Watch our speakers from REAP14!

Last December, we at Áiseanna Tacaíochta (ÁT) held our first major event, Realising Equality through Active Participation (REAP14), to celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

The day examined the history of Independent Living (IL) for people with disabilities in Ireland, exploring our model of Direct Payments and the difference that it makes in people’s lives.

Minister for Equality, Aodhán O’Ríordáin TD, opened proceedings, joined by a great range of speakers, including pioneers of the IL movement and a number of our own Leaders and their support networks.

Representatives from the Health Service Executive (HSE), Genio, the Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI), the Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) and the School for Social Entrepreneurs of Ireland (SSEI) also took part.

You watch their presentations now by heading to our Youtube channel, ATfisean, or by clicking into the links below.

Opening Address

Minister for Equality, Aodhán O’Ríordáin TD, opened REAP14, discussing the importance of empowerment and of securing equal rights and opportunities for all.  

Click here to watch the Minister’s speech.

Journey to Independent Living: Achieving Equality through Active Participation

Direct Payments have opened a new chapter for the IL movement in Ireland.  This session explores its journey and evolution, the difficulties it has encountered and overcome, and the background to this new model that we have developed.

Hubert McCormack, a pioneer of the IL movement, spoke about the emergence of the movement in Ireland and his own experiences: click here to watch.

Owen Collumb, one of our founding members, talked about the background to our Direct Payments model and the difference that it makes in his life: click here to watch.

Máiríde Woods, who currently sits on our Board, discussed her role with us and explored our model further: click here to watch.

Leaders’ Experience of Direct Payments

Our model of Direct Payments gives people with disabilities and their families the power and support to direct and manage their own services – and lives – from the inside out.  In this session, a number of our members – who we call Leaders – discuss how the model works in their lives and what it means to them.

Johnny Ryan has been running his own company since August 2014.  He explains how he came on board with our model and the changes it has brought to his life: click here to watch.

Maggie Woods manages her own Personal Assistant (PA) services through her company, Miss Independent.  She discusses how our model empowers her to live with full independence and control: click here to watch.

Supporting Innovation and Change through the ÁT Model

Our aim is to see Direct Payments rolled out across Ireland, making IL accessible to everyone.  To achieve this goal, we need supporters and we need them to tell people why they are backing us and our model.  In this session, that’s exactly what happened.

Mark Blake-Knox is the Chief Executive of Cheshire Ireland.  He explains how individualised funding models make a real difference to people with disabilities: click here to watch.

Madeline Clarke is Executive Director of Genio.  She discusses how and why Genio supports innovation and change in disability services in Ireland: click here to watch.

Pat Clarke is the Chair of DFI.   He speaks about his background in disability services and how organisations can support people with disabilities to live independently: click here to watch.

Michael Doyle is the Director of Assisted Living Services with the IWA.  He discusses his support of ÁT and why he believes it to be important: click here to watch.

Sheila Marshall is the Area Operations Manager in HSE North Dublin since 2010.  She discusses how her HSE area came on board with our model of Direct Payments and our roles in working together; click here to watch.

Afternoon Address

Maria Walls, National Manager of the National Advocacy Service (NAS), gave the afternoon address, discussing the NAS’s role and touching on her learnings and experience of IL.

Click here to watch.

 Building Support Networks and Promoting Active Participation

Families and networks plays a vital role in supporting individuals to become more visible in the community and in actively engaging with neighbours and friends.  In this session, Leaders, along with their family members and representatives of their Circles of Support, outline their roles and experiences in self-directing through our model and supporting those who choose to do so.

Jacinta Fortune’s on Daniel is one of our Leaders.  She outlines her family’s experience with our model and the difference that it makes in their lives; click here to watch.

Helen Lahert is a member of the Circle of Support of Gordon Ryan, one of our founding members, for the past three years.  She discusses her role and how communities can support people with disabilities in living equal, independent lives: click here to watch.

Niamh Quinn is one of our Leaders.  She and her mother Anne Motherway spoke about moving to our Direct Payments model and what it means to them: click here to watch.

The Future: Visions of an Equal and Inclusive Society for All

Each of us in society has a vital role to play in securing true inclusion and equality for everyone, and this session highlights how we can come together to make this happen.

Patrick Flanagan is a young man with the lived experience of disability.  He discusses the challenges and opportunities of IL, his ambition to get involved with social enterprise, and how he hopes the future of disability in Ireland will unfold; click here to watch.

Lynda Stopford is the co-founder and Director of the SSEI.  She explains what social enterprise is and the impact that it can make in communities, highlighting the opportunities there for people with disabilities; click here to watch.

Martin Naughton is a disability activist who was one of our four founding Leaders and is now our Director.  He speaks about how transforming attitudes and perceptions of people with disabilities can help to build a more fair and inclusive future; click here to watch.

Questions and Answers

Attendees at REAP14 posed questions to our speakers throughout the day, covering a range of issues and areas of interest.

Click here to see how our speakers from the morning sessions answered questions put to them.

Click here to watch Maria Walls, our Leaders and their support networks respond to questions from the audience.

Click here to listen to the questions put to our supporters.

 Closing Statement

Ann Kennelly is a member of our Board.  She summarises what all that we heard at REAP14 and closes the event.

Click here to watch.


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