‘Our right to safety’ Project

This was the first session of the Advocacy Sector Conversations forum held on Zoom webinar for the first time on 28 July 2020 (due to COVID-19  event restrictions not allowing large gatherings).


WDV have long promoted best practice in supporting women with disability to recognise abuse, stay safe and seek support if they experience violence.

In this session, Rosie Granland, Our Right to Safety Resources Project Officer and Nadia Mattiazzo, Program Manager, Community Inclusion and Womens Empowerment from Women with Disabilities Victoria, provide advocates the opportunity to view and discuss the ‘Our Right to Safety and Respect’ video and its accompanying Video Guide, which has been produced in a variety of accessible formats.



Resources from this session can be found at the end of this post.

Transcript & Audio

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Good morning, everyone.  Welcome to our very first session of our new look advocacy sector conversation for July 2020.  My name is Melissa Hale.  And I’m the coordinator of the Disability Advocacy Resource Unit.  Lovely to see you all today.

Before I begin I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet and pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

We’re now living in a new world with a new normal due to COVID‑19.  Like all of you, DARU has had to review its program and the way we deliver our program to you.  We know that the disability advocacy sector, its supporters, people with disabilities themselves and the community and the government sector value the advocacy sector conversation.  So we are pleased to be able to still bring this to you safely and online.

We encourage your active participation today.  So please type your questions in the Q&A box and at the end of the session I will be facilitating a question and answer session with our presenters.

So I hope we are all settled in comfortably with your blankets and slippers and warm cups of tea.  Over the next few days we have some fantastic presentations and some great presenters.  I would like to introduce our first session.

Women with Disabilities Victoria do absolutely amazing work in the advocacy space promoting prevention strategies around women with disabilities who experience family violence.  They have produced a suite of resources tied to our right to safety and respect which they will present to us all today.  The presentation will promote best practice in supporting women with disabilities to recognise abuse, stay safe and seek support if they experience violence.  In this presentation, you will have the opportunity to view the resources and how to use them, as well as the guidelines, developing resources relating to violence and abuse of women with disabilities.

This workshop will be facilitated by the Our Right to Safety Resources Project Officer, Rosie Granland and Team Leader of Community Inclusion and Women’s Empowerment, Nadia Mattiazzo.  Please give a warm welcome to Rosie and Nadia.

Hello.  And welcome to Women with Disabilities Victoria’s ‘Our Right to Safety’ presentation.  My name is Rosie Granland.  I’m the Project Officer.  I would like to thank the Disability Advocacy Resource Unit for inviting us to present today.

The ‘Our Right to Safety’ resources have been developed in consultation with Women With Disability through a series of forums facilitated by WDV and attended by women with diverse experiences and perspectives.  This diversity and expertise is reflected in the ‘Our Right to Safety’ video at the video guide and the guidelines that make up the resource package.

We think that the resources are an important tool for advocates to have knowledge of and confidence in using, especially at the current time in the current COVID environment.  As a team, we’re committed to promoting these resources to women with disability, and the advocates and service providers who support women with disability in communities right across Victoria.

Before we begin, we would like to acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of this land, the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people, from which we are presenting this event.  We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging and we extend that to all other people present.

The material or discussion in this presentation may be confronting and if you find any of the material in this presentation distressing or you need help or support, you can call 1800 respect on 1800 737 732 or go to their website www.1800respect.org.au.  They’re available 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

I would like to introduce myself, and my colleague.  I’m Rosie Granland.  I’m the Our Right to Safety Project Officer.  I am promoting the video and the guidelines throughout Victoria through workshops and presentations and sharing sessions with organisations mostly in regional and rural Victoria.  And this is Nadia.  She’s the Team Leader of WDV’s Community Inclusion and Women’s Empowerment Team.

Welcome to everybody.  And we hope you will find this presentation useful and informative.

