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AsIAm Youth Ambassadors

AsIAm Youth Ambassadors 

AsIAm feels strongly about having autistic voices heard within society, and delivering the message of inclusion, understanding and acceptance for the autism community.  The AsIAm Ambassadors, who have been part of the organisation since 2016, hold a key role to achieving this goal. AsIAm Ambassadors make a difference, not only in the autistic community, but in educating society. They have seen AsIAm grow to Ireland’s leading autism charity and advocacy organisation, and have been instrumental in that growth from starting out as Youth Leadership Team members to now supporting AsIAm as Youth Ambassadors. Over the last year, some of the work that the AsIAm Ambassadors have carried out includes representing AsIAm at local and international events, speaking at AsIAm community events and outside organisations with helping to educate the public about autism, supporting AsIAm writing content for our online platforms.

 

We could not do our work without the Youth Ambassadors and thank them for all their passion and time that they give to AsIAm!

The Role of an AsIAm Ambassador:

  • Raise issues on behalf of young autistic people in Ireland.

  • Represent AsIAm at local and national events.

  • Speak about Autism and help to educate the public about the AsIAm message.

 

What an AsIAm Ambassador can offer your organisation:

  • Social Media Content: The AsIAM Ambassadors can offer an autistic perspective on various topics in the form of blogs and articles for your social media pages or website.

  • Public Speaker: AsIAm are asked for representatives to speak at many different events around the country throughout the year. The Ambassadors can speak publicly about their own experience of autism in order to build understanding and awareness in society.

  • Media Appearances: Ambassadors can make appearances in print media as well as on the television and film.

AsIAm Youth Ambassadors attending the National Autism Conference 2019

How to Book and Ambassador:

  • If you wish to book one of the AsIAm Ambassadors you must fill in the form here (https://asiam.ie/book-a-speaker/).

  • You will be required to provide a point of contact, information regarding the organisation and more specific information regarding the event itself and autistic employees in your workplace.

 

Eleanor Walsh:

Eleanor graduated from DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama with a BA Hons in Drama (Performance), and wrote her undergraduate dissertation on relaxed performance and sensory-friendly theatre. She consults on facilitating relaxed performances, autistic representation on, and making theatre more inclusive for autistic and disabled people. She has performed on the Peacock stage of the Abbey Theatre and in the Samuel Beckett Theatre, and as a Storyteller in the National Leprechaun Museum.  Eleanor recently took to the Abbey in Jody O’Neill’s ‘What I (Don’t) Know About Autism’ in February 2020. With AsIAm, Eleanor is a graduate of the Youth Leadership Team, a former member of the charity’s Board of Directors, and most recently held the position of Information Officer in the organisation. She is now the National Leprechaun Museum’s Social Engagement Coordinator, and is a member of Disabled Women Ireland.

Catriona Parry:

Catriona is 22 years old and living in County Clare. She was diagnosed with autism at the age of 11. In secondary school she attended a mainstream school and completed her Junior Cert, Transition Year and Leaving Cert. While it was initially assumed that her handwriting difficulties were due to the motor problems that are often associated with the spectrum, at 18 she was diagnosed with Hyper Joint Mobility Syndrome. During the summer of 2019, she graduated from the University of Limerick with a degree in science education. She originally decided to become a teacher in order to help students who may have struggled in school, like she and her brother did. However, Caitriona says she learnt a great deal, studying in her particular course, such as psychology allowing her to learn about different behaviours and school placements allowing interaction on with parents, teaching staff and students both without, with and associates of those with disabilities. In addition to AsIAm, Caitriona has had other volunteering opportunities such as the Clare Crusaders, Surf to Heal (Fanore Beach), Irish Guide Dogs Association and Clare Haven Horizons. She hopes as an AsIAm Ambassador, having personal experience that she can spread awareness of Autism, not just to a select few but, to students, teachers and parents both with or without Autism so that mutual understanding and support can be met.

