Consciousness defines our right to participation and rehabilitation

If you can spare some time this weekend, listen to Professor Joseph J Fins’ opening keynote of the An Saol Summer School. It should be made compulsory viewing for all politicians, health professionals, and citizens interested in equality, integration, and participation. Those who say that there are injured who cannot be cared for because it is too expensive and because the outcome of any treatment is doubtful – whatever that means.

Covert Consciousness and the Right to Care: Bringing Disability Rights to the Clinic.

The An Saol Foundation’s 1st International Summer School took place last week. A packed programme of international speakers and days of hands-on review of and work with those attending the An Saol Centre provided the framework for hour-long conversations and discussions involving An Saol staff, international experts and families over six days.

Unfortunately, it did not find the resonance we had hoped for within the Irish health care sector, not within Irish politics. The office of the Minister for Disabilities did not even respond to the invitation to contribute.

While experts from abroad took more than a week of their precious holidays to support the work of the An Saol Foundation without any pay.

The Summer School closed yesterday with a Keynote by Prof Wissel, a German neurologist, with experts from Germany and Ireland exploring different aspects of care and rehabilitation.

The week demonstrated the commitment of the staff of An Saol and the support from international experts for the effort to make Life and Living with a severe Acquired Brain Injury possible.

It created an energy that will carry our work into the future.