Culturally diverse disability a topic for discussion

Published on 16 Nov 2020


6 APM Communities team members standing next to the APM communities display at Yagan Square

APM Communities recently participated in two important events on the Australian-African calendar inviting important discussion centred on people with disability.

Kerry Stopher, National Manager at APM Communities, together with Community Capacity Building team members Liz Auko and Renae Hartmann attended the Australia-Africa Women in Leadership Forum on Economic Empowerment at the University of Western Australia.

The forum was organised with the support of the African Heads of Mission in Australia, and in collaboration with Western Australia’s Parliamentary Friends of Africa to enhance relations between Australia and Africa.

Kerry said APM was invited to speak about economic participation for people with disability and access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

She said the presentation resonated with the audience many of whom had lived experience of disability.

“We had significant interest from the audience - at least 75% indicated they were linked by way of family, friend or community to a person with disability,” Kerry said.

The forum also gave Communities staff the opportunity to give their audience a sneak preview of a new video resource produced by APM aimed at educating people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds about the NDIS.

Kerry said the video and the presentation about employment for people with disability from CaLD backgrounds generated positive feedback and an emotional response from audience members.

“All were impressed by our sharing of the new CaLD video and the stories of micro businesses and job carving facilitated by NDIS support. The forum resulted in further invitations to share the NDIS message,“ she said.

Liz Auko recently shared her lived and professional experience on video to help people from different cultural backgrounds get support from the NDIS.

The purpose of the video is to introduce people from CaLD backgrounds to the NDIS and break down barriers, including cultural stigma, to important assistance.

Liz explained the scheme, gave an insight into her own journey, while addressing fears that people from CaLD backgrounds may have in taking steps to join the NDIS.

The video will be subtitled into 12 different languages and become a helpful resource for CaLD people living with disability.

Later in the week, APM Communities and Wanslea staff were on hand at the biggest expo on the African -Australian calendar - Australia-Africa Trade and Cultural Expo 2020.

The event at Perth’s Yagan Square was awash with vibrant African culture including food stalls, entertainment, dance and fashion. The free event celebrated WA and highlighted local businesses together with national and international investment opportunities.

Participants and models from the Yagan Square event

APM Communities were at the expo to answer people’s questions about accessing the NDIS and other community or mainstream services.

The festival committee featured a vibrant picture of Zachary, a young boy with autism participating in the festival, on the digital tower.

Liz Auko described the event as a 'fun-filled' festival with APM joining with fellow NDIS Partner in Community Wanslea to be part of the CaLD Community.

As part of the NDIS Partners in the Community program, APM Communities help people with disability in several regions in Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory to access support.