion of
equality in the newly formed department is a very positive step towards mainstreaming equality
approaches in how the state, the health service and the Irish people treat and behave towards people
experiencing mental health problems."

The appointment of Kathleen Lynch TD as Minister for Disability, Equality and Mental Health follows
on from a declaration in the Programme for Government to 'reduce the stigma' associated with mental
health problems. Mr. Saunders said that he "looks forward to briefing the new Minister on the work
that See Change and its partner organisations are carrying out in an effort to reduce stigma and
change minds about mental health problems".

See Change is working with people, organisations and communities all over Ireland to reduce the
stigma associated with mental health problems through public events, arts and cultural initiatives,
personal stories, testimonies, and new approaches to education. A series of nationwide public
meetings and events has attracted over 3000 people and See Change will shortly launch a major
online initiative – „make a ripple‟ – to encourage more open and honest attitudes around mental health

Disability Access Certificates Information

The Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2009 came into effect on lst October 2009 except for
the provisions of Article 8 (Disability Access Certificates/Revised Disability Access Certificates) which
came into effect on lst January, 2010.

The Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2009 amend the Building Control Regulations 1997
and prescribe the administrative procedures in respect of the new certification measures provided
under Section 5 of the Building Control Act 2007.

The new regulations provide for a

- Disability Access Certificates
- Revised Disability Access Certificates

Disability Access Certificate
Article 20D sets out the requirement for a Disability Access Certificate which will certify compliance at
design stage of certain works with the requirement of Part M of the Second Schedule to the Building
Regulations 1997 to 2008. With the exception of houses and some agricultural buildings a Disability
Access Certificate is required prior to commencement of work. An application for a Disability Access
Certificate must be submitted in accordance with the requirement of Article 20D(3) of the Regulations
and must be accompanied by

1. Such drawings (including a site or layout plan) (in duplicate), suitably marked, noted, highlighted
(e.g. coloured, toned or other) and such other particulars (e.g. a report) as are necessary,

2. (a) to identify and describe the works or building to which the application relates, and

(b) to demonstrate how the Building or works comply with the Requirements of Part M 2000, in
particular in relation to the following, where applicable - approach to a building, access to a building,
circulation within a building, use of facilities within a building, bedrooms in hotels and other guest
accommodations, sanitary conveniences, audience or spectator facilities, apartments in a building.
Sufficient information should be provided to enable the building control authority to assess whether
the works or building would, if constructed in accordance with the said plans and other particulars,
comply with the requirements of Part M 2000.

(c) to identify the nature and extent of the proposed use and, where appropriate, of the existing use of
the building concerned.

3.The fee which at present is €800 per building.

The Plans and Specifications submitted should include details on:

- Approaches to building including signage, parking spaces, footpaths, surface types and any

- Sloped and stepped approaches to building including gradients, kerbs, handrails, step sizes, tactile
warnings visual contrast on steps, landing sizes,

- Access to Building including door types, door widths, door ironmongery, glazing details, door self
closing devices and entrance lobbies.

- Circulation within a building including internal door sizes and ironmongery, door glazing details,
corridor sizes, internal lobbies and passenger lifts.
- Use of facilities in a Building including circulation within a building, ironmongery, taps, light switches
power points and communication facilities.

- Hotel and Other Guest Rooms including sizes, layout and facilities for independent use by a
wheelchair user.

- Sanitary Conveniences including locations within building, sizes, grab rails, floor surfaces, alarms
and WC cubicles.

- Audience or Spectator Facilities including access, WC facilities, wheelchair spaces and loop or infra-
red systems.

Maynooth Access Programme – Disability Office

Disability Access Route to Education
The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE), aimed at all school leavers with disabilities is an
entry route to any of the seven universities, Athlone IT, DIT, National College of Ireland and the Mater
Dei Institute of Education. This supplementary admissions scheme recognises the impact of disability
on educational attainment and on progression to higher education.

Disability and NUI Maynooth
Read our handbook for practical advice if you are considering attending Maynooth. Visit us on
YouTube for details on supports available, applying for college and plenty of tips and tricks on
studying and technology.

