Kymberly Martin
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Speaking up at The Disability Trust conference

Australian Paralympian and disability advocate, Dylan Alcott, pictured, was keynote speaker at The Disability Trust ‘Your Voice Your Choice Self Advocacy’ conference recently.  He was among a number of speakers to reinforce the community and collaborative focus of the organisations mission to ‘creating an inclusive world’ and the need for continued self-advocacy.

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Alcott recounted defining moments from his early childhood and overcoming his perception and attitude of disability, to his public appearances at an elite sporting level and Australian media stage. He acknowledged his position has allowed him to have the opportunity to pursue his passion in redefining the Australian perspective and view on individual’s with disability, overcoming expectations, in addition to removing barriers and opening dialogue with employers through his consultation company Get Skilled Access.

“I really look forward to listening to the stories of people with disabilities, what they are doing and what we can improve on to try and get more people with disabilities out there. The goal is to not only improve products and services but highlight the value of employing people with a disability”, Alcott said.

Falling within the conference theme of Choice and Control,  were 35 presentations across two information streams detailing informative and personal journeys around NDIS planning and the impact it has had on individual experience. While each presentation attracted large attendee numbers, two in particular stood out.

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National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) provider & market engagement director, Carol Berry, offered valuable information on an individual’s ability to tailor their NDIS plan to meet personal needs and supports. She also gave an informative outline on the NDIA framework and its involvement within disability service processing.

Alex Dawson, aged 13, gave a passionate presentation surrounding his personal journey through his integration of social clubs and groups in redefining how he lived his life. He noted how his involvement with his local drama group had allowed him to overcome social barriers.

The Disability Trust chief operating officer, Edward Birt said: “We are thrilled to be able to facilitate this opportunity for people so they can share experiences and learn from each other. We are seeing small communities and social networks form with an increasing interest by both participants and the general public in making the NDIS the best it can be”.