23 August 2016:
DDWA hosted a workshop at Marangaroo on Tuesday with Ashdale Special Families, and Kate Strohm of Siblings Australia.
There was a lot of great feedback on the session, including how good it was to have personal and professional perspectives. Parents found the opportunity to gain new information and knowledge, and to network "invaluable". Some parents even wanted the session to go for longer which is a good sign!
Some reflections from those who were there:
- "Siblings are dealing with the challenges as children"
- "Spend one on one time with each sibling"
- "Give the siblings permission to express thoughts and feelings"
- "It was one of the best workshops I have been to for a while"
- "Felt supported in how to be mindful of siblings"
- "Confirmation that I am doing some things right!"
Families also talked about the benefits of being part of Ashdale Special Families. Dee Clayden and your team thank you! Find them on facebook: Ashdale Special Families
Kate Strohm, families wanted you to come and hold sessions in other areas around WA - so we hope you can come back again soon. Find resources on their website: www.siblings.org.au or find them on facebook: siblingsaustralia
Congratulations Carolyn Gerrans
DDWA has been pleased to work with Dr John O'Rourke and Laura Jones from Edith Cowan University who have developed the Graduate Certificate of Education; Special Education: Complex Communication Needs.
Carolyn Gerrans successfully applied for a scholarship provided by DDWA which will fund her participation in a number of the course units required to complete the Graduate Certificate, which was designed specifically to increase the skills of education and therapy professionals who support people with complex communication needs.
Carolyn is a TAFE lecturer and relief teacher, who has a particular interest in Autism Spectrum Disorder and communications needs. She lectures Education Assistant students at TAFE and wanted to enhance their understanding of the importance of communication and inspire them to be active in supporting the students they work with.
She also co-ordinates and teaches young adults with disability, several of whom have communication needs.
"I would like to become more active in supporting them as individuals in further developing their own communication," Carolyn said.
What is Side by Side?
Side by Side is the name of DDWA's program for famlies who have a family member with disability and who has behaviour which is at times challenging.
Side by Side was co-designed by families, for families and as a strengths based program it aims to build resilience, knowledge, friendship and support.
The WA version of Your Dental Health is now available.
This booklet includes information on
- Your teeth and gums - things that can affect your teeth such as certain foods, drinks, mediations, smoking
- How to brush your teeth; how to brush someone else's teeth; how to get help brushing your teeth
- Eligibility to the different dental services and clinics
DDWA thanks the Australian Dental Association WA for their support in making this publication possible.
- hard copy booklets
- links to publications you can download
- recorded presentations on different topics which are on our You Tube channel DDWA Inc
If you would like to order one of these booklets or resources to be sent to you please get in touch
30 June 2016:
DDWA made a submission to the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) in response to their survey on Reporting on Students with Disability on My School website.
DDWA believes it is important to be clear about the purpose of reporting on students with disability on My School website before determining which is the best way for such information to be presented.
DDWA also considers that there may be better ways to present the type of information parents are looking for when making education choices for their child, and we have made a number of recommendations to ACARA.
Click on the button below if you would like to read our submission...
THE FUTURE OF ADVOCACY FUNDED BY THE NATIONAL DISABILITY ADVOCACY PROGRAM (NDAP)
DDWA made a submission to the Department of Social Services, which administers NDAP, regarding the future of advocacy funded by NDAP.
DDWA is not currently funded by NDAP, nor have we been in the past, but we strongly support moves to strengthen and sustain a national disability advocacy sector and the individual organisations within it, as well as State based organisations of which DDWA is one.
Power imbalances exist and advocacy needs to address this power imbalance. Complaints mechanisms are accountability mechanisms but without advocacy there is fear for the consumer who understands that there is a power imbalance and that there can be consequences for speaking up.
Individuals seeking advocacy should not be turned away because an organisation or agency does not have capacity to support them.
We also believe Government and academia in particular would be disadvantaged if they were to lose the direct links to individuals which advoactes and agencies provide them in order to progress their policy and research work. Advocates and advocacy organisations are critical brokers also in supporting Government when Government needs to hear direct from their constituency. We ensure individuals families, carers supporters and others have a voice in communicating their experiences and expertise.
Click on the button below if you would like to read our submission...
Click to open the WORD version of Autum Newsletter
Congratulations Sue Birch on 25 years at DDWA!
It's not often these days that you hear about people who are working with the same organisation they started with 25 years ago.
Sue Birch, Finance and Office Manager, has just celebrated 25 years at Developmental Disability WA. She says she has seen so many changes in disability over the years but some things remain the same and there is still much work to be done.
Sue first came into contact with DDWA, then Developmental Disability Council, as a parent of a young girl who has Rett Syndrome, a rare neurodevelopmental condition which affects girls almost exclusively.
“DDWA has been right at the centre of so many of the enormous changes in the disability sector in WA, in the 25 years I have been here,” Sue said.
“As a parent it’s important to me that there’s an organisation whose purpose is to work alongside families and others in the community, to influence decision makers, always with the goal of positive change.”
“When I was first at DDWA in the early 1990s, the State and Commonwealth were arguing back and forth about whose responsibility it was to support people with disability, and so DDWA led the way in the campaigns to get a resolution - with sit- ins, bus tours, marches with placards, marathon walks, trips to Canberra, letter and post card campaigns.”
“Today we advocate loudly and strongly but with the introduction of social media things are very different. We also take a very family centred approach, with the view that individuals and families absolutely have to be at the centre of any change that happens. If they are empowered, and confident, then they can be stronger in their pursuit for the changes that need to happen.”
2016 is the 21st anniversary of the Welcome Home Campaign which we launched in WA as a campaign to increase awareness of the crisis faced by many people who were looking for accommodation services but who couldn’t get them. The campaign had an immediate impact and the WA State Government increased funding for disability services as part of its five year plan but by 1998 many families were still in crisis and it was apparent the level of funding allocated was not sufficient to fully meet the need. A national campaign, Time to Care then evolved, with DDWA sponsoring this in WA.
Sue said one of the effective campaigning tools DDWA created was the Politician Adoption Scheme, in which Premiers, Ministers, backbenchers of all sides, from all parties were ‘adopted’ by families so the MP could find out more about the lived experience of disability for the individual and their family.
“Governments have taken responsibility for the legislative and administrative frameworks for the National Disability Insurance Scheme but it’s the families who introduced the idea, campaigned hard to get the idea heard, and who should be proud of what has been achieved so far,” Sue said.
“We are still waiting, decades on, for all people with disability across the country, regardless of which state they live in, to be given equal access to a quality support scheme.”
“Along with many people with disability and the people who love and support them I am hopeful that a scheme will be rolled out soon in WA, in whichever form it takes. I have no doubt DDWA and our members and supporters will be at the centre of the campaigns advocating for positive changes until they happen.”
After the bushfires in our State in early 2016 we were in contact with eht Red Cross about the RediPlan - a booklet which includes tips on how to be ready for the bushfire season and which also includes a section on supporting a person with a disability to be prepared for disasters generally.
If you click on the image of the cover, you will go to the resources page on our website where you will find this booklet recently provided to us by the Red Cross.