26 November 2022

Wagga's disability community is preparing a celebration that is out of this world

| Chris Roe
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Dance party

The annual, themed dance party is organised by members of the Wagga disability community. Photo: Supplied.

The silly season is upon us and local disability advocates are gearing up for a unique celebration of the Riverina’s diverse community.

The annual dance party for people with disabilities, their families and carers has taken place in Wagga almost every year since 2005.

“It started with a self-advocacy group in Wagga who wanted to celebrate International People with a Disability Day, so it has humble beginnings,” explains Adam Jacobson from the Regional Disability Advocacy Service.

“The idea of the groups is for people with disability to get together and basically just support each other, tell stories about times they have self advocated, or spoken up for themselves and to give each other advice.”

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The International Day of People with Disability (IDPWD) is celebrated globally on 3 December to raise awareness and promote action around the rights of people with disabilities and their full inclusion in society.

The Wagga dance has evolved from a small party in a hall at the showground to become a serious, fully catered annual event at the Rules Club .

“This year, we’ll have 216 people attending, which is pretty cool,” says Adam.

“There’s not really a bigger event for International Day of People with a Disability in this region.”

After COVID-19 caused a cancellation in 2020 and reduced numbers in 2021, tickets have become a hot commodity.

“People travel from Griffith and Temora and Lockhart for this day,” Adam explains.

“It’s become such a popular event!”

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The theme for 2022 is ‘Outer Space’ with best dressed prizes on offer along with lucky door prizes, a DJ and of course a dancefloor.

“It’s always themed and the self-advocacy group in Wagga do all the planning,” Adam says.

“They decide on the theme, they have as much input as possible into who DJs, who takes the photos and things like that.”

“It’s all very much led by our members and by our clients and it’s great to be celebrating their achievements.”

So if you see a spacey group of astronauts and sci-fi creatures getting down at the Rules Club on Friday 2 December, don’t be alarmed!

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