Thursday, June 22, 2017
Frontline Issue 93
frontline 93


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Máiríde Woods summarises the speeches at the first National Advocacy Service Conference

Pictured at the NAS conference were from left: Louise Haughney, Expert by Experience, Tony McQuinn, CEO CIB, Jane Fennessy, Expert by Experience, Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D. and Mary Sullivan, Expert by Experience.

The National Advocacy Service (NAS) held its first conference My life, my say, my way, in Dublin Castle on 9 September 2013. NAS was set up to provide an independent, confidential service to the person with disabilities and it is funded and supported by the Citizens Information Board. It operates through five regions, each with a manager and a team of advocates. Its aims are to keep the person at the centre of services and to enable people to follow their own wishes wherever possible...

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Kathy O’Grady & Donal Fitzsimons on the attempts to move intellectual disability service provision from large institutions to smaller group homes.

There has been a dramatic change in what services for people with intellectual disability look like in an Irish context. In the Irish Midlands, since 2000, a transfer programme has attempted to vigorously improve people’s lives through the closure of large congregated institutions. The objective was to get people with intellectual disability out of hospital settings and into community-based homes where smaller groups of people with intellectual would co-reside...

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Mitchel Fleming, St Paul’s Service, rounds up The Talbot Group’s inaugural conference on current evidence-based best practice approaches to supporting adults with intellectual disabilities.

The Talbot Group, in association with the British Institute of Learning Disability (BILD), organised a symposium and conference on supporting people with intellectual disabilities (ID) and challenging behaviour, in the City North Hotel, Dublin, on 27-28 November 2013. Dr Tony Woods, CEO of the Talbot Group, and Ann Chivers, CEO of BILD, welcomed participants to the two-day event...

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Darshini Ramasubbu on how important it is to make dental visits as easy as possible

Dental care can be challenging for anyone, with phobia of visits to the dentist being very common and understandably so—dental surgeries can be intimidating places, with unfamiliar people, noises and equipment. For those with intellectual disability, it is important to make dental visits as easy as possible so that phobia or fear does not develop...

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Dr B Ramasubbu, Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street, says that the flu vaccine should be taken by those with an intellectual disability this winter.

The flu can make us miserable. Fevers, cough, congestion and fatigue make even the nicest winter morning seem dark and gloomy. Muscle aches, joint pains and a splitting headache can leave us trapped in the house and stuck in bed. A terrible way to spend the winter months, especially with Christmas around the corner! The flu is caused by a virus (‘Influenza Virus’) that peaks in a seasonal pattern during the winter months and spreads from person to person through sneezing, coughing or touching contaminated surfaces...

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Dr. Sheelah Flatman Watson, Department of Geography, National University of Ireland explains the pathways to support for families after a diagnosis of ID or ASD

Families/guardians of people receiving a diagnosis of intellectual disability (ID) and/or autism spectrum disorder(s) (ASDs) may experience a sense of disempowerment when faced with the prospect of sourcing appropriate educational pathways because they have little or no prior knowledge and/or experience of facilitating special education needs. Some information may have been absorbed through exposure to media coverage, or supporting charity fund-raisers...

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Alison Harnett on new initiatives to provide individual supports for people with disabilities.

The Next Steps Project is a community of learning facilitating the movement to a more individual approach to supporting people. It is working with people themselves, their families and service providers to support people with intellectual disabilities in Ireland to achieve greater independence and full active citizenship...

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Stephen Kealy recently interviewed two women who, with their husbands, have raised children with mild intellectual disabilities. Both the ‘children’ are now adults, in their thirties. The man lives independently, near his parents’ home; the woman continues to live with her parents. Both have held part-time jobs for several years, and they receive back-up support from intellectual disability services—one provides a day service and the other provides independent living support and a job coach.

by Tricia Donlon

Earlier this year Winnie celebrated 50 years of a very full life. Next year, St Christopher’s, a service with a long association with Winnie’s parents and Winnie herself, will be celebrating 50 years of provision to families and their children with an intellectual disability. Winnie’s story and that of St Christopher’s go hand in hand, as Mel, her father, has been an integral part of the organisation since its foundation. 2014 will see five decades of Mel’s continuous involvement...

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Ann Marie O’Brien says it’s important to consult with your child when planning for their future

A few weeks ago a group of friends were out and somebody mentioned the 5-year plan. It brought back memories of a few years ago. During my days in nursing when we were newly trained graduates, we all had a five -year plan. Our aims included getting experience in our relevant fields, getting some finance together, travelling the world and, if we met a significant other in that time, that was all the better. Life went on and we went our separate ways, but we still stayed in contact...