Notre Dame students hear what it’s like to live with a disability
Having the opportunity to hear from someone living with a disability, provided a very real insight for students taking the Social Justice, Service Learning and Community Engagement unit at The University of Notre Dame Australia.
Chris van Aurich, who lives with four other people in one of Identitywa’s shared living homes, agreed to join Identitywa Engagement Leader, Ed Mayvis and Business Development Manager, Jacquie Dailsey, to co-deliver a presentation on Full Citizenship to students.
“It is now internationally accepted that achieving full citizenship brings about a fulfilled life. Identitywa has adopted Simon Duffy’s Keys to Citizenship model which directs support to the person with disability towards attaining the 7 keys to a good life – Purpose, Freedom, Money, Home, Help, Life and Love,” explained Ed.
“Chris presents on Full Citizenship to all new Identitywa staff. Although initially nervous about the University forum, he was happy to share some of his life experiences with the Notre Dame students.”
Executive Director of Mission at Mercycare, Vicky Burrows, teaches the unit which includes a focus on Catholic social teachings, active citizenship and community engagement.
“It is important students hear from people with lived experience,” said Vicky.
“We want them to have an understanding of the social issues faced by people in their community.”
Knowing full citizenship is a key driver for Identitywa, Vicky believed staff would be well-placed to talk about implementing the methodology and how it can make a difference in the lives of people with disability.
The presentation also included short videos depicting, from the perspective of a person with disability, how other people treat them.
“It was great to be able to profile Full Citizenship,” said Jacquie. “It was obvious it was the first time some of the students had looked at the challenges for people with disability, through the person’s own eyes. It certainly encouraged them to think about how people should be valued and treated.
“We look forward to future opportunities to work with Notre Dame.”
Identitywa is one of WA’s leading agencies supporting people with disability to live the life they choose. With a strong commitment to Person Centred Active Support, staff work in partnership with individuals to explore, plan and design support options to suit their individual needs.
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