Programme for Government Must Name and Position Disability as Priority Societal Issue

The major focus of our recent work has been the General Election. The election campaign focussed
little on social issues other than unemployment. However DFI‟s persistent efforts to present disability
as a social insurance, and not just a special interest issue, and flagging the importance of protecting
benefits and services as key elements of that insurance, paid off in the final Leaders‟ debate. Both
Labour and Fine Gael singled out disability, including mental health, as a priority. We described this
as groundbreaking, but let‟s see if it turns up in the Programme for Government, and that they get on
with prioritising Disability and Mental health.

We built our campaign around our document „Securing Our Future‟. We focused on contacting all
candidates in relation to our issues and placed particular attention on influencing the manifestos of the
Parties. We secured written commitments from each of the main parties including a commitment to
have a National Disability Strategy plan. We also worked closely with all the other disability umbrella
groups. Since the election we have been focusing on directly influencing the Programme for
Government and planning for engagement with the changed Oireachtas membership.

DFI has written to the Leaders of Fine Gael and the Labour Party underlining the key commitments
made during the election campaign, to prioritise people with disability and mental health needs. Both
parties are in agreement that disability and mental health is the priority social justice and equality area
to be progressed. This along with their earlier commitments, to DFI, to putting a plan in place to
protect and advance the National Disability Strategy, is very welcome. It is now a matter of leadership
and commitment from the leaders of our new Government. It is important that the new Government
appoint a Minister with specific responsibility for disability and that all Departments involved co-
ordinate their efforts to maximise outcomes.”
European Trade Unions and disability movement: together for more inclusive labour market

Trade unions and organisations of persons with disabilities (DPOs), on the 10 and 11 March 2011,
gathered in Brussels for a joint conference, while the EU Competitiveness Council was held.
European citizens face several difficulties, especially when access to quality employment is at stake.
To avoid that social issues are not sacrificed to the imperatives of the economy, the organisations
believe that it is necessary to develop a strong riposte. Meeting the target of 75% of employment rate
by 2020 requires taking into account persons with disabilities, who represent 15% of the working
population of the EU. The framework agreement for the inclusive labour markets, signed by the
European social partners on 25 March 2010, resulted to be a key instrument to achieve the targets of
the EU 2020 Strategy.

Congress was represented by Chair of the Congress Disability Committee, Deirdre O'Connor.

Mayo shows way in making arts accessible to disabled

Mayo County Council's Arts Office has published 'Shift in Perspective', a national resource pack which
can be used by venues, galleries and theatres to assist in the development of high quality, accessible
arts projects and to improve access for disabled people in general.

In 2008, Mayo County Council was invited to work in partnership with Arts Council / An Chomhairle
Ealaíon and Arts and Disability Ireland to develop the Arts and Disability Network Pilot project,
(ADNP) a new model of local capacity development in the area of Arts and Disability.

The new publication, 'Shift in Perspective' documents the learning from a number of different sources:

• the ADNP project mentioned above
• the Altered Images art exhibition developed by Mayo County Council Arts Office in partnership with
South Tipperary County Council's Arts Service and the Irish Museum of Modern Art
• assisted performances developed by Arts and Disability Ireland with the Abbey Theatre
• the work carried out by Mayo County Council and ADI with arts venues in County Mayo.

The main thrust of these initiatives is the development of innovative approaches to high quality,
contemporary arts and disability practice, and on making arts venues more accessible to artists and
audiences with disabilities.

The resource pack is aimed at those working in professional and community based venues, galleries,
theatres and related arts organisations to address issues of both access and art form development. It
is hoped that the resource pack will offer answers to questions about improving access within venues
or for events, as well as offering advice and information about improving accessibility to exhibitions
and performances (at every budget level).

For a copy of Shift in Perspectives and further information on Mayo County Council's Arts Service

Fingal Development Board Annual Report 2010

Fingal Development Board published Annual Report 2010, which includes Fingal
Disability/Accessibility Forum - "Breaking the Barriers" An Overview of Disability Services and
Supports in Fingal and Online Directory of Services to People with Disabilities in Fingal, which covers
North and West Dublin.
To obtain the report, please contact Valerie Markey, Clerical Officer, Fingal Development Board,
Fingal County Council, PO Box 174, County Hall, Main Street, Co Dublin. Telephone: 01-8905698,
Email: Web:


State to review pay of disability service executives (Irish Times)

Carl O‟Brien

The government is to review the size of salaries paid to senior executives in State-funded
organisations that provide services to people with disabilities. Among the organisations likely to come
under scrutiny will be the Rehab Group, whose chief executive, Angela Kerins, reportedly received a
salary, bonus payment and expenses worth more than €400,000 in 2009.

