Welcome Message and Board Update from new DSI President, Liam Ahern
First of all, thank you for giving me the opportunity to become President of Down Syndrome Ireland at our recent AGM in Trim. I will always give of my best and be fully committed to the role. I would also like to thank the Louth/Meath Branch for organising the AGM and the hospitality shown to our members.
The Board of Directors held its first meeting post AGM on Saturday the 20th of July in our National Office and a number of areas were discussed, the first of which was making our organisation more transparent and accountable. As a consequence, an agreed report will be issued after each of our Board meetings. This agreed report by the Board will be distributed initially to our branch officers and staff. A similar report will be subsequently sent to our members through the August Digest. For obvious reasons, some areas are confidential to the Board and these will not appear in the report. The Board thanked Mary Doherty, our outgoing President for her excellent service and commitment over six years to Down Syndrome Ireland. The Board also thanked our Down Syndrome Ireland staff and volunteers for their hard work and commitment to the organisation. The President thanked the Board members and alluded to the fact that all our Board members are volunteers and this should not be forgotten also.
The Board through our CEO has drawn up the job specification for a much needed Chief Financial Officer and this appointment will be made as soon as possible.
The Board approved the terms of reference for the subcommittee which will review the Articles of Management for Down Syndrome Ireland. This is basically our Constitution which guides us in how Down Syndrome Ireland will be organised for the future. It is a major undertaking and the subcommittee will report to the full Board early in the New Year. Branches will be contacted shortly by the subcommittee with a view to seeking submissions on suggested changes to the Articles of Management. I would really encourage Branches to put a major effort into reviewing the Articles of Management.
The financial report was submitted to the Board by our CEO.
The CEO submitted a comprehensive report on the activities and achievements of Down Syndrome Ireland. In the report the Board was updated on our development strategy which includes building membership services, developing an effective infrastructure (website, ezine, and newsletter), creating a membership database, focused lobbying on a small number of big issues and creating a financially stable and well governed organisation.
This concluded the business of the meeting with the next meeting scheduled for September.
Immediately after the Board meeting the subcommittee tasked with reviewing the Articles of Management met to discuss how it will progress the review. As stated above, the subcommittee will be contacting branches shortly to ask each of the branches for submissions. Individuals can also make submissions to the committee.
President, Down Syndrome Ireland
31 July 2019
Personalised Budgets – an update from the HSE on the demonstration projects
The HSE is looking for up to 180 adults with a disability to participate in the Personalised Budgets Demonstration Projects over the coming two years, DSI heard at a conference around the pilot scheme this week.
Aisling Hunt, Personalised Budgets Project Manager, appeared at a conference hosted by the Disability Federation of Ireland and outlined the full scope of the upcoming demonstration projects.
The HSE is looking for participants who access day services, residential services, respite services, rehabilitative training and personal assistance across the country.
Continue reading this article here...
See and Learn Training Dates announced!
As you, our members, may know, we are investing in rolling out See and Learn with funds raised through our HB Fundays campaign this year.
See and Learn is an evidence based, structured teaching programme which teaches speech, language and reading skills in small steps for children with Down syndrome up to 6 years of age.
The programme is designed to help educators and parents provide young children with the additional support and practice they need to learn language.
The See & Learn training programmes are due to begin on the 19th of August.
Find out more about the programme and to secure a place at the relevant training programme here!
Congratulations to our amazing Tour De Munster cyclists
The annual four-day Tour de Munster charity cycle came to a close on Cork’s gruelling St Patrick’s Hill on Sunday. Now in its 19th year, the cycle saw more than 100 amateur cyclists take on the 600km cycle to raise huge funds for a great cause.
We’d like to thank everyone involved with this year’s event, 2019 marks the tenth year of the partnership with the Tour.
THANK YOU to all the brave 100+ cyclists that took part in the 600Km cycle, to all the amazing members and volunteers that supported them on their journey with safety and repairs – and finally, to all the fantastic people that donated and cheered the cyclists on their way through cities, towns and villages.
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Parents appear in the Irish Times highlighting need for July Provision
“Cian has masses of potential and he deserves the same chances as everyone else.”
Parents and DSI members from Roscommon Liz and Tommy Mulry appeared in the Irish Times recently talking about their son Cian and the need for the July Provision scheme to be extended to all children with Down syndrome. Thank you Liz and Tommy for sharing your story.
Liz also appeared on Newstalk - You can listen to Liz’s incredibly powerful interview here!
We had been asked to invite some of our young adults to take part in the Croke Park Inclusion Day which took place on Sunday the 21st of July, it was a huge opportunity and a once in a lifetime experience to work at Croke Park during an Official GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Finals between Mayo V Meath and Kerry V Donegal.
We invited branch members from the counties playing to help out on the day and represent their county.