Nadia and I will be beginning the presentation today by describing who Women with Disabilities Victoria are and the aim of our organisation.  After that we will be talking about the ‑ some of the principles that underlie the development of the Our Right to Safety resources.  Next we will be having a look and describing the video, the video guide and the Our Right to Safety guidelines.  Finally, we will go through the six best practice guidelines in depth and we will be looking at how we can develop resources for women with disability around safety from violence and abuse.  And we’re happy to answer questions at the end of the presentation.  Please feel free to send those questions through via text.

The Our Right to Safety Resources Project is consistent with the aims and the mission of WDV.  WDV is an organisation of women with disability and it’s for women with disability.  The vision of the organisation is a world where all women are respected and can fully experience life.  And our mission is to advance real social and economic inclusion for women with disability right across Victoria.

These resources feature the voices of women with disability themselves and they were reviewed by panels of women from many different parts of Victoria and parts of the community.  They reflect a real diversity of experience and we hope to help service providers and community organisations through the promotion of these resources to be person centred and to view prevention practice through an intersectional lens and place lived experience at the real centre of resource design.

On the slide we’ve got three different definitions of the words “disability”, “empowering” and “resources”.  Women with Disabilities Victoria subscribes to the social model of disability and this way of thinking about disability is focused not on deficits but on the barriers to access and participation that are created through the structures and systems and practices of a society in which people live.  As women who identify as having disability, Nadia and I can both give different examples of barriers to participation that we’ve experienced in our own lives.  I myself… go ahead, Nadia.

Sorry.  As a woman with disability, I’m a blind woman with a disability.  So for me, the barriers that I would encounter would be very much different to the barriers that somebody else might encounter.  For me, physical access to the environment, finding a way to get to access the environment in a safe and inclusive way is important to me, access to information in an accessible way whether that be via audio, via e‑text, via Braille, is important to me.  And also things like accessible websites and accessible virtual ways of communicating, especially in this current space, is also very important to me.

So if I experience barriers in those spaces, that poses a great challenge to me in terms of my ability to be in a participating community and therefore to be included in community.

And we can demonstrate with our examples with each woman who identifies as having a disability has a unique experience.

As I was saying, as a person who was born with a bilateral palate that meant verbal communication was difficult for me until I was in my mid‑teens.  That had an impact in my experience at school in particular.  Luckily I had teachers who were able to adapt verbal activities to become written and visual activities for me.

But what could have assisted me to access the benefits of schooling would have been funding to access speech pathology services and support to develop alternative ways to communicate in social and everyday situations.

I would like to move on to our definition of empowerment.  And as a feminist organisation WDV believes that empowering women and promoting autonomy and independence and self‑advocacy and, thus, promoting gender equality is really fundamental to the prevention of violence against women.  When we refer to resources that empower women and prevent violence we refer to the sources of information that include websites and books and videos, and the more types of resources that we have and the more formats that they’re presented in, the more access to information and support that there is for all women.

On your screen there we can see the covers of two separate books.  The first is the video guide and the second is the guidelines for developing resources with women with disabilities about safety from violence and abuse.  There’s also a screenshot of the Our Right to Safety video, featuring a split screen of WDV’s former CEO, Keran Howe and an Auslan interpreter.  The our right to safety features video guide in formats that include easy English as well as other formats that are accessible and we will go through those later in the presentation.

All of these can be ordered by contacting WDV directly, and they can be accessed via our website as well.  They all feature the contributions of women with disability from all around Victoria.

On the screen here you can see there’s a link to the our right to safety video trailer.  This video trailer is Auslan interpreted and it’s also captioned.  And so this particular video trailer is ‑ features an introduction by Keran Howe.  And it features the experiences of three women with disability.  And they share stories of how they were empowered to seek and help and support after experiencing violence in their own lives.  And also features WDV’s Cobram hub, describing community development work that she supports and how that contributes to violence prevention in the area.  Thanks so much.  We will watch the trailer.

