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Three 60
Three 60RTÉ One, Monday, 7.30pm

2006: Programme 6

Item One - Noeleen Cunningham. Fashion Designer

Item One -Austin O' Carroll - A Best Practice Doctor People with disabilities can often be misconceived as those who are in receipt of care or charity. Austin O' Carroll story shatters this perception and proves how disabled people can just as easily be the people assisting and developing communities.

Austin O' Carroll Austin was originally told he couldn't choose medicine as a career. As a survivor of thalidomide, he was told that his disability would rule him out of his chosen career path. Initially, he studied law for 2 years. Upon speaking to his then tutor, Mary Mc Aleese he found encouragement and shortly transferred to medicine. Austin's practice initially started off as 1 doctor and 1 secretary in 1997. Now it's 5 doctors, a nurse, a manager, 3 secretaries and 4 trainee counselors. Austin's team aim to promote primary care services for the homeless and access for drug users so their voices can be heard within the system. Austin has set up 8 clinics for the homeless in hostels and B & B's around Dublin. They have a mission statement to provide best quality care for their patients and to promote equality of access for those who are socially excluded to healthcare including drug users, immigrants, homeless, people with HIV, Hepatitis C and people with mental health problems. There is a methadone maintenance clinic and a methadone detoxification service. GP services are run and 10 clinics for homeless people who are not accessing health services, 4 hostels, 2 drop in services and 1 meal centre in Dublin. All of this aside, Austin is a busy and caring family man. Three 60 has the pleasure of meeting his wife Dorothy and their children Hannah and Naoise as they get on with day-to-day lives in Dublin.

Man's best friend and autistic children

Imagine a life where:

- A quiet moment is out the question
- You are not able to go out and socialise as a family unit
- Coffee shops, restaurants and shopping centres are completely out of bounds
- You are constantly worried about your child.

These experiences are ones that the parents featured on this week's Three 60 understand only too well. However, life is about to change! Tune into Three 60 to meet two families whose lives have changed dramatically as a result of the arrival of their new pet dogs. Man's best friend offers a solution within this innovative approach that supports children with autism. The idea was born in Canada but is now up and running with the support of the Irish Guide Dog Association in Cork.

Three 60 is sponsored by RehabCare and Fás.

Dr Austin O'Carroll
Dr Austin O'Carroll