Count me in! DIT Students join together for DIT Think Inclusion Week 2012

DIT is to put disability into focus as it prepares for Think Inclusion Week 2012, a five day marathon of events taking place across the Institute from Sunday 26th February to Thursday 1st March.

23rd February 2012: DIT’s Think Inclusion week, an Institute wide event now in its second year, is a deaf & disability awareness week aimed at challenging negative attitudes towards disability.   Comprising of a diverse and unique programme of events, orchestrated by DIT Students, Think Inclusion aims to focus student attention on disability. The objective is to raise awareness by making disability visible, by educating about disability and most importantly by facilitating exchange and interaction between people with disabilities and students in DIT.

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The week will be officially launched on Monday, 27th February with a special talk by DIT Graduate, Kevin Kelly, a parliamentary assistant to Independent senator Mary Ann O’Brien. A graduate of DIT’s MA in Public Affairs programme, Kevin, 24, is the country’s first blind parliamentary assistant.

Last month the 2011 National Survey of Public Attitudes to Disability in Ireland, launched by the National Disability Authority found a significant increase in negative attitudes towards people with disability in Ireland over the past five years. It has also become less common for non-disabled people to actually know somebody with a disability (a drop of 7% since the 2006 survey) and this is shown to contribute to the increase in negative attitudes. With this in mind, DIT students, co-ordinated by the DIT Sign Language Society, have designed a programme that focuses on education and integration with people with disabilities. The events during the week include opportunities for students to mix with people with disabilities who share similar interests along with seminars and workshops that inform and challenge students on disability issues.

There will be events focused on disability sport, including a kayaking trip, a soccer match, and a waterpolo match where DIT’s Waterpolo Club will play against the Irish Deaf Waterpolo Team.  In music and drama there will be a voiceless drama workshop, a life drawing class with a model with a disability and DIT’s Samba Drumming Society has arranged to deliver a drumming workshop in St. Mary’s School for Deaf Girls.

There are also a number of talks scheduled including a talk on the impact engineering and technology has on people with disabilities and a session led by blogger and disability activist Suzy Byrne.  Speaking about the event, Suzy Byrne says “the plans for DIT Inclusion week show how disability in terms of visibility and interaction is omnipresent in society and this is as it should be.  Disability groups sadly remain socially isolated due to attitude and access issues. I believe that the chance for groups to come together and enjoy common activities will be as important for the people with disabilities as they are for the student groups”.

DIT takes great pride in the academic and personal achievements of its many students and graduates with disabilities. Currently over 750 students across the Institute are registered with DIT’s Disability Service.

DIT is committed to providing equal and integrated access to individuals with disabilities to all of the academic, social, cultural, and recreational programmes it offers.

For further information: Please contact

Anita Conway – DIT Societies Officer: 086 637 6374, Anita.Conway@dit.ie

Click here for full details of the events taking place

Click here for details of Guest lecture with DIT Graduate & Parliamentary assistant Kevin Kelly “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” Monday, 27th 5pm DIT Aungier Street

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