Time to value difference - International Day of People with Disability

24 November 2016

Marking International Day of People with Disability (3 December), Endeavour Foundation Chief Executive Andrew Donne said that “valuing difference remains a major stumbling block”, arguing that a monumental societal shift is needed if people with a disability are to be genuinely valued and embraced by the Australian community.

“As a society we talk about inclusion, but typically in the sense of legal obligation or physical access. In truth, inclusion is driven by how we think and act, day-to-day, and it’s something that every single one of us has both the power and the responsibility to change,” Mr Donne said.

“The National Disability Insurance Scheme signifies a major change, moving people with a disability from the position of ‘beneficiary’ to that of a customer with freedom, choice and a voice. That change in the balance of power is crucial, but it’s just one part of the puzzle.

“While people continue to be defined by one dimension of their being, then we’re clearly still fixated on difference.

“A person with a disability is simply a person. A person with ambitions and goals, feelings, thoughts and talents like anyone else. Seeing the disability rather than the ability short-changes people and short-changes society.”

The disability services provider has said that there are lots of easy, but important, things you can do to drive forward change, including:

  • Focusing on your similarities, rather than your differences. You might find you share the same interests.
  • Avoiding negative labels and language around disability – words like ‘crazy’ and ‘retarded’ are hurtful and unnecessary.
  • Taking the time to learn about disability and share your understanding with others, especially if you hear something that is untrue.
  • Trying to be sensitive to the needs of others. If someone makes a request or acts in a way that seems strange to you, consider the fact that it could be disability-related and deserving of understanding rather than judgment.
  • Listening attentively when talking with people who have difficulty speaking. Wait for them to finish and never pretend to understand.
  • Giving people enough time to understand or saying it in another way.
  • Focusing attention on the person, not anyone offering them support or assistance.
  • Identifying yourself and others when you meet with someone with a disability – the same courtesies apply.

If you find communicating with people with a disability a bit daunting, visit our blog and get some tips.

To find out more about Endeavour Foundation, and begin discovering all that people with an intellectual disability are and can be, visit www.endeavour.com.au.

Contact us to find out how we can support you

Share:    



Other blogs and information you maybe interested in

Endeavour Foundation turns 70 – celebrating all abilities with showstopping Battle of the Bands

Endeavour Foundation turns 70 – celebrating all abilities with showstopping Battle of the Bands. Cameron who is blind, has been preparing to participate in Endeavour Foundation’s 70th anniversary Battle of the Bands, but life would probably have been much different for him 70 years ago.

Cairns students take learning virtual

Cairns State High School students are benefiting from world-leading Virtual Reality (VR) technology thanks to Endeavour Foundation.

Blooming lovely! - 7,000 bouquets for Mother's Day and vital jobs for Queenslanders with disability

For more than 30 years, Endeavour Foundation has harvested a field of dreams – row upon row of flowers that grow more opportunities for people living with disability.

Greener Gladstone: grant provides expansion opportunities for Gladstone social enterprise

Gladstone residents and businesses will soon be able to take a (paper) weight off their shoulders with a greener approach to recycling documents while providing new job opportunities for locals with disability.

Townsville to get $2m accessible housing investment

Townsville man John Galligan is feeling excited.

He’s one of four Townsville locals who will soon have the opportunity to live in a new fully accessible home thanks to Endeavour Foundation.

Biloela community backs new learning hub

People with intellectual disability in Biloela will have access to state-of-the-art support and skills development services, with Endeavour Foundation opening a Learning and Lifestyle day service thanks to the support of generous community fundraising.