We continue our round-up of stories from across Ireland and the globe this week. possibly my favourite piece to come across though, I’ve already posted (Have you booked yet?). It’s a video of a truly inspirational nurse who talks about overcoming people’s attitudes to get her dream job. I’m not for one for smush and platitudes, she just talks openly and honestly about her experience. Very powerful. Anyway, here are the links we picked out this week:


Ireland’s toothless Celtic tiger

“As a blind person growing up in Ireland, Martin Conway went through the mainstream education system. He has also run his own business and is now a county councillor. Here he talks about the parlous state of disability politics among our nearest neighbours”


Patients restrained or secluded 5,000 times during 2009

“Psychiatric patients were either restrained or secluded in mental health facilities on more than 5,000 occasions during 2009, according to a new report by the Mental Health Commission.”



“Poor standards of web accessibility mean many disabled people are excluded from using big parts of the internet. Fix the Web is offering a solution! Disabled people report problems in under a minute. Volunteers take these issues forward with website owners.”


Cuts ‘impairing’ efforts to gather evidence of human rights abuses

“Speaking at the launch of the campaign, several people gave personal accounts of their difficulties in accessing services. Gerard Gallagher, who has cerebral palsy and is disability rights officer for the Union of Students in Ireland, described how he needed special needs assistance at school and how he encountered some difficulties while at college.”


PostgradFair Ireland

“Visit the official national postgraduate further study event for students, graduates and people returning to full time and part time education, in Ireland north and south. There will be hundreds of postgraduate, further education courses and research opportunities with exhibitors from across Ireland, Northern Ireland and overseas.”


UCC hosts disability awareness week

“UCC Students Union has this week launched its disability awareness week, it’s first ever official week dedicated to increasing awareness of the challenges disabled students face on campus.”


Supports for people with disabilities and employers

A new leaflet from the Dept of Social Protection



‘Staff helped patients like me to believe we can get on in life’

OLIVER Murphy, Ireland’s first paralympian and co-founder of the Irish Wheelchair Association, was one of the first patients to attend the National Rehabilitation Hospital.


50 years of NRH – Rehab staff take a bow

WHEN the National Rehabilitation Hospital was founded half a century ago, few could have anticipated how valuable its services would prove for the nation.


Number of rehab consultants ‘well below minimum’

THE number of consultants in rehabilitation medicine in Ireland falls well short of the recommended minimum, a medical chief claimed.


‘It’s not a crime for a disabled person to have a child’

All five members of the Wise family are on the ‘autism spectrum’. They have spent years struggling to be diagnosed, to get assistance from the State and to stay together, they tell VICTORIA WHITE


Mental health services need proper support – Letter to the Editor


New sports guidelines aim to address disability issues

Disability Sports NI and Sport Northern Ireland launched their new sports facility access guidelines at the House of Sport last week, with the help of two local up and coming athletes.


Preparing for the general election – Letter to the Editor

Madam, – The Constitution states that all persons on the electoral register are entitled to vote in the general election by means of a secret ballot. However, this isn’t the case for people who are blind or vision-impaired, as we have to rely on a trusted friend or family member to cast our ballot for us.


It appears I can’t multitask and general busyness means I ignored the blog. Apologies, I’ll try to make up for it. So here’s a run down of the last month:

Running the Get Ready for Work Seminars was exhuasting, but I think successful. Over 40 people recieved training, with more than 12 careers advisors involved, and 10 employers. Feedback overall has been excellent, and reviews of the seminars are ongoing. If there’s demand, we’ll look at another one by the end of 2009. If you, or anyone you know are interested, please get in touch.

Apart from Get Ready for Work, I’ve been hatching some new plans with my colleagues so, watch this space sometime in September 🙂

The Facebook Page is now at http://www.facebook.com/getaheadforum. Much easier to direct people to, so please do 🙂

I was also down at the Union Organisation Seminar run by USI (the Union of Students in Ireland) for all students union officers in Ireland. I go to talk to them every year about the issues facing students with disabilities on campus, and to talk about what they can do/ should do. It’s always interesting to get their take on what’s happening and to discuss plans and ideas they have for the upcoming year. This year looks set to be excellent too, so keep an eye on USI Equality

AHEAD has put together a response to the proposed model for the Fund for students with disabilities in 2009/2010. I’ve linked to the response here, just for your information. If you’ve any questions, shout.

We’re also currently looking for your comments and suggestions for a charter for inclusive teaching and learning. There’s more information here, and after you’ve read this, if you’ve any thoughts, please feel free to comment or to email my colleague Lorraine at lorraine.gallagher AT ahead DOT ie

On Friday, I’m off to deliver some training for WAM in the ESB, so I’m getting to keep in touch with what WAM is up to and how its going.

Next week, I’m on holidays, but there’ll be scheduled posts to make it as if I’m still here!

Two major new things of note:

A big hello to everyone who’s dropped by via Facebook! (88 fans at last count – wow! UPDATE: over 136 now! Many thanks to Linda & USI Equality) Lovely to see you all! Pull up a chair, make yourselves comfy, have a browse, and maybe a chat… 🙂

Seriously – do talk to me, otherwise this is just me talking to thin air – a little unnerving. Your feedback really helps.

The other new thing is:

* drumroll *

The new AHEAD website!

Our information officer Lorraine has been working hard on a major redesign of our website over the last while and results are now up for everyone to see. The content is going to be a work in progress in some sections, so again, all comments, questions, thoughts and so on are welcome. We want to make this as user friendly as possible, so let us know what you think!

This week is rather busy with the AHEAD symposium on Tuesday & then myself & WAM are at the GradIreland Recruiters Conference on Wednesday, but I’ll be back by the end of the week – in the meantime, feel free to peruse the archives here, or browse the AHEAD website.


(don’t just find us, like us and  become a fan :))