Vinnies NSW launches its first Disability Inclusion Action Plan
October 10th, 2021
For Vinnies NSW, the finalisation of its first Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) is a significant milestone.
The Vinnies NSW DIAP 2021-2025 (the plan) is a commitment to promote inclusion and participation of people who live with disability and are employed at, or supported by, Vinnies NSW. The five-year plan is guided by the organisations core mission to offer a ‘hand up’ to people experiencing disadvantage, and is underpinned by the values of commitment, compassion, respect, integrity, empathy, advocacy, and courage. The plan also builds upon the rich history Vinnies NSW has of delivering services and programs for people with disability.
Ana and Sarah are both Vinnies NSW employee representatives on the organisation’s disability inclusion working group. This group is responsible for monitoring and progressing the plan. “Being supported by structures and the frameworks that guide us, keep us accountable” noted Ana. Sarah said that the implementation of the plan would mean that “Vinnies doesn’t miss out on the blessing that is the contribution coming from people with disability”. She adds that the plan will make Vinnies NSW services “not only useful and accessible, but the service of choice for those with different levels of ability.”
The Vinnies NSW DIAP has been informed by the perspectives and voices of a variety of stakeholders. This has included people with disability, Vinnies NSW staff and community organisations. Within the plan, Vinnies NSW has set out a series of actions that seek to:
Enable people with disability to share their experience and knowledge
Make sure all Vinnies NSW members, volunteers, and employees understand disability and inclusion
Advocate for the rights of people with disability, and support them in the issues they care about
Improve opportunities for people with disability to join Vinnies as employees.
Ana, who works as a homelessness case worker at Vinnies NSW, says the plan will work to create a “safe space for the unseen to be seen”. Ana lives with hidden disabilities as a result of an autoimmune disease and says that the plan will see Vinnies NSW “take responsibility and create opportunitiesthat build capacity”. This is not just for people who live with disability, but also for the entire Vinnies NSW community.
Sarah works at the Vinnies NSW Mary Mackillop Outreach Centre and has lived experience of stroke and the accompanying journey of recovery. She says that “colleagues with disabilities can help employees without disabilities to provide a better standard of support to the people we assist”. She describes that the plan is about seeing people first and addressing social and physical barriers that impede inclusion and participation.
To see the Vinnies NSW DIAP 2021-2025 in detail, please visit the 'Resources' tab on this website. The plan is available in a range of accessible formats.
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