Anthony Redmond

Anthony is 23 and works in An Grianan Theatre as a Front of House Usher. He is currently doing two online courses in digital marketing. Anthony would like the community to know all individuals regardless level of the spectrum and any form of disability that everyone must be treated equally and fairly, I would also like to see a variety of businesses from shops to colleges/universities incorporating more practices in terms of raising autism awareness.

 

Kevin McLoughlin

Kevin is a 19-year-old man with Asperger Syndrome from Country Clare and is studying and living most of the time in Galway. He is an AsIAm Ambassador, having previously been a part of the AsIAm Youth Leadership Team for two years before graduating to become a part of the Ambassador Team. In his time as an Ambassador, he has delivered talks to parents about puberty, sexuality, large changes and mental health, all from an autistic perspective. Kevin speaks about his own experiences in the hope it will give people a greater understanding.

Laura Crean

Laura Crean (second from right) and Emma Buckley (far right) with Georgia Harper and Sam Aherne during the 2019 National Autism Conference

Laura is a 20 year old autistic self-advocate who fi rst who became involved with AsIAm 4 years ago as part of their Youth Leadership Team. She is currently a university student in Dublin and also works as an AsIAm Ambassador. As an Ambassador, Laura is involved in campaigns and events to help increase public understanding of autism and create a more inclusive environment for autistic people.

Emma Buckley

Emma Buckley (middle) with Laragh Smith (left) and Adam Greenan (right) at the National Diversity and Inclusion Conference

Emma is an 18 year old AsIAm Ambassador. She completed her leaving cert this year and got her first choice of Science in Maynooth University. She enjoys working with AsIAm and being an Ambassador. By being an Ambassador she feels it has given her the opportunity to explain to people the challenges and difficulties that autistic people encounter. It also gives her the opportunity to make suggestions on how to better understand autism. She enjoys science and learning about latest developments. She also enjoys manga, anime, music, reading and movies.

Joanne Weller

Joanne is 25 years old and I is a graduate from Trinity College in Dublin. She’s been on internships with Intel during the summer and Bank of Ireland before and after Christmas. She’s currently looking for a part-time job.  As an AsIAm ambassador Joanne wants people to learn that being autistic isn’t bad and we are the same as everyone else in society. Her message is be just be yourself and don’t let anyone bring you down because we are all different but just wired differently.

Ben Rowesome, Gráinne Buckley, Joanne Weller, President Michael D Higgins, Katie Quinn and Peter Burke in Áras an Uachtarán

 

Ben Rowsome

Ben is a 19 year old from Bray, Co. Wicklow. Having graduated from the AsIAm Youth Leadership Team, he is now an AsIAm Ambassador. He has just finished his Leaving Cert. Some of his hobbies include reading, music, chess, running, swimming and martial arts. He has a particular passion for physics and currently studies it in Trinity College Dublin. Ben’s message is for people to realize the sheer influence their own communities (whether it’s in advocation, sports or a special interest) can have on society, and to use that influence to spread your own positive message for the benefit of everybody.

Ben having spoken at the AsIAm National Autism Conference 2019

Oran Timoney

Oran has been an AsIAm Youth Ambassador since 2015, helping to spread the message of inclusion, tolerance and acceptance of autistic people in the community throughout the island of Ireland. He would like you to know that no matter how tough things go in life, that there will always be someone there to help. Oran is currently in his first year of BSc Computer Science at Ulster University – Magee Campus. He’s interested in computer hardware, software and tinkering.

Adam Greenan

Adam is a 19 year old autistic man from Dublin. He is also a part of the AsIAm Ambassador team, and has spoken at events representing AsIAm. He completed his Leaving Certificate exams in June and is delighted to have been accepted to do a PLC course in media production. His main interests include listening to music, as well as watching films and TV shows. A message Adan say not to judge autistic people just by meeting one person, as they’re all different in their own way.

Gráinne Cocoran

Gráinne at Tayto part during its Autism Friendly weekend in October!

Grainne is a member of the AsIAm Ambassador team, having graduated from the Youth Leadership Team. She spoke at the 2019 AsIAm National Autism conference, and is an advocate for autistic and environmental rights.

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