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Beyond Limits the first event of its kind for young people with disabilities

Beyond Limits: Empowering young people with disabilities, a summit for young people with disabilities will be launched on Tuesday, 20th August at Croke Park. The event itself takes place at Croke Park on Saturday 19th October and will be opened by President Michael D Higgins.

Beyond Limits is the first event of its kind, amplifying the voices of young people with disabilities, hearing about the achievements of those with disabilities, learning about technology, education and employment opportunities, seeing sports and activities in action, and providing a platform for conversations about inclusion and relationships.

Beyond Limits will be launched by presenter Julian Benson of Dancing with the Stars, along with Disability Rights Activist Joanne O’Riordan and Paralympic Gold Medalist Michael McKillop who are speakers and event ambassadors.

They will be joined by co-presenters Jason Hopkins (19) and Karen O’Mahony (18) representing Gaisce, along with youth ambassador and speaker Daniel Daly (14). Members of the Irish National Youth Orchestra who will be collaborating with young people with disabilities at Beyond Limits will also be at the launch.

Speaking ahead of the launch of Beyond Limits, the Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon said:

“Young people with disabilities are the exact same as other young people; they want to spend time with friends, they want to know what opportunities are open to them in the future and they want to have fun.

“We have created Beyond Limits to give a platform to young people with disabilities in Ireland. Beyond Limits will be a demonstration of how to include people with disabilities in major events of this kind. I hope that its legacy will be that issues affecting young people with disabilities become more mainstream and are recognised by those outside of the disability community.

“1,000 young people with disabilities, parents, siblings, carers and friends will make their way to Croke Park on Saturday 19th October for Beyond Limits. Beyond Limits has been designed following a consultation with 71 children from all over Ireland who have varying disabilities and additional needs. It has also been informed by a committee of parents and disability organisations.

Beyond Limits presenter Julian Benson of Dancing with the Stars said:

“I am honoured and delighted to be co- hosting such a wonderful event that encourages and inspires young people with disabilities to go for their dreams no matter what their challenge is in life. Reach for the stars, believe in yourself and never give up on your passions. Such an important event like Beyond Limits shows us that anything is possible -there are no limits.”

Event Ambassador and speaker Joanne O’Riordan spoke of her involvement in the event:

“It is absolutely incredible to be a part of the Beyond Limits Summit for young people with disabilities, both visible and invisible. Growing up, I never heard or saw anything like this and it is so important that young people can have role models who, not only look like them, but have been through the same things they have.”

Beyond Limits is brought to you by the Ombudsman for Children’s Office and is supported by RTÉ 2FM.

Organisations involved in Beyond Limits include Special Olympics Ireland, Gaisce, The Disability Federation of Ireland, Inclusion Ireland, Arts and Disability Ireland, Young Carers Ireland, The National Youth Orchestra, The GAA, Cara Sport Inclusion Ireland, The National Parent’s Council, The School of Inclusive and Special Education in Dublin City University, Trinity College Dublin School of Education, Zeminar, The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, Ernst and Young, Silicon Republic and UrAbility.

Dublin Bus, Luas and DART will be providing free transport to all of those attending the event within the Dublin area.

Beyond Limits takes place on Saturday 19th October 2019 at Croke Park. Tickets will be on sale from Tuesday 20th August at beyondlimits.ie.