Building Capacity and Potential through Connection – sharing understandings, experiences and journeys of disability, and building capacity and potential through connection 2018-2019
This pilot project was funded by Multicultural Affairs Queensland (MAQ). It commenced in December 2018 and was completed in September 2019. The project aimed to explore ways to build capacity and improve the lives of vulnerable people with disability from refugee and migrant backgrounds by connecting them with knowledgeable and caring community members whose understanding of disability has been informed by through their own lived experience.
Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN), the Community Resource Unit (CRU) and Mamre Assoc. provided assistance to identify suitable volunteer families and other advice and support. Nine families were introduced to volunteer families and individuals, and supported to have discussions that allowed them the opportunity to find commonalities in their lived experience of disability. These conversations and sharing of information between families took place in their homes, local parks, during visits to local surroundings and by attending groups, such as disability support groups together. Information shared included personal stories, understandings of specific disability types, effective therapies and interventions, local disability organisations, the NDIS, and sharing of internet resources such as government and disability specific websites, and translated materials and videos.
The refugee and migrant families and individuals were from diverse cultural backgrounds including Sudanese, Burundian, Karen, Congolese, Somali, Ethiopian, Lebanese, Vietnamese, Aboriginal and Anglo-Australian.
The impacts of the project for individuals and their families varied for each but some examples include:
- Learning more about disability, and having a chance to share experiences
- Understanding more about the NDIS and how it works
- Providing opportunities to visit places of interest within their local community and surroundings
- Gaining a better understanding of different types of education for children with disability
- One family who had no access to their NDIS funds, now has increased funds that includes support co-ordination and has now been linked to a local disability support organisation that will be able to provide them with ongoing links to local supports.
Feedback from individuals with disability and CALD families regarding this project was positive and increased their knowledge and understanding across a broad range of areas. Unfortunately the project also highlighted many of the hardships that families were experiencing in accessing adequate NDIA support. Many were not receiving the support they needed to implement their plan, many lacked any support co-ordination and many had small and inadequate plans. These concerns have been highlighted with the NDIA and in a project report to MAQ, and in some instances AMPARO was required to step in to provide the families with advocacy. AMPARO Advocacy would like to sincerely thank MAQ for funding this important work and QDN, Mamre and CRU for their generous assistance with this project.
Multicultural Community Engagement Projects(NDIS) 2017- 2018
AMPARO Advocacy was funded by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability to raise awareness about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities so that people with disability and their families are able to understand and get ready for the NDIS. This work was undertaken through two projects, NDIS Participant Readiness Initiative (PRI), and Targeted Strategies.
This work took place in targeted areas in Queensland through a number of engagement strategies including-
- Holding Information sessions /workshops for CALD communities about the NDIS in their first language
- Creating resources and translated materials to assist CALD communities prepare for the NDIS
- Informing community organisations, multicultural workers, settlement workers and community leaders about the NDIS so they can spread the word.
- Providing face to face information sessions (Brisbane, Redlands and Logan) for individuals with disability and their families in their homes with either a Bicultural Community Educator or the assistance of an accredited interpreter.
- Informing people with disability and families from CALD communities about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
- Encouraging disability services to work in ways that are inclusive of CALD individuals and their families
- Gathering information and research so we understand what will best help CALD communities to learn about the NDIS.
- Raising awareness within government and community agencies of the importance of developing culturally inclusive strategies and ways of working with CALD communities
- Helping CALD communities to learn about the rights of people with disability, and their right to a good life.
This work was completed at the end of 2018.
To download a list of the ethnicities and languages of the Bicultural Community Educators engaged for this project click here
To download the project brochure click here
Culturally appropriate, responsive and flexible processes that support the effective engagement of people from CALD backgrounds with disability and their families was central to this program.
CALD NDIS Symposium, 11 October 2016
AMPARO partnered with Griffith University to present a one day symposium exploring what is needed to ensure CALD people with disability and their families have equitable access to the NDIS. This was held in Brisbane on the 11 October, 2016. For more information about the CALD NDIS Symposium and to view the presentation material click here
Building the capacity of CALD communities to include people with disability and their families in community, 2016
AMPARO Advocacy worked with bicultural workers from four communities to explore ways of both increasing inclusion of people with disabilities and their families within these, and reducing stigma and myths around disability.
These communities were-
Burmese community in Brisbane
Somali community Brisbane
South Sudanese Community in Toowoomba
Congolese/Rwanda Community in Townsville
This project has been funded by Multicultural Affairs Queensland and will run from July 2016- November 2016.
AMPARO’s Participant Readiness Initiative project December 2014- 2016
The Participant Readiness Initiative was been funded by the Department of Community, Child Safety and Disability Services to assist people with a disability and their families to prepare Queenslanders for the introduction of the NDIS in Queensland in July 2016. Nine community agencies were funded to undertake this work and three of these agencies resourced and partnered with AMPARO Advocacy to increase the participation of people with disability and their families from CALD communities in activities that aim to prepare them for the NDIS –
To undertake this work AMPARO Advocacy:
- Gathered information and research to learn best strategies to assist CALD communities to learn about the NDIS.
