07 Oct Well Done Erasmus+ Participants
The CRC Erasmus+ Committee would like to thank everyone for all the fabulous contributions in making this event a great success.
The morning session got off to a flying start with an introduction from Noel Carroll and a presentation from Karen Kieran, who talked about her own experience of living through the current pandemic.
Special thanks to Colm Quearney and the many volunteers from Fighting Words who did an excellent job at supporting us with our character stories during the Zoom breakout rooms.
It was truly wonderful to hear how each of the stories were developed in such a short space of time. So well done to everyone for playing their part in achieving this. In the coming days, we will gather the stories and publish them to this site. So watch this space!
Maria-Elena got the ball rolling for the afternoon session. She challenged us to think outside of the box when dealing with Human Rights issues.
The various scenarios that we shared made everyone think twice about jumping to a conclusion too quickly. It certainly got the debate going as there were no shortage of engagement from the Erasmus+ participants. It highlighted the importance of respecting others and also knowing what our rights are.
Ross Ahern delivered a very honest and powerful closing speech that he prepared himself. He talked about what he thought of 2020 so far and ended by saying that we can all work together and get through this as we learn to live with this virus.
In the morning session we worked on developing our character stories that we created previously in an earlier Erasmus+ Activity. All the characters are fictitious but face real life issues.
Covid-19 has had a big impact on the lives of people living with a disability in Ireland. For this Erasmus+ project, Fighting Words volunteers worked online with young adults from a variety of CRC campuses in Dublin to create an original story. Using fictional characters they examined how they could improve their situation in gaining access to support services during this pandemic.
Sarah comes from a big family from Artane. She has 3 brothers and 2 sisters. Growing up on the Northside, she was a happy child who liked making friends and going to school.
Being very creative, she was great at Art. She is the youngest sibling in the family and she is 22 years of age now. Sadly Sarah’s life changed completely for the worst in 2011. She was involved in a horrific car crash on the M50. Unfortunately, she was left paralysed from the waist down following the accident and is still suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder even to this day. Sarah’s old wheelchair has become faulty lately so she would like to get a new one.
To make matters even worse, last year Sarah and her family found themselves being homeless as they were evicted from their family home in Artane. They felt very angry and frustrated with their situation, but they want to turn things around for themselves.
Sarah was staying in a hostel with her family. Sarah found a painting job online, which would allow her to use her creativity. She liked to use lots of colours, shapes and use her imagination. When the covid-19 pandemic started, it was difficult in the hostel, but Sarah’s career started with painting masked portraits of people in the hostel.
She started selling her paintings and uploading them to Instagram, and she became Instagram-famous in her insta-career. She had 1000 followers every week. She listened to classical music while painting like Mozart and Beethoven.
Soon famous people started to notice her work like Bono, Brendan Gleason, Liam Neeson, Rita Ora, Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell and Pierce Brosnan. These celebrities started a concert to raise money for her new wheelchair.
With the money she made, she was able to buy a very nice house in Slane, County Meath. It was a very fancy house with six bedrooms and two bathrooms, an art studio and a swimming pool which was wheelchair accessible.
She felt blessed, joyful, happy and accomplished. She made new friends with her neighbours in Meath, and she was able to get counselling to help with her post-traumatic stress disorder.
David is 20yrs old. He currently lives in Clontarf with his parents and older sister. He moved
to Ireland from Japan when was 15yrs old. David is Half Irish and Half Japanese. He is very proud to be from two different cultures and feels very confident in who he is as a person. David is currently working as a part time porter in Clontarf Castle hotel. He is also studying to become an accountant as this is his dream job.
David struggles socially and has been awarded personal assistant hours from the HSE to
help him understand social roles and relationships. David finds these hours invaluable with supporting him in his employment.
David loves maths and numbers and feels that maths is universal and based in fact. David loves this and finds real comfort in numbers. David has recently attended an AsIAm conference and follows a number of bloggers that have hidden disabilities.
David was at home when he heard about Covid-19 on the news. When it came, things changed. People were not able to go to movies or play arcade games. David had a birthday during Covid-19 and he wasn’t able to go to the pub and celebrate.
