opportunitiesforall.org a directory website for disabled people in Southern Trust Area - Disability Action

Skip Navigation

Browse Aloud

Disability Action

18 April 2012

Minutes of the Meeting of the Disability Users Forum Held on Wednesday 18 April 2012 in Manor Day Centre, Lurgan

Disability Action



Damian Mc Sorley (Chair) Gerard McEvoy, John Stewart, Gerry Murray, Andrew Martin, Martin Mallon, Maria Hughes, Bernadette McCabe


      Kenny Clydesdale, Adrian Fox, Anne Chesney


1Welcome and apologies 
1.1Damian welcomed everyone to the meeting and gave apologies for Kenny Clydesdale and Adrian Fox. He also welcomed PPI Officer Sinead Hughes to the meetingDamian
2Minutes of the previous meeting 
2.1The previous minutes of the 14 March`12 were then discussed and progress on various action points identifiedDamian
3Matters Arising From Previous Minutes  

Portable loop

The portable loop system was set up for today’s meeting. This had been requested at the last meeting. Damian informed the group that Melvin Purdy from Manor Day Centre had been very pro-active in helping him to get this need addressed. Melvin mentioned that he would like to receive feedback on the practical use of this today following the meeting. He also conveyed to me that the introduction of the loop system was a great example of how the Disability Users Forum could work to further needs of disabled people and how agencies can respond to these needs.

Damian/Melvin Purdy

Feedback on the loop system

Bernadette Mc Cabe and Maria Hughes gave feedback on the loop system and stated that an extension lead would be required so that everyone at the meeting could be heard by them. They mentioned that they could hear Damian as he had the mike attached to him but had difficulty in hearing other group members.

The mike would need to be in the middle of the table so that other people at the meeting could be heard. If that was not possible, the mike would need to be passed around.

Damian to liaise with Mairead Murphy

(Station Road) regarding loop system for the next meeting.


Booking of a Notetaker for future meetings

Maria Hughes asked if it was possible to book a Notetaker for the next meeting as this would improve communication further for those with a hearing disability.

Maria mentioned that she previously has had a lady called Noreen and this service was extremely beneficial.

Damian agreed to follow this request up.

Damian to book a Notetaker

Booking of Station Resource Centre for next meeting

As the next meeting was at Station Road Resource Centre, Damian agreed to ensure that the portable loop system would be set up for the next Disability Users Forum meeting and would meet Mairead Murphy, Day Centre Manager regarding this.

We agreed to alternate venues for meetings

Damian/Mairead Murphy

Larger room

The group welcomed the fact that they had the use of the TV room today which was a lot more user friendly than the craft room. Damian explained that Melvin had accommodated the group with this request as this room was normally not available.

Damian/Melvin Purdy

Feedback for Gerard Mc Evoy

Damian informed Gerard that he had been in contact with the Communication Dept at Disability Action Headquarters in Belfast and had requested a dictaphone so that the minutes of meetings could be verbally recorded. This audio information would then be sent by Damian to Gerard via email. He said he was also aiming to send Newsletters in a large print format.

Damian with Communication Department of

Disability Action in Belfast

Liaison with

Gerard Mc Evoy


Damian also explained that there was free software available on the internet via Screen Reader. NVDA, a back up system has also been recommended.

Software called Jaws is also available for approximately 300; Zoomtax is another option.

No action as Gerard Mc Evoy has software he can use.
 Damian was thanked by Gerard for this information 

Sign Language classes

Damian mentioned that support for those who have a hearing disability  can also be attained through classes in  British Sign Language(BSL) or Irish Sign Language.(ISL)

Damian will aim to get information on BSL classes for Bernadette
 Bernadette Mc Cabe mentioned that she would be very interested in doing a class in BSL.  

