Advocacy and leadership course, DIT 2011–2012

by Deirdre Spain

deirdre spain graduation

On 4 November 2012, I and my friends graduated from the Advocacy and Leadership Course at the DIT Mountjoy Square. All our family and friends attended the graduation ceremony. It was lovely.
I had to do an interview to get a place on the course and was delighted when I got the news that I had been successful. The course started on 21 October 2011. The students came from St Michael’s House, St John of God Services Kildare and Menni Service.

As part of the course we had to learn about the:
• History of disability
• How we are governed
• Standards awareness
• Social inclusion
• Voter education
• Communication and teamwork

At the end of the course I had to do a presentation with a folder on what my interests are and what I had learned on the course in front the staff members of St Michael’s House, at the Omni Employment Centre (where I attend). I was very nervous. The folder was sent with a report of how my presentation went to my tutors for them to decide if I could graduate.

It was hard work. We students were involved in all the activities of student life in DIT—we mixed with the other students in the college and made many friendships. This could be seen at the graduation ceremony, as many of the other students came in especially to wish us well.

I enjoyed the course and feel that I am better able to speak out on behalf of people with intellectual disability. This is where the course helped me.

I would like to thank St Michael’s House staff for helping me during the course, my tutors on the course, the DIT staff and all my friends.