When we talk about social participation of children with disability and delay from birth to 14 years, there’s understandably a lot of focus on inclusion at school and other education settings. But that’s only a part of the big picture: research shows that a lot of children’s development happens in the greater community.
Plumtree is running a Peer-led Co-design Community Inclusion Project to enhance the experiences of children with disability and delay and their families outside of home and school. Funded by the Australian Government for one year, it will raise awareness of what is working and areas of improvement. Peer workers will collaborate with parents, children, young people and organisations to increase inclusion in community-based arts, culture, sport and recreation services.
Promoting positive change
Through a co-designed survey, families of children with disability aged 0–14 will share their insights on on the places they enjoy visiting, the ease or challenges of accessing them, and what a great experience would be like.
Participants will also collaborate on developing a community inclusion kit to be piloted by select community partners. The kit enables organisations and businesses to understand their level of service for children with disability, develop skills with training and resources, and create an action plan for better inclusion.
At the end of the project, the resources and survey report will be available from Plumtree for organisations to use for free. Peer workers will also be available for organisations that want further support, on a fee-for-service basis.
All children have the right to become active citizens and contribute to society in the future. This project will shine a light on participation nationally, and help promote community change and contemporary attitudes on disability.
Rethinking early childhood intervention