Young people with disability help sector turnaround access and inclusion
3 July 2019 at 4:10 pm
Community organisations can skill-up on how to make their services more accessible and inclusive thanks to an online training resource co-created by young people with disability.
The Together project, run by Youth Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS), offers online training for organisations coming into regular contact with young people with disability, covering practical tips and actions workplaces can take to offer more inclusive and accessible services.
Sebastian Antoine, YDAS project officer, said services were frequently ill-equipped to support a person with disability.
“Often we hear services say that everybody is welcome and that everybody can come. But when someone with disability comes, services are unsure of how to best support them,” Antoine said.
Campbell, one of the YDAS co-designers, told Pro Bono News with the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, more and more young people with disability were able to access the community services, and the sector needed to catch up.
“The fact that youth services haven’t changed with the times is really showing with the introduction of the NDIS,” Campbell said.
“It’s really a changing landscape that they need to be able to adapt to.”
Young people with disability like Campbell designed the project by speaking to community groups to identify what they wanted and needed from the training.
“It means we aren’t just giving them useless information and we’re giving them training we know they need,” Campbell said.
Antoine said this also gave service providers an opportunity to fully engage with young people with disability about what was working and what wasn’t working.
“It’s so important that young people with disability across the state are properly
supported by the whole community, not just the disability sector,” Antoine said.
For Campbell, one of the more important parts of the program he wanted service providers to take away was how they asked questions.
“If you don’t need to know an answer to the question you’re asking maybe don’t ask it, and if you wouldn’t ask an able bodied person that question, don’t ask it,” he said.
“Having this training makes services much more approachable because they understand what you’re going through…and you know that they’re not going to say something out of line.”
YDAS will continue delivering in-organisation training across Victoria over the coming months. Organisations can register their interest here.
The online training module can also be accessed here.