Community celebration at the heart of fun day

Kellie BalaamNarrogin Observer
Participants, support workers and volunteers all got involved.
Camera IconParticipants, support workers and volunteers all got involved. Credit: Kellie Balaam

The inaugural International Disability Day Games were held at Thomas Hogg Oval last Wednesday, with community connection and celebration on the agenda.

The event, made possible through a grant from the Department of Communities, was organised by Divine You and disability service Accessability.

Twenty-eight participants accompanied by support workers, parents and volunteers spent the day playing a variety of games including egg and spoon races, obstacle courses, bingo, and dancing.

International Day of People with Disability is held on December 3 every year.

Community connections program co-ordinator Ned Crossley said the day aimed to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability.

“The idea is to give people with disability more access to the community so they’re included. It’s all about moving away from that mental model of disability to a social model,” he said.

Sister Sahaya, Nathan Waghorn and Ned Crossley.
Camera IconSister Sahaya, Nathan Waghorn and Ned Crossley. Credit: Kellie Balaam

“If we remove the barriers to people being included then the idea of disability would seem to disappear.

If we work on removing those barriers for those people, then everyone’s quality of life improves. We get to benefit from the interaction with those people who have their own abilities.”

Accessability worked this event into its community connections program, which runs every Wednesday and Thursday.

Divine You’s Sister Sahaya said member Ilija Stajijc saw an ad for the event and wanted to help.

“Mr Stajijc approached me to organise it and I worked with Accessability to help promote the event,” she said.

“We all have unique challenges and should be recognised.”

All participants were presented with a certificate and a medal by St Matthew’s School principal Natalia Thomson.

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