The PSI Learning Disability Special Interest Group was founded in 1974 after the idea had been discussed at the PSI annual conference in Limerick in 1973. The founding members were David Kenefick, Stephen Kealy, Dympna Walsh, Sally Jackson and Seamus McLoone.
It was the first special interest group to be formed within the Psychological Society of Ireland and the first Easter workshop was held in 1975 and received approval from the Department of Health.
Initially, issues addressed included:
By 1981, the aims of the group were
Over the years, the Learning Disability Special Interest Group has provided psychologists working in the field of learning disabilities with a forum to share professional skills and expertise and access best practice of the time, therefore playing a key role in continuing professional development.
Through conferences, workshops and seminars, many international experts have been brought to Ireland to share their research findings and challenge the profession to take a leading role in influencing the delivery of services to people with learning disabilities and their families.
The group has provided and continues to provide a means of support on ethical and service issues and plays a leading role in advocating for better lives for children and adults with developmental disabilities whether in education, residential services or the work place.
Through this dynamic, the learning disability special interest group have produced a number of significant position papers and policy documents.
Aims of PSI Learning Disability Special Interest group
The aims and vision of the group have remained consistent and can be summarised as follows:
Structure and functioning of group
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"Ethics in Disability", Research Papers.
The Responsible Researcher
Ethics in research in Disability
Conducting Service Based research
Adults with Mild Intellectual Disability: the "forgotten" diaspora.
Psychologists working with people with intellectual disability are concerned that the needs of adults with mild intellectual disability are not being met adequately either by generic, mainstream services or by specialist services for people with intellectual disability. The PSI Learning Disability Special Interest Group is proposing:
A position paper on the needs for adults with a Mild Intellectual Disability (MID) and
That PSI facilitate a policy making initiative inviting representatives of the intellectual disability sector, relevant mainstream services and service users to critically review concerns and current service provisions for this population.
If you would like further information or would like to make a comment, please contact Seamus Feehan, Senior Psychologist Brothers of Charity, Cork at 021 4347087 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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