Our first hot tip: when designing your project, identify your strengths, and build on them.
You don’t need to be an NDIS Provider, or even work in the disability sector.
You may have a special skill, that can make a difference through an ILC grant.
The Australian Migrant Resource Centre is a user-led organisation helping newly arrived migrants settle into life in Australia. They are governed by new and emerging migrant communities, and staffed by people from those communities.
Before the ILC, they didn’t have much understanding of the disability sector, other than providing direct referral.
Their ILC project was one of the first funded, back in 2017. The idea came about by listening to people in new and emerging migrant communities. At an Ethnic Leaders’ Forum, the AMRC were reminded that refugees arriving in the 1990’s, 2000’s and now are dealing with issues related to disability, alongside the challenges of settlement in a new country.
Many of them had injuries that were becoming more difficult with age. Many were arriving with injuries and finding pathways to assessment and support difficult to access.
So, the Australian Migrant Resource Centre applied for ILC funding to train its staff to better understand the disability supports available.
They have become messengers in their own communities, helping people with disability, their families and carers to
- better understand disability and reduce stigma
- find out what is available to them and pathways to access services
- build their confidence to engage with the disability services sector
The training resources developed through ILC funding is now part of the AMRC’s policies and service planning. They have also shared their resource with mainstream providers through a series of workshops, a published handbook and ongoing forums that link migrant communities with service providers.
Having informed family members and workers, will mean people with disability in migrant communities are no longer alone. As well as individual outreach into migrant communities, the community groups have learnt from each other about ways to include people of all abilities within their communities, through providing forums for their input into decision making and engaging them with our partners and others in specific sectors.
Work is far from finished – there will be more to do as the profile of new arrivals changes, as management committees of community organisations change and as sector personnel change, and as the National Disability Insurance Scheme continues to mature.
For the AMRC, using ILC funding to build on its existing strengths has created opportunities beyond the initial project.
The AMRC’s Launch into Work has five trained and accredited staff working directly with clients referred to this employment program through the NDIS.
This year the AMRC started the Test, Try and Learn project, recruiting and training eighty women to become qualified support workers, and gain work experience and employment in the disability sector.
For more information, visit ILC Ready webinars.