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Advocacy: A Fundamental Part of Life for Everyone

Press Release April 2007

Over 150 people from all areas of Advocacy attended the Citizens Information Board National Advocacy Conference called Advocacy: Levelling the Playing Field in Croke Park on Friday April 27th.

The key objective of this conference was to raise awareness among public bodies, service providers and project partners about:

  • The role of advocacy in levelling the playing field for marginalised people, in particular people with disabilities, when making choices and claiming their entitlements
  • The provisions of the Citizens Information Act 2007 and how it will impact on services for people with disabilities.

The conference was opened by Chris Glennon Chair of the Citizens Information Board who delivered the opening address on behalf of Seamus Brennan TD, Minister for Social and Family Affairs who was unable to attend. Leonie Lunny, Chief Executive outlined the Citizens Information Act and Advocacy Developments in relation to meeting the needs of people with disabilities in a changing 21st century Ireland.

Download a Word version of the opening address speech

Among the keynote speakers were Swantje Kolbsell, a well known Disability activist and member of the Independent Living Institute in Germany. She spoke about the importance of Advocacy in terms of Equality and Human Rights for People with Disabilities from the German perspective.

Another key speaker was Neil Bateman: author of Advocacy Skills for Health and Social Care Professionals who outlined the Advocacy experience in the UK.

Other speakers included Martin Rogan, Assistant National Director for Mental Health, Health Service Executive, Patrick O Leary, Press and Information Officer, Equality Authority, Majella Mulkeen, Head of Dept. of Humanities, Sligo Institute of Technology and Manager of the Higher Certificate in Arts in Advocacy Studies course. Teresa McCourt, Development Manager, Westmeath Citizens Information Service, Julianne Gillen, National Association for Deaf People, Josephine Flaherty and Marie Wolfe, Galway Advocacy Service and Brothers of Charity Services Galway.

Pictured at the Advocacy Conference in Croke Park were from Left, Chris Glennon, Chair, Neil Bateman Advocacy Trainer and Advisor UK and Leonie Lunny, Chief Executive

Pictured at the Advocacy Conference in Croke Park were from Left, Chris Glennon, Chair, Neil Bateman Advocacy Trainer and Advisor UK and Leonie Lunny, Chief Executive

Pictured at the Advocacy Conference were Davin Roche, Advocacy Executive, Majella Mulkeen, Head of Dept of Humanities, Sligo IT and Teresa McCourt, Development Manager, Westmeasth CIS

Pictured at the Advocacy Conference were Davin Roche, Advocacy Executive, Majella Mulkeen, Head of Dept of Humanities, Sligo IT and Teresa McCourt, Development Manager, Westmeasth CIS

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