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News archive Sept 2008 - Sept 2009

Members of the Inclusive Research Network present at the National Disability Authority National Conference

Marie Wolfe, Simon Buggy and Sara Flynn presented the findings of the Where We Live project at the National Disability Authority Annual conference at Croke Park on Tuesday 6th October. The three presenters represented the work of the Inclusive Research Network and the 11 co-researchers who conducted this study.

The presentation and some photos can also be viewed at the website of the National Federation of Voluntary Bodies. Click here to go to the website.

You can also access the full presentation by clicking on this link.

NDA conference 09

Marie Woolfe, Sarah Flynn and Simon Buggy presenting at the NDA National Conference, 2009.

NIID Summer School Report

Posted 10th August, 2009

Full Report on NIID Summer School 2009

NIID launch 'A Story to Tell' lifestory archive

Posted on 31st July, 2009

The NIID officially launched the 'A Story to Tell' archive of life stories at an event during the inaugural Summer School on Tuesday, 28th July, 2009.


The event was well attended by a large group of interested people with disabilities, academics, frontline staff and invited guests. For more information, click here.

NIID Summer School Taking Place 27th-29th July, 2009

Posted on 21st July, 2009

Next week, the NIID is proud to present a 3 Day Summer School on Inclusion and Education. International speakers of note include:

Professors Rud & Ann Turnbull, from the Beech Centre, University of Kansas

Professor Mary Falvey and Dr. Richard Rosenberg, California State University

Professor Susan Ryan, University of Vermont

Irene Clark, Melbourne.

Debbie Espiner, University of Aukland

Ray Murray, NIID.

Trinity Takes to the Streets: Dublin City Marathon - October 26th 2009

Posted on 30 April 2009

Trinity students, alumni, staff and friends are taking to the streets of Dublin for the Dublin City Marathon on 26th October to support University initiatives addressing educational disadvantage in Dublin and beyond. The National Institute for Intellectual Disability (NIID) is one of the beneficiary initiatives.

Click here for further information:


Doing Disability Research- Launch of the preliminary findings

Posted on 6 April 2009

Presentation photo 1

On Wednesday, 1st of April, the National Institute for Intellectual Disability launched the preliminary findings of an on-going research project entitled 'Doing Disability Research.' The project is funded by a Marie Curie Transfer of Knowledge Grant, and also part funded by the Irish Research Council for the Health and Social Sciences.

The project that was presented incorporates three linked pieces of research that are on-going-

1) All we want to say: A national survey of people with intellectual disabilities- presented by Dr. Patricia O'Brien, Marie Wolfe and Bill Roberts.

2) 'A Story to Tell': Collecting and sharing the life stories of older adults with intellectual disabilities in Ireland- presented by Zoe Hughes, Grace Kelly and Bill Roberts.

3) The National Family Study- presented by Dr. Hasheem Mannan, Ann Lawlor, Jean Spain and Gerry Harrington.

presentation photo 2 presentation photo 3

The purpose of the day, which was aptly chaired by Fergus Finlay, CEO of Barnardos and a parent and advocate for people with disabilities, was to share the research 'so far' with policy makers, advocates, people with disabilities and service providers, in order to get feedback on the next steps of the projects. The underlying ethos of the Institute and the research projects was reflected in the participation of people with disabilities and family members not only as 'participants' in the research, but also as co-researchers, vital members of the research team.

Both the co-ordinators of each project and the co-researchers presented the findings to date on the projects. For those present, it was quickly apparent that the themes emerging from the three projects had a commonality- that people with disabilities are no different to the majority population when it comes to dreams, hopes, and needs. As one of the researchers, Marie Wolfe said, 'nothing changes'. We know now that these hopes and dreams and needs are there, but what can we, as researchers and advocates, do with this knowledge? Those in attendance were asked to help answer that question- 'Where to now? How can we use this knowledge to affect these changes?'

Prentation photo 4

A lively debate was had, with perhaps more questions than answers arising from the comments, which is more often than not the case in research.

The next step is for the research teams to take all the feedback on board, and begin the next phase of this 4 year project.

You can access a copy of the document presented via this link.

Business Breakfast

Posted on 17 November 2008


The National Institute for Intellectual Disability (NIID) at Trinity College Dublin in association with hosted a business breakfast in Trinity on Friday, November 14th aimed at promoting to employers the benefits of inclusive recruitment policies and the opportunities of getting involved with NIID's work-life programme.

One of the main aims of the CCL programme is to assist the students in finding appropriate employment on completion of the certificate through the delivery of career development and work placement modules, including work experience placements in areas of the students' choice according to their interests and skills.

