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SHARING OUR VOICE: Raising awareness for issues affecting SACARE clients and the local disability community

Clients and staff at Briarholm have started a new initiative to raise attention and report on things that matter in their own community. This new bunch of amateur journalists comprises of the 9 clients living in the house at Kingswood and their supporting staff. Led by activity coordinator Melissa Oxford, they will be reporting on things that affect themselves and others in the local disability community.

The aim of the group is to specifically bring attention to matters that affect those with a disability in their local community.

Their first report is on the awful state of the pathways in their local neighbourhood. The report highlights barriers faced by the clients themselves when trying to navigate their suburb.

As we head into the warmer months, clients at Brairholm in Kingswood would love to take advantage of the gorgeous weather by going for a walk. But there are many risks to be aware of. The safety issue means clients are being dettered from going for walks, so they have written a report and open letter to their local council to try and solve the issue.

The problem lies in poorly maintained footpaths. Due to lifted pathways, holes in paving areas, large round nuts that drop, slopping pavers, edges with high raised lips and gardens overgrown. All of these factors attribute to an unsafe surface for wheelchairs to navigate and for the supporting staff to help their clients to navigate.

This issue is not just limited to Kingswood. Across Adelaide you can see poorly maintained footpaths in just about every suburb. This means thousands of people in wheelchairs, and those who may have mobility issues are risking their safety every day or avoiding the footpaths all together.

“Sharing our voice is important and having other people hear our voices is even more important. This group allows us to speak up and talk what matters. Its nice to have a chat with friends and come together to understand each other. Not only can we have our say but we can have it with our mates and that is important to us here at Kingswood. We are a bunch of good friends”

-Melissa (Activity Coordinator), Mikkel and Dylan (Briarholm residents) 

If you would like to read the full letter from Melissa, Mikkel and Dylan please download it here.

By creating this new journalistic initiative, it not only raises important discussions that face the disability community, but also is giving clients from Briarholm a great opportunity to share their voice. They have the opportunity to consider the world around them and open a conversation with the wider community.

Hopefully this new initiative can get enough attention to bring some change to the local community, or at least raise awareness for things that the community would have otherwise not known about.

Its important to SACARE to give our clients the platform to share their voices as they are some of the most vulnerable members of the community, who can often be forgotten about and face some of the biggest challenges. We can’t wait to see what the team write next!

If you would like to find out a bit more about where Mikkel and Dylan live, follow this link to find out about all of the different facilities SACARE has

Maybe you like living at home, but need a bit of a hand? Why not have a read of our blog post about our fantastic in-home services.


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