See ability in disability

JOYFUL: The art installation provides a unique photo opportunity for the community and awareness of International Day of People With a Disability. Photo: Supplied
JOYFUL: The art installation provides a unique photo opportunity for the community and awareness of International Day of People With a Disability. Photo: Supplied

The team at The Disability Trust is always keen to celebrate International Day of People with Disability (IDPWD) on December 3. This year's theme is 'seeing the ability in disability', which presents an opportunity to promote and acknowledge the achievements and contributions of people with disability in our community.

"Seeing the ability in disability is a way of thinking for us at The Disability Trust," senior manager Lynne Koerbin explained. "Our staff always focus on supporting each person we work with to do what they love and to build on their interests and abilities. It's about being focused on supporting people to participate in activities that provide them with a sense of purpose where they can develop valued roles and strong connections in their local community."

Each year, The Disability Trust marks IDPWD by hosting an awards event in each of its regions to acknowledge people who have worked hard toward their goals for the year. The celebrations are always filled with incredible stories of people with disabilities doing great things. It's always an exciting time, and it's wonderful to see the people supported by the Trust have the opportunity to celebrate their abilities and achievements, big and small.

We now have a wonderfully colourful ... art installation for the community to enjoy.

Lynne Koerbin, The Disability Trust

This year, the team in Bega Valley initiated a community project to celebrate IDPWD through an art installation. "It's been a hard year for everyone with the fires and then COVID-19, and it was proving difficult to plan for our usual community event," Lynne said. "Last year our inter-agency group hosted a community cricket event which was lots of fun, but we just weren't sure we could run it again this year."

With a bit of innovative thinking, the team came up with the idea to create a set of mosaic wings where people with disabilities could make individual feathers on their own or in small groups. These would then be put together to form the wings.

"The idea was to create an art installation in the community as a focal point for photos. People can sit or stand in front of the wings for a photo framed by the slogan 'Dream Big, Fly High' reminding them that anything's possible," Lynne said. "In collaboration with other service providers in the area, we partnered with Gypsy Soul Studios and received funding through the Clubs Grants Program and The Mumbulla Foundation to make it all possible.

"We now have a wonderfully colourful and fabulous looking art installation for the community to enjoy." With the permission of the owners of the building, the wings have been installed on the wall of The Peanut Eatery for all to enjoy - a permanent celebration of IDPWD 2020.

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