Settlement Services International (SSI) has been working on a joint initiative with the Disability Inclusion office at the Department of Family & Community Services (FACS), the NSW Business Chamber and seven local government areas to foster more inclusive communities for people with disability, particularly those from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds.
Participants of the train the trainer session receive their certificates and resources to champion inclusiveness in their communities.
As a first step of this process, 22 community leaders from CALD backgrounds residing in Blacktown, Parramatta, Cumberland, Fairfield, Liverpool, Bankstown and Willoughby councils were consulted on the particular barriers faced by CALD people with disability in their communities, and what resources and information could empower the leaders to address those barriers. From this consultation, a train the trainer package was developed and delivered by Ability Links, and supported by local governments, the NSW business chamber, and SSI. The project equips community leaders with the narrative and resources to promote inclusion whilst addressing the barriers faced by people with disability to enable them to fully participate in their community.
Community leaders are volunteers that hold influential status in their communities, from board members of organisations to business owners and community organisers, whose common thread is their connection to their community and a drive to make them inclusive for everyone, regardless of their ability. These leaders are now ready to train their community members on diversity and inclusion, targeting attitudes and understandings on disability as an added layer of diversity.
The community leaders are the owners of the project, and they can gain support and advice from their local SSI Ability Links or local government representatives for the delivery of this training to their communities. With many of these leaders coming from a CALD background, this will enable these leaders to deliver some of those presentations in their own language.
“This project is about passing the knowledge and resources to the community, so they can better deliver the message of inclusion to all their members”, said Mr. Javier Ortiz, Diversity Inclusion officer at SSI. “Through the participation on this project, SSI is contributing to support local and state governments’ inclusion strategies and build more inclusive cities”, added Mr. Ortiz.
The presentations in the communities will occur between September and December, but this will not be the end of the project. The objective is to foster long lasting relationships and create the grass roots to continue passing on resources to create more inclusive communities.