What inclusion means to me

Miss Sarah Byrne1, Miss Rebeka Touzeau1, Mr Chris Bergin1, Mr Ben Alexander2

1South Australian Council on Intellectual Disability, Adelaide, Australia, 2Council for Intellectual Disability, New South Wales, Australia

Participants:
This workshop is aimed at people with intellectual disability (PwID), however, family members, people working in the sector, and researchers would also benefit from participating.

Background:
SACID and CID share a vision of a community where PwID are valued and included. We know that PwID have both good and bad experiences of inclusion within their communities. By exploring these experiences we can do greater work to make our communities more inclusive.

Aims or Purposes:

  • Presenters with intellectual disability teach participants what inclusion means to them
  • Workshop participants explore what inclusion means to them
  • Presenters with intellectual disability share their tips for inclusion

Description of Session Format:
This workshop will be co-facilitated by SACID and CID. Presenters with intellectual disability will explain what inclusion means to them.

They will explain that we want to learn from workshop participants about their ideas and experiences of inclusion. Learning about their experiences can guide the work of our organisations to help us work towards building inclusive communities.

Workshop participants will break into small groups and brainstorm answers to the following questions:

  • What does the word inclusion mean?
  • Where do you feel most included in your community?
  • Do you have a good example of where you feel included?
  • What stops you from feeling included in your community?

Each group will nominate someone to share their answers.

Presenters with intellectual disability will finish the workshop by sharing their tips for inclusion.


Biography:

Sarah is an Inclusion Worker at SACID where she uses her voice to support SACID to develop information and resources that people with intellectual disability and their families really want. Sarah has been an Ambassador for Down Syndrome South Australia sharing her experiences and achievements in Australia and overseas. Sarah is involved in her community through dancing, netball and open employment and uses her networks to promote the work of SACID. Sarah believes it’s important for people with intellectual disability to be included and valued in the community so the community can learn to be inclusive of people with intellectual disability.

Rebeka is a skilled public speaker with a passion for ensuring people with intellectual disability have opportunities for real inclusion. Rebeka believes it’s vital for people with intellectual disability to have a good image and be respected. Rebeka contributes to her community through involvement in dancing, where she is a mentor of school aged children with disability. Rebeka is a role model to others as someone who lives independently, maintains open employment and has a busy community life. As the current Our Voice National representative for South Australia, Rebeka speaks up about issues important to people with intellectual disability.

Chris is a self-advocate representing the voice of people with intellectual disability on the SACID Board. He is a member of the Express Yourself Self Advocacy Group in Adelaide. Chris represented South Australia on the Inclusion Australia – Our Voice Committee for a number of years. Chris is now an Inclusion Worker at SACID. He enjoys supporting development of new resources in Easy Read. Chris believes it’s important for people with intellectual disability to be included and valued in the community, to have new opportunities to meet new people and to take part in community life, after all, it’s our right!

Ben Alexander is an Inclusion Project Worker at Council for Intellectual Disability. Ben’s increases awareness of inclusion for people with disability in workplaces and the community. He believes everyone has the right to a good job and a good life. He is a passionate sports fan (go Roosters) and CID’s Trivia Master.