Enabling people to positively change their world
Australians on Disability Support Pensions (DSP) have portability restrictions out of Australia for 28 days. If they are out of the country for over this period it can take a significant amount of time to have the pension reinstalled once they are back in Australia which has huge livelihood implications for the person with a disability. For this volunteer experience to be truly inclusive with the current DSP restrictions the project cannot extend beyond 28 days. Whilst all expected outcomes were reached for DESE it is evident that 28 days is not long enough to understand the cultural context and develop meaningful relationships. Eight weeks is the recommended minimum time for the assignments but this does require Centrelink to allow people on DSP to be outside of Australia for longer than 28 days and not experience any consequences.
The recruitment process as designed by Scope Global resulted in team members with a complementary skill set. More time for the team to get to know each other pre mobilisation would be recommended to assist the Team Leader to be able to manage individual needs of the teams.
A disability support fund is required to enable reasonable accommodations to be provided for volunteers with disability. The team’s visibility in country and the active participation of people with disabilities had a profound effect on increasing awareness & knowledge of the capabilities of people with disabilities in the local community.
Scope Global mobilised 2 international volunteers with disabilities in 2011. Since then, 43 volunteers with disabilities have been supported by Scope Global. Their experiences have set the foundation for our inclusive volunteering strategy and model.
The concept was designed in consultation with stakeholders, partners and advisors with lived experience of disability.
Pilot team of 5 women with disabilities mobilised to Suva Fiji to work with Disabled People’s Organisationsa, overseen by the Pacific Disability Forum
DESE II and III concept designed with partners in Laos and Fiji integrating lessons learnt from DESE I
DESE II mobilised to Nadi, Fiji and DESE III mobilised to Vientiane, Laos.