No-one knows more about the barriers people with disability face every day than someone with a lifetime of first-hand experience. But what can apparently be a drawback has been used by Yagoona resident Quang Nyugen as a drive to establish his own business, while also finding a way to help the community.
Mr Nyugen, who was born with cerebral palsy, has been a long-term disability rights advocate and activist, taking part in initiatives aimed at improving the lives of those who live with a disability and changing the perceptions of the community.
However, it wasn’t until he connected with SSI’s IgniteAbility program that he realised this passion could be turned into a business that could also help other people who, like him, had to face daily barriers due to living with disability.
The Quang Nguyen Network will be launch in the first quarter of 2018 as a way to channel the knowledge Mr Nguyen had acquired during his life about all aspects affecting the life of someone who lives with a disability — from transport, communication or accessibility to confidence and leadership.
“I’ve been a public speaker about disability issues for a long time,” Mr Nguyen said. “Now, with the Quang Nguyen Network, I can do it in a more professional way and reach more people, which means assisting more community members to learn about available supports when living with a disability.”
IgniteAbility is an SSI program that facilitates business creation for people with disability who are passionate about establishing a small business or expanding an existing one.
“Merenia, my IgniteAbility facilitator has been a great support. She’s taught me the basics of running a business, from admin tasks such as issuing an invoice to business plans and strategies.”
Mr Nguyen, who has Vietnamese background, would also like to deliver presentations for the Vietnamese community as a way to increase their levels of accessing existing supports.