Nothing about me, without me! - theme of Human Rights Awareness Day in Sligo

10 March 2022

The Sligo/Leitrim Disability Services Human Rights committee held an awareness day on March 3rd 2023 in the Sligo Park Hotel.

“Nothing about me, without me!” was the theme of the event, which centred on Human Rights and Restrictive Practice awareness.

The Sligo/Leitrim Disability Services Human Rights committee provides a forum to discuss, lead and support people with disabilities and staff regarding standards and responsibilities in embracing a Human Rights Based Approach across support services. The group also provides a forum for governing any restrictive practice across services where such practices may be in place to support the safety and welfare of a person.

The event was timely as it had newly been announced that the 26th of April would be the launch date of the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2022. The 2022 Act amends the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015 and provides the legal basis for the abolition of wardship. The Act replaces the wards of court system with a new progressive, rights based system of assisted decision making and the introduction of a new system of tiered decision making supports.

The purpose of the Human Rights Awareness Day was to provide a forum for people with disabilities availing of residential services and staff from the range of disciplines supporting them to access information and to have the opportunity to have conversations regarding Human Rights and Restrictive Practices. The event also aimed to promote a sense of positivity and celebration regarding the launch of the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act. The event also provided information to those in attendance regarding the role and function of the Human Rights committee. Information was available throughout the day and members of the committee were available to discuss relevant topics and address any queries.

An art competition was held and all entries were on display. Themes for the competition were My Rights/Human Rights, What The Assisted Decision Making Capacity Act Means To Me and the FREDA Principles of Fairness, Respect, Equality, Dignity, Autonomy. A prize giving ceremony was held and the competition was judged by local country music star Sandy Kelly. Residents and members of the Advocacy Group, Kathleen Mc Teague and Ann Marie Duffy spoke about their roles on local service governance groups and how they speak up and advocate for people who can’t speak for themselves. Áine Flynn, Director of the Decision Support Service sent a video message which was viewed by all attendees on the day, in which she spoke about the Assisted Decision Making Capacity Act and what this Act means for the delivery of services.

Organiser of the event, Caroline O’Hehir, Assistant Director Of Nursing and Chairperson of the Human Rights Committee, HSE Disability Services Sligo/Leitrim said, The awareness day served to enhance awareness of the committee and its role and also the rights and responsibilities of residents and staff in relation to Human Rights and Restrictive Practices, to ensure that a Human Rights Based Approach is embedded in staff and service users’ minds.”

Last updated on: 10 / 03 / 2023