School program to provide disability insight

Jasmine, Lyn Houlihan, Marcus, Julie Childs, Alex, Elly, Jade (2)20190730  TBW Newsgroup

Jasmine, Lyn Houlihan, Marcus, Julie Childs, Alex, Elly, Jade (2) TBW Newsgroup
ALL TOGETHER: Glencoe Central Primary School students Jasmine, Marcus, Alex, Elly and Jade have been part of the school’s Information, Linkages and Capacity Building program with principal Lyn Houlihan and SSO Julie Childs to help transform the school’s view towards inclusivity.

GLENCOE Central Primary School students are learning what inclusivity means to them by taking part in an Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) program.

The program, run by JFA Purple Orange and funded by the National Disability Insurance Scheme, aims to build greater understanding of people living with a disability while making schools more inclusive.

JFA Purple Orange inclusive school communities project leader Letitia Rose said the organisation was working with five schools across South Australia in the state-first project.

“We are working with school leadership but we also have a requirement in the project that includes young adults living with disability who provide mentoring and coaching for the school,” she said.

“Basically, we work with the school to help them reflect, get exposed to new information, get new ideas and implement more inclusive policies and practices within their schools.

“Our schools have been gathering every four to six weeks and spending time together to really think about inclusion, they then take that information and transform it at their schools.

“Glencoe has really jumped on board and has been one of the most enthusiastic and active and they have actually developed a team of student inclusion officers at their school.”

Ms Rose said for the inclusive project to be successful, it needs to involve all tiers of the school community.

“What we know is for things to be successful in schools, they need to engage all parts of the school,” she said.

“That includes the students, families, educators and all the school staff as well.”

Year 7 school leader Elly said students created a video about what inclusivity meant to them, highlighting things like playground activities and classroom behaviours.

“What inclusivity means to us is that it does not matter who you are or where you are from, we all get together and enjoy school,” she said.

“I think it is important for us students to have a say in how the project is at our school as we get to have a voice about things to do with us.

“We got to sit in on one of the meetings and hear about other ideas people had as well – I think it has been a really good project so far.”

The next round of the ILC program is just around the corner, with community groups and organisations invited to take part in a free workshop next month.

Hosted by the Community Business Bureau, the workshops will cover how to design and plan an effective ILC project.

The Limestone Coast event will be held at Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast in Mount Gambier on August 21.

Registrations through the bureau’s website close tomorrow.