4 June 2018
Federal Government Backs YMCA SA Inclusivity Project

YMCA South Australia has announced that it has secured a $225,000 Federal Government grant to facilitate inclusivity and access to recreation activities via a dedicated online toolkit.

The funding has been made available through the Australian Government’s Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) program, and is distributed and managed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

The project, named Link and Include, will be delivered over a two-year period and aims to increase awareness and change behaviours. It will improve access and choice for people with disability to participate in mainstream recreation activities.

It will facilitate active contribution from people with disability and increase recreation staff and volunteer’s knowledge and skills to understand the needs of people with disability, which will help remove fears and barriers across the recreation industry.

The project will be facilitated by dedicated YMCA staff, with YMCA South Australia Chief Executive Haydn Robins explaining that it is aimed at creating positive and lasting change for people with disability and their communities.

Robins advised “the YMCA is the biggest national provider of recreation and well placed to engage the community and set this project up for success.

“We will develop a toolbox of training resources based on best practice to up-skill staff and volunteers so that 80 people with disability and their families can access mainstream recreation. It will be designed and implemented through community engagement
processes, enabling recreation staff to take on roles as community leaders or ‘champions’ to build awareness of access and inclusion.

“There will also be opportunities for people with disability to take on leadership roles in codeveloping the toolbox so that the disability community as a whole will benefit.” 

The Link and Include project will feature a structured approach:

Stage one - 12 months to develop the toolbox and deliver training that will build the capacity of staff and volunteers who will play pivotal roles in maximising access and inclusion.

Stage two - 12 months to promote in the regions, gain referrals and introductory support and evaluate the on-line toolbox resources.

The project will include 16 recreation groups across four identified Council Regions in South Australia - Lower North, Marion, Walkerville and Fleurieu. 

Robins added “there will be social benefits through community engagement and it will promote inclusion by developing disability-specific education resources.

“The ILC program is an important part of the NDIA’s aim to futureproof the national disability scheme. We envisage people with disability will take on leadership roles, shaping access to recreation communities across the country moving forward.”

For more information on the ILC Program visit www.ndis.gov.au/communities/ilc-home

Images: YMCA South Australia will make it easier for participants like Sienna to access aquatic recreation as a result of obtaining an ILC grant from the Federal Government.

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