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CIT Advocacy Workshop Graduation

CIT Advocacy Workshop Graduation

Tuesday 7 April 2015

A group of 29 people supported by Cope Foundation took part in workshops about Advocacy.

The Speaking Up for Yourself Advocacy Workshops were held in Cork Institute of Technology (CIT).

This is the second year that Cork Institute of Technology and Cope Foundation have worked together to run the workshops.

These workshops help teach the theory and practice of speaking up for yourself.

Last year there were 11 students that took part in workshops for 3 weeks.

It went so well that this year there were two groups of students that took part in 4 workshops each.

The workshops provide an opportunity for people with intellectual disabilities and/or autism to try out life in college, meet other students and learn very useful skills.

The workshops talked about: student experience, empowerment, assertiveness, autonomy, resilience and speaking up with confidence in real life.

The graduates of the workshops will become champions of advocacy in Cope Foundation.

Their job will be to support others in the organisation to advocate for themselves.

This year the students of the advocacy workshops and students from the Applied Social Studies courses in CIT came together to share thoughts, ideas and experiences.

Rosaleen Moore who participated in the workshops says: “I really enjoyed being part of the workshops. I learned a lot of new things about advocacy and what it means to stand up for myself and how to do it. I enjoyed meeting the other students and we learned together. It showed us that we are all the same; we are people first. It gave me great confidence to go back to Cope Foundation and get involved in teaching others about advocacy. I would love to do more work on advocacy in the future and more courses in CIT too.”

Dr. Margaret O’Keeffe of the Department of Applied Social Studies in CIT and facilitator of the Speaking up for Yourself Advocacy Workshops says: “We are delighted to be in partnership with Cope Foundation for the second year. It was wonderful to see the huge demand for the course by people supported by Cope Foundation and we were delighted to be in a position to expand the partnership and make it very much led by the students themselves. I am so grateful to all of my colleagues in the School of Humanities who have assisted in making it all happen, in particular, Dr. Margaret Linehan, Jim Walsh and Michelle Kelleher. Above all, advocacy and social justice are important concepts in society and the group are making extremely worthwhile contributions to the conversation about advocacy for people with intellectual disability and/or autism. What is really important to all the partners is inclusion and an opportunity to live life to the full”.

Dr. Barry O’Connor, CIT Vice President for Academic Affairs spoke at the graduation event.

He congratulated everyone involved and is looking forward to Cork Institute of Technology continuing this very positive partnership with Cope Foundation.

Photographs were taken by Barry O'Sullivan.