Focusing on disability inclusion with The Shed project

30 Jun 2019

A collaborative new project driven by Access Housing,  Fremantle Men’s Community Shed (Freo Shed) and Men’s Sheds of WA (MSWA) is aiming to improve outcomes for people living with a disability.

The Shed project is providing Access Housing tenants and other members of the community living with a disability with an opportunity to have their say on inclusion, engagement and accessibility outcomes so they can be more involved at Freo Shed.

Freo Shed is about building community connections and a sense of belonging through providing a space for people to complete projects. At Freo Shed you can participate in wood and metal work, community gardening, music, arts and crafts, women’s ‘Tool Up’ workshops and community volunteering opportunities.

Freo Shed does not view itself as a Shed just for men, but a Shed for the whole community where men and women are welcome.

As part of The Shed project, Access Housing, Freo Shed and MSWA will be running focus groups with people living with a disability and their carers to talk about the barriers that prevent them from being able to fully participate in community activities, what has worked well for them in the past and what needs to change so people with a disability can be better included at Freo Shed. The focus groups also provide an opportunity for people living with a disability to learn more about Freo Shed and the Men’s Shed movement in WA and how they can connect socially, learn new skills and be more involved in their community.

Access Housing, Freo Shed and MSWA successfully ran the first of four project focus groups on Thursday 20 June;

* 16 people with a mental health challenge attended the group
* 93% of participants said they felt heard
* 87% of participants said they would feel more comfortable attending Freo Shed after this group
* 86% of participants wanted to become a Freo Shed member
* 80% of participants said they learnt something new about Freo Shed

This group also helped identify barriers people with a mental health challenge face and some strategies Freo Shed and MSWA could adopt to become more inclusive for people with a mental health challenge.

Our next focus group will be for people living with an intellectual disability and their carers and will be held on Thursday 18 July. If you have an intellectual disability, or care for someone who does, we would love to hear from you. Please contact Amy Kidner on 9430 0900 or amy.kidner@accesshousing.org.au if you would like to attend this upcoming focus group or if you would like more information about The Shed project.

The Shed project is made possible thanks to support received from the Department of Communities (Disability Services).