Earlier this month, AsIAm made a successful application to the Disability Participation and Consultation Network as a Grant-Funded Member. The Scheme, funded by the Department of Justice, is to ensure that people with disabilities in Ireland are meaningfully and actively consulted as the State works to meet its obligations under the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
Several civic society organisations and Disabled People’s Organisations applied to the Scheme, where they were asked to submit a detailed proposal of how they would facilitate their members’ and constituent groups’ participation within the Network. Applicants could apply for either Organiser Member or Grant-Funded Member positions. AsIAm applied for the latter position, for a potential grant worth up to €10,500.
As part of our application, AsIAm proposed holding a series of seminars across the country, directly engaging with autistic people, and supported by their families or supporters, on upskilling their self-advocacy skills. This would involve asking participants what issues they would like to see prioritised on the political agenda, whilst training them on how to increase their engagement with their elected representatives, understanding the Irish political system, as well as how to lobby for the legislative and social change aimed at improving better outcomes for their lives.
We would be interested in hearing from autistic people across a wide range of support needs, including high support needs, and we will work with you (and any supporters/carers you wish to include) to facilitate your inclusion in this process.
“We’re delighted and hugely humbled to have been successful in our application for what’s a hugely critical role in meeting our UNCRPD obligations,” said Adrian Carroll, AsIAm’s Accessibility and Training Officer and the project lead.
“We really hope that our involvement in Network can provide an opportunity to build civic and political participation in Ireland’s autistic community, and to provide an opportunity for more autistic people to feed into our advocacy and policy work.
“Our goal with this project is to ensure that laws and policies that impact autistic people will have input from autistic people. This also provides an opportunity for individuals on the autism spectrum, across a wide range of communication and support needs, to develop self-advocacy skills and in how they can use these to push for the changes they wish to see in Irish society.”
The Network’s key immediate task will be to organise and provide commentary on Ireland’s Initial State Report under the UNCRPD. AsIAm will be organising its sessions over the coming months, and hopes to begin our engagement with Ireland’s autism community as soon as possible.