Spearheaded by Letterkenny Chartered Physiotherapist, Johnny Loughrey and his team, the ‘No Barriers’ Programme aims to break down any actual and perceived barriers to physical activity for people living with physical and intellectual disabilities.
‘No Barriers’ is designed to improve physical and mental health through evidence based physiotherapy, exercise and nutritional support.
The JT Physio team worked in close partnership with the Little Angels School and St. Eunan’s College Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Unit to develop the programme.
The overall goal is to encourage greater levels of independence for those with physical and intellectual disabilities, by improving their strength and physical fitness, while also facilitating integration into group exercise within their community.
Commenting on the ‘No Barriers’ Programme, Johnny Loughrey, JT Physiotherapy, told Donegal Daily, “This project is very close to our hearts and we’re extremely proud to be associated with it.
“I work very closely with the Irish Paralympics team and they are such an inspirational
group of athletes who, regardless of their disabilities, have achieved so much”.
“Often, people are conditioned to believe that their disabilities limit them from achieving things which, in actual fact, they are more than capable of.
“Here at JT Physiotherapy, we encourage people to realise that it’s ok to have a different baseline of fitness and level of functional ability from the general population; however, the principles of exercise are the same – small increases in strength/mobility over time reap big results.
“There should be no barriers to getting fitter and living longer.”
“Our vision is to create a friendly, positive and inclusive centre that caters for both people with disabilities and the wider general public.
“We want to build a space that acts as a social outlet for all members of the community to engage in a positive activity together.”
Adding to this, Sharon Gildea, St. Eunan’s College said: “From the point of view of St. Eunan’s College ASD Unit, our experience with the No Barriers Programme has been exceptional.
We have been privileged to work with consummate professionals, who have proven themselves to be highly knowledgeable and empathetic in their interactions with the boys.
The boys have benefited so much from their time with the No Barriers Programme.
“Weekly classes with Johnny and the team have provided them with sensory feedback, occupational therapy and many new opportunities for social interaction.
“We feel so fortunate to have been chosen by the No Barriers Programme as a pilot school, and look forward to working with this amazing organisation long into the future.”
The ‘No Barriers’ Programme is funded entirely through JT Physiotherapy and currently runs group exercise classes for Little Angel’s National School and St. Eunan’s College ASD Unit.Tags: