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Dublin - Event Notice
Thursday January 01 1970

Corporate Run for Enable Ireland

category dublin | health / disability issues | event notice author Wednesday August 10, 2005 19:32author by Aoife McElwain - Enable Irelandauthor email eastfr at enableireland dot ie Report this post to the editors

Fundraising Event at Raheny

This years Corporate 5km Run will be held on Thursday, September 1st in
Raheny and we hope you will choose to support Enable Ireland.

Enable Ireland, founded in 1948, is a leading national provider of services
to children and adults with physical disabilities and their families. All
sponsorship from this fundraising event will go towards enhancing our
services in the Dublin / Wicklow region. As the demand for our services
continues to grow, we seek to expand into local communities so that children
and parents do not have to travel long distances for treatment and care.

We will have team and individual prizes on the night in all categories, and
every runner will receive a free t-shirt and goodie bag. There will also be
a prize draw for participants raising over ?100 in sponsorship.

We urge you bear in mind that this a charity fundraising event, so if you
can get a little sponsorship for your run this will be what will really make
the Enable Ireland Corporate 5km Challenge a real success.

If you would like to take part in this fundraising event, then email us at
eastfr@enableireland.ie .

author by RJSpublication date Wed Aug 31, 2005 00:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Will the Department of Health itself be advertising a fundraising event on indymedia?

People might say "Ah, but what about the poor disabled children..." - oh, leave it to our nice friendly corporations who this advertisement is aimed at - well placed i'm sure.

There is little or no accountability in the spending of funds in charities generally, including Enable Ireland. There is no coincidence then that our right-wing administration gives an ever-greater proportion of our dwindling public health budget to such entitites.

Institutions generally try to perpetuate themselves regardless of reason - unaccountable ones moreso; but when salaried professional interest is added to the equation, one can expect even more impenetrability re standards, costs/spending. and day-to-day operations. Quality of staff no longer matters, but keeping the numbers to keep the state grants.

Just one of many examples I could take, but won't for fear of identification and sanction, is physiotherapy. If such a profession was worth its weight in gold, why would it keep rejecting current methods in favour of new fads. What are the success rates? Best practices is defined by academic elites.

The same goes for all the arty 'medical' disciplines, and one on the margins is child-care. Why so many when they do so little?

The cycle goes on; provision of claimed paliatives in return for corporate and state funds. Everyone feels good - happy

What charities are next to use indy's event page for professional reasons? Comhlámh's site already provides adequate facilities for fund-getting.

If indymedia ran ads, you'd be payin' for it like all the rest - jays I don't mean to sound bitter, but i am quite concerned if this is the start of a trend.

author by edpublication date Wed Aug 31, 2005 00:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"If indymedia ran ads, you'd be payin' for it like all the rest - jays I don't mean to sound bitter, but i am quite concerned if this is the start of a trend."

And the best response to people posting material that is within the guidelines but considered dubious for whatever reason by indy-commenteers is to point out problems in the comments section. Much as you have done RJS. If they can defend themselves and answer the charges convincingly, they will come out of it stronger and looking better, if they can't they will be less likely to try the same thing again.

All hail peer-review.

author by Miriam Cottonpublication date Thu Sep 01, 2005 11:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am the person who posted the original event notice. Enable Ireland is an organisation dedicated to maximising the potential of people living with disability. I would suggest that anyone who feels critical of posting a fundraising event notice of this kind should make a point of contacting the people with disability who stand to benefit from these activites. It would be surprising if many of them shared the somewhat academic qualms of the poster above. In any case, it is completely inaccurate to say that this is a 'corporate advertisement'. Government funding for people with disability is at scandalously low levels. This sort of event is therefore the reality that we are forced into if people are not to continue in restricted, frustrating and unfulfilled lives.

author by RJSpublication date Thu Sep 01, 2005 13:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ed's point taken.

Miriam, I mistook the immediate motives of the posting, but the rest of the questions still stand unanswered.

"[Ask] the people with disability who stand to benefit from these activites" is a glib and facile answer.

To elaborate a bit further one one point -
Physios spend loads of wasted hours doing excercises that should be done at home with parents inthe natural setting, and parents feel dependent because of this. Should we fundraise to keep the status quo here?

I didn't say that it was a 'corporate advertisement', but I did and do think its preferred target was a corporate audience.

I am a disabled person who lives a "restricted, frustrating and unfulfilled" life, so of course, I would be hapy if there was an effective "organisation dedicated to maximising the potential of people living with disability". There are many such organizations, some more effective than others. To justify its claims on our conscience, whatever about corporate resources which should be redistributed without question anway, Enable Ireland itself needs to do better than than point to poor disabled children. My disability has prevented academic progress, so such real issues don't incline me to academic qualms.

In case it was missed, I just want to draw your attention once more to the earlier point about the charitisation of essential services (if Enable Ireland actually provides any apart from teaching special needs). Is such a trend not inimical to accoutability?

In December 2003 I saw a group of uniformed Irish Army (assume then they were being paid by the state at the time) collecting for Crumlin Children's Hospital. Bizarre!

When a service is seen, not as a right, but a sort of favour from the goodness of people's hearts, it's less amenable to criticism as you've so far amply demonstrated.

author by Miriam Cottonpublication date Thu Sep 01, 2005 14:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I agree that we live in an imperfect world and that there are many things about the way services for people with disability are provided that could and should be better.

In my own experience of disability (three children with autistic spectrum disorders) I am often frustrated by the uneveness of how things are done. So I do know what I am talking about too.

I simply do not see that organising a fundraising event should cause anyone a problem - particularly in the absence of adequate government funding. Ideally, it would not be necessary at all but we are a long way from this ideal and people do the best they can.

As to the other issues you raise, perhaps you could write an article on what you see as the problems and post it on Indymedia? You might start a productive debate? The editors on this site recently approved a disability news category which I have been trying to promote as widely as I can. I believe it is an issue that gets only a tiny fraction of the news coverage that it deserves and needs. We need especially to hear from individuals themselves. Your contributions would make a welcome addition to the site.

author by RJSpublication date Thu Sep 01, 2005 15:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's difficult to make the first point without breaching editorial guidelines and straying into issues of editorial policy but there is a grey line here.

An open media should not assist professional interests in their claim on resources without at the same time, being able to question how such resources are used and the efficacy of such industries. Ed's with me on this, and I know accept Ed's 'peer review' point, but not without reservations (which are for another forum).

I've put specific questions to and about Enable Ireland. How it responds will be as instructive as the specific points to be made. That this will be the closest it has ever come to public accountability (in my opinion), is a telling reflection on the charity sector and why it shouldn't be encouraged to increase its share of public services. I would question the extent of its claims to provide a public service in the first place.

Writing disability articles? Hmmm... I wouldn't know where to begin, there's that much to say and to ask. I've a fwe in the pipeline, but such things are best done when the iron is hot. This ad ironically gave me a chance to strike the anvil. All hail peer review.

The problem with disability issues is that they don't make a link with other disenfranchise people, let alone their own particular issues. In so doing, they marginalise issues that should matter to everyone. Rossport isn't about five small property-ownders for example, but much greater things. If they'd been boxed into a property-owners' section, the significance of their plight would have been lost.

The uncritical playing of the disability card to self-evidently justify this ad, is part of the mindset problem that keeps disability in its poor little box.

author by Miriam Cottonpublication date Thu Sep 01, 2005 15:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

All I can say is that there are other people who do not share your view and who believe themselves to be doing the best they can in difficult circumstances. Nobody here is 'playing the disability card' as you put it. You deployed your own disability in an earlier post to back up your argument. Fair enough.
The idea of a disability category (which it is not obligatory for you to use, incidentally) was to create a common forum for what at the moment are an incredibly disparate group of people all grappling with the same difficulties, separately. The wheel is being reinvented, so to speak, a hundred times over every week. That's not an accident where the government are concerned and it represents an incredible amount of wasted effort for a group of people who often can least afford that. Divide and rule. Of course every group has everything in common with every other group. But its difficult to funciton on that scale. What has become apparent from the passing of the recent Disability Bill is that the disability lobby (which is huge) needs urgently to unite, to make its presence felt and to put an end to the dismissive, condescending attitude that we are so often confronted with. The Indymedia forum on disability is intended to help towards that objective. Personally, I dont feel comfortable carping from the sidelines about the imperfections of the genuine efforts that other people are making to improve things. That said, there is always a place for constructive criticism, so long as we are all mindful that we too may be less than perfect, I suppose.

