International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) is being celebrated internationally on December 3. It aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability and to celebrate their achievements and contributions.
The theme for IDPwD 2021 is 'Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world'. The goal is to promote inclusion through the removal of physical, technological and attitudinal barriers for people with disability.
The Disability Trust is committed to keeping their participants safe and connected, with the barriers presented by COVID lockdowns being an opportunity for innovation over the last 12 months.
One such initiative was the 'Weekly Challenges' which enabled residents across their properties to collaborate and use their creativity to remain connected. Their Accommodation Services team arranged a series of challenges to keep everyone busy, connected and having fun. This resulted in a lot of activities, dancing, producing videos for our paramedic and hospital heroes as well as enjoying a tasty and inventive bake-off.
Another highlight of the year that helped them to celebrate inclusion and remove barriers was the performances of the Music Makers dance group. They were able to perform live on Saturday, November 19 after a couple of delays due to COVID. After rehearsing online, the Music Makers were able to perform an opening item for the online Your Voice Your Choice conference in October, followed by a live performance at The Pavilion, Kiama in November.
Despite the rigours of working through COVID, The Trust has seen some expansion of services this year, especially in accommodation services for people with a disability. They have also partnered with KidzWish Foundation in Wollongong, to expand services to children with disabilities.
A new CycleAbility program was introduced which aims to see more people with disability experiencing the positive benefits of cycling. Through the support of their partners and various fundraising events during the year The Disability Trust was able to purchase modified bikes for their participants to use in the program and the bikes were also in high demand for residents to get some exercise in a safe environment during COVID restrictions.
As we emerge from lockdowns, it's important to consider the barriers to inclusion faced by many of the 4.4 million Australians who live with disability, especially those barriers that prevent full participation in the community.
For further information about The Disability Trust please call 1300 347 224 or visit disabilitytrust.org.au