Clubs are organisations centred around community participation, they’re social hubs and a home away from home for members.
They are places where people can feel welcome and connect over a joint interest.
Regardless of what interest the club’s focus is on there are many roles within an organisation’s structure where people from diverse backgrounds can connect, engage and help build an even stronger community.
Disability is one part of diversity and despite their strengths and passion many people with disability can be left out of club life.
APM Communities recently held a workshop, at the Clubs WA expo, to promote their new Valued Roles in Community initiative.
The workshop was presented by APM Communities staff members Sian Layton, Anthony Pyle and Brad Scott and involved an introduction to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), APM Communities and the Valued Roles in Community project.
APM Communities helps NDIS participants and people with disability to identify and access the support they need.
APM Local Area Coordinators work directly with people with disability, carers and supporting family members.
Teams work with local businesses and community organisations, by providing tailored support to help them improve inclusion for people with disability.
The group explained how clubs and community groups can identify roles within their club and link people with disability who would love to be part of the club.
There are many jobs or positions that exist within all clubs that are essential for club operation and success. These include being a player, volunteer, committee or social member.
Their goal was to break down inaccurate perception of what disability meant for club involvement with the aim of making inclusion for people with disability seamless.
“From this session we will be seeking clubs willing to participate in creating valued roles in their club for people with disability, creating benefits for both the clubs and for the people they welcome and include,” said Brad.
Brad, a former Paralympian, said the workshop was attended by sixteen people from a variety of different clubs and was an interactive experience for participants.
“Through conversation we identified what makes a good life and one worth living. On tables they identified roles within their club and whether a person with a disability may be able to undertake the duties,” Brad said.
“There was great discussion around barriers that may exist restricting the opportunity for a person with a disability.”
Brad said some workshop attendees indicated they were willing to take the concepts presented in the workshop into real club life. Some had also had experience of people with disability taking part in club activities.
“Although no one could give examples of people with disability taking up valued volunteer roles in their clubs, there were stories shared of people with disability participating in club activities and sports,” he said.
“In a years’ time we would love to hear stories about a range of other volunteer roles as well.”
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.