Galway school first to step up to Enable Ireland’s No Phone Survival Challenge

 It is going to be one of Ireland’s biggest social experiments as addicted screen tapping teenagers are asked to give up their phones for 24 hours.

The students at Merlin College/Coláiste Mhuirlinne in Galway city were out in force yesterday to launch Enable Ireland’s No Phone Survival Challenge to support children and adults with disabilities in their community.

They are the first school in the country to get behind Enable Ireland’s No Phone Survival Challenge, which will run for 24 hours, starting from Tuesday, October 24 at 12 noon, helping to raise much needed funds for Enable Ireland’s work.

The No Phone Survival Challenge could become one of Ireland’s biggest social experiments. Ireland is pretty addicted to its phones. More than 40 per of 16-24 year olds claim to be connected during every waking hour, according to a recent Eir survey.

According to Clare Lenehan, Enable Ireland’s director of services in Galway, it is a challenge that will also raise awareness about how important assistive technology (AT ) is in the lives of young people and adults with disabilities.

“Assistive technology opens up opportunities for children, young people, and adults to participate in various aspects of life, be included socially and live more independent lives.

“By giving up their love affair with their phones, the students are not just pledging to raise vital funds. They are putting the spotlight on the crucial power and impact that new technology has on the lives and independence of children and adults with disabilities.”

“Enable Ireland provides assistive technology to many young people and adults across the country. This vital technology can support people with vision impairment or literacy challenges to read and write, it can give a voice to those who are non-speaking, or enable someone to live independently at home through the remote control of doors, windows, and lights. AT can enable people to live more independent lives at home, in school and in the workplace.

“People think that they can’t live without their phones but by giving up their snaps, messages, calls, emails, shares, likes, and stories for just one full day they can help raise vital funds to help us support many more people for whom technology is not just a luxury but essential to their quality of life.”

Two of the TY students at Merlin College, Shane Curran and Abby Smyth, are both thriving thanks to their use of assistive technology in and out of the classroom. The students, who have spina bifida, have just received great results in their junior certificates and put their success down to their use of technology to make reading and writing easier.

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