Relationships Australia and This Is My Brave Australia (TIMBA) have teamed up to deliver an International Day of People with Disability celebration event on 1 December.
The event will kick off at 10 am at the Riverside Precinct. It will feature storytellers sharing their experiences, live music by local artists including the Mighty Yak, DJs, 20 interactive stalls, food vans and a visit from Wagga Wagga Mayor Dallas Tout.
Relationships Australia Canberra & Region’s Disability Royal Commission counselling project leader Amanda Beckett, one of the event’s organisers, said the idea for a big celebration came due to the lack of publicity about the International Day of People with Disability.
“I was thinking a lot about having an event like this for a long time,” she said.
“I realised that there’s been a lot of little events around the area around this time of year, but we don’t actually have a big celebration.
“We at Relationships Australia and TIMBA came together to put on the event and celebrate the community of people who live with a disability.”
Ms Beckett said disability services and support groups had been invited to set up a stall to provide information to people and families who were unaware of the help available.
“There is a thing called the social model of disability,” she said.
“It states that a person living with a disability doesn’t have a barrier; things like a wheelchair aren’t a barrier. It’s the fact that there isn’t a ramp there to support them that makes it difficult.
“Communities, schools, events and other places not having the appropriate resources is where the barriers are formed. It’s not the person or the disability and that’s the shift in thinking people need to make.”
Ms Beckett said the support behind the festival and the groups involved had been strong.
“We’re working closely with the artists and regional disability advocacy services to provide a fun and informative day for everybody,” she said.
“We’ve got the approval and backing of Wagga Wagga City Council, they’ve worked with us very closely to make sure that everything is accessible on the day. Mayor Dallas Tout coming to say a few words on the day is a very nice gesture.”
Relationships Australia provides confidential counselling, mental health services and mediation for families, couples and individuals. To access its services, click here.