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Disability Action

31 May 2012

Minutes of the Meeting of the Disability Users Forum Held on Wednesday 31 May 2012 in Station Road Resource Centre, Armagh.

Disability Action

Group Meeting


Damian Mc Sorley (Chair) Gerard McEvoy, John Stewart, Gerry Murray, Andrew Martin, Martin Mallon, Maria Hughes, Bernadette McCabe,Kenny Clydesdale, Jim Corbett, Rodney Hamilton, Lisa Mc Cann

In attendance

     Helena Mc Connell and Kieran Mc Keown (Cedar Foundation)


     Adrian Fox. Pat Hurley


1Welcome and apologies 
1.1Damian welcomed everyone to the meeting and gave apologies for Pat Hurley and Adrian Fox. He also welcomed Cedar Foundation Representatives Helena Mc Connell and Kieran Mc Keown to the meeting. New members Kenny Clydesdale, Rodney Hamilton, Jim Corbett and Lisa Mc Cann were also welcomedDamian
1.2Due to the fact that there were 4 new members to the Disability Users Forum today, everyone introduced themselves individually.Group
1.3Damian gave an overview of progress to-date for the benefit of everyone presentDamian

Minutes of the previous meeting


2.1The previous minutes of the 31 May`12 were then discussed and progress on various action points identified.Damian and group

Matters arising



The loop system

The loop was set up for today’s meeting and was located beside the wall. It was not used today as the mike lead was not long enough to be passed around and the Notetaker was preferred.Maria and Bernadette sat beside the Notetaker and they found this more beneficial than the loop.

Rodney also moved to beside the Notetaker when Bernadette and Maria mentioned the advantages of this for him.

        Damian to book Notetaker for further meetings and Maria, Bernadette and Rodney would be sitting next to Notetaker at future meetings

Feedback from Bernadette and Maria

Bernadette and Maria mentioned that it was important to ensure that the loop was turned up and that she can only hear the person who speaks into it. The extension lead is also necessary.

Damian to feedback this to SHSCT

Removing barriers

Damian stated that the Disability Users Forum aims to remove communication barriers that disabled people face.


Feedback for Gerard Mc Evoy

Damian informed Gerard that he had sent minutes of the last two Disability user meetings in audio format. The previous Newsletter was also sent in a large print format.

Damian to email newsletter in normal print


Gerard thanked Damian for this and mentioned that he has Zoomtax on his computer and wouldn’t need the enlarged print.

Gerard to use Zoomtax for minutes

Sign Language classes

 Damian mentioned that Action for Hearing Loss has an Introduction course on BSL and that there is a course run through the South West College in Dungannon in September.

Bernadette plans to enrol in South West College Sign Language class

Example of Sign Language by Martin

Martin mentioned that the` ISL is one hand and BSL is in 2 hands and vowels are done the left hand. ` Martin then gave an example of what he had learnt through a course in Millview by signing his name. Maria said she knew the letters of alphabet and stated that skills in sign language would be useful.

Martin gave practical example to group
 Maria also stated `there is no point in a profoundly deaf person, coming to a day centre and everyone else is talking and they are left are not involved.An Interpreter is required in this instance and Maria would benefit from learning sign language
 Elizabeth McCautrey was given as  a sign language tutor contact for the Newry areaDamian to get contact details of Elizabeth.

We referred back to the Dromantine Report and members agreed to focus on welfare benefits, respite and transport.

        Welfare Benefits




Damian and group

Welfare Benefits

Damian gave feedback on PIPS training that he had received. There will also be an Information Event on PIPS in Dungannon Leisure Centre on 19 September`12 that Disability Action is organizing. He also informed everyone that he is organizing a representative from Disability Action to do a workshop on welfare benefits.

Damian and Disability Action Management


 Damian informed members that he is currently working on an accessible holiday’s document with Access Officer, Wendy Lappin.

Damian, Southern Health and Social Care Trust (SHSCT)


 Andrew mentioned that he done some  research on this and would forward this onAndrew to discuss research with Damian

Respite and Transport

Martin mentioned that he and his wife can't go on most bus tours as there were no wheelchair facilities on the buses

 Kenny also mentioned that bus companies don’t usually use signs to say if they are wheelchair friendly.

