In 2011 WCHM received funding through an ACT Health Promotion grant to deliver a project in partnership with Advocacy for Inclusion and Women With Disabilities ACT. The project aimed to deliver four training sessions to ACT domestic violence services and disability sector organisations about the needs of women with disabilities escaping violence.
The need for this project emerged out of previous WCHM research, which found that women with disabilities experienced numerous barriers to accessing domestic violence services and crisis refuges.
The sessions were held from December 2011 to June 2012, and in total approximately 50 sector workers attended. The final session was delivered to an audience composed mostly of workers from the Domestic Violence Crisis Service.
Topics covered during the training included: defining disability; disability and language; disability and human rights mechanisms; asking the right questions: what your service needs to know. In addition, the training emphasised the need for domestic violence organisations to be connected to the disability sector. Many participants reported that they would take this learning back to their workplace and encourage their organisations to better network with ACT disability organisations, in the interests of seeing that the needs of their clients with disabilities are met.
Advocacy for Inclusion is continuing to roll the training out beyond the life of the grant.