The Rehab Group has refused to confirm the salary except to say it is not financed from any State
funding or fundraising income. When contacted by this newspaper, Ms Kerins would not discuss her
salary and directed media queries to Michael Parker of public relations firm Insight Consultants. In a
statement issued on behalf of Rehab, it said the salary of Ms Kerins was a private matter and had
been set by the board.

“Rehab Group would like to point out that the salaries of the CEO and other senior members of the
group management team are not financed from any State funding or fundraising income,” the
statement said. “All group management salaries are set by the board of the Rehab Group and are
independently benchmarked.”

Latest figures show Rehab received just over €50 million in State funding in 2009, out of an overall
income of €200 million.

A value-for-money audit commissioned by former minister of state John Moloney has asked service
providers to pass on details of the salaries of senior executives.

Newly appointed Minister with responsibility for disability Kathleen Lynch said she will study the
findings when the information is fully gathered shortly, but declined to comment on individual

Most voluntary organisations or service providers are funded exclusively by the taxpayer or raise
money themselves.

This newspaper established last year that pay at many of these voluntary bodies has been rising even
at a time when they were receiving less State funding. St Michael‟s House in Dublin received about
€75 million in State funding up to October 31st, 2009, compared to €90 million in 2008. During the
same period, the chief executive‟s total salary package increased from €198,186 to €201,024. In
Cork, Enable Ireland received €33.5 million in 2009, down from €39 million the year before. The
salary of the chief executive increased from €165,673 in 2008 to €169,093 in 2009.

Rehab is different to voluntary bodies in that it is involved in commercial activities. It is structured as a
not-for-profit organisation and employs more than 3,500 people with a turnover of over €200 million.
The Phoenix magazine reported last week that Ms Kerins‟s salary was in excess of €300,000. When a
bonus, along with pension entitlements, car benefits and expenses were factored in, the figure rose to
more than €400,000.

Rehab has also defended its decision to award a contract for the supply of materials from a company
whose directors included Ms Kerins‟s husband, Seán Kerins, and her brother, Joseph Mac Carthy.
Complete Eco Solutions imports timber panels from China which are then used by Rehab staff to
assemble into coffins. In a statement, Rehab said Joe Mac Carthy had a long track record of business
in China and he had been asked for his assistance in sourcing supplies for the pilot project phase. “Mr
Mac Carthy was simply assisting Rehab in an area which is outside his normal business activities and
his company has made no profit from this activity,” according to Rehab. It said Seán Kerins stepped
down as a director of Complete Eco Solutions once the company became involved with Rehab.

“As per good corporate governance Ms Kerins fully declared the matter at Rehab Group board level
from the outset and stepped back from decisions relating to this business,” the statement adds.

Central Mental Hospital 'unsuitable' (RTE News)

The Mental Health Commission has said that the Central Mental Hospital continues to be housed in
unsuitable buildings. Central Mental Hospital - Levels of dirt in units 2 & 3 inexcusable

The Mental Health Commission has said that the Central Mental Hospital continues to be housed in
unsuitable buildings, with no information as to where the new hospital will be located.

The Commission says that the struggle to keep the current building habitable continues. Today, the
Commission published around 70 inspection reports for 2010, of psychiatric hospitals around the

Law „must recognise‟ intellectually disabled (Irish Examiner)

By Catherine Shanahan

Persons with an intellectual disability are often educated and articulate and want to live independently
and the legal community needs to recognise that and engage with them, the head of Down Syndrome
Ireland (DSI) said yesterday.

DSI chief executive Pat Clarke said their organisation is preparing an education and awareness
programme directed at the legal profession outlining why they should not be afraid to engage with
those who have an intellectual disability. Mr Clarke‟s comments come in the wake of a report in
yesterday‟s Irish Examiner in which a mother of a man with Down Syndrome expressed her horror at
her son being described in court as "a person of unsound mind".

Philomena Pallas was reacting to use of the word "lunatic" in the legal discussion surrounding the
case during an application for a payout of €18,000 in damages after 28-year-old Walter Pallas was
injured in a car accident in 2009. Walter won gold for Ireland in the Special Olympics. Mrs Pallas, from
Wicklow, said she was "shocked and stunned when reference was made in open court that Walter
may be a person of unsound mind and that the word lunatic was used in legal discussion of his case".

Mr Clarke said the use of such language was "completely outdated in the 21st century". "We‟ve
moved on quite significantly from an attitude in society that pertained in 1871," he said, referring to the
Lunacy Act 1871 which governs capacity law, in other words issues such as the right to access
justice, to decide if you want medical treatment, if you want to marry someone and to make decisions
about your own money.

Both DSI and Inclusion Ireland, the National Association for People with Intellectual Disability, have
long campaigned for modern capacity law but although the heads of Bill were published in 2008, no
further progress was made. Yesterday, Fine Gael TD Dan Neville said use of terms such as "lunatic"
stigmatised people.

Sarah Lennon, training and development officer with Inclusion Ireland, said archaic legislation in this
area was "an embarrassment at this stage" and it continued to have a negative impact on the daily
lives of those with an intellectual disability, such as their ability to open bank accounts, to make wills,
or to be able to travel. She said one family whose father took his son to football matches in Britain had
to apply to the court every time he wanted to travel after his son was made a ward of court, on foot of
a payout of damages following a brain injury. "What we are asking for wouldn‟t require huge money.
We are just looking at changing the terminology and a change of attitude," Ms Lennon said.

DSI, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, will launch the celebrations tomorrow at
Kilmainham in the presence of President Mary McAleese.

Disability conference to discuss independent living (

A two-day conference on independent living opens in Dublin today with campaigners claiming the
Government has failed to live up to a United Nations treaty on the rights of the disabled. And Ireland‟s
26 Centres for Independent Living (CIL‟s) have joined forces to call on the new Government to
urgently implement the National Disability Strategy. They also want commitments made under article
19 of the UN Convention on the rights of People with Disabilities to be met.

The UN treaty adopted by Ireland in 2006 states that countries must recognise the equal rights of
disabled people to have access to in-home, residential and community support services including
personal assistance.

Eugene Callan, Dublin Centre for Independent Living, said demand was not being met. “The
challenge in today‟s society is that state services and supports have not kept pace with demand,” he
said. “Many people are still forced to stay in residential institutions and in family homes when clearly
they could take charge of their own lives if the services were put in place.”

The 26 Centres for Independent Living lobbies on behalf of almost 125,000 people with disabilities.

President Mary McAleese will open the conference this morning.

Finian McGrath, Independent TD for Dublin North Central, campaigned on disability issues, health
and children in the recent election. Mr McGrath said disability issues are top of his agenda. “I can see
that lack of provision of personal assistants for people with disabilities seriously curtails their access
to housing, employment, transport, healthcare, education and training,” the TD said.

Recommendations from delegates will be sent to the new Government to assist them in implementing
schemes to improve services and progress Independent Living in Ireland. A number of international
speakers have been invited to address the conference including Liz Carr, a disabled comedian from
the UK and Sue Bott, Director of the National centre for Independent Living in the UK.

Adare earl and disability rights campaigner (Irish Times)

Lord Dunraven: The Seventh Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl has died at the age of 71 at his home
in Kilgobbin, Co Limerick, and with him die the titles of one of those rare families of true Gaelic origin
in the Irish peerage. His ancestors, the O‟Quins, were chiefs of the Clan Hy Ifearnan in Co Clare who
were driven from there by the O‟Briens. Thady Quin acquired the lands at Adare towards the end of
the 17th century.

Thady Dunraven was educated at Ludgrove School in England and at Le Rosey in Switzerland. In the
summer of 1956, he was one of the 500 people, mostly children, who contracted polio during the Cork
epidemic. By the time the symptoms appeared, he had returned to school in Switzerland so he was
able to benefit from the Swiss medical expertise of the disease, but he was in a wheelchair for the rest
of this life. On his return to Ireland, he lived as normal a social life of a young man as possible, but he
did notice few other wheelchair users were to be seen at public events.
He was aware he could afford to get what he needed with regard to special equipment and full-time
care, but when visiting members of the Polio Fellowship in Limerick, he realised that most people in
wheelchairs were looked after by their families who were often elderly parents or were family
members who were out at work all day. There was no wheelchair access to public places and no help
to get it within the home.

