National Advocacy Conference – Galway 2011

Myself (Sam O Connor), Georgina Alexander, Stephen Browne and Paul Downes represented Sunbeam House Services at the National Advocacy Conference at the Radisson Blu hotel Galway City.

It was a packed agenda with topics including: Independent Living, Relationships, education/ college, new directions in day services and moving to community settings. The conference really opened my eyes about people and their disabilities including myself but then who does not have a disability in this world in one form or other. The conference was a positive experience.

There was a lot of talk about the individuals opinions and their right to say yes or no. At the end of the day it is the individuals right to make their own decisions. Some individuals may need support in making some decisions that’s where the keyworker and family comes in. Don’t put words or thoughts in our minds as we may feel uncomfortable and pressurised into making the wrong decisions. The speakers explained that we will have more power to make our own decisions in the future.

It was inspiring to see what some people had achieved in their lives despite the challenges of their disability.

Sam O Connor

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