Celebrating people with disability the Australian way

People with disability from St John of God Accord hosted a giant barbecue for nurses, doctors and hospital staff at St John of God Berwick and Geelong Hospitals to celebrate International Day of People with Disability.

St John of God Accord International Day of Disability barbecue 

3 December 2018 

The traditional Australian barbecue is creating a community celebration between St John of God Accord clients who have intellectual disability and hospital caregivers.

St John of God Accord Director of Customer Relations and Marketing Peter Newsome said they chose to name the celebrations ‘I’m celebrating me’ to give a sense of belonging and create a real purpose for the day’s activity.

“This event is a great opportunity for St John of God Accord clients to take part in a community event where they can interact with caregivers, see the hospital for themselves and take pride in their skills and talents," he said.

“It is also an important opportunity to raise awareness of International Day of People with Disability, and demonstrate the impact our clients can have in the community.

“Importantly, we hope that this has a lasting impact on the hospitals and caregivers here today who might not have known anything about us before attending the barbecue and go away with a little more knowledge and awareness of people with disability.”

St John of God Berwick Hospital Chief Executive Officer Lisa Norman said the most rewarding aspect of the day would be seeing our caregivers speaking with clients on a personal level and really engaging with them to find out a bit about them as a person and not focusing on their disability.

“Our the hospital is located quite close to some of the St John of God Accord services– so this is just a great opportunity to meet and learn a little more about our neighbours,” she said.

St John of God Geelong Hospital Chief Executive Officer Stephen Roberts said it was also a great way to help caregivers understand the breadth of services offered by St John of God Health Care.

“As a Catholic healthcare organisation, St John of God Health Care provides a range of services to the community and it is quite easy to forget that we provide these really important disability services,” he said.

“It is also just a great opportunity to take a break from our regular hospital activities to meet, mingle and share.”

St John of God Accord specialises in supporting people with intellectual disabilities and provides a range of support, accommodation, education, recreation and job services through Melbourne.

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