Immersion Event - Towards having a Good Life

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The National Federation of Voluntary Bodies held an Immersion event entitled Towards having a Good Life from 22nd to 26th April, 2013. Twenty-five organisations participated in this ground breaking event which aimed to support the effective implementation of the new policy direction as set by Government and the HSE towards beneficial individualised supports. It was led by international experts, whilst focusing on the experiences of Irish organisations that have developed individualised supports. 

Evaluation of Immersion: 

Professor Roy McConkey was commissioned by the National Federation to carry out an evaluation of the Immersion programme.  The evaluation had three main aims. 

  • To celebrate the achievements;
  • To share the learning gained  and the difficulties that had been encountered,
  • To identify the national issues that required to be addressed.

Several sources of information were used by Roy when compiling the evaluation i.e. progress reports and questionnaire responses from organisations that participated in Immersion, interviews with change team leaders, focus groups with people supported in two locations, and an event held as a follow on to a General Assembly meeting of the National Federation on 17th September, 2014.  The recently completed report contains a succinct account of the high level learning to emerge from the Immersion Programmed.

The following are the recommendations of the report. 

  1. It is recommended that this report is made available to the change teams in all the services which participated in the Immersion Programme. This circulation might be widened to the broader membership of the National Federation.
  2. A second recommendation is that the Steering Group that led the Immersion Programme is recalled or possibly reconstituted and charged with collating responses to the Evaluation Report and proposing a future action plan around personalisation to the National Federation’s Board of Directors and the General Assembly.  This would take account of available resources and priorities but build on the ethos of Immersion and personalisation.

“The Immersion Programme was another step along a road to better lives and it is commendable that the National Federation felt able to provide the leadership to make it happen” – Roy McConkey.  

A copy of this report it is available here


Documents from Immersion

The international team comprised:
  • John O’Brien,
  • Michael Kendrick,
  • Hope Leet Dittmeier,
  • Pat Fratangelo,
  • Janet Klees,
  • David Pitonyak, 
  • Patti Scott.
Click here to view photos from Immersion

The presentations from Immersion are now available to download:

Open hearts - Open minds -  Mr. John O Brien

Towards having a good life – Mr.  John O’ Brien

Seeing ourselves as social inventors – Mr. John O’ Brien

The Challenge for Irish Service Practice given Irish & International Policy on Personalised Service – Michael Kendrick

Successful Change – Mr. Michael Kendrick

Key Initial Decisions That Agencies May Have To Make If They Are To Realistically Individualize Supports – Mr. Michael Kendrick

Discovery of the person – Ms. Hope Leet Dittmeier

Including those often excluded - Mr. David Pitonyak

Building a context for relationship - Ms. Janet Klees

Good ordinary lives that work - Ms. Janet Klees

Building Relationships - Ms. Pat Fratangelo

Investing in a future worth creating - Ms. Patti Scott

Re-imagining Personhood and Public Policy - the philosophy behind the UN Disability Convention – Prof.  Gerard Quinn, NUI Galway

Why families want change - Ms. Avril Webster, Parent

Building Bridges to Inclusion - Mr Adrian Noonan, Seasamh

I choose not to place 'dis' in my ability - Mr. Brian Hayes, Seasamh

Value for Money & Policy Review of Disability Services in Ireland -  Ms. Ann McGrane, Department of Health

Disability Policy in Ireland, Ms. Cate Hartigan, HSE

Moving from Contemplation to Implementation - Mr. Brendan Broderick,

Home is where the heart is - Ms. Marie Beades and Mr. Sean Bohan, Muiriosa Foundation

Cost comparison of Person-Centered Wing and Traditional Group-based supports – Mr. Brendan Broderick, Muiriosa

An Organisation Learning and Developing through the Lives of People it Supports – Mr. Bernard O’ Regan, Ms. Sandra Flaherty, Ms. Ann Nally & Colin Kelly Western Care

Family Leadership Development in Ireland - Ms Claire Murphy, Leap

Family Leadership - It’s our tent – Mr. Willie Walsh

It’s our tent - Text version – Mr. Willie Walsh

Home thoughts from abroad - Ms. Rachel Cassin, Leap

Enjoying Life to the full – Ann Wilcox, CoAction

Living my Life – Caroline Doolan,

Assessing Need & Resource Allocation – Ms. Eithne Fitzgerald, NDA

Independent Support Brokerage – The Challenges of a New Approach -  Mr. Bob McCormack, Dara Services

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