In early December, Vinnies and Ability Links ran an inspiring campaign across the Inner West as part of Social Inclusion Week. From a coffee cup campaign featuring quotes from people with disability, to a panel talk after a screening of ‘Wonder’, the initiative helped change lives and build a stronger community. By working with local businesses to create a deeper awareness about disability and ensure that the community becomes more inclusive and accessible, Vinnies and Ability Links helped people to make connections and navigate a range of social services. Linda, a 61 year old woman with a disability, said she felt that her life was overwhelming and that she “was drowning with no lifeline… I didn’t have the capacity or knowledge of all the services I could access; it’s eased my financial situation and given me peace of mind.”
Organisations like Ability Links have allowed people with disabilities to take up volunteer work positions, and brought awareness to the everyday issues that affect people. Amelia McCormack, Ability Links Coordinator with St Vincent de Paul Society NSW, said Social Inclusion Week encouraged “communities to reconnect and be inclusive of all their community members, including people experiencing disadvantage, and people from all cultures, age groups, nationalities and abilities.” The film screenings, community conversations and live music performances, all with free refreshments provided, allowed community members to “connect, collaborate and celebrate”.