In the course of the work that Genio has conducted over the last number of years it has become clear that there is a need for the establishment of a National Intellectual Disability Advocacy Initiative that would strengthen the voice of those with intellectual disabilities. Unlike the mental health area which has a National Service User Executive (NSUE) there has been no such development in the intellectual disability area, although organisations like Inclusion Ireland have been working to support self-advocacy. While there are organisations advocating for improvements in services they are not doing so from a service user perspective per se. Such an initiative could include independent citizens who may be involved in helping to represent the interests of those whose capacity precludes them from speaking on their own behalf.
Genio commissioned a scoping study to identify the best approach to developing such an initiative. The key tasks of the scoping study are to:
- Describe the key features of a National Intellectual Disability Advocacy Initiative.
- Outline an appropriate approach to developing such an initiative based on a clear identification of strengths that could be built upon in an Irish context, and learning from other countries.
- Identify the costs of establishing and running such an initiative for the first three years.
No funding is available to implement such an initiative at the moment. It is hoped that the findings of the scoping study will form the basis of a proposal that could be used to elicit funds from relevant sources.
The report from the scoping study for the Intellectual Disability Advocacy Initiative is available to download here.