Good Practice

8 April 2020
Link Disability Magazine
Photo: The AMRC provides essential support for migrants and refugees with disability (credit: Link Disability Magazine April 2020).

Link Disability Magazine recently published articles regarding the AMRC’s NDIS Program in its April 2020 edition. Read articles below:

Article 1:
Fellow Bhutanese refugee, Dilli Ram Sanyasi said he can’t imagine life without the NDIS. “Had it not been for the NDIS, I cannot imagine what would have happened to me and my family,” Dilli said. Dilli, 48, met and married his wife Jamuna in the refugee camp in Nepal where they lived for more than 20 years. After they moved to Australia as refugees, Jamuna was a happy, active and social member of their community, but two years ago, at the age of 36, Jamuna had a stroke. She could no longer care for her husband and two school-aged sons, Anish and Abishee. About 18 months ago, as refugees and permanent residents, and with help from the Australian Migrant Resource Centre (AMRC), Jamuna joined the NDIS, and life for her and her family has changed. Jamuna’s plan provides physical therapy, assistive equipment, including a wheelchair and railings, and support carers who help with her exercise program, cooking, shopping, and social outings. “When I was in need, it is the NDIS that provided for me,” she said. “I am getting stronger and am so grateful.”

Article 2:

The Australian Migrant Resource Centre (AMRC) and Community Access & Services SA (CASSA) are two South Australian organisations helping refugees with disability to access support and increase their independence.

Building a diverse community
Refugees who live with disability are often reluctant to access help because of cultural or language barriers. “There is often a lot of stigma associated with disability in culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities,” said managing director of CASSA Lan Nguyen. “Some religions believe in Karma, therefore people in these communities associate disability with having done something wrong in a previous life. They see their disability as paying a debt, so they don’t want to ask for help or find help for their family members. “In order to address this sensitive issue, we have provided not only community education but also one-on-one mentoring services to empower individuals and their family.” AMRC and CASSA work closely with migrants and refugees living with disability to help them access support through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). They also run community support programs funded through NDIS Information, Linkages and Capacity Building grants. Programs are designed to promote positive change in CALD communities through awareness, capacity building and interaction within education, arts, socially and other inclusive activities in culturally safe environments. “We are assisting refugee and migrant people with disability and/or their carers to empower themselves to establish structures that enable them to actively shape, influence and contribute in a way that supports their inclusion and independence,” said AMRC program manager Mirsia Bunjaku. “We want to challenge cultural stereotypes and work with people with disability in building their confidence and knowledge on accessing services and supports and participating in community life as everyone else.”

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