Monday, December 11, 2017

Frontline Issue 35

‘Adding years to life, and life to years’: A profile of St Hilda’s Services, Athlone

It all began in 1963 when a group of parents came together to help a friend and her child. There were no facilities for children with learning disabilities in the Athlone area at that time, and the group aimed to get a school going for children with moderate learning disabilities. The sisters at the Bower Convent (La Sainte Union des...

A VISIT TO SLOVAKIA

Post Office personnel in distant parts of the world sometimes confuse Ireland with Iceland, but Slovakia has a far worse identity problem: Slavic…Slavonic…Slovenian…Czechoslovakian. There it is—just east of Vienna. The Czech and Slovak federation separated in 1993, four years after their ‘velvet revolution’. The Slovak Republic has 5½ million people in an area about half the size of our...

Shared training: A programme responding to the needs of employers

Shared Training is an innovative project which has developed in-company training for managers and supervisors, to enable them to make the natural supports of the workplace more accessible to employees with learning disability. The project is a partnership venture between St Michael’s House and ADAPT, which is a major initiative supported by the European Social Fund to assist companies...

LIFESKILLS: A POSITIVE APPROACH

Lifeskills: a positive approach, by Monica Macnamara, an Irish occupational therapist, has been available since 1995. Over the last three years it has proven to be a most valued guide to organising lifeskills training. The uniqueness of this book is in its particular ‘positive approach’ to both the reader and to the person who needs lifeskills training. The book...

Ageing matters: Pathways for older people with learning disabilities

This is an extremely important topic because of the growth in numbers of the elderly and the increasing need to provide them with specialised services. The study unit comes in six sections, covering a wide variety of topics: the effects of ageing, how to provide day-to-day support, leisure activities, physical and mental health in the ageing population with learning...

Philadelphia here I come—with thanks to Homechoice

This Easter I went to America. This may seem unremarkable in an age of globetrotters, but at one time in my life I thought I’d be doing well to get to Rosslare unencumbered and unrecalled. Even though I believe home is best for my daughter, I still wanted to see the world. The cabin’d cribbed confined stage is familiar...

How people with a learning disability, living in a community setting, are spending their leisure time

Introduction This article reports the results of a survey conducted on the leisure activities of 38 adults with mild to severe learning disabilities attending a day centre in the west of Ireland. Information was collected on the activities individuals engaged in, with particular emphasis being placed on the participation of individuals in ordinary community-based activities, involving individuals without learning disabilities. The...

Exploring leisure for people with profound learning and multiple disabilities: a literature review

Brightbill and Mobley (1977) define real leisure not as enforced free time but rather as the opportunity to choose freely those activities of greatest preference and interest from a variety of options. Choice is the essence of leisure, and it is this element of choice that differentiates leisure from what might be considered therapy, although many leisure activities have...

DEVELOPING ALTERNATIVE VALUES: Education through leisure activities

The fact that a person may lack literacy and numeracy skills should not deprive them from learning about literature or drama. Every Sunday at the Writers’ Museum, a group of people with learning difficulties meet and learn about the great writers. They love getting to know about poetry and plays, but above all they love getting to know the writers,...

Borderline

With the birth of the new group Borderline, an association for parents of persons with mild learning disabilities, I thought some of my worries would be solved. My 24-year-old son Colm, with very slight learning problems, had tremendous difficulty making and keeping friends. Young people of normal intelligence either were not interested or exploited him, and he would not...