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Official Launch of Walkways Ireland


A New Employment Initiative for People with Intellectual Disabilities

What if the rate of unemployment among a specific group was more than 85%? The vast majority of who are forced to go through life with no prospect of ever finding a job?

This is the position more than 26,000 people registered on the National Intellectual Disability Database find themselves in; generic training and employment services can be inadequate for this group and might not address their needs. This can translate to a total reliance on welfare benefits and outdated traditional models of care, which can then deny them full participation in mainstream society.

Walkways is a new employment initiative that focuses on giving people with intellectual disabilities - many of whom often have a physical disability, sensory impairment, mental health problems, challenging behaviour, medical conditions and/or autism - the tools necessary to address this chronic situation. Through tailoring and customising employment programmes on a person by person basis, employment outcomes become more achievable and realistic.

The Minister for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People, Kathleen Lynch TD, officially launched the Walkways programme at the Walkways National Launch on Tuesday, September 13th, in Dublin Castle.

Walkways Launch

The Minister said “an overriding objective of disability policy is to provide the individual with a disability, to the greatest extent possible, the opportunity to live a full and independent life with their family and as part of their local community. This initiative supports that objective as access to paid employment is one of the greatest ways of allowing people to live a full and independent life as part of their community. I firmly believe that this objective is a basic human right for each and every citizen of this country, and I will work, as Minister, towards making it happen, in co operation with organisations such as WALK”.

Walkways has been up and running since March 1, and is funded for at least three years. It has accepted referrals from schools and day services for its supported employment programmes and is currently developing a social enterprise which will employ many of the people who are expected to benefit from the training under the initiative.

Walkways is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Programme. The Dublin-based project is being delivered in partnership by WALK (Walkinstown Association for People with an Intellectual Disability Ltd) in Ireland and Agoriad Cyf in Wales, supported by Anglesey County Council.

WALK currently provides a broad range of services to over 200 people with intellectual disabilities, mental health issues and challenging behaviour in Dublin. Agoriad Cyf is a specialist provider of employment and training services for disabled and disadvantaged people throughout north and mid Wales.

Walkways Launch

News Archives

RAF Valley's Youth Day

PEER Participant Video

Minister Kathleen Lynch visits WALK

WALK Involvement in EUSE Conference

WALK Supporting Irish Job Shadow Initiative 2013

Work Experience

Walkways REAL Programme

Job Shadow 2012

25.04.2012 Job Shadow Week

16.02.2012 PEER Buddy Training Programme

16.01.2012 Volunteer 4 P.E.ER

13.09.2011 Official Launch of Walkways, Ireland

22.09.2011 IASE Job Shadow Initiative, The Mansion House, Dublin

12.05.2011 Finance Workshop, Wales

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