Congress Disability Seminar 1/2 February 2018
5 Feb 2018
About 70 trade union delegates from North and South gathered in the Midlands Hotel in Port Laoise for our annual Disability Seminar - Better Work Better Lives for People with Disabilities.
Pics from the event are available here
Congress President Sheila Nunan opened the seminar
Session 1 keynote speaker was Fergus Finlay, Chair of the Implementation Group of the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities. You can read a summary of his input here. Fergus made an appeal for remaining barriers to be outlined by delegates to the seminar and also announced that he would be asking the Minister to host a summit of Employer and Trade Union reps to discuss employment matters for people with disabilities. A panel discussion followed with inputs from:
- Seònaid Ó Murchadha - HR & Disability Project Manager, Employer Disability Information,
- Des Henry from Walk
- Joan O'Donnell from Disability Federation of Ireland;
- Quinn Roache from the TUC
There was some debate about the demand from employers for people with disabilities and the supports needed. The Comprehensive Employment Strategy was also debated .
Session 2: Suzy Byrne spoke to delegates about the creation of a new Disabled Person's Organistion - more here
Session 3 on Friday morning was entitled – Routes to employment – challenges and supports and included presentations on:
- Supported employment – working with those furthest from the labour market - Norman Steritt, Chair NI Union of Supported Employment
- Transport and employment – challenges and supports - Michael Lorrimer, (Inclusive Mobility and Transport Advisory Committee) IMTAC
- Mental Health and Employment – challenges and good practice - Quinn Roache, TUC
Finally, we heard from John Coghlan of Disability Aid abroad on the support from trade unions in Ireland and the UK to disability projects in Africa. You can see the latest proposal for a Tanzania project here.