Which of the following statements best describes you?
- I’m a health professional
During the first stage of consultations we heard that the vision and the six outcome areas under the current Strategy are still the right ones. Do you have any comments on the vision and outcome areas being proposed for the new Strategy?
Inclusive and accessible communities
We have had a state funded ILC Grant for 2 yrs which is expiring and we need to make this national. www.autismincricket.com.au– we are getting amazing outcomes to break down barriers to inclusion in mainstream cricket. The current problem is we are not able to transition this program to continue to build on it and create a national roll out because we now have to wait for the right ILC grant to be available. We have really good established relationships with Western Australia Cricket Association and Cricket Australia and we don’t want to loose the momentum of what we have built. This is a significant issue for grants that have capacity to be rolled out nationally through ILC grants that are fixed term. We would like to have a plan to transition this program to a national ILC grant because of the barriers to inclusion for people with Disability that are being broken down in our local communities because of this grant. We have Adam Gilchrist as our ambassador, who has such significance nationally and internationally and can really drive change for inclusion in out community through a much loved national sport of cricket. This program is changing community perception on hidden disabilities and the role our community should play.
What do you think about the guiding principles proposed here?
The broader community often do not know how to create inclusion for people with hidden disabilities. Autism in cricket is a great example of how we can include the broader community by:
– Implementing our strategy for inclusion within a community context where people within our community go to such as cricket
– to embed disability awareness within their mainstream communication channels such as social media which the community are engaging with for their typically developing child
– have a presence at their local community events such as come and try days, so the mainstream community see information for example on autism at their local events
– Through successfully integrating people with hidden disability into their mainstream club, we can create awareness through the positive relationships they develop .
Please note we have had 100s of families who have joined our program that would have never had the confidence to join their son or daughter into their local cricket club- so there are not kids with hidden disability engaged in our community, because they need support to get there.
We need to change policy-IE we are working with Cricket Australia to change their registration process. Currently the data they collect from families about Disability is only used for data.
What is your view on the proposal for the new Strategy to have a stronger emphasis on improving community attitudes across all outcome areas?
WE need to do this. This is significant. the best way to do this, is like we have done with autismincricket, we embed ourselves in the community club activities and slowing increase awareness through positive relationships. We show that ALL of us are responsible for inclusion, not just the family of the child with disability or the person with disability or their service provider. Adam Gilchrist, being our ambassador, is breaking down the barriers and perceptions of inclusion, showing clubs and communities what it means… showing that we all have a roll to play. Even in this day and age, people with hidden disabilities are facing so much community stigma= our experience in cricket shows that families either don’t engage in community sports because they are scared of being judged, or they go into the intellectual disability teams when they could participate in the mainstream club if they had the right supports. Unless we start getting children and adults with disability integrated into mainstream clubs (if they have the capacity) Our community will never understand disability and what their role is. We want to share the outcomes of our achievements and our stories go to www.autismincricket.com.au and help us grow this program which will help you achieve your strategy.
How do you think that clearly outlining what each government is responsible for could make it easier for people with disability to access the supports and services they need?
This is important so great initiatives dont get lost. The process for ILC grants to date has been ad hoc and has not had a systemic approach and many projects which had significant funding fizzled out as they were not sustainable, and not relevant for state or national roll out. We need a new process for ILC grant allocation to ensure ongoing sustainability and viability. Also organisations who have long history of demonstrated expertise in a disability area covering a whole state should be given more priority in allocation of grants.
How do you think the Strategy should represent the role that the non-government sector plays in improving outcomes for people with disability?
please talk to ua about our Autism in cricket program which is a great example of how a number of non for profits have a significant role in improving outcomes for people with disability because of the grass roots connections with the community, our ability to listen to people with disability and their families to understand the barriers to community participation, and to drive change at a local level. WE have M.O.U.S for example with 10 community organisation where we have a shared agreement to create awareness and community inclusion.
For example Western Australian Cricket Association, Perth Muse arm, WA art gallery, WA Zoo, WA aquarium, KMART.
What kind of information on the Strategy’s progress should governments make available to the public and how often should this information be made available?
What do you think of the proposal to have Targeted Action Plans that focus on making improvements in specific areas within a defined period of time (for example within one, two or three years)?
Yes that is great idea.
How could the proposed Engagement Plan ensure people with disability, and the disability community, are involved in the delivery and monitoring of the next Strategy?
Lots of ideas around this ie focus groups, engaging local community clubs and volunteers to understand their fears, barriers etc..
Is there anything else you would like to share about the ideas and proposals in the position paper?
In addition to our Autism in Cricket Program. There needs to be a place people in our community to call to ask questions and get support and advice- this was always for example the role of the Autism Advisors. This will phase out in the next financial year. However peak bodies such as the Autism association of Western Australia need ongoing funding and support to continue to support our communities to access specialist and local information that is contextual to western Australia. We need to be a place that families who are vulnerable in our community can call to get support to link in with NDIA, a place our community can contact to get information on how they can be more inclusive and break down barriers to inclusion. We current have over 300 calls a week from our community, and we need to continue to be funded to provide this support as we roll fully into NDIA.