ONSIDE -Independent Living Movement Ireland – Project in Border Counties

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ONSIDE - ILMI Project for Border Counties

ONSIDE – Independent Living Movement of Ireland (ILMI) has announced a new project for the Border Counties – ONSIDE.



The ONSIDE project is funded by EU INTERREG.

From summer 2019 to summer 2022, ILMI will actively work with 375 disabled adults and young people in the counties of Cavan, Leitrim, Sligo, Donegal, Monaghan and Louth who wish to be more effectively involved in their own communities and lifestyle choices. The vision is to facilitate disability equality led independent living as a feature of border county community choices, not ‘special-needs’ or ‘special-centres’ outside of mainstream local participation.

ILMI’s ONSIDE Project works by providing one-to-one assistance to disabled participants in the form of free IT equipment and training. Inclusion workshops will support participants to access mainstream lifestyle choices above and beyond the traditional disability-service provider ‘care’ options. Also, project participants will be given training and support on how to access and effectively use current web-based technologies. This may involve a free tablet or laptop, with the relevant tailored accessible software for the disabled person to fully use the device to realise their individual lifestyle choices.

ILMI’s ONSIDE Project has three border county based Community Navigators who will provide disabled participants with the information and support they require to realise their individual lifestyle choices. Choices that disabled adults’ want. This could be anything from an ONSIDE Project participant just wishing to use their IT equipment to pay bills online, or where a disabled person requires information about how to access further education… or even find love. The decisions are the disabled persons’ to make.

It is the role on ONSIDE to support you in getting the right information and technology you require, and to support you in making your personal-directed decisions actually happen.
Disabled people will meet our ILMI Community Navigators at local mainstream community venues to support their effective interaction with their peers and wider community networks. Project participants from 16-years upwards will access, enjoy and avail of locally based community amenities and services, as well as relevant national and regional mainstream services.

The goals of ONSIDE are to reduce isolation in the border counties and create possibilities for enhanced mental and physical health with their chosen communities. This is achieved by mapping local services, mainstream opportunities and educational options for disabled people living specifically in the counties of Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan, Monaghan and Louth. The mapping of local services, and opportunities, gives disabled participants options and information to follow their chosen life paths. They will be facilitated in this by individual, tailored, support from social model-led Community Navigators and other ILMI staff.

The ONSIDE initiative facilitates disabled people to embrace affirmative roles as active citizens in their local communities and will have the added benefit of creating more diverse communities. It will have a positive, and sustainable impact upon local communities, both disabled people and non-disabled people and will lead to a truly more inclusive society based on equality and participation. Public amenities, whether social, cultural, sporting or educational will benefit from a larger participation of disabled people and this in itself will illustrate their commitment to equality and real equity.

The Role of Independent Living Movement Ireland

ILMI is leading the RoI delivery of ONSIDE in counties Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan, Monaghan & Louth.  As a genuine Disabled Persons Organisation (DPO) ILMI recognise that disabled people must have eqopportunity to become active members in their local border county communities. Also, the ONSIDE digital networking project will inform, mentor and strengthen the disabled participants’ awareness of their social model inflected rights, both locally and nationally.


ILMI’s ONSIDE capacity building among more than 375 disabled participants helps them become local activists for independent living. It includes the right to access and shape and effectively navigate local pathways towards ordinary community inclusion and lifestyle choices. ILMI’s ONSIDE Project is provided with the opportunity to choose and activate their individual life choices on an equity basis to that of all members of their communities. Effective support also includes provision of ‘Free’ laptops and Tablets.


Article 29b* of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

ILMI ONSIDE is a social model informed inclusion & community development project. It recognises the potential to effectively activate Article 29b of the ratified UN CRPD for and with disabled people in RoI border communities. Article 29b will be a prominent discourse resource for the ONSIDE Project Partners, staff and participants. ILMI appreciates Article 29b as an essential feature of the UN CRPD to promote an environment in which disabled people in border communities can effectively participate in the conduct of public affairs, without discrimination and on an equity basis with all in their communities.


The project runs until 2022, and the ILMI vision is to successfully finish the ONSIDE project by enabling disabled participants & activists to govern and continue with local sustainable digital supports. ONSIDE Personal Action Plans (PAPS) will facilitate disabled activists to identify and activate their chosen life-course pathways. Also, the 375+ disabled adults will lead their activism through direct on-line digital involvement in social model led transformation networks connected to Family Resource Centres, PPN, ETB, sport, cultural and mainstream inclusion pathways.


*Article 29 of the CRPD sets out the framework for persons with disabilities’ participation in political and public life and stipulates that state parties shall “guarantee to persons with disabilities political rights and the opportunity to enjoy them on equal basis with others.”



Disabled people continue to experience significant inequalities in the Republic of Ireland (RoI). These inequalities happen despite developments in strategy, policy, law and normalisation approaches of integration. A fundamental shift is required in order to transform these patterns of social construction of disability. The opportunity exists to act now to create long-term, positive, change. Considering the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UN CRPD) by the Irish government, and in particular article 29b, ONSIDE has potential to impact on the roll-out of major social inclusion aspects of the National Disability Inclusion Strategy 2017-21 (NDIS) and the Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme Programme 2018 – 2022 (SICAP).


For further information contact:

Peter Kearns

ILMI ‘ONSIDE’ Cross-Border Project Coordinator

Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI)

MOB:  0873497674  /  Email: peterkearns@ilmi.ie

Nothing About Us Without Us

The ONSIDE Project has been supported by the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).



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