Rachel Cassen

Rachel has worked across the statutory, community and voluntary sectors both in Ireland and the UK, starting out in community arts then moving into youth and community work and adult education.  She has extensive training and facilitation experience and is a values-based leader and mentor.  Rachel co-founded LEAP, an organisation whose mission was to empower families of children with intellectual disability/ autism to take action for an inclusive life.  LEAP was a recipient of the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Elevator Award in 2012.

Rachel has been a member of a number of Irish Government Taskforces including Transforming Lives: Effective Participation in Decision-Making, the Task Force on Personal Budgets, and the National Coordinating Group for Progressing Children’s Disability Services.  She has also served on a number of Steering Committees including on the Higher Certificate in Advocacy Studies, (Sligo Institute of Technology), the Autism Rights and Equality Alliance and Possibilities Plus Support Brokerage.

She has an Honours degree in Drama and English from the University of Canterbury, a Higher Diploma in Adult and Community Education from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth and a Special Purpose Award in Training and Development (QQI accredited).

In her spare time Rachel likes to spend time with her family and friends, take long walks with her dog, potter in the garden, read and meditate.

Rachel has presented in the UK, Ireland, Sweden, Kosovo, USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.