The Community Participation & Inclusion Sub-Committee usually meets 4 times a year. Richard Collins took over as chair of the group in June 2008. Claire Maher co-chaired one meeting with Richard at the end of 2008.
Principles of the Group
During 2008, the group adopted a set of principles for their meetings:
- Only one person speaks at a time.
- The group listens to the person who is speaking.
- People cannot talk for too long.
- Mobile phones must be turned off.
- People in the group should respect each other.
The members of the group are involved in various work activities:
- The Community Participation Group made a presentation called "A True Home" to the National Federation Research Sub-Committee on 21 September 2009 to contribute to the Living Options "Where we Live" Research Project.
- Mary Gavin has written an article called “The Things I’d Like to Change” and this article was published in Frontline magazine, No 75 2009. Congratulations to Mary on producing the first news article.
- An article on the work of the Community Participation group was published in Frontline magazine, No 75 2009.
- The Sub-Committee continue to disseminate the findings from People Connecting, including meetings with advocacy councils etc. People Connecting was the result of a consultation with people who avail of intellectual disability services on the Barriers, Incentives and Solutions to Community Participation & Inclusion, together with Recommendations to the Board of the National Federation. Over 900 copies of People Connecting have now been circulated.
- In 2008, the Community Participation & Inclusion Sub-Committee made a presentation to the National Federation Research Sub-Committee on areas of possible research based on the “People Connecting” consultation document. This presentation formed part of the Research Sub-Committee’s consultation process with people who access services to determine what research is important to them. A copy of the National Federation easy-to-read Research Strategy is available here.
- Sub-Committee members - Bernadette Casey, Aine Kerr, Mary Lannon, Mary Lucey, Noleen Moore, Brian Donohoe and Breda Casey - delivered training on Working with Consultation Groups to the Inclusive Research Network workshops during 2008. The Inclusive Research Network is a group of people who come together to do or talk about research that is about people with intellectual disabilities.
- Two research interns from the National Institute of Intellectual Disability (NIID) who were involved in assisting with the organization, setting up and transcription of focus groups for the National Survey of people with intellectual disabilities facilitated focus group training in Dublin and Clare. The training involved how to set up a focus group and also training for people to become focus group co-facilitators. A number of people from the Community Participation group attended the training and a copy of the documentation “Action Skills for Focus Groups” was made available to all members of the group.
- In October 2007 the National Federation held it’s conference on innovation “New Ideas New Approaches”. Brian Donohoe & Cabrini de Barra represented the committee at the conference by making a presentation about the work of the sub-committee and findings and recommendations from People Connecting. They presented at the workshop "How can we help people have their say".
- In 2007, the Community Participation group published People Connecting - the findings from Consultative Workshop on the Barriers, Incentives and Solutions to Community Participation & Inclusion of People with Intellectual Disability, together with
Recommendations to the Board of the National Federation
The group discusses a wide range of issues, including:
- Where people choose to live
- Capacity and consent - The government has plans to introduce capacity legislation.
- Inclusive research - The Inclusive Research Network is a group of people who come together to do research or talk about research that is about people with intellectual disabilities. This network is for anyone interested in this type of research e.g., people from services, self-advocacy groups, organisations, researchers and community groups.
- Transport issues, especially in rural areas
- Developing life stories - ‘A Story to Tell’ project, which is running in the National Institute for Intellectual Disability (NIID), Trinity College Dublin is a website that houses the archive of some of the stories that have been shared by people with an intellectual disability as part of a project that has been running in the NIID since 2007.
- People managing their own money
- Community Food Project. This is a joint project with the HSE and the Department of Agriculture & Food to develop community gardens around the country.
- Claire Maher updated the group on the work of the Gold Star Task Group in Cashel, Co. Tipperary. Claire is a member of this group. This group is looking at issues like, access, awareness, involvement in social activities, transport etc. for people with disabilities. It’s a very good example of a group that involves everyone in decisions that affect their local area.
- and lots of other topics
A number of Sub-Committee members attended the following workshops / conferences:
“A Sense of Belonging
” – by David Pitonyak. This was a workshop organised by Brothers of Charity Clare.
conference – a conference on individualized funding organized by an alliance of disability organizations. Also included a workshop by PLAN Canada.
1-day workshop entitled “What is a Home
?” facilitated by Darcy Elks from the US. This was organised by Brothers of Charity Services Clare.
A workshop on the development of an EU policy on Social Farming
, facilitated by UCD, was also attended.
Best practice documentation is provided to our Sub-Committee members on an ongoing basis. The group also examined the following publications: