For more information about Women with Disabilities Victoria please visit our website at
Women with Disabilities Victoria logo
Welcome to our eNews

The purpose of this e-News is to inform our members, staff and associates about opportunities to advance Women with Disabilities Victoria’s goals. Women with Disabilities Victoria works to address priority issues for women with disabilities in Victoria. These issues include violence; access to health services; reproductive rights and parenting, and; access to employment. We welcome and encourage your feedback and contributions to

In this Issue:  


Workforce Development Program on Gender and Disability
Train the Trainer Program Update
Extended application closing date and new information session to be held in Geelong
WDV has had an overwhelming response to the project, and full attendance at the information sessions. As such the application closing date has been extended to allow people from all areas ample opportunity to apply.
The closing date for applications for Train the Trainer is now Friday the 21st of February at 5 pm.
WDV have scheduled an information session about the train the trainer program, application requirements and application process in Geelong on Monday 10th February 2014 from 10:30 – 12:00.
To RSVP to the Geelong information session or ask any questions regarding the training please email Pip or phone (03) 9286 7809. Please let us know of any access or support requirements that you have for participating in the information session.
For more information about this interesting project and to apply to undertake the Train the Trainer Program please refer to the Expression of Interest Application and Key Selection criteria in English and Easy English on our website at
WDV Social Inclusion Consultation 
Introduction – what is this consultation for? 
To plan for future policy and funding decisions, the Victorian Parliament’s Family and Community Development Committee is asking what is social inclusion, and how can it be supported.
Women with Disabilities Victoria will be writing a response to these questions, as we believe it is important to highlight the additional barriers to social inclusion for us as women with disabilities.
When completed, our response will be available on our website,
We would like to invite your feedback through our February 6 consultation (details follow) or through a short online survey. 
Written Responses due by February 10.
What is social inclusion?
The Committee have said that they think social inclusion covers what we do in our economic, social and civil lives. This can mean how we are included in our community in through work, education, health, and our social life life. People with disabilities come up against barriers to social inclusion.
How can social inclusion be different for women? 
Women with disabilities can come up against additional barriers to social inclusion. Women with disabilities are less likely to be employed, and earn less than men with disabilities. Women with disabilities experience higher rates of family violence than men with disabilities and women without disabilities. All this can impact on our inclusion in economic, social and civil choices.
Barriers to social inclusion can also be created by our roles as mothers and carers, and by attitudes about us as women. 

Your involvement: Attend our consultation
When: Thursday February 6th
Time: 10:30am to 12pm
Where: Meeting Room 1Women’s Health Victoria
Level 8, 255 Bourke Street Melbourne (near the corner of Swantson Street).
Morning tea will be provided.
If you have any questions, please contact: or 9286 7800.
Online survey
We would love to hear your views through this online survey. This survey will be open until the 10th February, 2014.  
Information on the Parliamentary Inquiry is available at:

Strength to StrengthA supportive and informative group for women who have experienced family violence and sexual abuse in their lives.
These experiences of sexual assault and family violence may have occurred in childhood or later. The group will be run by two experienced counsellors.
Women often feel they must attract abuse if abuse happens more than once.
This isn’t true.
There are just a lot of dangerous ‘sharks’ out there.
Sometimes it’s not possible to avoid being bitten by a shark - but sometimes having a good shark-cage can help to recognise and repel sharks before they become a part of your life.
This group will help women to recognise sharks and improve their shark-cage.
Some other topics covered in the 8 week group are:
  • Building feelings of self worth
  • Boundaries and assertiveness—how to say ‘no’ to the demands of other
  • Healthy relationships 
  • Stress and relaxation
Dates: Tuesday, 29th April to 17th June, 2014 (8 weeks)
Time:  10.30am to 1pm
Cost:  Free!
Location: WestCASA Footscray
 Morning Tea provided
If you are interested in attending this group please call Penny or Fran to book a pre-group meeting to find out more about this group.  Places are limited.
Western Region Centre Against Sexual Assault INC                
Phone: 03 9687 8637
53 Ballarat Road, Footscray Vic 3011    
Hollaback! Melbourne

Hollaback! Melbourne is the local chapter of a global movement working to end street harassment.
They believe that everyone has the right to feel safe and confident when they walk down the street. 
Street harassment can be sexist, racist, transphobic, homophobic, ableist, sizeist and/or classist. 

Hollaback works to better understand street harassment, to ignite public conversations, and to develop innovative strategies to ensure equal access to public spaces.
What began as a simple idea: a blog to collect women’s and LGBTQ individuals’ stories of street harassment, has grown into an international movement in 71 cities and 24 countries. 

Important things to note:
1) If you’ve been harassed, you’re not alone
2) Street harassment is used to exert control over others by making them feel scared or uncomfortable. It is much more than individuals just acting inappropriately.
3) There are street harassment “hotspots” in most cities often centered around high pedestrian traffic areas

Hollaback Melbourne want to hear from you about your experiences of street harassment and you can submit your story via their website or mobile app
They are particularly interested in hearing from women with disabilities about their experiences.
If you would like more information, please email melbourne@ihollaback,                                                                               

Stay Cool This Summer

2013 has been confirmed as the hottest year on record in Australia by the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM). We have been experiencing a number of hot days and the BoM's forecast for the next couple of months is for more to come.

Women's Health in the North's research in the area of environmental justice  indicates that women are worse affected by climate change.

The following hints proved helpful when they published them last year, so here they are again to remind you of a few basic rules that can assist you in keeping cool in extreme weather and preventing heat-induced health issues:

Stay indoors and keep your home cool by reducing heat from sunlight coming through the windows by using external shades and keeping your blinds and/or curtains drawn.

Try not to use the stove or oven during a heat wave, and turn off unused lights and electrical appliance as they raise the temperature indoors.

Image of a woman washing her face in the shower Take a tepid bath or shower, just below your body temperature, especially before bedtime. Although a cold shower might be more tempting, your body will generate heat afterwards to compensate for heat loss.

Image of two hands being washed with water Splash yourself several times a day with cold water, particularly your face and the back of your neck. A loose, cotton,  camp cloth or scarf on the back of the neck can also help you to stay cool.

 Run your wrists under a cold tap for five seconds each every couple of hours.

Drink regularly, even if you don't feel thirsty. Water is the best option. Avoid alcohol, tea, coffee and sugary or fizzy drinks as they make dehydration worse.

Image of a fresh looking garden saladEat little and often rather than large meals. Try to eat more cold food, particularly salads and fruit, which contain water.

Wear lightweight, light-coloured cotton clothes. Heat is trapped by synthetic fibres, but cotton absorbs perspiration and its evaporation causes you to feel cooler. The light colours reflect the sun's radiation.

Replace your usual body moisturiser with a cooling aloe vera, after-sun product to use morning and night. This will help lower your skin temperature.

Slow down and avoid strenuous activity which will stimulate your body and raise its core temperature. If you must go out, try and do it during the coolest part of the day - early morning or late evening.

And enjoy Summer!

Thanks to WHIN for the above advice.

Invitation to Participate in Research

Researchers at the University of Melbourne invite you to take part in a project about the lives of people with disabilities. We intend to develop a questionnaire that can be used in a large study of people with and without disabilities. In the larger study we will collect information regularly from participants and that information can then be used to improve programs and services for people with disabilities.

We want to make sure that the questionnaire includes questions about the issues that are important to the lives of people with different types of impairments. If you are over 18 years of age and you have a vision, hearing, mobility or cognitive impairment, or you have been diagnosed with a mental health condition; we would like to invite you to share your opinions about the questions you want to see included in the questionnaire. Participation will involve taking part in a focus group of 6 to 8 people. The focus group will last between 45 minutes to 1.5 hours.

You will be provided with a $50 Coles-Myer gift voucher in appreciation of your participation.
The focus groups will take place in late January 2014 at the University of Melbourne or other Melbourne CBD location to be finalised.

If you would like to register your interest in participating in a focus group or if you have any questions, please phone or email the project coordinator, Danielle Newton at The University of Melbourne.
Phone: (03) 9035 6039
Thank you for your interest in this research study.


NEW REPORT: Whatever happened to the village? The removal of children from parents with a disability

Little is known about the circumstances under which children are removed from the care of parents with a disability through the family law system. It is largely hidden from public and government scrutiny because it is viewed as a private, civil matter within a family. In addition, many children of parents with disabilities are raised by wider family members under informal arrangements. Little, if anything, is known about these arrangements and whether they are freely entered into by the parent with a disability. 

This report focuses on those interventions that result in the removal of a child from the home of their parent or parents 
against their will under the family law system. The report draws on the experience of the Public Advocate and other disability advocacy organizations in recent years. 

This Report was published by the Victorian Office of the Public Advocate in December 2013. 

The Report can be downloaded in PDF from:



Short Changed by Discrimination

Whether or not we like our jobs, most of us are paid fairly for the work we do. But many Australians with intellectual disabilities are working full time for less than $2 a day. Where's the dignity in that, asks Stella Young.

Around this time of year, work is on the minds of many Australians. Whether you've already returned to the hum-drum, or you still have a few more days left on the beach, the end of January typically brings a return to routine. No matter how fulfilled we are by our work, paid annual leave and sleeping in until 10am is always pretty hard to give up. I know I struggled!

Nonetheless, we all have to earn a living, right? Even those among us who are lucky enough to love our jobs would have to admit that at least part of the reason we work is to earn money. In between all this work, we like to eat out at restaurants, go on trips, buy nice things, not to mention pay rent and meet the cost of living.

This is an excerpt from an article published on ABC's Ramp Up you can read the full article here.

City of Yarra Launches Gender Equity Strategy

The Yarra Gender Equity Strategy 2013 was developed by Staff for Staff and it sets out a three-year vision for all Yarra Council employees to access and enjoy the same rights, responsibilities, resources and opportunities regardless of their gender.

At the launch of Gender Equity Strategy last month, City of Yarra's CEO, Vijaya Vaidyanath, acknowledged the work of the Internal Gender Equity Committee for their leadership and vision for a more respectful and fair Yarra.



Quippings is a Disability & Deaf performance night! As one audience member said after our last show: ''well I wouldn't bring my mother but it was amazing!'' So leave your mother at home and come on, come know you want to...

Get ready to get all hot under your collar (and hopefully in other places too) as Quippings does midsumma! Midsumma is Melbourne's annual Queer Celebration and we aim to queer it up with our beautifully bent bodies! We will ramp your mind and twist your expectations, ignite your freaky passions and take you on a journey with our weird cognitions! 

Quippings is run by WDV member Jax Jacki Brown.

The theme is HOT & bent and if that doesn't say it all then here’s some more! This Quippings is decidedly sex and body positive as we proclaim our bodies and minds as unashamedly hot, very, very sexy and full of PRIDE! 

They have a full line-up of talent just for you!

Stella Young; Kate Hood; Electric Vixen; DEATH RAY; Carly Findlay; Kath Duncan; Georgia Cranko; Maysa Abouzeid; Jarrod; Nicole Smith; Ross Cottee and Bearbrass Asylum Orchestra.

Quippings is non-normative space where we, the crips, beautiful freaks, body revolutionaries, non-normative body activists and those with minds who think and see outside the confines of the expected, the boring and the ‘normal’ take to the stage and take up some space, PROUDLY and with passion!

Queers, poets, performers and those looking for something delightfully and unashamedly different and subversive this is an event not to be missed! So come along! Bring your laughter and your friends. 

Entry: $10con/$12 full 

Doors open at 7:30 pm and the show starts at 8:00pm sharp!