Thank you so much for joining us in watching the trailer.  As you can see, such a huge amount of effort has gone into making such an empowering video resource for women with disability.  And we’re really proud of having produced that at WDV.

We’re going to have a look now and unpack the guidelines for developing resources for women with disabilities about safety from violence and abuse.  These guidelines are designed for organisations to use when they’re interacting with women with disability and supporting them to seek help and support when they experience violence and abuse.

The six guidelines, there are six of them.  And the heading of this side is guideline 1.  Women with disability are involved in design, development and delivery of the resources.  There is a picture of a woman looking at the camera.  And there is text that says, “If something doesn’t feel right or if we’re frightened, then it’s not right for us.”  A speech bubble says, “It’s important to listen to women with disabilities.  We have good ideas about our right to be safe, not just rights in relation to disability but also women’s rights.”

During the our right to safety consultation process, the women participating emphasised that this step was really crucial.  Women with disability have valuable ideas about how to stay safe from violence and abuse.  And they have often developed their own strategies in response to experiences in their own lives.  Consultation in a really respectful way to improve the usability of resources, and active listening guards organisations and service providers against making assumptions about women’s needs.  When service providers are really person‑centred then they understand that each woman’s experience is unique and when it comes to accessibility one size doesn’t fit all.

The next slide has a heading saying guideline 2.  The resource draws on available evidence and makes a link between its purpose, content and expected outcomes.  There’s a picture of the cover of the Voices Against Violence Report and a quote saying, “Violence and abuse against women with disabilities has gone on long enough.  And when you develop resources specifically for women with disabilities in alternative formats, this is a win‑win situation.  Knowledge is power and a resource can enable a woman to take that control.”

The resources used by organisations should have a firm basis in research.  And it should be clear about who the resource is made for.  For example, rural and regional women will have different experiences to women based in metropolitan Melbourne.  And resources should seek to cater for women in different contexts.  Research needs to be inclusive and include the voices of women with disabilities themselves, either as co‑researchers or as independent participants who are asked to share their expertise.

Voices against violence is an example of best practice in this area.  And WDV have an experts by experience group that just as women’s health services across the State also often have groups of women who they support who have lived experience of diversity.  Nadia can speak more to the Experts By Experience group at WDV.

So it’s a group of women who obviously have experienced disability in their ‑ as part of their lives of various levels.  They come together regularly to act as consultants, both for our work as well as for work of external bodies such as Local Government, State Government, community groups, community organisations that are wanting to seek the advice and the views of particularly women with disabilities when they are developing their own programs, supports or learning ‑ or being trained.  At the moment, I think there are up to between 20 and 30 women with disabilities who are available as experts by experience, and we intend to grow that pool of expertise.

Thank you.  They’re a fantastic resource for us at WDV and for people around the State.

The next slide that I’ve got says guideline 3, “The resource articulates women’s rights and acknowledges the intersecting factors that contribute to different experiences of violence and abuse.”  There are five boxes on the slide and they describe different types of abuse that can be experienced by women.  They are control, financial abuse, emotional abuse, physical and sexual abuse.

Women with disability are at risk of violence including physical, sexual and emotional abuse.  And this includes intimate partner violence.  But it is important to discuss types of violence that are experienced disproportionately or sometimes exclusively by people with disability.  And this includes coercive control and that includes financial control, and neglect through withholding of care and support for a person.

These types of abuse reflect power imbalances that can exist when a person relies on someone else for support in essential activities of life.  People with disability can spend amounts of time in segregated and congregate settings, for example, group housing situations, specialist schools, and supported day services.  They may have to spend time with people who they may not themselves choose to spend time with.

Preventing violence against women with disability is about legal safeguarding, but when it comes to services and when it comes to general activities of life, it’s also about transformative change and challenging social and cultural norms is really important.  The most effective safeguards are natural safeguards and that comes from full inclusion and participation in society.

