ILMI International Women’s Day Celebration!

ILMI International Women’s Day Celebration! Guest Speaker and Artist Line Up and How to Register!

Calling All Disabled Women! You are invited to our International Women’s Day celebration taking place on Tuesday, 8th March 2022 at 7pm on Zoom. This year, along with organisations across the world, we will be exploring the International Women’s Day theme of #BreakTheBias. Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias 

To register for this event, email edelmcginley@ilmi.ie or audreywilson@ilmi.ie

Guest Speaker and Artist Line Up

Baroness Jane Campbell is considered to be one of the most powerful leaders of the Disability Movement in Britain. She came to the public’s attention when chairingthe British Council of Disabled People from 1991-1995. During this period she was one of the prominent leaders of the campaign for disabled people’s antidiscrimination legislation, which culminated in the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. The first UK disability civil rights act, making it unlawful to discriminate against disabled people in connection with: employment, the provision of goods, facilities and services, the disposal or management of premises; to make provision about the employment of disabled people; and to establish a National Disability Council. Throughout her 40 – year career she has never ceased campaigning for the Rights of Disabled People in multiple areas. 

She was also an avid supporter of other groups experiencing discrimination on grounds of their race, gender, sexual identity, religion, age, or other societal disadvantage. She has accomplished this, through parliamentary engagement both as a grassroots campaigner and later as an independent crossbench member of the House of Lords. However, disability rights has always been her passion. She has always put energy into creating practical ways to enable disabled people from all sectors of society to take full control of their lives and actively participate in progressive social and political change. ‘Nothing about us’, without us, is at the core of all her work.

She is particularly known for her campaigns on Independent Living rights, equal access to health care, non-discrimination in education and employment and access to justice. In 2002 Jane founded Not Dead yet UK, the only effective opposition by disabled people to increasing calls for Assisted Suicide legislation. She sees assisted suicide as a great threat to the lives of disabled people, who in the absence of effective health and social care support services and equality of opportunity, are not yet in a fair position to exercise effective choice about whether or not to end their lives prematurely (so-called “assisted suicide”). 

Since joining the House of Lords in 2007 as an Independent Crossbencher, Jane has played key roles in securing a range of legislative achievements in equality and human rights, Portability across local authority boundaries, for those who draw up social care support services, environmental access, social care reforms and Personal Health Budgets, and Access to Justice. She has also effectively fought off three Private Members Bills to legalise assisted suicide.

She is currently a trustee of several charities /NGOs and patron to others, dedicated to advancing the rights and inclusion of disabled people and other protected diverse groups.

Parliamentary activity 

on two parliamentary Select Commitees on Human Rights (2010-2012), and the Equality Act 2010, (2015-2016). She was a member of the House of Lords Appointments Commission (2008-2013), Co-chaired the All Party Parliamentary Disability Group with Anne McGuire MP (2008-2014) and now Chairs the Independent Living Strategy Group, a parliamentary initiative committed to ensuring disabled people’s access to justice and independent living. Jane Campbell is considered to be one of the most powerful leaders of the Disability Movement especially when she Chaired the British Council of Disabled People from 1991-1995 and continues to hold a highly influential role from within parliament today.

Non Parliamentary activity  

Towards the end of her campaigning leadership roles, she decided to progress her core principles in the wider inclusion movement and became a Commissioner at the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) from 2006-2009,  She also became founding Chair of the Social Care Institute for Excellence in 2001 – an NGO tasked with improving social care services for adults and children across the UK.

She is currently a trustee or patron of several charities dedicated to advancing the rights and inclusion of disabled people and other protected diverse groups, including the Civil Liberties Trust, the Scott Morgan Foundation, the National Disability Arts Collection and Archive, the River Thames Boat Project and Just Fair (UK). Among her publications, Disability Politics 1996; Disabled People and the Right to Life 2008. In 2012 Jane appeared on Desert Island Discs, which triggered an extraordinary public response celebrating the achievements of severely disabled people. 

She received the Liberty Human Rights Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2013 and the Bevan Lifetime Achievement Award (Health & Wellbeing) in 2015. She has been recognised for her work twice in the Queen’s birthday honours (an MBE in 2000 and DBE in 2006). She was awarded an Honourary Fellowship, University College, London in 2018, and is the recipient of three honorary doctoral degrees. 

Seònaid O Murchadha is a disability management professional with over 20 years’ experience supporting organisations on all aspects of disability inclusion. She advocates and promotes the education and employment rights of disabled people, regularly contributing pieces for national media. She is on the ILMI board of directors and represents on employment issues at government level. She has worked in HR as well as with AHEAD on their WAM programme. Seònaid also managed the successful pilot initiative, Employer Disability Information, advising employers on the recruitment, management, and retention of disabled people. Seònaid recently started her own consultancy business to help organisations embrace disability and difference. She currently lectures at MaynoothUniversity on Disability Studies and is a founding member and director of Amputee Disability Federation Ireland. She holds a BA in International Business & Languages from DCU. She is a proud disabled woman who enjoys challenging society’s ability bias.

Blessing Dada is a two time award-winning Black-Irish mental health writer, speaker, content creator and blogger. Blessing is an outspoken passionate activist on various social justice issues, especially on the intersectionality of mental health awareness. Accompanied with her own lived experiences with all things mental health, chronic illnesses and disability, she raises awareness of perspectives for Black & other ethnic minority communities in Ireland. She regularly speaks up on social media and in the media about mental health related issues and has been featured on The Selfie Show with Lust for Life, New York Times and Image Magazine. She is involved with numerous organizations such as SpunOut.ie and Seechange.ie and participates in various projects including podcasts and writing to spread awareness through empathy and education. Social Media: @blezzingdada

Cathy Reay is a writer, speaker and advisor focusing on disability justice, disabled empowerment, motherhood, sex and dating. She is a disabled queer woman and lives in the south east of England with her two children. Cathy has written for publications such as Metro, Glamour and Yahoo, and has spoken on panels and in a solo capacity for clients such as The Body Shop, Sunday Riley, London Kings College and Bath Spa University. She is currently putting a proposal together for her first book. She can be found on Instagram and Twitter at @cathyreaywrites.

Emilie Conway is an award winning jazz singer, composer and lyricist. Her music is informed and complemented by her love of literature, poetry, sound and silence. She blends her own compositions, spoken word / poetry, with improvised or composed music and her interpretation of familiar and less familiar jazz standards.

Emilie’s current projects centre around her quest to continuously develop as a vocal jazz artist through deepening her collaborative relationship with her long-standing musicians, Johnny Taylor, Dominic Mullan and Barry Donohue through careful choice of creatively challenging and innovative projects in inspiring contexts and settings.

To register email: edelmcginley@ilmi.ie or audreywilson@ilmi.ie