Blue Mountains News
'Are You Inclusive' Launch
Being a resident of the Blue Mountains, you can appreciate what a friendly and inclusive community it is, but according to our research, using local businesses and services in our community can often be difficult for the 1 in 20 people with ‘invisible’ disabilities, like intellectual disability or autism. DARE Disability Support has created the 'Are You Inclusive' program to help make Blue Mountains a more inclusive place.
After consultation with people with disability, their families and support workers, as well as local businesses and services, we have come up with a short and free training package on how best to welcome and serve customers with ‘invisible’ disabilities, like intellectual disability or autism. The basis of the training is around communication techniques, which can also be helpful when serving elderly customers, those from a non-English speaking background, and more. It also includes ways for locals to find businesses and services that have completed the training, to help potential customers decide which business best meets their needs. So there are many benefits for people with disability, our local businesses, and the Blue Mountains community as a whole!
The 'Are You Inclusive' program is a new and unique resource, suitable for all businesses and services that serve the community. It is currently being rolled out in Springwood, and once we have received feedback and made any adjustments needed, we will roll it out across the Blue Mountains and Nepean. It’s completely free, funded by an NDIS Information Linkages and Capacity-Building grant, so we are warmly inviting businesses to sign up.
We also ask for community members to get on board, spreading the word to local businesses and to those that you think might benefit from it.
If you are a business that would like to sign up, a community member who would like to find an inclusive business, or if you would just like to know more, please check out our website or call Dr Annie Brennan, Disability Inclusion Ambassador at DARE Disability Support, on 0414 835 831.
Quotes from other businesses/services who have signed up (they have also been involved in the consultation process during the research and development phases of the project):
Jillian Williams from Springwood Taxis:
“The Are You Inclusive project provides a simple and effective means of assisting our personnel to meet the high level of respect that we require for our business. It has been a pleasure in contributing to the development of the program.”
Amanda Rogers from Springwood Aquatic and Fitness Centre:
“Our centre is only complete when everybody is included.”
Ellissa Nolan, President of the Springwood & District Chamber of Commerce:
“Joining the "Are You Inclusive" initiative has helped me understand the needs of people living with disabilities and has also improved the way I communicate with clients in my own pilates business. I highly recommend all retailers and business owners in the Blue Mountains get involved with this great initiative. You and your staff will learn how to be more inclusive, serving people with visible and invisible disabilities in our community".
DARE Disability Support is an NDIS Accredited local provider who has been supporting people with a disability in the Blue Mountains, Penrith, and Hawkesbury regions since 1961. We currently provide support to approximately 200 service users throughout residential, community activities, recreation & leisure, support coordination and business services.
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