Enrolling Now - DFI Advocacy Training, Meet Maureen….
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“You need to live it to understand it” says Maureen Browne of living with a disability. She brings all her experience and expertise to delivering DFI’s Practical Self-Advocacy course. ….find a course near you
Maureen has been living with partial sight for the past 30 years. For almost 12 of those she couldn’t go out. “I was depressed, on tablets, you name it” says Maureen. Her own journey towards the very full life she now leads began with going to the National Council for the Blind Christmas Party. From there she was coaxed into dropping into her local Family Resource Centre in Hospital,Co. Limerick.
“They’ll tell you down there that I wouldn’t open my mouth when I first went there and now they can’t shut me up!” she says.
But still Maureen took DFI’s Practical Advocacy course herself last year. Why?
“Had it in my head that what I had to say was stupid”
“Well I was interested to see what I could learn, and at all the meetings I go to I always had it in my head that maybe what I had to say was stupid. I hadn’t enough confidence in myself”.
Despite having to take a 7.20 a.m. bus from her home in Ballylanders to Limerick, and then a taxi to the training centre, Maureen believes the course was worth it.
What does she have to say to anyone out there living with a disability and considering the Practical Self-Advocacy course? “I’d say you have two choices – Sit at home, look at the four walls and get depressed or get out there because the more you learn, the better able you are to stand up for yourself”.
DFI are delighted to have Siobhan Colleran to co-train with Maureen in Limerick. Both are fully accredited Trainers holding FETAC L6 qualifications. The training they will lead is part of The Community Participation Training Network (CPTN) established to help support people with disabilities within local community structures. The CPTN is made up of ten organisations of the community, voluntary and disability sector who have come together to network, nhare, and deliver a suite of training within the Galway and Limerick Regions.