TCD’s National Institute for Intellectual Disability Summer School

Posted on: 27 July 2009

Trinity College Dublin’s National Institute for Intellectual Disability Summer School with a theme of ‘Inclusion through Education, Research and Advocacy’ brings together people with intellectual disabilities, family members and international experts for the three-day series of lectures and workshops. The Summer School, which runs from July 27th – 29th, is sponsored by TCD’s National Institute for Intellectual Disability and was opened by TCD’s Vice-Provost/Chief Academic Officer, Professor Patrick Prendergast and NIID Director, Dr Patricia O’Brien on Monday 27th July. 

Sessions to take place during the summer school include, Professor Mary Falvey and Dr Richard Rosenberg of California State University, Los Angeles, presenting strategies for making schools and communities more inclusive as well as how to ensure that transition to work ends in real jobs. In their presentation, Essential values of inclusion and transition learned from Mikel, they track the story of Mikel and his journey to be educated beside his peers within his local school district. This has relevance for Ireland, as transition is often seen as finding a place for the student to move onto as different from a well designed transition programme that begins early in second level. 

Professors Rud and Ann Turnbull from the Beach Centre, University of Kansas will outline how they developed reliable alliances with other parents and professionals in advocating for their son, a young man with developmental disability. In their presentation, Family-Professional Partnerships as a Strategy for Enhancing Family Quality of Life, they describe how parents and professionals can build reliable alliances through sharing of power, building up of trust,  fostering  empowerment and going above and beyond. The session is most relevant to Irish life at present where there is great emphasis being placed on person centred planning. 

The launch of an electronic archive of life stories of people over the age of 60 with intellectual disabilities will also take place during the NIID summer school. Both men and women were interviewed nationwide for the archive in relation to their experiences, many of whom were in institutions.  Their stories have been narrated and presented in audio, visual and written form and the research forms part of a ‘Story to tell’ research project attached to the NIID  sponsored by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS), coordinated by TCD PhD student and social worker, Zoe Hughes. For further details of the project, click on

NIID students with lecturer