The next slide that we have says guideline 4, “The setting and mode of delivery are safe and responsive.”  There are five different points that organisations can use to help them deliver and work with women with disabilities safely while using the resources.  The first point is that there are clear systems to respond to and pursue disclosures of abuse.  The second is that women with disability are supported to access a professional who is trained in responding to abuse disclosures.  There is consideration of ways to offer women with disability choice in whether or how they access the resources from support workers or family members.  There are prompts for self‑care.  And they’re included when women are able to be alerted that content may be distressing.  And the distribution of resources consider the safety of women.  All of these points are particularly important at the moment during our current COVID‑19 environment, and when services and programs are being delivered increasingly online.

The next slide says guideline 5, “The resources accessible and respects and responds to diversity of experience.”  These resources have been developed by WDV and women who identify as vision impaired, blind or deafblind.  These are new resources we have just put on to our website and they include Braille in hardcopy and electronic form, and they’re the Braille versions of the video resource guide.  We’ve got audio described DVDs in the electronic and video DVD formats, and we’ve also got an MP3 file of the video guide as well.  They’re in addition to other accessibly formatted versions of the resources including Easy English and Auslan interpreted, captioned and video described versions of the video.

Lastly, we have guideline number 6.  The resource promotes personal empowerment and offers multiple options or strategies.  There’s a picture on the slide of three women at a WDV workshop and there are three quotes from women saying, “Knowledge has no power unless you use it and share it.”  “We would like to make this world one worth surviving for.”  “A good future will be one where we have safe places to learn about rights to disclose and to be supported”, and “make sure women know about their rights.  Everyone deserves respect.  Keep it short and simple, use easy English and teaches.”

And those are some suggestions from women with disability who were consulted on the ‘Our Right to Safety’ resources.  WDV believes that addressing gender inequity is as important in fighting violence against women with disability as it is in combatting violence against women generally.  Empowerment through education and community building and leadership development are all key to preventing violence.  The WDV regional leadership hub is a great example of how this can work.  Hub members can network at events, they can make community connections throughout outreach and collaboration on projects and learn skills in programs such as enabling women program.  The ‘Our Right to Safety’ workshops that are planned for the hubs make up one aspect of violence prevention in regional areas.

Thank you very much.  That concludes our discussion of the guidelines.  We welcome questions from organisations about those guidelines and about the resources.  But before we take any questions, we would like to point out that WDV has a web page devoted to coronavirus information.

So if you need any specific information relating to the safety of women with disability during a pandemic in Victoria, it can be found at WDV website. We have also got a set of new resources for family violence response for women with disabilities. (see below for links).

Thank you very much.  We would love to take some questions.

Thank you very much, guys.  That was really, really good.  I think before we go to questions, the first thing I would like to highlight is there were a few questions before about whether the slides would be available after this.  Yes.  The whole recording of this session, plus the slides associated with it, will be available on the DARU website as per usual.  So everything will be available later when it’s all finished.

I suppose before I hand over for questions I have one burning question:  how would advocates ‑ how would you suggest with your expertise if a person ‑ a woman with a disability discloses abuse that they are being abused, what is the right process for referral of reporting that you suggest advocates take?

I can speak to our experience in organising and consulting our preparation for workshops, our right to safety workshops in regional areas.  We’re currently in the process of organising that, and we’ve made sure that we have the support of CASA in the region where we’re doing our first workshop.  We’re making sure we have someone who is especially trained in violence response present at the workshop and available.  If any person or participant at the workshop discloses violence or feels that they would like to speak further to someone who is trained in listening to disclosures.

We make sure that we consult really closely with violence response services.  And we often have people who specialise in disability at those services participating in our events.  And so it’s really, really important that those supports are organised beforehand.  Nadia, do you have any other suggestions that you can give?