author by RJSpublication date Fri Sep 02, 2005 03:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hey, I’m very sorry. There was no offence intended in the least. I should have made clear my meaning. What I meant by “dissability card” was the ‘ah sher isn’t it a good cause’ type of thing (not a direct quote - I hope is noticed). I am disabled; disabled as much if not more by obstacles preventing me from doing salaried things I like, as I am by any physical incapacity. a lot more people than me are in this category than disabled people, but disabled people have their options closed with 80% unemployment, while the rest have 5%.

I will mention my disability when I feel it is relevant. The experiences are often alien to others, but are a great insight into society and how it works. At the same time, it’s everyone’s issue and everyone is free to comment without badges of merit. My disclosure was made in reaction to the “academic qualms” remark.

This is the opposite to “divide and rule”. All I’m saying is, make links with the rest of society without creating “dissability issues” which, I suspect, cause most people to think ‘thank god it’s not me’; or ‘I can’t comment on that, I’m not disabled’.

It is unlikely that opposition to the Disability Bill will unite around Enable Ireland or any other non-disabled professional interest.

I do feel comfortable (for a change) in carping about the imperfections of the “efforts that other people are making to improve things”, because my experience has taught me to question their bonefides. By people who get paid to make genuine efforts, I have been prevented from doing stuff for free that they wouldn’t do because it’s more than their job’s worth. It’s everywhere, and my above criticisms are just. They should not be knocked because of some illusory division. There is no unity to begin with: this is a basis of unity – calling a spade a spade.

I am proud of my ever-changing perfection, and everyone else’s too; it’s the institutions you defend that suck.

BTW let not this side-tracking – interesting and stimulating as it may be – deflect attention from the original questions I have posed. Would you have me shut up? Would you be a spokesperson on disability issues? We’ve seen them before. I speak from the heart too, but from a different knowledge. Let the questions stand, or respond to them as they are.

author by M Cottonpublication date Fri Sep 02, 2005 08:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dear RJS

This debate really needs to be conducted in another forum, I think. I am not here to defend or promote Enable Ireland against any imperfections you may personally perceive in what they do or dont do. I don't work for them. They organised a fundraiser and in doing so their intentions were honourable and in line with thousands of similar events taking place all over the country. It is not right to describe this notice as any form of advertisement. I encouraged Enable Ireland to post their event notice here - as I am a number of other disability support groups. It is not fair to these organisations that they should be targetted with anonymous criticisms in this context - and to single out Enable Ireland is really very unfair.

If you have criticisms (and we all do) of the way in which our current system of administration fails people (disabled and otherwise) then it would be helpful if you would write up your views and post them on Indymedia wherever you believe they are most likely to beneift the debate. I agree with much of what you say, actually. You do, however, raise a number of separate issues which it is impossible to respond to adequately in an inappropriately conflated discussion over an entirely innocent event notice!

In setting up the disability category it was of course recognised that there were pros and cons. Without the category, however, there is also the fact that the subject gets lost in the stream of other issues. A major consideration is how to help people find what they are intersted in reading. There is no perfect answer to this but we are doing our best. The intention, as I have said, is to unite the lobby in order (eventually) to build a powerful and influential consensus - precisely to overcome the problem you identify: that disability is an issue that can be ignored or is not an issue of general concern. There is so much more to say about this. We need you to join in and very much welcome any criticisms and observations you have to make - but it would be better to use the newswire. I will be very happy to discuss the interesting points you raise. In all probability this disucssion is exclusively between you and I at the moment! The event itself is now over! Perhaps you would consider writing something about the accountability of the voluntary sector? Government have offloaded their responsibility onto poorly funded and monitored organisations who struggle to meet the needs of the people they are trying to serve. They are also in competition with each other as private fundraisers. In the part of the country in which I live, I know that one vital service provider for people with intellectual disabilities is finding it virtually impossible to raise money because of the runaway success that another provider of different services has had in the same area. Anyway, I really can't respond in this event notice any more but very much hope that you will continue to contribute. If you havent looked at the disability news items, maybe you would consider doing that, in spite of your misgivings!
With kind regards
Miriam

author by RJSpublication date Fri Sep 02, 2005 17:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The subject of my anonymity is a distraction to the social and institutional questions being posed.

