National Disability Awards
7 July 2014 at 11:17 am
Nominations for the 2014 National Disability Awards are now open. The Awards recognise and celebrate people and organisations that are committed to enabling a more inclusive Australian society through supporting people with disability to participate more fully in society and reach their goals.
The Awards precede International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD), which is a United Nations sanctioned day on 3 December that aims to promote an understanding of people with disability and encourage support for their dignity, rights and well-being.
This year the Awards organisers want to reach out across Australia to change attitudes and break down barriers, so that people with disability can enjoy equal access to what many others take for granted — a good start to life; a good education; a job and greater economic security; and better access to buildings and transport, the legal system, recreational and cultural activities, health services and achieving better health and wellbeing.
Nominations are now open in eight categories:
- Lesley Hall Award for Lifetime Achievement in Disability;
- Emerging Leaders Award in Disability;
- Improving Inclusive and Accessible Communities Award;
- Improving Advocacy and Rights Promotion Award;
- Improving Employment Opportunities Award;
- Improving Personal and Community Support Award;
- Improving Education Outcomes Award;
- Improving Health and Wellbeing Outcomes Award.
Previous recipients of a National Disability Award have said the award provided a boost to their work for people with a disability in a number of ways.
For example, last year Susan Race was presented with the Excellence in Improving Health and Wellbeing Outcomes Award. Susan leads the Subacute and Aged Care Services team at Western Health in Melbourne.
The team helps Victorians with disability who feel ‘stranded’ in the hospital system to navigate back to their homes and communities.
It creates discharge plans for clients with disability, backed up by extra healthcare services beyond the hospital.
The work bridges important communication gaps between healthcare and disability services, ensuring fewer re-hospitalisations.
Susan said, “I recommend anyone who has something they can talk about in disability to think about nominating for one of these awards.
“The award has raised awareness about our work and built our credibility.
“It’s been humbling and really inspiring to our work.”
Similarly, when Down Syndrome Victoria won the 2013 Excellence in Improving Education Outcomes Award for its Down Syndrome Inclusion Support Service, it provided important credibility.
Education consultant with Down Syndrome Victoria Ian Cook said the Award “provided Down Syndrome Victoria with the evidence to support the excellent work of the organisation, particularly when seeking financial support from government bodies and other philanthropic sources”.
The Down Syndrome Inclusion Support Service assists children across Victoria to achieve their educational potential in preparation for their full social and economic participation in the community as adults over the last decade.
Down Syndrome Victoria annually provides this service to more than 70 students in the state, Catholic and independent school systems. In addition, they visit schools and students interstate and regularly answer numerous enquiries from families looking to begin at or transfer to a Victorian school from intrastate, interstate and overseas.
Nominations for the eight categories in the 2014 National Disability Awards will close on 18 July.
To nominate for the National Disability Awards, go to www.idpwd.com.au or call 1800 672 682. TTY users please call 1800 555 677 and ask for 1800 672 682.
Interested persons are also invited to go to the IDPWD website to connect via the e-newsletter, which will provide future updates.