As we mark International Day of People with Disability on 3 December, here’s a message from our CEO Jenny Hall:

International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) is a time to celebrate the valuable contributions and achievements of our colleagues, clients and community members living with disability, as well as our teams who undertake such important work in this space.

It’s also an opportunity to reflect on how we can increase awareness, understanding and inclusion of people with disability across our community.

In 2021-22, UnitingSA supported more than 400 people through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), while nearly 90 people accessed supported employment through Wesley Social Enterprises. Our incredible team of over 70 NDIS and WSE team members travelled far and wide to positively impact the lives of people with disability across metropolitan Adelaide, Kingston SE and the Northern Country region.

In addition, our teams in Aged Care, Housing and Community Services support many people with disability to live independently, actively engage in the community and reach their goals.

On behalf of UnitingSA’s Leadership team, I would like to thank all of our team members who support people living with disability. You are making an incredible impact – not only in the lives of those you support, but also in a larger sense by building respect, promoting inclusion and breaking down barriers.

As an organisation, we strive to continuously reflect on how we can do more in this area. Our Disability and Inclusion Action Plan is one example of this ongoing commitment.

Our Executive and Board are currently investigating ways to expand our NDIS services so that we can support more people to live their best life. This has been demonstrated in the recent transformation of our former Regency Green Aged Care home into temporary accommodation for NDIS participants, who had previously been stranded in SA hospitals – delivered through a partnership with Community Living Options and the State Government.

We are also excited to be including Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) as part of our new 40-apartment complex in Prospect.

Lastly, I’d like to encourage everyone to learn more about IDPwD and find out what local events are taking place here. By listening and learning more about unique experiences, talents, skills and interests, we can challenge our perceptions of disability and, together, ensure a more accessible and equitable community.