The Outreach and Navigation for Social Inclusion and Digital Engagement project (ONSIDE) is a dynamic and exciting creative venture that is co-ordinated by ILMI in the Republic of Ireland and by our partners in Northern Ireland, Disability Action Northern Ireland; Supporting Communities and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.
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. Our 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. We will also organise inclusion workshops to support participants to access mainstream lifestyle choices above and beyond the traditional disability-service provider ‘care’ options. Additionally, we will organise training and support for project participants to learn 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 our ONSIDE role 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 is to reduce isolation in the border counties and create possibilities for enhanced mental and physical health with their chosen communities. ILMI ONSIDE will achieve this 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 ILMI mapping of local services, and opportunities, will give the disabled participants the 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 will facilitate disabled people 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.