Improving opportunities for people living with a disability

26 Mar 2019

Access Housing is joining forces with Fremantle Community Men’s Shed (Freo Shed) to deliver exciting social inclusion opportunities for our tenants and members of the wider community who are living with a disability.

In February the Department of Communities awarded Access Housing a WA Disability Sector Information, Linkages and Capacity (ILC) Building program grant. The ILC Building program is the Australia-wide National Disability Insurance Scheme component that provides information, linkages and referrals to connect people with disability, their families and carers with appropriate disability, community and mainstream supports.

The ILC grant awarded to Access Housing enables the organisation to collaboratively work with people living with a disability and Freo Shed on The Shed Project. The project aims to develop and trial social inclusion strategies that assist individuals living with a disability to access and participate in activities at Freo Shed.

Access Housing will invite tenants and members of the community living with a disability to participate in program co-design workshops with Access Housing staff and representatives from Freo Shed and the Western Australian Men’s Shed Association. The Shed Project will welcome individuals living with a mental health challenge, visual or hearing impairment or physical, intellectual or cognitive disability. A key focus of the project will be to engage participants from indigenous or culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who are living with a disability.

The co-design process allows for people with a disability and their families and/or carers to be involved as equal partners in the planning, delivery and/or evaluation of activities to achieve meaningful outcomes. This will ensure strategies and activities are culturally appropriate, sustainable and potentially transferable across Western Australian Men’s Sheds.

The co-designed strategies will be trialled with participants who will be provided with Freo Shed membership, ‘hands on’ experiences in workshops and mentoring.

Access Housing Practice Consultant Alison Paterson said the company was delighted to be partnering with Freo Shed to help deliver social inclusion opportunities to support people with a disability.

“This exciting co-design project provides tenants and other community members with a disability with a voice to tell us about the barriers that have previously stopped them from participating in activities like the ones offered at Freo Shed and what they would like to see happen to encourage them to become part of the Men’s Shed community,” Ms Paterson said.

“We look forward to working with Freo Shed to deliver opportunities for tenants and other members of the community with a disability to participate in activities at the Shed, join the Shed as members and receive mentoring to become part of the Community Men’s Shed volunteer team.”