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International Day of People with Disability 2016

5th December 2016

To mark International Day of People with Disability 2016, Disability Services Commissioner (DSC) ran a digital awareness campaign on social media (Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter), sharing personal stories from a number of Victorians living with disability. The aim of the campaign was to showcase the different lived experiences of people with disability.

All the stories can be read on our website here. There were some consistent themes in the stories, including:

A call for social change

  • “When 21 per cent of the population identifies as having a disability, we need representation to be a voice at the table of decision.” (Tony Clark)
  • “It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from, if you’re a woman with a disability, you’re more likely to be unemployed, more likely to have your children taken from you, more likely to be sexually assaulted.” (Trish Malowney)

A call for economic change

  • “Disability employment services are useless. … We need mainstream employment for everyone.” (Christian Astourian)
  • “So, if you’re an employer, don’t discount hiring people with disabilities. We can work as long and as hard as anyone else. And we make you look good to your customers!” (Tim Ferguson)

The importance of support from others

  • “At the beginning of the year, I was asked by Diversity in Disability to run a parent support group for parents with children with disability.” (Janet Curtain)
  • “My advice to anyone who finds themselves on a similar journey now or in the future, is to connect with other people. It’s such a powerful thing.” (Lauren Henley)

A recognition of the abilities of people with disability

  • “My disability can make every day seem like Mission Impossible. My Mission Impossible is not about saving the world. It is about the simplest day to day tasks like pushing a button in the lift or putting a cup to my lips to drink but just like Ethan Hunt I always win in the end.” (Chris van Ingen)
  • “I’m very proud to be a member of my local Salvation Army. For me, it’s a wonderful illustration of the contribution that people with disabilities can make to their community, that you can be part of your community.” (Christine Williams)

The importance of advocacy

  • “I have a lot to give, and I know I can be an advocate for many people who have a disability and don’t get a chance to speak.” (Adam James)
  • “I wasn’t a strong leader then, and didn’t know how to advocate for myself. DSC showed me how it was safe to complain without getting punished for speaking up.” (Simone Stevens)

Click here to read all IDPWD 2016 stories in full.


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