From a general perspective, I would say if you are speaking to a woman individually, you need to acknowledge how she is feeling and acknowledge the situation that she may be experiencing.  You need to listen.  You need to provide a space ‑ a safe space for her to talk, for instance if she wants to talk to you or somebody ‑ so if the disclosure might be made in a bigger setting with more people, maybe suggesting that conversations be held outside of the group later in the day or during a break.

And also make sure that you have a set of resources with you where you can refer a woman to if they ask or if they need more support.

If you’re an advocate working for an organisation, I would suspect that many of the organisations already would have a process in place in terms of how to deal with disclosures, and I would also then speak to your manager or someone in the organisation that can support you through the disclosure as well, because it’s not just about the person who is disclosing;  it’s about how you manage that yourself and how you deal with that yourself, how you support anybody else in the room that may have been ‑ heard that disclosure because that might be triggering to them.  And also, of course, how you support the individual who may have actually disclosed.

So lots of information there, but if you check out our website, those ‑ that information is all available in our resources and guidelines areas.

Nadia Mattiazzo:
And the website includes a list of organisations that have accessible information for women.  It’s really important, particularly at this time, that the organisation investigates response services and accessibility of service provision.  Just at this time we have had feedback, you know, that some services are stretched and we need to make sure that those are available before we promote the resources.  

And the website includes a list of organisations that have accessible information for women.  It’s really important, particularly at this time, that the organisation investigates response services and accessibility of service provision.  Just at this time we have had feedback, you know, that some services are stretched and we need to make sure that those are available before we promote the resources.

Yeah.  I imagine those resources would be really useful, especially when sometimes some women with disabilities wouldn’t recognise that what is happening to them is actually abuse.  So, yeah, thank you for that.

So everybody, we will go to question and answer now.  We have one question in the question and answer box.  So if you have a question you would like to ask, please type it in the Q&A box on your screen and I will pop them up on the screen now.  So I’m activating the question now.  Hopefully I don’t break it.  It should come up.  Okay.

Are workers in mainstream women’s services trained appropriately about violence and abuse in relation to women with disabilities?

We’ve been really fortunate to work with a lot of organisations around Victoria that specialise in violence prevention and response.  And we’ve found that there is a huge interest amongst those organisations and the people who work within them to find out more.  And we noticed that more and more we have organisations that are producing documents that help their employees, help their network partners to be intersectional in their approach to the prevention of violence and response to violence against women from all kinds of diverse backgrounds.

We found that the service providers, particularly the ones that we’ve worked in regional and rural Victoria, although they may identify that they have gaps in knowledge, they certainly have lots of experience of working with women with disability in their local areas, and they’re very, very keen to upskill and to understand how they can support women from a diverse range of backgrounds and a diverse range of experiences.  Nadia, do you have any thoughts on this?

Just to say that our gender and diversity area is doing a lot of training with public health organisations, hospitals, community health organisations, women’s health organisations, government departments, to support the information that Rosie has just given you.

So, yes, it is a slow process, yes, there is definitely keenness to learn more, and I think as a result of the Royal Commission a couple of years ago, there are recommendations that obviously state that organisations who work in the space must think about and must be inclusive of ‑ and understand the ‑ I guess the instances and the increase in, I guess, family ‑ in domestic violence that women with disabilities can often and do often experience, and how to support women and provide a responsive service in that space.

Great.  Thank you.  Okay.  We’ve got another question.  Magic box ‑ thank you.  Okay.  So…

What is Women with Disabilities Victoria’s experience with CASA in terms of providing their service to women with intellectual disabilities in an inclusive and accessible way?

I can say that we’ve partnered with CASA in delivering workshops, the our right to safety workshops, in regional areas and that CASA have been incredibly supportive of our work.  CASA often offer the services of support people who have experience in working with disability.  And so we found that CASA have been both keen to increase the knowledge of their workforce but have also given us expertise as well.  So we’ve had a really dynamic relationship so far in the rollout of the our right to safety resources.  So it’s been very, very positive from our perspective.  Nadia may have some more information historically on how WDV have worked with CASA.