Damian to raise this via Disability Action
4       Input by Helena Mc Connell and Kieran Mc Keown Cedar Foundation 

Outline of presentation on brain injury

Helena and Kieran discussed their role with the Cedar Foundation and focused on the effects of brain injury and the area of hidden disability  and how they assist in

stress management of individuals they work with.

Kieran and Helena

Causes and effects of brain injury

Helena and Kieran discussed how brain injury can be caused through accidents, poisoning, and stroke and brain tumours.

The Cedar Foundation supports those with brain injury by helping them to build new strategies to deal with their disability.

They likened it to a light bulb being turned off.  Simply speaking, things that one was able to do normally cannot be done.`  This has knock on effect with day to day living


Long term v short term effects

Helenaexplained that some effects are permanent and some are temporary.

The first two years are the most important after a brain injury in terms of whatever recovery can be achieved.


Emotional effects of brain injury

Brian injury also creates difficulties’ in reasoning and problem solving eg a joinery forgetting on how to hang the door. This can lead to frustration and a lack of motivation. The feeling you experience is that `you knew you could and now you can't and don't understand. `


Feedback from Disability User Forum members: John

John mentioned that just like that, you snap over something silly like dropping a shirt on floor

He accepted the fact that brain injury may cause anger, depression and frustration. Fatigue is often an often overlapping issue.

Group members to continue to communicate feedback on issues

Feedback from Disability User Forum members: Bernie

Bernie explained that she had never known the material presented today about brain injury and may seek support in this area for her son who had been involved in a car accident. She is now aware that her son’s anger outbursts may be as a result of brain injury.

Group members to continue to communicate feedback on issues

Feedback from Disability User Forum members: Rodney

Rodney explained difficulties he had with in word finding through his `Aphasia` disability. He peeled a segment of an orange in front of the group and took off a segment to symbolise the injury of the brain he had.

Group members to continue to communicate feedback on issues

Feedback from Disability User Forum members: Andrew

Andrew explained that he has Ataxia and that can't write a name or make fine motor movements     

Group members to continue to communicate feedback on issues



Feedback from Disability User Forum members: John

John stated that sometimes you never get back to where you were. 

Group members to continue to communicate feedback on issues

Feedback from Disability User Forum group

The entire group expressed how much they had learnt about brain injury today and would welcome further sessions in this area.

Group willing to undertake further training in this area; Damian to discuss further
5Forthcoming plans 

PPI Panel

Andrew and John will be attending the SHSCT PPI Panel Meeting at Quaker Buildings in Lurgan on 22 June 2012.

John and Andrew to attend and gave feedback at next meeting
5.2John Stewart has completed the expression of interest form recently sent to him by DamianJohn is new PPI member

Follow up meeting

Damian thanked Helena and Kieran from the Cedar Foundation for their input today

Damian to send minutes of today’s meeting to Kieran and Helena
6Any other business 

Group photo

Everyone present were asked if they gave  verbal consent for use of a camera for publicity purposes for the programme.

Photo taken of group
6.2Everyone agreed to the use of a camera for publicity purposes. The group were also informed that the photo would be used for the newsletter.We will continue to work in publicizing what we do
6. 3

Welfare Rights

Terry Kelly Disability Action will be organized as a speaker for our meeting on 8 August 2012.

Damian to speak to Disability Action Management



Other training

Damian mentioned that he will be organizing other speakers with a view to undertaking training. E.g Human Rights

Damian to follow up in organizing speakers for meetings

Newsletter meeting

The next meeting would take place on 7 June 2012 in Station Road at 11am

Andrew gave his apologies; Gerry to attend


Members thoroughly enjoyed today’s session and new members mentioned that they were keen to attend the next session

Evaluation system to be continued in further meetings
8Date of next meeting 

Details of the next meeting were given:


Thursday 5 July 2012



Venue:-  Station Road Resource Centre


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