About the conference

The 2016 Annual Conference took housing as its theme, with a particular focus on show casing strategies and approaches that can help foster supportive communities for people with disabilities.

The conference was of interest to approved housing bodies, local authorities, planning, building and design professionals, policy makers, disability service providers and to individuals with disabilities, and their families, with an interest in housing.

There were speakers from Ireland and overseas covering developments in design, technology, planning, building and sustainable communities.

The conference was a full day in-person event and included the following sessions and speakers;

Plenary Session

Chairperson: Dr Conor Skehan (Chairperson of the Housing Agency)

  • Welcome Address: Helen Guinan (Chair of the National Disability Authority)
  • Opening Address: Damien English T.D. (Minister of State for Housing and Urban Renewal)
  • Universal Design in Public Housing: Victor Calise (Commissioner at New York City Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities):
  • Universal Design Now in the Community: Eibhlin O’Connor (Senior Architect, Clúid Housing Association)
  • Designing your home in your community: George Braddock (President of Creative Housing Solutions LLC)
  • Sustaining Communities: Prof. Mary Corcoran, Department of Sociology, NUI Maynooth)

Workshop 1: Building Supportive Communities

Chair: Alison Harnett: Director of Policy, National Federation of Voluntary Bodies
Ciaran McGroarty
, St. Michael’s House Work Options
Caren Gallagher
, Director of Policy, Irish Council for Social Housing
Lucia Carragher
, Senior Researcher, NetwellCasala, Dundalk Institute of Technology

Workshop 2: Independent living by design

Chair: Kathryn Meghen, CEO, Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland
Orla Deighan,
OT Housing Advisory Group, Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland
Neil Murphy,
Senior Built Environment Advisor, NDA CEUD
Brian Swan,
Deputy City Architect, Dublin City Council

Workshop 3: Smart-en up your home; new technologies for independent living

Chair: Michelle Kearns, Chief Clinical Information Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer HSE
Spyros Kotoulas,
Research Scientist, IBM Research Ireland
Rodd Bond,
Programme Director, NetwellCasala, Dundalk Institute of Technology
Estefania Guisado Fernandez,
Connected Health Project at CHESS UCD