We try and work with CASA as much as we can because of, obviously, their expertise as well as our expertise.  And we believe that bringing those two levels of expertise together in a safe space is really, really useful.

From some of the work that we’ve done, there has been absolutely positive engagement, as Rosie said, but I think it’s an ongoing process.  So there is always room where we can engage more with CASA, as well as they can learn more about the extra, I guess, barriers that women with intellectual disabilities can face in terms of their experience of any forms of violence and abuse.

So it’s definitely moving in the right direction, I would say, but always keen to improve the work in that space and support the work that the CASA ‑ the great work that CASA is already doing and that’s where we often fit into the process.

I’ve seen I think on TV or somewhere else that 1800 RESPECT also does a lot of work for people with disabilities, is that correct?

Yes.  1800 RESPECT is an organisation that has a huge amount of resources for women experiencing family violence.  They can support women with disabilities through their website.  They’ve got a specific web page dedicated to resources for women with disability.  And organisations can go to their website and access those resources and women themselves can go to the website to access the resources as well.  And those have come out recently, since the pandemic, and in response to demand for online services.

And we as an organisation are working, I guess from a strategic level, whilst we don’t provide individual advocacy to women who are experiencing domestic violence, we do have ‑ we can guide them to where they can get the best support.  We work very closely with 1800 RESPECT at a number of different levels to ensure what they’re doing is obviously accessible and inclusive of an understanding of the extra barriers that women with disabilities face when accessing domestic violence support.

Excellent.  We’ve got another question here.  I will just click this one.  Is it common that women with disabilities experience violence from a family member or carer?

There are a number of different statistics that are available in various forms of research that have been conducted recently.  Some of those statistics say that up to 80 per cent of women with intellectual disability will have experienced violence by the time they become an adult.  Now, that’s a statistic that is very shocking.

So we can say that it is common for women with disability to experience violence, and we know that the settings in which women with disability live and work and socialise can be unique, and distinct from people without disability.  We talked a little bit about segregated settings, we talked about, you know, specialist schools, we talked about supportive work environments and supportive leisure programs, as well as supported housing options for people with disability.  And we know that these ‑ this segregation of people with disability is ‑ can be seen as a contributing factor to the high levels of violence that we will experience.

So that’s why we talk about transformative change in the way that we include people with disability in all aspects of society.  Nadia, do you have any more information on that?

I guess from the programs that I manage in respect of those programs, this is why for instance our women’s leadership programs are so important because what we do with those programs is we engage with hard to reach women with disabilities.  So often woman who may have spent a long time being socially isolated may not feel confident about being part of their community, may have had bad experiences when trying to access their community or services.

We provide those women with the tools to create greater empowerment amongst those women who participate in our leadership program to actually feel confident about standing up for their rights, standing up for the rights of other women with disabilities, and, of course, supporting their ‑ other women with disabilities who they might be friends with, work with, whatever, to become more empowered.

And we believe that by talking to women with disabilities and engaging with them and teaching them about empowerment and about what their human rights are and about what is discrimination and about how to become more ‑ participate in the community and more how to get things changed in the community so they can participate makes them stronger and makes them more confident about the barriers that they might face or the experiences that they might have experienced, and how to seek support to, I guess, learn to speak about those experiences or learn to not get over, but learn to ‑ mental block ‑ learn to deal with those experiences in a way that does not ‑ has less impact on their entire lives because for some women those bad experiences and by not talking about those experiences can have quite a huge detriment to, you know, in their lives generally.

I would also like to add that in workshops that ‑ our right to safety workshops that we plan we also make sure we’re planning for independent access as much as possible.  When a person can independently access a service or an activity within their community without the presence of a family member or a carer, when they’re supported to do that with proper planning, then, you know, that increases independence and it increases independent participation in community which, in turn, increases the natural level of safeguard that they have by making independent connections with friends and colleagues and supporters outside of the family and outside of the supported environment.

