The ÁT Peer Network of Support: Getting Connected


We are really conscious of the how easy it is to communicate with one another using internet calling services like Skype and using emails to keep in contact. At all stages of members participation with Áiseanna Tacaíochta we encourage and help to facilitate peer network meetings. Similar to that pictured here, individuals can meet face to face for a coffee, via Skype, by telephone or email to talk through any issues they may be having and find a solution with the help of someone else’s lived experience.

This peer support network is created with an awareness of the fact that as Leaders move towards setting up their own companies, to manage their own Personal Assistance Services, they will require certain supports, both from each other and from external sources. The aim of the Network will be to ensure that those supports are readily available when people with disabilities need them. This will be achieved through the creation of a virtual administrative network that will enable members to access peer supports, source mainstream training and resources providing long term support. This ‘virtual administrative network’ comprises of our website, its discussion forum, Skype conference calls, webinars, email and our newsletter. The Network will be managed by members and promote volunteerism documenting all the learning to inform future implementation of rights-based services in Ireland.

This knowledge sharing of a diverse group of people, with different disabilities empowers individuals and allows access to knowledge in practice rather than what can be advised in theory. The peer network is expected to grow with the project as we increase our membership. This information will also help to shape advice material for future members and will mean our advice can be as current as possible.