Archive for the ‘News’ Category

I CAN Network Turns 5

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018

The I CAN Network is now officially five-years-old

An Update from Monash Alumni Chris Varney, Founder and Chief Enabler, I CAN Network

It is incredibly humbling to see how our network has grown from the story of one determined Mum (my Mum, Lisa) and a trio of three Autistic graduates: myself, Penny Robinson and James Ong.

In our five years of operation we have employed 34 Autistics to deliver 113 mentoring programs to 1,608 Autistics aged 8-50+ so that they can feel proud of their Autism, a sense of belonging and are confident and optimistic about their future.

You can view this video which shows the impact we have achieved in our five years.

The vision of I CAN Network is a world that benefits from embracing Autism.

We have four strategic goals:

  • To grow a sustainable social enterprise with a 50% Autistic team
  • To ignite a movement to drive a nation-wide rethink of Autism
  • To build a national mentoring program by and for Autistics
  • To partner with organisations who are ready to leverage the strengths of Autism

In our immediate future, we will be implementing the below strategic initiatives:

  1. Creation of a formalised mentor traineeship program
  2. Phased expansion of our online mentoring programs
  3. Phased expansion of our individual mentoring pilot
  4. Pilot of an I CAN Schools subscription, to complement our existing school program
  5. Creation of an award for school staff who embrace Autistic students: ‘Horvath Wake Medal’

Our successes would not have been possible without you.

If you would like to help us power our mission, we invite you to make a tax deductible donation via www.icannetwork.com.au/donate. Every bit helps and we are so grateful for your support.

Here’s to the next five years of I CAN Network!

Participants Wanted for Research Project

Monday, October 1st, 2018

Recruiting Participants for Research Project on Disability and Employment

Paul Williamson is a Research Associate in the Centre for Disability Research and Policy (CDRP) at the University Of Sydney.

New research is being undertaken into the workplace experiences of people who develop a disability in the mid-career stage to build a better understanding of their experiences. With a large disability employment gap, the belief is that more can be done to support people to stay in the workforce after developing disability.

Attached is a copy of the Media Release, and here is a short ‘talking-head’ explainer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aff6sM6wKkw&feature=youtu.be.

The direct link to the survey is at https://redcap.sydney.edu.au/surveys/?s=4YPC9TJWDX.

Please feel free to give Paul a call on 0402-974-010 if you would like more information on the project.

Victorian Powerchair Sports League

Friday, August 31st, 2018

Interested in Joining Powerchair Sports?

Victorian Powerchair Sports League (VPSL) is set to be launched on October 14!

VPSL is the showcase for powerchair sports in Victoria. The league displays the all-round skills of each athlete in the three sports of Football/Soccer, Hockey and Rugby.

The league is open to all ages, genders, disabilities and they most definitely welcome beginners! Please see links to a poster, information pack and calendar of events. Information can also be found on the website: http://vewsa.org.au/2018/08/21/launching-the-victorian-powerchair-sports-league/

VPSL is distributing a survey aimed at gauging the community interest for powerchair sports. The survey is aiming to give an indication of interest to see if any new players are interested in joining their newest league. It is also hoping to indicate what areas they can expand their programs to in the future.

The survey can be completed here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VictorianPowerchairSportsLeague.

For more information contact:

Luke David
President

Victorian Electric Wheelchair Sports Association (VEWSA)

Phone: 0424 160 174 | Email: info@vewsa.org.au

Learn more about VEWSA on their website

NDIS Workshops

Thursday, August 23rd, 2018

Understanding the NDIS workshops

AFDO (Australian Federation of Disability Organisations) Disability Loop is rolling out more NDIS workshops across Victoria. Our “Understanding the NDIS” workshops are designed by people with disability, for people with disability and their families and carers.

Their next set of workshops will be held in the Bayside Peninsula and Southern Melbourne regions, located at a few different venues, in September.

They will be holding week-day sessions (1pm – 4pm), week-day evening sessions (5:30pm – 8:30pm), and weekend sessions (10am – 1pm).

You can learn more about ADFO’s NDIS workshops and register, by visiting their Disability Loop website “events” page: https://www.disabilityloop.org.au/events.html

This three-hour workshop will cover lots of different parts of the NDIS, including knowing who is eligible for the NDIS, working out what support you can get in your NDIS plan, to actually using the funds in your NDIS plan to live a better life in the community.

There are workshops on different days and times. However each workshop covers the same topics. So you can choose the workshop that best suits you.

Elsternwick (Bayside Peninsula)

Mornington (Bayside Peninsula)

Dandenong (Southern Melbourne)

 If you have any questions or would like assistance with registering, please email disabilityloop@afdo.org.au or call on (03) 9662 3324.

Google Advancing Accessibility

Thursday, August 23rd, 2018

How Google has stepped up its efforts to make its own tech more accessible to people with disability (US)

CNBC, 18 August

In the past few years, Google has shifted the way that it thinks about accessibility, moving from grassroots advocacy to codified systems. Beyond making all its products accessible, the next big challenge is finding ways for its technology to help disabled people navigate the wider world.

Blind Chef Achieves Career Goals

Thursday, August 23rd, 2018

Sydney Morning Herald, 22 August

Ian Edwards thought his career as a chef was over after he lost his sight three years ago, but he knew he wasn’t ready to give up the job he loved. Now, his restaurant’s doing a roaring trade, he’s hiring other people with disability and training young aspiring chefs who have lost their sight.

