I am a researcher, mam, and dog-owner from County Tipperary, Ireland. I have worked for over 10 years in lots of different teaching and learning support roles in schools and colleges in Ireland and Germany and for over 5 years as a researcher in the area of disability rights. At the moment I am funded by an Irish Research Council scholarship to do a PhD at the Centre for Disability Law & Policy in Galway.
There is easy-to-read information about my project here.
Project Background: People with intellectual disabilities have historically been marginalised in public life due to disregard for human rights. Exclusion from positions of power at both the public and personal level is the norm. In Ireland, efforts are underway to affirm the rights of people with intellectual disabilities in law; however, institutional practices and people’s everyday experiences show that these rights are not guaranteed.
Independent self-advocacy groups run by people with intellectual disabilities are relatively new in Ireland. I am learning about how people with intellectual disabilities organise and direct their advocacy work. I hope to understand which policies, practices and interactions have the potential to ensure the right of people with intellectual disabilities to participate in public and political life.
My PhD is supervised by Dr Eilionoir Flynn.
Other interests: I am a qualitative researcher with a particular interest in transformative and participative research methods. I have worked previously on projects in such areas as the deinstitutionalisation of people with intellectual disabilities, Traveller rights in education, the integration of disability rights to teacher education programmes, and intersectional discriminations in reproductive rights. I volunteer with the National Platform of Self-Advocates on their staff management committee and am a Co-Convener of Tipp for Choice. I do not have free time as I have dogs and children and can often be found walking in the hills around Tipperary trying escape them. They are far quicker than me.