Those questions are no less legitimate because they don’t appear in the newswire – I rather think that the above ad is a very fitting context to the issues I raise. The event is over, but the best thing that might have come from it is this inadvertent platform for debate. Lets hope some answers are forthcoming; that the issues haven’t been fogged nor dissent muffled.

No organization is too precious to be protected from questions. The ‘sacred cow’ approach only helps to hide and perpetuate institutionalised ineptitude and elitist professional interest, and as such, is disabling.

I don’t know enough about service providers for intellectual disability. I did mention earlier that effectiveness varies from one organization to another.

Questions of how funds are used must be addressed if an institution is looking for money in the indy Events Calendar, and if meaningful services are to be provided.

The deeper point about charity not being the way to go for reasons of accountability has become even more relevant as the thread unfurls.

author by MCpublication date Fri Sep 02, 2005 18:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Nobody is muffling your wish to speak and express your views. I have repeatedly invited you to contribute to debate. This is an events notice board - not an advertising board. In fact advertising is expressly forbidden on Indymedia. The point I have tried to get across to you is that you will have a much wider level of readership and debate if you post something on the newswire. I am encouraging you to contribute as much as possible in a way that will ensure as wide a readership as possible. That way you may find a lot of other people who share your views and/or spark some useful debate. At the moment all that is happening is that these comments appear under the heading 'Corporate Run for Enable Ireland'. Most regular readers will realise it is an event and may therefore choose not to read it, unless they are interested in running. When they get through to the thread they will then see that the event is over anyway and probably go to some other item, thereby missing your debate.

author by RJSpublication date Fri Sep 02, 2005 19:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

MC
I get the impression from your contributions here that you're miffed with one of your initiatives being slighted (by what is right and proper debate from my point of view). There are more important things than that.

I do post articles on the newswire, but:
Rather than second-guessing readers' strategies for them, let them and me make up our own minds. Ed seems to be happy with peer review, and I suspect, sees it as about the only advantage to this posting.

Despite the distractions, my questions remain unanswered and undimmed. There are more, but lets see how we get on with these first (see first comment).

author by Miriam Cotonpublication date Sun Sep 25, 2005 22:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ive just re-read this thread and have to concede that I was not, at the time, interpreting your comments well. I cant let this go unacknowledged and feel more than a little embarrased at what I now realise were very glib replies at the time. Bad hair day/s???

I wholeheartedly agree there is virtaully no accountability within either voluntary or state services. I also agree that often service organisations exist more to justify the salaries of those they employ rather than improving life for those they are theoretically there to serve. There is a systemic problem here which goes, as you pointed out, way beyond disability, unemployment, poverty or whatever issue we might chose to focus on. My objective in advocating discussion of disability issues on Indymedia was to emphaise the importance and relevance of the issue in its own right: - to make other people envy and respect us, if thats not too corny a thing to say. I cant apologise, for wanting a disability category any more than I would for a 'rights and freedoms' category or an 'environment' category. I think we have something to teach people and that they need to learn to come to us rather than the other way around.

author by Miriam Cottonpublication date Wed Oct 19, 2005 20:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I just wanted to apologise again for the inadequate response I gave to the poster RJS on this thread. I would be very grateful for the opportunity to discuss the many valid and important issues that he or she raised.

author by RJSpublication date Wed Oct 19, 2005 23:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

doesn't happen often enough in life generally, let alone on indy, that a person will step back outside perceived lines and let them dissolve.

fair play MC

author by RJSpublication date Thu Oct 20, 2005 00:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Enable Ireland haven't shown themselves able to deal with critical questions. 75% of EI are owned by the state apparently, but it's run by a board of directors who are unelected. The book should stop with them, rather even, than the 'profession'als they have employed.

Good to have the oppertunity of airing something that's been naggin' at me for several years now, even if there's no immediate institutional response.

I'm sure that more oppertunities will arise for this and similar issues, on indy.ie at least.

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