Celebrating International Day of People with Disability 2016

Sun 11 December 2016

Jenny Watts-Sampson and members at Crownability

Last week, we were delighted to learn how Australian Network on Disability (AND) members chose to celebrate the achievements and contributions of people with disability on International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD).

Businesses from around the country used the surrounding days as an opportunity to celebrate employees with disability, hear from leading disability advocates and experts, launch Disability Action Plans and Accessibility Action Plans, host Disability Employee Network events, hold morning and afternoon teas, and start a conversation about disability inclusion in their workplaces.

In Melbourne, Crown Resorts hosted their annual Crownability morning tea and the Disability Sport and Recreation Festival, and PWC hosted an International Day of People with Disability exhibition. In addition, AND’s Melbourne based staff visited the City of Port Phillip Council to present on designing for dignified access following the launch of AND’s Design for Dignity Retail Guidelines on Friday 2 December.

In Canberra we joined the Department of Human Services and PWC for IDPwD exhibitions, and ANZ for a Positive Action towards Career Engagement (PACE) Mentoring completion event, where three talented students and jobseekers with disability celebrated alongside their dedicated ANZ mentors. ANZ also held PACE completion events in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane throughout the week.

IDPwD exhibitions were held by icare and PWC in Sydney on Friday 2 December and on Tuesday 6 December, QBE held a special celebration where a recent PACE mentee and mentor reflected on their experiences of the program. Westpac held a special event on Monday 5 December to celebrate the launch of their Accessibility Action Plan. AND staff also attended a special IDPwD celebration held by the Department of Justice on Monday, who used the event as an opportunity to address the power of a Disability Employee Network (DEN).

AND celebrated the day with our annual IDPwD Cocktail Party, held on Friday 2 December and generously hosted by Commonwealth Bank.

Many of our members came together for an evening of drinks and canapes. There was a fantastic performance from Tony Dee, star of Channel 4’s ‘We’re the Superhumans’ campaign, a keynote address from Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Alastair McEwin, and we launched our 2016 Disability Confidence Survey Report and Design for Dignity Retail Guidelines.

We would like to thank everyone who attended the event, it was a wonderful night and a great opportunity to catch up with members and celebrate everything that was achieved in 2016.

Other member celebrations included:

  • Microsoft Australia held their first ever Accessibility Week at the Microsoft Flagship Store. The week aimed to help everyone learn how to make the best use of technology. They ran sessions on how people with low vision can best use their products, as well as a session on how OneNote's accessibility features can make reading and dictation easier for children with learning disability.
  • The Office of Environment and Heritage held an IDPwD morning tea, complete with IDPwD-themed cupcakes.
  • The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) called on the community to share reflections on where we have come in the last ten years and where we hope to be in another ten years’ time, using the hashtag #10years.
  • The Department of Agriculture held a special event to raise funds for e.motion21, a not-for-profit organisation that provides innovative dance and fitness programs for children and young adults with Down syndrome, and QArt, a purpose-built art studio and gallery which provides opportunities for people with disability through art.
  • Programmed held an IDPwD morning tea with special guest speakers, including Jenny Watts-Sampson, Relationship Manager at AND.

Held on December 3 each year, IDPwD is a United Nations sanctioned day that aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability.

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