Just the same as any woman who doesn’t have a disability would be able to do.

Great.  Thank you.  And I think that’s the end of our questions.  But I have one other thing that I would like to ask you both.

It’s very clear how passionate you are about these projects, and it is an excellent project.  Where would you like to see this go?  Like, what is the dream?  And what are the three key things you want your audience to take away from today?

As the project officer, I would really love to see this project rolled out to women with disability themselves.  Obviously, this is a really challenging environment and time for everybody and we were all set to go to have some fantastic in‑person events where we would have people get together and have peer support, discuss issues of violence and abuse and discuss ways to be empowered to seek help and support together.

We’re exploring ways to do that online and we’re exploring accessible ways to do that for people who are in rural areas and in regional areas, and also in metropolitan areas.  And we’re working with the hubs leaders.  We know that the hub leaders such as Jenny in Cobram are supportive women to learn how to use video conferencing technology if they don’t already use it already, and I would love to see us really take the lead and innovate, and really problem‑solve this so that women have access in all different ways to peer support and community and empowerment with others.  And to really integrate the positive empowering and leadership‑based programs with violence prevention so that we have a really holistic and wrap‑around model of preventing violence in keeping women safe before it happens.  How about you, Nadia?

I would like to see ‑ I would like to see organisations be more aware of these resources, and this is why we are doing our workshops targeting, I guess, community health organisations and other interested networks to learn more about the resources.  I would like the resource to be used not only in Victoria.  I would like it to be ‑ I would like the resources to be rolled out to other ‑ throughout Australia, and in line with that we’re actually doing a presentation to a national organisation in a couple of weeks’ time.  So that’s kind of half a wish almost granted.

And I’d also like organisations to adopt the guidelines in terms of the work that they do.  So if they’re developing resources, I would like them to think about what the women obviously at our resources and during our consultation have said about making sure accessibility is built into those resources at the beginning, not as an after thought at the end or when somebody actually rings up or emails and says, “Can I have a copy of this resource in Braille or audio”, or whatever, because obviously the cost then can blow out and organisations who are on tight funding budgets or budgets often panic at the sound of those requests.

So it would be good when people are putting together funding applications to think about if you’re developing a resource that obviously is directed to women with disabilities, then that resource must be accessible to build those key accessibility features, all of those features that Rosie was talking about before, into your funding application.

And if that means that government departments need to revisit how much money they’re allowing for individual projects, I think so be it because I think that needs to be ‑ we need to push back as a community in terms of, you know, the making sure that the things we do are accessible to everybody.

Wow, you know what, I have had many different ‑ in many different ways something to do with Women with Disabilities Victoria, as a woman, as a worker, as ‑ in many different capacities.  And you are an organisation that definitely leads the way in empowering women, in making sure that you incorporate lived experience and you are definitely doing an amazing job of making sure that you make those dreams a reality.

So thank you very much for today.  I wish you all the best in making those resources do exactly what you want them to do.  And I’m sure advocates watching today will take them away and use them as well.  So thank you very much.

Thanks, Melissa.  And we would also like to acknowledge, as Rosie did before, the support that DARU has given us and the opportunity DARU has given us to come to these sector conversations and present our resources, and, as you said, yes, we have a longstanding relationship with DARU and we value the support and the ‑ I guess the capacity that DARU has to support organisations such as ours.

Our pleasure.  Absolute pleasure.  Keep up the great work, everyone.

Thank you.

Everybody, we’re coming to a close to our first session today.  And it’s very exciting because we’ve got two more exciting presentations coming up tomorrow and on Thursday.

So thank you to Rosie and Nadia and Women with Disabilities Victoria for the presentation today and the fantastic work they do.  Thank you to Expression Australia for the Auslan interpreters and captioners for their hard work today.  Thank you to Show Division for bringing this production to you today.

Stay safe, where your mask, wash those hands and stay home.  See you next time.

Tuesday 28th July, 2020

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