- Informed people with disability from CALD communities about the NDIS
- Created resources and translated materials to assist CALD communities prepare for the NDIS
- Informed multicultural workers, settlement workers and community leaders in Queensland about the NDIS so they can spread the word
- Ran information sessions and workshops for CALD communities
- Encouraged disability services to work in ways that are inclusive of CALD individuals and their families
- Raised awareness within government and community agencies of the importance of developing culturally inclusive strategies and ways of working with CALD communities
- Assisted CALD communities to learn about the rights of people with disability, including and their right to a good life
A broad range of strategies were utilised and included-
1) Connecting with CALD communities
- Establishing connections and providing information to multicultural workers and community leaders in many regions and parts of the state to inform them about the NDIS rollout
- Developing and presenting information about the NDIS and participant readiness project to multicultural networks and community leaders in South East Queensland, and other targeted regional Queensland areas.
- Organising and delivering workshops and individual sessions to people with disability, their families from specific CALD communities including: those from Arabic, Bosnian, Afghan, Filipino, and Spanish communities.
- Disseminating information about the NDIS and the Participant Readiness workshops to multicultural workers through their newsletters and email distribution lists that target CALD communities in various areas in Queensland.
In the first 9 months of the project AMPARO delivered –
- 22 workshops and/or presentations for multicultural workers and multicultural networks with over 306 people in attendance;
- 7 presentations for leaders of ethnic communities with over 140 people in attendance; and
- 5 workshops for specific ethnic communities, with over 83 people in attendance
These workshops and presentations were held in partnership with organisations including our project partners-
- Queensland Disability Network
- Community Resource Unit
And with the involvement and support of the following organisations:
- Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland (ECCQ)
- Latin American Community of Australia,
- Carers Queensland
- Islamic Women’s Association of Queensland (IWAQ)
- Townsville Multicultural Support Group
- Nambour Community Centre
- Centacare Migrant Services (Cairns)
- Multicultural Development Association
- Department of Social Services
- Cairns Regional Council
- Central Queensland Multicultural Association
- Centrelink Multicultural Services
- Toowoomba Council
- Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre
- Caboolture Neighbourhood Centre
- Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS)
These sessions were run in the following locations:
- Hervey Bay
- Sunshine Coast
2) Providing cultural competency training and information
AMPARO developed and delivered cultural training and resources for Mamre Assoc., Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) and the Community Resource Unit (CRU), and other PRI organisations, which included how to engage and work effectively with interpreters, multicultural communication and engagement strategies, disability and culture, and engaging with CALD communities.
3) Developing resource materials
In order to help inform CALD communities about the NDIS we developed two translated factsheets- Understanding Disability in Australia and – What is the NDIS? These factsheets were required in part as translated materials on these topics in a range of languages was quite limited.
5 short digital stories to explore the life experiences of people with disability and their families from CALD communities and ways that the NDIS may benefit them were developed. This was in part to address the shortage of digital stories that explore the lived experiences of people with disability who are from CALD backgrounds, particularly from new refugee and migrant communities who are non-English speaking.
The stories were mainly told in the languages of those appearing, with English subtitles. The intended audience was people from new refugee and migrant communities, but we also hope it provides useful insights for the NDIA and providers of disability support.
4) A project evaluation was supported by research undertaken in injunction with our partners and Griffith University which aimed:
- To scope what is currently happening in Queensland for CALD communities with regard to preparation for the NDIS.
- To identify better practices in cultural competence in this arena from other states.
- To provide some possible ways forward for practice and research.
Research with Queensland University of Technology 2013
AMPARO Advocacy was approached by the School of Public Health and Social Work at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in late 2013 to participate in a research project: An exploration of the barriers to services and inclusion of refugees living with disability. This project was carried out by Dr Julie King, Associate Professor Dr Ignacio Correa-Velez, Dr Niki Edwards from QUT and AMPARO Advocacy has supported the participation of ten individuals and family members.
This research aimed to address the gap in knowledge about the characteristics and needs of refugees with disabilities by conducting qualitative research with refugees with a disability in Brisbane.
- To explore cultural and social aspects of refugee experiences of disability
- To explore levels of community support
- To ascertain awareness and knowledge of the support services available
- To understand how access to services is construed and which services are desired
- To gain an understanding of the barriers to services faced
- To clarify whether and how existing services meet their needs, and in particular explore the impact of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in providing services to this group
- Provide knowledge for service providers working with people from refugee backgrounds, especially in light of a changing service provision environment with the NDIS
- Provide information for AMPARO Advocacy in preparing advocacy materials disability
- Provide pilot research and a track record of research collaboration to facilitate competitive grant applications to deepen and broaden this area of research – target ARC Linkage
AMPARO Advocacy has incorporated some of the findings of this research in papers and submissions to governments as part of our systemic advocacy to influence positive sustainable changes in the lives of people from non-English speaking background with disability