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Let’s Go Skills joined another great CHAT online meeting this morning.

We learned that Age Action had a joint project with the Red Cross to fund technology for older people, but unfortunately it closed last week as demand outstripped funding but might be worthwhile keeping an eye on it to see if it reopens https://www.ageaction.ie/how-we-can-help/age-action-and-irish-red-cross-covid-19-hardship-fund

We heard about the Alone Connect  initiative. See https://alone.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/BConnect-Brochure-Final.pdf

This CHAT forum is very interesting and  has very helpful sessions.

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Chat online Initiative


CHAT had a great online meeting this morning.  CHAT aims to facilitate and create opportunities amongst people to learn from each other in an atmosphere that supports equality, collective and individual sharing. This makes the most of people’s expertise to identify better challenges, gaps and to consider solutions regarding AT.

Chat has a national membership of over 200 people and organisations. This includes people with disabilities (expert and non-expert AT users), AT practitioners, researchers, educators, service providers, developers, suppliers and other interested parties.

Different member organisations host each CHAT gathering. To date, CHAT has been hosted by the Deaf Village, Enable Ireland, University College Dublin Access Centre and The National Council of the Blind in Ireland, St. John of God and Childvision. As such, gatherings are co-created by those involved and as participants share knowledge. This morning, we are all thinking together how to support AT users during COVID 19  and working horizontally across and beyond the disability sector.

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CHAT forum


Let’s Go Skills will join ​CHAT’s (Community Hub for Assistive Technology) next meeting Tuesday April 7th. The call will offer everyone involved in Assistive Technology in Ireland a chance to come together and discuss the following three opening questions: 

1. What is the greatest unmet need that you are coming across/experiencing regarding access to technology and assistive technology for people with disabilities?

2. How can we work together to meet some of those needs? To share innovations and solutions?

3. What innovations and opportunities have you developed or identified that you can share? 

The intention is to gather issues from the ground and create an open self-organising space to work on some of these issues, avoid duplication of effort and support shared learning. We want to ensure that people with disabilities are not left behind or further disadvantaged during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Prof Mac MacLachlan, National Clinical Lead for Disability Services, HSE, and Co-Director of the ALL Institute, Maynooth University has agreed to say a few words at the opening of the meeting.

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Visionary thinking


The Applied Psychology programme was visionary when started in IADT over 20 years ago, particularly with its emphasis on human centered design.
This visionary thinking has led to the foundation of the Lets Go Skills center at Iadt to lead in tackling issues of digital accessibility and inclusion.

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Disabuse project in Rome

What a wonderful group of people in Rome!


What a wonderful group of people tackling bullying and cyberbullying in Rome as part of our IADT erasmus + project called Stop Disabuse, which runs in Ireland, Italy, Spain and Portugal .Hearing stories of how the materials we developed at IADT with the Antibullying Centre in DCU helped these young people in their lives moved me a lot. See www.disabuse.eu for more details. The news tab is the best!

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European Parliament Coordinator for Children’s Rights


Marian McDonnell from Lets go Skills  and Lian McGuire (ABC, DCU) continue to represent DisAbuse at the World Anti-Bullying Forum in Dublin, Ireland, including speaking with the new , Anna Maria Corazza Bildt . Anna Maria is the European Parliament Coordinator for children’s rights. She is the spokesperson for the entire European Parliament, ensuring the promotion, respect and safeguarding of children´s rights in all European Parliament policies and legislation and that the best interests of children are always fully respected in EU legislation and non-legislative initiatives of the Parliament

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The partners from Lets go Skills  were joined ABC for their Workshop on DisAbuse and Disablist Bullying at the World Anti Bullying Forum. Prof. Mona O’Moore, Lian McGuire, Fiona Weldon, Irene Connolly & Marian McDonnell delivered a workshop presentation Tuesday June 4th at 10.30 in the Helix theatre at Dublin City University, Dublin.

The workshop showed that DisAbuse aims to empower young people (15+) and adults with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEN/D) and their support services / care workers and teachers to educate about and take charge around the issue of disablist bullying to help prevent and intervene in it’s happening.

By drawing on the direct input and experiences of people with SEN/D, alongside international research and best practice for educating about disablist bullying and utilising techniques such as
•partnered learning
•peer learning
•Lego Serious Play

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Multimedia materials developed by the Let’s go Skills team at IADT and DCU being tested in Rome


The first meeting of the DisAbuse project took place today at Fondazione Mondo Digital in Rome using the multimedia materials developed by the Let’s go Skills team at IADT and DCU. 13 young people with special educational needs and 12 teachers, trainers, and psychologists, talked about their bullying experiences today. They were able to learn from each other to recognize the phenomenon and to understand how they can cope and tackle bullying. Fondazione Mondo Digitale facilitators guided the reflection using the materials developed together with the project partners as well as Lego® Serious Play® Learning tools.

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Irish Service Users and Support Workers/Instructors/Teachers began the pilot course

Category:Pilot testing

The Irish Partners, IADT and DCU in conjunction with Irish Service Users and Support Workers/Instructors/Teachers began the piloting and evaluation of the modules of the DisAbuse Training Project this week.  With great interaction, participation and feedback thus far, these sessions will run twice weekly in two cohorts over the next three weeks on the campuses of St. Patricks & All Hallows, DCU in Drumcondra.

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Let’s Stop Bullying widely praised in Spain


The Let’sGoSkills team was hosted by the Universidad de Murcia, Spain recently. The work completed to date by the Let’sGoSkills team on the Let’s Stop Bullying was widely praised by partner countries at the third STOP DisAbuse Partner Meeting in Murcia. The Disabuse project is being led by the Anti-Bullying centre at DCU. This centre is the UNESCO Chair on Tackling Bullying in Schools and Cyberspace.

The next step is to begin the piloting of the new course on countering Disablist Bullying for SEN/D users and Teachers/Trainers from January to April 2019 . This piloting of the instructional application will take place in educational centres in Ireland, Spain , Portugal and Italy.