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Monday, 22nd November 2021

Disabled Peoples’ Organisation to be established in Louth

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Phil Friend of the UK's "Not Dead Yet" Movement who will be guest speaker at the launch of the Louth Disabled Peoples’ Organisation on International Day of Disabled People on December 3.

The UN’s International Day of Disabled People is on 3rd December and, at 12-noon on that day, the Independent Living Movement of Ireland are launching a new Disabled Peoples’ Organisation (DPO) in County Louth.

It is intended that Louth DPO will be a collective for the county's disabled activists to seek out solutions to the physical, social, political, cultural and attitudinal created Society barriers.

Spokesperson Clive Lowry told Drogheda Life that county-based activists will help to make real Ireland's late 2018 ratification of the 2006 United Nations Convention for disabled people.

They intend to work towards altering the environmental and disabling systems in society, by listening and hearing the social model informed collective lived experience and narrative of disabled people throughout county Louth.  

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“Identifying oneself as a disabled person by joining a local Louth DPO will help to communicate with society and shift attitudes away from believing that “disability” is a personal problem that must be overcome individually to realising that it is society's barriers that are the problem” Clive said. 

“Bring your authentic voice into our diverse collective local DPO space.  Help to eliminate the local barriers to inclusiveness, including the attitudinal barriers” he added.

Disabled people throughout County Louth and in cyberspace are invited to come together on-line and Covid safe to mark International Day of Disabled People 2021. 

The theme of this year's International Day, which unites disabled people across the world, is "Fighting for Rights in a Post COVID era" and, as we approach the end of an historic year, ILMI say they will examine what that really means for disabled people in Louth and look towards establishing a Louth DPO.

ILMI Project Coordinator, Peter Kearns, explains that "as disabled people, we have a unique opportunity to work together to use our power to influence real change at every level of society. 

“We don't need the disability industry or so-called experts to speak on our behalf.  We are the experts on our own lives and have the ability to ensure that our rights are protected in a post-COVID era."

Louth disabled activist Paula Soraghan believes it is an exciting opportunity for disabled people to join their local DPO and be part of a social model-led disability right's movement.

"Disabled people have never been prioritised by our government or had our right to equality protected” she said. “We now need to work together and take control of our lives and demand our rights". 

ILMI Policy Officer James Cawley says “Joining a local DPO means that disabled people are in a collective space where we can share our lived experience and use our authentic voices to dismantle oppressive systems together."

Supported by Louth Leader Partnership through Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) funding, the Louth DPO launch event will feature guidance from international social model disabled activist Phil Friend of UK DPO 'Not-Dead-Yet' campaign against Assisted-Dying lobbying that stigmatises and lessens the citizenship value of disabled people across the world.

 All disabled people and their supporters are welcome to attend the launch on Friday 3rd December, from 12 pm – 1 pm. For access to this event or to find out more about the Louth DPO, email clivelowry@ilmi.ie or call Clive Lowry on 087 380 7268.

For further information on the Independent Living Movement of Ireland, see: www.ilmi.ie

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