International Day of People with Disability 2018: Shine a light on them

Newcastle's Grain Silos will once again shine a light on International Day of People with Disability for 2018.
Newcastle's Grain Silos will once again shine a light on International Day of People with Disability for 2018.

For those people living with disability and the many individuals and organisations working alongside them, December 3 is an important day for awareness, understanding, recognition and acceptance. 

And once again, this year, Newcastle’s Carrington Grain Silos will be lit up in the colours of International Day of People with Disability in celebration to mark the important date.

Since 1992, December 3 has marked International Day of People with Disability (IDoPWD), an UN-sanctioned day commemorated across the globe. 

The theme for International Day of People with Disability 2018 is “empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”.

For local provider Leapfrog Ability, the day also marks its official partnering with LiveBetter Community Services, a not-for-profit organisation and one of the largest NDIS providers in regional New South Wales and Queensland.

LiveBetter (formerly Leapfrog) will continue to provide high quality services to all existing service areas across the Greater Hunter, Lake Macquarie and the Central Coast, including:

  • NDIS Plan Support Coordination
  • In-home Care
  • Community Access
  • Therapeutic Supports: Speech Pathology, Occupational Therapy, Psychology and Physiotherapy

In addition to providing the services that are  listed above, LiveBetter operates a charity called Fair Go for Kids.

The mission of the charity is to reduce the hardship and distress of children in the community who are disadvantaged or living with a disability.

This is done by dramatically shortening the time it takes for them to receive treatment, equipment and support.

Recently, a local Support Coordinator sent a request to Fair Go for Kids concerning her client – a single mum who is hearing and vision impaired with very few informal supports and low disposable income.

She has three young children and the eldest two have an intellectual disability. The eldest son, 10 years of age is incontinent at night time.

His NDIS Plan provides continence aides for him, however owing to mum's limited vision and hearing, she bathes the children of an evening after school rather than rushing  it in the mornings.

Each night the little boy would be bathed, dressed in new continence underwear and fresh clothes, however his mattress was heavily stained and had a strong smell of urine, this smell would inevitably stick with him throughout the following day while he was at school.

His classmates began to isolate him further and teachers feared neglect at home and were considering reporting the situation.

The Support Coordinator approached Fair Go For Kids to fund a new mattress for the boy, at a cost of about $100.

Given the nature and circumstances of the little boy and his family, Fair Go for Kids decided to do better than this, and within seven days of the initial call, this bedding package was delivered to the family:

  • A steel bed frame
  • Two mattresses (one as a backup)
  • Two sets of cotton sheets
  • Two Pillows
  • Quilt
  • Quilt cover
  • Cotton blanket
  • Two mattress protectors

Fair Go for Kids can help local kids in lots of ways and believes in providing speedy support where it's needed most, without a lot of the red tape that can slow down how quickly assistance can be provided.

The charity relies solely on the generous donations of the community and business sectors.

This program does not receive government funding, so without ongoing support the likelihood of children in need going without assistance will increase.

The following list details just some of the many ways in which donations can assist:

  • Purchase equipment for a child such as a sling, communication aid or a modified pram.
  • Sponsor a child’s treatment, for instance, speech therapy.
  • An early intervention assessment for a child that can prevent the worsening of their condition.

To find out more about LiveBetter or to make a donation to the Fair Go for Kids charity, please telephone: 02 4979 7777.

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