Minister of State for Disabilities Finian McGrath TD opens the Praxis Care Day Service in Clongriffin, North Dublin
“The Minister said that this day service will play a vital role for services users and parents as they face the challenges of adapting to different life choices and growing independence. I commended Praxis Care who work tirelessly to support adults with special needs to realise their dreams and achieve their full potential, which allows them to participate and contribute fully in the communities in which they live.
Reference to leadership increasingly arises in the context of managing change. The focus in this paper is primarily on the implementation aspect of leadership. There is also of course the visionary, identifying-new-horizons aspect of leadership. However, at this point in the evolution of intellectual disability services in Ireland, there is no dearth of vision per se.
At a social occasion some time ago a very upper-class lady, obviously of the better sort, rounded on my wife and exclaimed “are you a complainer?”. That incident has become part of family lore, but it’s a good question if you have a dependant or you yourself are at the receiving end of care services.
When people ask us as what we do as workers in services for people with Intellectual disability, in general we explain our role as ‘supporting’. That’s what we do; we support people in every area of their lives, ‘from cradle to grave’. We want people to do normal things, to attend school, to socialise, to work, and overall to participate fully in their communities.
I have a real interest in services for people with intellectual disabilities growing into their full potential. Over the last while I have been asking the following question: What if an intellectual disability service could find a way to capture all of the voices involved in it ...
The Irish system and attitudes to people with a disability means that the only true advocates people with a disability have are more than often their parents. Remove parents from this equation, and what is left is the current appalling situation unfolding in the care system and the HSE.
Values seem a bit of a luxury item when compared to the struggles of day-to-day living. They are something we should be concerned about, but maybe when we have a bit more time. Yet, whether we attend to them or not, values are shaping how we think, the choices we make, and how we behave. Values matter.
This was the question asked to a group of people with intellectual disabilities doing a course in Independent Living Skills in The Discipline of Occupational Therapy, Trinity College Dublin. They live with either their family or in a hostel, or in their own apartments.