Students of the CCL course to date have secured work-placements in diverse areas such as retail, office work, catering, childcare and hotel work. The first cohort of students from the course graduated last year and the majority of them have found part-time employment on a permanent basis while others have gone on to further education.

The event was attended by representatives of many of Ireland's most successful businesses. Feedback from attending employers was extremely positive with great interest expressed in developing links with the Institute through providing work placements and employment for students participating on the CCL course.


Commenting on the significance of inclusive employment practices, businessman and supporter of the NIID, Denis O'Brien said: 'All companies can benefit from inclusive employment practices. This is not just about community and corporate responsibility, but also about creating positive work environments and motivated, productive teams.'

Jane Lorigan, Managing Director of said: 'Our experience of employing NIID students has been extremely positive. As we work with over 1400 of the largest recruiters in Ireland, we are delighted to partner with NIID in spreading the word about the opportunities and benefits for companies.'

Dr Patricia O'Brien Director of NIID said: 'While the network of employers engaging with the NIID is growing, we are keen to develop new links which will lead to increased opportunities for our students and graduates - now and in the future. This is particularly important in the context of our plans to roll the course out nationally so the same opportunities can be provided to people with intellectual disabilities throughout Ireland'

The staff of the NIID would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who attended for their interest and support for the Work-Life programme.

Una Healy, Teaching and Learning Officer (Vocational), NIID. Please see here for information on the Worklife Programme

Fresher's Week

Posted on 13 October 2008


Classes in the Certificate in Contemporary Living (CCL) programme officially begin today, but thanks to Freshers' Week NIID students shouldn't find it too difficult to settle into the daily grind.

Freshers' Week, which began on the 29th September, gave first year CCL students a taste of what the coming months would be like, while second year pupils were given a chance to ease themselves back into the new college term.

First year students became fully fledged Trinity College members when they received their student cards at registration, which took place on Monday.


And, as Michaelmas term 2008 kicked off, the first years were delighted to discover all the things that their full time student cards entitled them to.

From pouring over books in the library to climbing over treadmills in the gym, and making new friends in between, CCL students had a whole new world opened up to them.

Tuesday of Fresher's Week saw the first years take a guided tour of Trinity's state-of-the-art gym, which is free for all college students.

The newly-renovated facility is jam-packed with every type of exercise equipment imaginable. Keep-fit fanatics were suitably excited, while the less adventurous of us were overwhelmed - I took one look at the climbing wall and knew it was NOT for me!

Wednesday gave the less sporty among us a chance to check out the college's extensive library.

A very helpful library staff member called Gerard gave CCL students an overall tour of the Berkeley, the Lecky and the Ussher and encouraged them to make full use of the library facilities and explore its labyrinth of book-filled corridors.


Later in the day a very helpful Students Union Education Offer called Hugh Sullivan brought CCL students around the extensive Trinity campus and entertained them with interesting stories and rumours about the college.

Among Hugh's more quirky tales were the myths about underground wine cellars and the consequences of walking under certain arches. He also gave practical advice to students about the support available to those who fail exams.

And, in a rather unseasonal move, Hugh also treated CCL students to a free ice cream - something that was really needed on that rainy, windy autumnal day in October!

Classes for both first and second year CCL students begin simultaneously today.

This is another first for the NIID as we have never before had a new round of students begin the term alongside a returning group.

All of us involved in the Institute are very excited by this positive development in the education programme.

Lancaster Conference

Posted on 5 September 2008

CCL students present their research at the 4th Biennial Disability Studies Conference in Lancaster UK.


On Tuesday, 2nd September 2008, three students from the Certificate in Contemporary Living program in the National Institute for Intellectual Disability, Trinity College Dublin took off from Dublin Airport for Manchester, to attend and present a paper at the 4th Biennial Disability Studies Conference in Lancaster, UK. They were accompanied on the trip by a staff member and a post-graduate research student, who had been co-researching with the students.

These three students- Brian Higgins, Emma McCormack and Wayne Kenny- are the three class reps for the CCL program, and for the last 5 months have been researching the issue of being a class rep on the CCL program with the support of staff from the Institute.

The conference they attended included researchers and papers from all corners of the globe. Among the topics of presentations we attended were relationships and sexuality, Wikipedia and the internet, how disability is portrayed in sitcoms, and the children's television show, 'Stingray'.

Hearing from the students

We presented our research on the final day, and were very well received. The room in which we presented was full of interested academics and conference attendees. There was great interest in both the CCL program and the research undertaken. As we were in the final paper session of the conference, many of the comments we received were interested in the largely more positive experience of the CCL students than the other students with disabilities which had also been discussed during our paper session.