Thursday, October 14, 2010

Irish institutions, Michigan State, disability organization join together to creat research institute

From The Irish Times:

Five Irish third-level institutions are to join with Michigan State University and the disability body, Respect, to create a new research institute. Its role is to develop advanced technology for the betterment of those with physical and mental disabilities.

Details of the new Interdisciplinary Research Institute will be announced Oct. 15 during a one day Doctrid Conference on “Technology and Research Into Disability” taking place at Carton House Hotel, in Maynooth.

The conference, to be opened by President Mary McAleese, has been organised jointly by Respect, the Daughters of Charity Service for people with an intellectual disability and Michigan State University. It follows earlier contacts between Respect and its director, Sr Martha Hegarty, and Michigan State’s Prof Michael Leahy.

Prof Leahy is the director of the university’s office of rehabilitation and disability studies and of the doctoral programme in rehabilitation counsellor education within the university’s college of education.

On Saturday, the Daughters of Charity Service and Michigan State will sign a memorandum of understanding with Dublin City University, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin and the University of Limerick. “It is going to evolve over time but it will provide the Daughters of Charity with a high level of service in relation to research and provide links with the Irish universities,” Prof Leahy said yesterday.

The planned institute will give the Daughters of Charity new ways to help their clients, Sr Martha said yesterday. The charity serves about 1,500 clients between its two main bases in Dublin and in Limerick, she said.

“We are very good at caring but I think we have come to the stage now in this world of technology that we want to do much more,” she said.

The new institute would be based at the St Vincent’s Centre on the Navan Road, Dublin