These workshop resources emerged from our project with People with Disability Australia (PWDA) on behalf of Disabled People’s Organisations Australia, funded by ANROWS, focused on the experiences of women with disability as they sought to access justice. A key finding was that, for women with disability, the different service aims and objectives often meant they were not able to get the support or even the pathways they needed in one place.
The workshop resources are designed to be used as a self-directed learning tool within organisations or to support workshops to be run between organisations. Participant and facilitator material is freely available here and can be used and adapted to support organisations in enhancing their responses to women with disability. Our thanks to those in NSW and Victoria who provided such informative feedback on the pilot workshop.
The workshop resource focuses on the stories of four women with disability, and invites service providers to consider what each of these women says that she needs, what supports these needs will require and how she might be assisted to achieve her objectives. It aims to develop knowledge about different support systems across specialist family violence and specialist disability services, to provide an opportunity for organisations to consider holistic approaches to women’s needs, and to build skills in listening and responding effectively to the voices of women with disability.
Following input from stakeholders and collaborators, we present these stories as closely as possible to how they were told to us. We have altered details to prevent identification but have used the words of the women who contributed to our study. In these stories, women describe what has happened to them and talk about what they need. In line with our commitment that women are identified as decision-makers and experts in their own lives, we don’t categorise in terms of disability, previous service provision, or existing assessments. The objective for the workshop is that services think broadly and inclusively about how to respond to the women who present.