The Wheelchair Association, which Lord Dunraven had joined and became its president in 1971,
found from a survey in 1976 that 35 per cent of their wheelchair users were confined to their homes.
Once there was a film show for them at Adare Manor and for three members, this was the first film
they had ever seen because the families had difficulty physically getting them out of the house and
also because the cinemas were inaccessible to them.

As president of the wheelchair association until 1991, he campaigned for more access to public
places about which no one had taken much interest. There were no official figures as to the number of
handicapped in Ireland or knowledge of their needs.

He articulated to government and local authorities the wants and needs of the association and its
members. Partly as a result of his efforts, during his term of office there were enormous changes in
society and in legislation in awareness and care of the handicapped.

When his father died in 1965, he inherited the titles and Adare Manor, the remarkable Tudor-revival-
style house built by the second earl. The house contains a 132ft long and 30ft high hall which the wife
of the second earl had described: “Even if only one person is seated at the ample fireplace, the room
is so comfortable, one would not wish it in any way changed or diminished.” There is an inscription on
the house proclaiming: “This goodly house has been built without borrowing, selling or leaving debt.”

This would have been an achievement except that coal had just been found on the Wyndham estates
in south Wales. The second earl had married the heiress of the Wyndhams and the Quins had added
her name to their own and taken their title Dunraven from her estates.

Thady Dunraven sold Adare Manor in 1984 to an American businessman who has turned it into a five-
star hotel where Bill Clinton has stayed. The family continued to live nearby and have always been
deeply involved in Adare and worked with the county council to develop many public facilities in this
heritage town. Lord Dunraven gave, among other things, what is now the public park to the council
and one of the very last things he did was to attend the opening of the Village Hall after it had been

He was also life president of the Limerick Coursing Club. For almost a hundred years, the family had
provided the running grounds at Cloumanna for the Irish Cup. It was moved to a new venue in 2000,
but he continued his interest in the sport and his nomination, Castle Pines, won the Irish Cup in 2005.

In 1969, he married Geraldine, the daughter of air cmdr Gerald McAleer. She survives him with their
daughter, Ana.

Warning over effects of mild stress (Irish Independent)

Even mild stress can lead to people being unable to work, research suggests.

Mild stress increases by 70pc the chance somebody will be on disability payments for physical
problems, and more than doubles the likelihood they will have a psychiatric condition. The study, by
experts at the University of Bristol and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, was published in the
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

It found a "strong graded relationship between increasing levels of psychological distress and the
likelihood of being awarded a new disability pension within five years". More than a quarter of
disability pensions awarded to those in the Swedish study were for a physical problem linked to
stress, while almost two-thirds of payments for a psychiatric problem were down to stress.
The authors said the link between stress and a diagnosis of a physical problem may be down to the
way stress affects the body. However, it could also be that stigma surrounding mental health issues
leads some doctors and patients to prefer a physical "label" for the problem.

The study involved more than 17,000 people aged 18 to 64.

During the course of the research, 649 people started receiving disability benefit - 203 for a mental
health problem and the rest for physical ill health. One in four benefits for physical illness, such as
high blood pressure, angina and stroke, and almost two thirds for mental illness, were attributable to

The authors concluded: "Mild psychological distress may be associated with more long-term disability
than previously acknowledged and its public health importance may be underestimated."

Leaders reminded about disability promises (

The Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) has written to the leaders of Fine Gael and Labour
reminding them of the key commitments they made during the election campaign to prioritise people
with physical and mental disabilities.

According to the federation, both Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore confirmed their intention to
prioritise the disability issue during the final debate before the election on February 25. The
organisation is now keen to have these intentions articulated in the next Programme for Government.
"Both parties are in agreement that disability and mental health is the priority social justice and
equality area to be progressed by the new government. Over 18% of Irish people have some level of
disability and it is imperative that the incoming government has detailed plans to provide services and
income supports for these people as required," said DFI chief executive, John Dolan.

He noted that the National Disability Strategy provides all the guidance necessary for the
development of these plans. "It is now just a matter of leadership and commitment and both leaders
have also confirmed their intention to deliver a plan to protect disability," Mr Dolan commented. He
emphasised that disability is an issue for all of society and it requires strong leadership at government
level if the desired outcomes are to be achieved. "It is important that the new government appoints a
minister with specific responsibility for this issue and that all departments involved co-ordinate their
efforts to maximise cohesion and outcomes," Mr Dolan added

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