Free Disability and Employment Seminar

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

Unlocking potential: resources and support to enable inclusive workplaces

A free seminar co-hosted by Monash University in collaboration with JobAccess

Don’t miss out! There is only one week until registrations close on 31 August  for our free seminar

Join our MC triple Paralympic medallist Don Elgin, keynote speaker and Monash alumni Chris Varney, and a fantastic line-up of expert presenters to “get the facts, get the support and make it happen in your workplace”.

You will also learn more about how to get involved in AccessAbility Day, an Australian Government initiative that connects employers and jobseekers with disability to explore new possibilities in the workplace for one day.

This interactive session will include presentations, panel discussions and opportunities for networking.

When: Wednesday 12 September 2018
Where: Monash University, Clayton Campus, Learning and Teaching Building
19 Ancora Imparo Way, G31- Ground Floor, Melbourne, VIC 3800
Timing:
9.00am – 9.20am Arrival and registration
9.20am – 11.45am Seminar
11.45am – 12.00pm Informal networking

RSVP by:  Friday 31 August 2018

AccessYou will be asked to provide your access requirements during the registration process. Auslan interpreters, electronic copies of presentations, accessible parking or other services or adjustments are available on request.

Go to the JobAccess website for more information on how to register for this unique event!

*Please note: all registrations and personal registration information is gathered and handled by JobAccess, a Federal Government-funded agency.

Art Competition for People with Disability

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

Victorian Public Sector Commission Art Competition – Prize Purse worth $5,000

Victorian Public Sector Commission (VPSC) is holding an art competition for people with disability.

The winning artwork will feature on the Victorian public sector’s first ever Disability Employment Action Plan. VPSC is developing the action plan in close consultation with government departments, agencies and offices. The plan is a collective commitment by the sector to provide flexible and sustainable employment for people of all abilities, lifting representation to 6% by 2020.

The art competition is open to Victorian residents with disability. Artworks must be designed around the theme “a fully inclusive workplace” and be less than two metres in size. Refer to the art competition terms and conditions for more detail.

There is a prize purse of $5000 to be won. This includes $2500 prize money and a $2500 licence fee for use of the artwork.

Artworks must be submitted by 5:00 pm on Friday 6 July (by post or in person) to:

Elizabeth Parkinson
Victorian Public Sector Commission
3 Treasury Place
Melbourne VIC 3002

Contact: Elizabeth Parkinson on (03) 9651 0845 or elizabeth.parkinson@vpsc.vic.gov.au *For more details and information on how to apply, see the relevant website, ‘Art for Action‘.

A Moral Imperative

Thursday, June 21st, 2018

Everyone has ‘a moral imperative’ to uphold the rights of persons with disabilities, says UN chief

UN News, 12 June 2018

Cementing and protecting the rights of around 1.5 billion people around the world in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a “moral imperative” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Tuesday.

He was addressing a conference of signatories to the Convention at UN Headquarters in New York, describing it as one of the most widely-ratified international human rights treaties, which reaffirms that people with disabilities are entitled to the same treatment as everybody else.

“But signing and ratifying the Convention is not enough. Implementation is essential,” Mr. Guterres said. “Societies must be organized so that all people, including those with disabilities, can exercise their rights freely.”

The Secretary-General underscored that countries apply the Convention to their development policies, investments and legal systems, which is an important step “if we are to fulfil the central pledge of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: to leave no one behind.”

“We cannot afford to ignore or marginalize the contributions of 1.5 billion people,” he stated, pointing out that more had to be done for people with disabilities to fully participate in society.

People with disabilities still often face overt discrimination, stereotyping and lack of respect for their basic human rights – with women and girls disproportionately affected.

“Every minute, more than 30 women are seriously injured or disabled during childbirth,” elaborated the UN chief.

Moreover, women and girls with disabilities face multiple barriers to accessing education, health services and jobs.

“Without women’s empowerment and gender equality, millions of women will continue to suffer from double discrimination based on both their gender and their disability,” he added.

Read the full article: ‘Everyone has a moral imperative to uphold the rights of persons with disabilities, UN Chief’

Simulating Disability To Build Empathy

Thursday, June 14th, 2018

Why I won’t “try on” disability to build empathy in the design process

By Amelia Abreu {excerpt}

“..Perhaps the most popular method of invoking empathy for accessibility issues is simulation, meaning to “try on” different constraints of disabled folks. This is practiced often in groups — working groups, or professional workshops.

One common activity is to submerging one’s hands in icewater to simulate motor impairment. A local bureaucrat I know told me that he’d organized a group outing for his team in borrowed wheelchairs, where the otherwise able-bodied crew wheeled around the downtown area, with the intention of becoming more aware of ramps, curb cuts and accessibility infrastructure.

Previously, I’d thought these exercises were a good way to get people engaged. But the longer I do this work, the more reluctant I am to do things like these. They feel short-sighted and showy, and don’t engage the real people who navigate the world with differing abilities.

There’s a term you hear in hip hop: stuntin’. These activities seem like stunts, that allow us to feel like we’ve broadened our perspective, making a big deal about it, and then go back to business as usual…”

To read the full article, click here.