On Friday May 5th 2023, the Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI) launched their publication Conversations About Activism and Change. Sarah Fitzgerald Author "Activism is not easy, it’s a commitment, and I wanted to know what motivated a whole generation of disabled people to come together and change things”.
Conversations About Activism and Change is the first step in proudly reclaiming some of the narrative of the societal changes that disabled people have brought about in Ireland, and ways that disabled people are leading change in the 21st Century. Featuring pieces from eleven disabled activists, Conversations About Activism and Change is a unique book capturing the voices of disabled people and their Movement for Change.
ILMI’s Vice Chair Selina Bonnie said "Ireland is a land of storytellers but until now, most of the Irish disability rights movement’s stories have only been shared orally, transmitted mainly from activist to activist, or have been lost when treasured comrades have passed."
The journey for disabled people’s equality in Ireland pre-dates the formation of ILMI and much has been achieved by disabled people in making Ireland more inclusive. However, much of that memory hasn’t been documented or recorded and many of the projects, campaigns and actions led by disabled people are often unknown by younger disabled people looking to further advance their rights. This book is part of reclaiming that “hidden history” about the struggle for the liberation and self-determination of disabled people in Ireland. Des Kenny ILMI’s Chairperson said “Disability rights are now an obligation to be implemented by the State since Ireland ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled People in 2018." Jacqui Browne ILMI Board member added “This book provides an insight into the experiences and issues that disabled people went through and it also presents an opportunity for younger disabled people to keep the torch alight.”
Conversations About Activism and Change is published by Martello Publishing and further information on this book is linked here.