Conferences celebrate nursing care for people with intellectual disability

Posted on: 19 April 2018

Trinity College Dublin’s School of Nursing and Midwifery is celebrating the contribution of nursing to the care of people living with intellectual disabilities, as it hosts two international conferences (April 19 – 20) that will together welcome more than 500 delegates from Ireland and the UK.

The two conferences are the 14th International Positive Choices Intellectual Disability Student Nurse Conference 2018, this year entitled: Heroes and champions deserve to live a life free from fear, and the inaugural Positive Commitments Conference for qualified intellectual disability nurses.

Provost of Trinity, Dr Patrick Prendergast, will open the conferences. Delegates will then be addressed by Chief Nurse of the Department of Health, Dr Siobhan O’Halloran; Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Trinty, Professor Mary McCarron; President of the Royal College of Nursing (UK), Ms Cecelia Anim CBE; and Professor Ruth Northway OBE. Both Professor McCarron and Dr Siobhain O’Halloran are registered intellectual disability nurses.

Assistant Professor of Intellectual Disability at Trinity and conference organiser, Paul Horan, said: “The conferences will explore the latest intellectual disability research, innovations and advanced practice guidance in nursing care for people with intellectual disabilities.”

“Presenters at the conference will articulate and advocate that Intellectual Disability Nurses are perhaps best placed, specifically trained, educated and qualified to meet the ever-increasing complex health needs of people with intellectual disability in the 21st Century.”

The timing of the conferences is also significant in that they take place on Special Olympics Collection Day in Ireland, as both the Special Olympics movement and intellectual disability nursing focus on enabling people with intellectual disability to achieve their full potential. The conferences also coincide with a meeting of the Learning and Intellectual Disability Nursing Academic Network (LIDNAN) — a forum where academics who educate intellectual and learning disability nurses from across the UK and Ireland discuss key issues regarding the future of education for nurses caring for people with intellectual disability.

The conferences have been assisted with funding from Failte Ireland, Trinity College Dublin, and various UK Intellectual Disability sector agencies including NHS England and Elysium.

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