NDIS discussion group
I came to the NDIS discussion group in Grafton not knowing very much and feeling very anxious about what this change means to my son and our family. After going to the group. I looked up the websites recommended to the group by the social futures facilitators and saw some of the resources that will help us and now I feel a lot less anxious.
Grafton Scout Group
My name is Shona and I have a child with a disability in our local Grafton Scout Group.
One of the things I have learnt about Scouts is that there is no limitation as to who can be a scout. Recently I took my son to a camp in Newcastle. The focus of the camp was for scouts with disabilities. There were over 170 people. Looking around, I noticed all types of people with varying abilities. The atmosphere was amazing.
In Scouts there is no such word as “Disability” instead they use the word “Ability”.
To date, Grafton Scout Group is made up of a collection of people of all varying types of abilities. Each person is asked only to participate to their own level of capability. Our leaders are regularly educating themselves and responding to the needs of the children. Monday nights are full of science experiments, games, cooking, team building and most of all fun. The kids are encouraged to be sensitive to others needs and work together. Parents are invited to come and help. I’ve spent many a night helping. I’ve watched the Group grow in personality. I’ve watched as our leaders have sat for hours patiently trying to teach kids knots. I’ve seen leaders wrapped up with bandages and dressed as medieval people. Most of all I’ve seen our leaders’ support, encourage, listen and be there for the whole scouting group.
As a family we have been invited to Japanese nights, dragged into fundraisers, canoed in the Orara river, hiked to waterfalls, shot arrows, flung ourselves down flying foxes and huddled together under tarps as rain bucketed down. We’ve sat around camp fires singing. We’ve travelled and we’ve met new friends. We soon learnt that Scouting involves the whole family.
My son is growing up quickly. As a Scout he has learnt a lot about himself. He has been challenged to step outside of his comfort zone and try new things. He is more confident out and about in the community, participated at more than one fundraiser. He’s marched for Anzac Day and Vietnam Vets Day. He’s helped on Clean up Australia Day, dug weeds out for Landcare. In school he is encouraged to write stories about his adventures and share with others.
From experience to be included is not always enough. For me, true inclusion is all about how an organisation can embrace, cherish and grow all areas of a person’s life. For our family, Scouts has done that. Although the journey has not always been easy, the end result is in the proof of how my boy and our family has progressed.
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The Belonging Project is funded by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services, Ageing, Disability and Home Care. Please feel free to use ‘everybody belongs’ materials to promote inclusion in your community.
The Belonging Project acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land where we live and work and their continuing connection to land, water, sea and community. We pay respects to Australia’s First Peoples, to their unique and diverse cultures, and to Elders past, present and future