The Regional Advisory Council held its first formal meeting on September 4th in Conyngham Arms hotel Slane.
The newly formed Regional Advisory Council(RAC) is an independent self-advocacy group for adults with Down syndrome in the North East area. The 14 member council, consisting primarily of people from Meath and Louth but also some from Westmeath and Cavan, is the first of its kind within DSI’s 25 branches. Based on the successful National Advisory Council developed over a number of years, the RAC offers an opportunity for the branch members to have a structured input into the plans and activities of DSI in the region.
Speaking at the first meeting of the Council, Louth Meath branch chairperson Paul Radford said:
“We are proud to be the first branch in Ireland to commence the Regional Advisory Council initiative. We have known for a long time, as both parents and committee members, that people with Down syndrome have their own voice and opinion about how they want to live their lives. The RAC will ensure that those voices are listened to, those opinions respected and acted upon.”
Council facilitator and DSI National Advocacy Officer, Helena Connors said:
“We are delighted that the Louth Meath branch are taking the lead on the RAC programme and we hope to follow suit with other branches across our countrywide membership. Over the next two years, the Regional Advisory Council members will engage in structured self-advocacy and organisational skills training that will enable them to be confident and effective self-advocates. They will be electing their own officers and speaking out on the issues of concern to themselves and the communities in which they live. Watch this space!”
EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST SOUGHT FOR ADULT EDUCATION & EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMME
Down Syndrome Ireland’s Ability programme was launched in September 2018 and is aimed at providing further education and preparation for employment for our over 18s. The programme has been developed in conjunction with Accenture, a global management consultancy firm and with the support of funding from Pobal.
In its complete format, the programme runs for 4 days per week from September to June for 2 years with modules in Practical Literacy and Technology;Decision Making, Rights and Responsibilities; Work Skills and preparation for employment.
Louth/Meath branch will run and subsidise the programme from September 2019 if there is sufficient interest. Location will depend on the level of interest. It is an option to run just parts of the programme and this may suit members who have already completed Latch on and Mote programmes who would prefer to do the only Work Skills module. Again, it will depend on demand.
Planning for a class in September 2019 must begin NOW. If you are interested in any way or would like more details, please contact;