And what a fantastic day was had by the group of DSI members that attended the GAA Inclusion day at Croke Park - David Adams Event Facilities Executive at Croke Park and his team welcomed Cathal Griffin from Kerry and Fintan Bray from Westmeath to his amazing team. The guys also liaised with Customer Care Support staff member, Sinead Ni Ghallachoir to help welcome guests at the Hospitality section at the Hogan stand entrance.
Helping to keep the pitch in good order for the day during the break between matches were - Jack Egan from Meath, Sean Sammon from Mayo, Stephen Faley from Kerry and Shaun Bradley from Donegal.
Read more and see more images from the day here!
JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR ADULTS WITH DOWN SYNDROME
We have some very exciting employment opportunities for adults with Down syndrome with great companies such as Pobal and Compass Ireland at Google. You can find out more details on our website!
These employment opportunities are being created thanks to our Ability Programme, which works to provide adults with Down syndrome access to meaningful employment opportunities around the country.
Find out more here!
Important Supreme Court ruling on the rights of people with disabilities to reasonable workplace accommodation
Down Syndrome Ireland welcomes the Supreme Court Ruling in the case of Daly v. Nano Nagle on the rights of people with disabilities to reasonable workplace accommodation. This landmark case references the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) regarding the prohibition of discrimination, the dignity and the right to work of people with disabilities.
This judgement is significant as it moves away from viewing disability as a medical issue and towards respecting the inherent dignity of all as laid out in the UNCRPD.
Continue reading this article here...
Professor Sue Buckley visits See and Learn project team
L-R: Gavin Mc Donnell - See & Learn Project Leader; Olive Buckeridge - Early Years Specialist, Professor Sue Buckley and Nicola Hart - Member Support Team Leader.
We were delighted to welcome Professor Sue Buckley to our national office recently to discuss the rollout of the See and Learn Programme, which is being supported through funds raised by our HB Fundays campaign.
Sue met with some of the Member Support Team, including our new Early Years Specialist Olive Buckeridge and See and Learn Project Leader, Gavin McDonnell as well as our Head of Member Support Services Nicola Hart.
It was very valuable to have Sue’s input and advice, and we would like to thank her for giving us her time and sharing her expertise.
To celebrate World Breastfeeding Week (Aug 1 – 7), Ciara shares her experience of breastfeeding her beautiful daughter Seána, who has Down syndrome.
Thank you Ciara for sharing your story with us.
HB Funday & Play Date in the Mansion House!
Thank you again to Dublin Lord Mayor Paul McAuliffe for creating such a special day! DSI members were invited to a very special play-date and DSI HB Fundays party which took place in the Mansion House
We had an absolute blast with our members and supporters - all while enjoying some delicious HB HazelbrookFarm ice-cream.
See more photos from the day here!
Rebecca Loughnane, mum to Johnny features on the Humans of Dublin website - Rebecca recalls her story on initial thoughts, emotions and coming to terms about the diagnosis of her son, which lead her to seek support and advise.
Upside Down, The Story of My Brother James
Here is a wonderful book called Upside Down, The Story of My Brother James written by a young girl called Liadh Hanley. In the book, Liadh shares her experiences of having a brother with Down Syndrome. The initial aim of the book is to teach siblings and children how to appreciate and respect those with Down syndrome. We think this book could help all members of families with Down Syndrome as well as prospective parents.
Download your copy here!
Next August (2020) Team 21 are taking on the ultimate challenge to climb Kilimanjaro and raise much-needed funds for Down Syndrome Ireland.
Kilimanjaro (5,896m) is not only Africa’s highest point, it is the highest free standing mountain in the world. Irish owned adventure travel company Earth's Edge have put together a fantastic 12 day itinerary for us, with full details linked HERE.
We're Hiring - Finance Manager
Down Syndrome Ireland is currently recruiting a Finance Manager who will oversee the day to day financial operations for Down Syndrome Ireland at our national office in Dublin. The role will assume responsibility for the financial and accounting operation within the organisation to ensure the company meets its fiduciary responsibilities, fulfil its statutory compliance and produce the broader financial and accounting information required by the Board.
Find out more here!
New Shop Opens in Templeogue Village
L-R: Marian Kane, Shop Manager; June Rodgers and Mark O’Doherty, Head of Fundraising and Retail.
Our newest shop opened in Templeogue village in South Dublin on July 25th, and we were delighted to have the wonderful June Rodgers as our guest of honour on the day. A huge thank you to the fantastic volunteers and staff who worked so hard to get the shop ready for opening, and to the local community who have been so supportive with their custom and stock donations.
We could not run any of our shops without the team of loyal volunteers, who so generously give their time each week – if you are interested in volunteering in one of our Dublin shops please visit our site here to find out more and to submit your details.
Beyond Limits is an upcoming event for children and young people with disabilities organised by the Ombudsman for Children's Office.
The event will take place at Croke Park on Saturday the 19th of October - It is designed to help empower children and young people with disabilities, showing them the opportunities open to them and conversations on and highlighting inclusiveness.
Find out more about the event here!