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Disability Special Interest Group Annual Conference 2019

October 24, 2019 @ 9:30 am - 3:30 pm

€10 – €20


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Disability Special Interest Group Annual Conference 

 Date: 24th October 2019

Journey to de-congregation- where are we now?

Venue: ChildVision, Grace Park Road, Drumcondra, Dublin 9

Time: 9:30 am Registration, 10 am start till 3:30 pm

Lunch & refreshments provided


We can now confirm that Finian Mc Grath, Minister of State for Disabilities will be available to open the conference. Social Care Ireland are delighted to support the Disability Special Interest Group with their annual conference. Exploring the Journey to de-congregation- where are we now? One of the Government’s key objectives is to provide people with disabilities with services and supports which will empower them to live independent lives, provide them with greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives.

To achieve this aim, the Programme for Government provided a commitment to the establishment of a Task Force on Personalised Budgets. The Task Force has now completed its work and Minister Finian McGrath has published its report.

Keynote Speakers:

Finian Mc Grath

The Minister of State for Disabilities will open the conference. Finian is an Irish Independent politician who has served as Minister of State for Disability Issues since May 2016.

Christy Lynch

The Chair of the Task Force on personalised budgets, Christy Lynch will provide a key note on this at the event. Towards Personalised Budgets for People with a Disability in Ireland; Report of the Task Force on Personalised Budgets

James Cawley

Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI). ILMI are working collectively to create an Independent Living Movement in Ireland led by disabled people, promoting a rights-based social model of disability, challenging a charity/medical view of disability. We are working towards the removal of societal barriers that prevent active equal participation of disabled people, challenging the denial of people’s rights and the promotion of the philosophy of Independent Living. Click here to view more information on  ILMI 

Fionn’s Story

This presentation is about what can happen when a son and father choose to dream bigger and seek their unique purpose in life. Fionn, the first person in Ireland with a developmental delay to manage his own HSE funded support programme, along with Jonathan, a Steiner primary school teacher from the US, will invite Social Care professionals to consider a future where they support people to take leadership determining how support is given, and to help them achieve their own version of a great life.

Fionn and Jonathan run a social enterprise called Fionnathan Productions, based out of Fionn’s apartment in Galway, and their art studio in Clarenbridge. Fionn has shown his artwork in New York and London, has played his fiddle in 23 countries, teaches children about wildlife, and has given over a hundred talks, including annual lectures to Social Care students around Ireland. Their film series, What Do You Love About Your Life? includes interviews with more than 500 people, with more than 300,000 views online.

Frontline Magazine Creating Community and enjoying life: The story of Fionnathan Productions Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Collaborative project with St Patrick’s Centre, Kilkenny and Genio.

Selina Doyle, Practice Development Manager, St Patrick’s Center, Kilkenny & Tara Doheny, Programme Manager, Genio-Transforming Social Services, will share their story on a collaborative project that supported de-congregation for people with disabilities using services in Kilkenny.

The Mission statement of St Patrick’s Centre, Kilkenny (SPC) is ‘”To enable people to live a good life, in their own home, with supports and opportunities to become active, valued and inclusive members of their local communities. To enable a supported self-directed living (SSDL) model of provision which is underpinned by our beliefs, values and mission'”

In line with the 2011 national policy, “Time to Move on from Congregated Settings- A strategy for Community Inclusion” the entire SPC campus was moving towards de-congregation and they did this with the support of Genio.

Genio was involved with this service reform since 2017, “Genio is a non-profit organisation specialising in social service transformation. Genio was established to assist Government to increase cost-effective personalisation of social services by putting the people who use them at the heart of their design and delivery. This work has been supported by the Atlantic Philanthropies and is now being sustained by Government. In the last 10 years we have helped to facilitate change and improvements for over 8,000 people across disability, mental health, dementia and homelessness services”

Click here to read more on St Patricks’s Kilkenny 

Click here to read more on Genio 

Jessica Gough

Jessica is a Leader with Áiseanna Tacaíochta(ÁT) and she has received direct payments to support her to live an independent life.  AT is emerging as a leading organisation in the Independent Living movement in Ireland by facilitating a Direct Payments model to people with disabilities for the first time. Through Direct Payments, our members move from dependency on disability service providers to directing their own services, mainly Personal Assistance.We provide leadership and support to empower people with disabilities to live with the independence, choice and freedom that they are entitled to. By giving people with disabilities more control and independence, we are moving towards a fairer, more inclusive and progressive future.

ÁT is an innovative and change making organisation. We are working to create structural and cultural change for people with disabilities and their families by changing how disability is funded and how services are delivered in Ireland – as well as how we think about people with disabilities.

Click here to see European parliament presentation 

Proposed Timetable 

9:00 Registration

9:45 am Introduction by Chair; Teresa Mallon

9:50 am – 10:15 am Opening address Minister of State for Disability issues Finian Mc Grath

10:15 am – 11 am Christy Lynch

11 am – 11:30 am James Cawley (ILMI)

11:30 am – 11:45 am Tea/Coffee break

11:45 am – 12:45 pm Jessica Gough (AT)

12:45 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm Selina Doyle & Tara Doheny, Genio & St Patricks Kilkenny

2:30 pm – 3:30 pm Fionn & Johnathon

This event will be chaired by Teresa Mallon, John of Gods disability services.


October 24, 2019
9:30 am - 3:30 pm
€10 – €20
Event Category:


ChildVision Grace Park Road
Drumcondra, Dublin Ireland


Charlotte Burke