A seat at the table

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‘A Seat at the table’ project (funded by the seven services. The parliament members have Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform) completed a ‘Certificate in Leadership’ course at has established the first service-user forum in both Dundalk Institute of Technology, the first students the North East and South East of the country, for to do so. Their graduation in September was people who facing the challenges of intellectual attended by President Mary McAleese. disability.

Before the General Election, the parliament ‘Midway’ in Meath has teamed up with ‘SOS hosted their second regional forum meeting, on Kilkenny’ to bring together the various regional the topic of ‘voter education’ and ‘active organisations that provide services for people with citizenship’. The idea was to raise awareness, an intellectual disability. The project, born out of both among those with an intellectual disability the HSE desire to have better customer service, is and those campaigning for election, of the founded on the principles of ‘advocacy’ and power that this section of society have with their ‘active citizenship’. It has brought together vote. This included a presentation from the advocates from Midway, Order of Malta, Steadfast ‘Vincentian Partnership for Justice’ and a number House, Cáirde Activation Centre, Drumlin House, of TDs and councillors who took part in a St John of God Services and Rehabcare. question-and-answer session.

All thirteen advocates involved in the project On 16 May 2007, the parliament made a have been elected to the parliament by their presentation at the national ‘Just Ask’ conference peers. Elections, based on proportional in Kilkenny, where they addressed the difference representation, took place last July in each of the between work and employment.

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