Mileage forms

Mileage claim forms were circulated. Damian asked for forms to be submitted at the next meeting. Gerry Murray asked if the price per mile was 40 pence

  Damian to clarify rate per mile. Group to submit mileage forms
4Dromantine Report 

We discussed the Dromantine Report and members agreed to focus on 4 main topics today as well as the next meeting.

        Welfare Benefits




Damian and group

Welfare Benefits

Damian informed the group that he is currently attending PIPS training and will keep everyone informed on developments.

He will also come back to the group on the request for an information workshop.

Damian and Disability Action Management


 Damian informed the group that he had checked with Head Office on what was involved in setting up a Face Book page. He informed the Disability Users Forum that they would need to set this up as a group in their own right and get someone to act as an administrator.

Damian and group
 Damian also mentioned that Blogs on a website are another medium of IT communication. 
 The group decided to defer this discussion until Adrian Fox returned as he was the most IT literate 
 Andrew Martin mentioned that there was a lot of assistive technology available and an awareness- raising workshop of what was available would be useful to the group.Damian to organize an awareness raising IT workshop.


Members were interested in available places in NI for holiday locations.

Damian, Southern Health and Social Care Trust (SHSCT)

& Disability Action



Maria Hughes cited that a Hear and Now group that she was involved with had transport services cut from the group by the SHSCT. She had asked why a tinnitus group had their services maintained.

 When Maria raised these concerns the service was resumed for the Hear and Now group and Maria was appreciative of how the SHSCT responded.Group to continue to communicate their needs
5Input by Sinead Hughes Personal and Public Involvement Officer SHSCT 

Overview of PPI

Damian introduced Sinead and she gave an overview of how members could become involved in the PPI work through participating in Reviews, Consultations and Feedback. Sinead mentioned the Review of Social Care in the Compton Report and how engaging with service users is important to the delivery of a more effective service.

Sinead Hughes PPI

PPI Panel

Sinead also mentioned that they have a PPI panel chaired by the Head of her Department, Carolyn Agnew and they work in partnership with Service Users and carers to ensure PPI objectives are met.

 Andrew Martin stated that he is currently involved in the PPI Panel and suggested that John Stewart could represent those with brain injury on this panel.  
 Members of the Users Forum agreed that this would be a good idea and John agreed to consider getting involved.John Stewart

Forwarding PPI Information

Sinead said she would forward PPI information including community transport details to Damian


Damian to circulate to group


Expression of Interest form

Damian would also send John Stewart an expression of interest form to be involved in the PPI Panel that is due to meet at the Quaker Buildings in Lurgan on 22 June 2012.

Damian to post expression of interest form to John Stewart

PPI Agreement by group

The group agreed to link in with PPI and contribute to this process


Follow up meeting

Damian thanked Sinead Hughes for her input today and agreed to meet again to discuss the Forums involvement with PPI

Damian to meet Carolyn Agnew and Sinead Hughes.
5.9Damian also conveyed the relevance of PPI to our plans to hold a Conference in November 2012 to Review the Dromantine Report.Damian, WHSCT and Disability Action
6Any other business 

Brain Injury Questions

John Stewart was informed that some questions raised on brain injury had been passed onto management.

Damian to speak to Disability Action Management

Hidden Disability

Hidden disability also arose in discussions today and Damian informed members that we will continue to discuss this area.

Damian to follow up and invite a speaker

Newsletter meeting

Andrew was informed that the next meeting of the above was at Manse View on 1 May 2012 @11am

Andrew gave his apologies
6.4Gerry Murray asked if Coppersfields Day Centre would be able to send another representative to User Forum meetings as Ann Chesney is unable to go.Damian to speak to Eilis Hill


Everyone enjoyed the meeting today and the format of having a speaker on an issue was welcomed.


Speakers on issues

Damian agreed to invite speakers where appropriate to further meetings of the Disability User Forum.

8Date of next meeting 

Details of the next meeting were given:


Thursday 31 May 2012



Venue:-  Station Road Resource Centre


9  Close 

« Go Back