Improvement through Partnership: Promoting collaborative research in community intellectual disability services

UCD Centre for Disability Studies and St Michael’s House celebrated our ten-year partnership on International Disability Day, December 3rd, 2019. The partnership, led by Associate Professor Suzanne Guerin, UCD and Professor Philip Dodd, St Michael’s House, is the first such Memorandum of Understanding between an Irish university and disability service provider. 


Group photo

Signed in 2009, the Memorandum formalised a collaborative approach to disability research. Research activities have included service evaluations, student scholarships, biannual research seminars and presentations at international conferences.  Examples of these evaluations included presentations by Dr Kevin Tracy, Clinical Psychologist at St Michael’s House on Men’s Sheds,  Person Centred Planning by Elaine Teague, Director of Quality Improvement and Safety Development and Key-working in Children’s Services by Maria Nolan, Early Services Team Leader & Niamh Giltinen, Clinic Manager for Children's Services. These examples of collaborative research were followed by a keynote address from Professor Angela Hassiotis, Professor of Psychiatry, UCL Centre for Intellectual and Developmental Disability Research. Professor Hassiotis identified areas for collaboration among all stakeholders including academics, disability services and ‘experts by experience’, individuals with disabilities who provide an essential voice in the development of support services. Our congratulations to all involved in this successful initiative and good wishes for another ten years of collaboration.

Side by side photo of Suzi & Philip