He was stuck in his house for the whole of Covid-19. He had a plan to go to a wedding in Japan but unfortunately he couldn’t go. He still works part-time but he can’t go near anyone.
He decided to start his own blog. Now that the whole world had moved online more people were blogging and the bloggers were getting more followers. People want to fight Covid-19.
Harry is a well-educated 30 year-old young man from Raheny. As a TD, Harry has a high demand job that is quite stressful at times. He also has his family to look after and provide for. His wife is available to look after their four children while he works long hours away from home in the Dáil.
Harry developed a rare medical condition 5 years ago which led to him losing his eyesight. He has a guide dog to help him remain independent, but he had to make big changes in his life when he became blind.
He can no longer drive or enjoy his favourite pastime of photography. He uses public transport daily to travel into town for work, mainly using the DART.
Here’s Harry’s Story
By Rachel, Alex, Connie, and Deante
The recent changes in Harry’s life have started to affect his mental health and he has developed depression as a result. The depression is having an impact on Harry’s job and the time he spends with his children.
Harry’s wife has tried to support him but now she does not know how she can help him. Harry has a dog that goes everywhere with him. His dog’s name is Rex. Rex helps him at work. They go to the shop together. Rex helps Harry on public transport and makes sure that he is safely sitting down before the bus moves.
Harry’s wife, Sally, and their four children, Mark, Bobby, Steven, and Amy support Harry. They help him around the house with chores. If Harry needs something they can get it for him. The children also support Sally so that she is not on her own helping Harry.
When Sally is feeling down, her and Amy go shopping and have coffee while the lads sit at home with Harry watching a Liverpool versus Man United match.
During the match, Harry needs a glass of water and Bobby offers to get it for him. Bobby goes into the kitchen to get a glass of water and he realises the tap is broken!
Bobby goes to tell Harry that the tap is broken. Harry asks Mark to ring the plumber to fix the tap. Instead, Bobby gets his dad a glass of milk.
“Lads, I’m struggling to work at home and I need your support when I’m doing work,” Harry asked.
“I can help you out with your work if you need any help,” Mark said.
Sally and Amy came home from the shops and she asked Harry how his day went and who won the match. Sally gave Harry a kiss as she walked through the door.
“Liverpool,” Harry responded.
“Do you need any help with your work? If you need anything I can type it out for you,” Sally asked.
“Yes, that would be a big help.”
The Collins family all made dinner together. For their Sunday dinner, they had chicken curry. When they all sat down to dinner together, Harry was happy.
Harry was happy because he had loads of support and he knew he could lean on his family whenever he needed it.
Taylor is 27, she is from Dundrum in Dublin. Taylor was a model for a very famous Irish modelling agency. She worked a lot on TV and in magazines. One day a photographer said she should have teeth
whitened and this made Taylor very insecure. She found a dentist in Dundrum and had her teeth whitened and as a result met her husband. Taylors husband earned enough money and suggested that Taylor give her job and have a baby as soon as possible. Taylor liked this idea and soon became really happy being driven around Dublin in her husband’s limo. Taylor took a lot of holidays alone and soon became very lonely. She went to a Doctor in a private clinic and she suggested instead of taking medication that Taylor get out and volunteer in her local community. She started to undertake community work in her local community centre helping to organise fashion shows and to dress the local charity shop windows to look like a fancy shop. Taylor enjoyed the work; however, her husband became fed up and wanted his wife around all the time and became angry when she wasn’t available. While traveling to a private island Taylor’s husband hit her and told her to give up the volunteering and become his wife again.
Taylor did not want to give up her job, she was very much interested in what she was working on. She decided to leave and talk to someone about what happened with her husband and to ask someone to talk to the husband about why he is hitting her. She doesn’t want to leave him because she loves him, but she doesn’t like the way she is being treated. Taylor and her husband, Michael, attend marriage counseling to fix their problems. They talk about what happened and Michael felt disgraceful about himself. Michael decided to wait a little longer about having a baby because he loves her.