3rd December marks International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) – a United Nations observed day aimed at increasing public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability.
In the past twelve months, there has been a number of advancements in the disability space in Australia – Dylan Alcott made history by becoming the first person with a physical disability to be awarded Australian of the Year in its 62-year history.
Kurt Furnley (AO) was appointed Chairman of the Board of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).
The Birmingham Commonwealth Games featured the largest Para-sport program at a Commonwealth Games to date; a big step forward in increasing the profile of Para-sport.
And the Australian Network on Disability and Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) offered 15 full-fee scholarships to leaders with disability to complete their Company Directors Course; a chance for more people living with disability to sit on Australian Boards.
But there is no hiding that there is still a way to go, especially for those living with disability in regional and rural areas. The social model of disability identifies the barriers and discrimination created by society as disabling factors for people living with disability.
From this perspective, a person is disabled not by their condition, but by a world that is not equipped to allow them to fully participate and thrive. Like buildings without ramp access, or signs that someone with a visual impairment can’t read. The barriers can also be in people’s attitudes toward what someone living with disability can or can’t do.
At LiveBetter we work positively to remove these barriers by providing access to programs and activities that meet our customers’ interests and goals.
This year, we held the inaugural Glitz & Glamour Ball in Broken Hill; for many disability customers, this was their first time frocking up or throwing on a suit and hitting the dancefloor at a formal event.
Teams from Orange and Bathurst once again showed off their touch football skills by playing eight minutes of all-abilities touch football, at the Penrith Panthers NRL Match in Bathurst.
Inclusive drama and creative arts programs are being rolled out across our footprint, with customers writing their own original scripts and performing their theatrical masterpieces.
Dubbo welcomed the future of accessible accommodation with the completion of the Queen St Villas; a step forward for LiveBetter customers living independent and fulfilling lives, with a similar model coming to Rockhampton in early 2023.
As Dylan Alcott said in his Australian of the Year acceptance speech,
“We have to have greater representation of people with disability absolutely everywhere. In our boardrooms, in our parliaments, in our mainstream schools, on our dating apps, on our sporting fields, in our universities, absolutely everywhere, so we get the opportunity to start living our lives, just like everybody else.
I promise you, you won’t just enrich the lives of us, but also yourselves in the process.”