1 Feb 2013

Transition Year Project from St. Mary's Ballina

'The aim of our project was to raise awareness of the different communication needs of people today and also highlight the different supports out there for people who find it difficult to communicate and be understood.

One such support we learned about is Lamh, which is a manual sign system used by children and adults with intellectual disability and communication needs in Ireland. We wanted to learn more about Lámh so we made positive links with Lámh users by going for eight weeks to St Dymphna’s special needs school. We then surveyed our peers finding out that 90% of people did not know about Lamh. Next we did a creative teaser campaign in our school, such ‘LOL’ Love of Lamh on colourful hands and places them all over the school; this made our cause very memorable. We held a YSI Live, Lamh, Life Awareness day, here we promoted inclusion, by trying to explain and inform our peers about the needs and difficulties some people might have around communication. We created a new look design leaflet for Lámh which is vibrant and creative which will further aid the promotion of Lamh and have linked in with Lamh Ireland who have been really supportive of 'Live ,Lámh, Life experience'.

This project has opened our eyes to the importance of communication in order to live a healthy, balanced life. We have learned about the struggles people face on a day to day basis, be it with a language barrier, speech impediment or an intellectual disability. We have come together as a team and tried to make a difference in some small way by making a positive contribution through our project.

The group set up a stand at school for a day to provide information and to promote Lámh, and created an information leaflet about Lámh aimed at teenagers.