This event is fully wheelchair accessible (including a new accessible toilet just looking for some action) AND Auslan interpreted. 

This event is proudly supported by the City of Yarra.

Visit Quippings Facebook page to stay updated with all their happenings! 

A Golden Moment Photography Exhibition
Last year, 33 Australian athletes captured a record haul of 76 medals at the 2013 World Dwarf Games in the United States. Photographers Margherita Coppolino from Moonee Ponds and Alison Ryan from Albury-Wodonga celebrate this achievement by Team Australia in a new photo exhibition, A Golden Moment, opening this month in the Atrium at Melbourne’s Federation Square. Arts Access Victoria is immensely proud to be a major sponsor of the exhibition and congratulate Margherita and Alison on their stunning selection of photographs.

Where: The Atrium, Federation Square, Flinders Street, Melbourne 
When: 29 January - 6 February 2014, 24 hours 
Exhibition launch: Wednesday 29 January, 6pm 
Price: Free

For further information on the project, visit Golden Moment Photo Exhibition on Facebook.

Australia For All Alliance

Do you get frustrated when you have to go to several web sites just to find a hotel or leisure venue which satisfies your personal requirements?

Well now you do not have to surf the entire web to find these facilities.

Australia for All is an international web site designed by and for people with disabilities, which is devoted entirely to accommodation and leisure venues which are accessible to people with disabilities. 


Via Media Access Australia
The Australian Government has released its progress report on the National Transition Strategy (NTS) – its schedule to make its websites conform to international accessibility standards. The report signals a change in the Government’s approach that could affect the timeframe for when people with disability are given equal access to government information and services.
First put in place in 2010, the NTS stated that all government websites must comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 level A by the end of 2012 and level AA by the end of 2014. Now, the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) has said that this timeframe was unrealistic.
Chief Information Officer Glenn Archer said that “It is clear that some websites and some web applications will not meet the ambitious 2014 timeframe for WCAG 2.0 level AA conformance”, and that a framework will be put in place for continuous accessibility improvement next year.
Figures released in the progress report include:
  • Only 26 percent of government websites currently meet any level of WCAG 2.0
  • Accessibility conformance of more than 40 percent of government websites is unknown
  • Only 16 percent of government web applications currently meet any level of WCAG 2.0
  • Accessibility improvements are expected to be rolled out for more than 800 additional government websites and applications by the end of 2014
While AGIMO has not formally put the NTS on hold, it indicates a change in its approach to focus on a more contextual process for accessible web content, rather than setting checklists, schedules and binary measures. A number of priorities have been set for government agencies, particularly the gathering of information on the status of 1,200 websites.
Members of the web industry have expressed concern, including Chairperson of the Australian Web Industry Association Bret Treasure:
“What an awful disappointment for those who believed the Government's promise to make a difference in this area. While services are increasingly delivered online and through mobile technology, government is paying lip service to accessibility and walking away from its leadership role.” 

The NTS plays an important role in setting the standard for all Australian websites when it comes to accessibility. It is possible that this shift in approach by the government could lead to businesses and other organisations letting the needs of people with disability online slip down the list of priorities.
An analysis of the progress report for industry professionals is available on Access IQ.



Having a Say Conference: 5th - 7th February 2014
Having a Say 2014 – 'Our Voice

This conference provides one of the few opportunities for people with disability to present real life stories, issues & accomplishments and is focused on celebrating the achievements & contribution of people with disability. 

The Our Voice expo focuses on providing people with disability, their families and supporters and local workers with information on what is available and possible, through the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

This event is running in conjunction with the Having a Say Conference and is open to the general public.

Update and Frequently Asked Questions:
Do they still need volunteers?
YES.......they still need volunteers, so contact Valid or get the info off the website.
Can people from other parts of Victoria visit the Our Choice Expo to find out what the new NDIS can offer them in the future?
Anyone can visit the Our Choice Expo on Friday 7th of Feb. between 11am – 7pm  (it’s free)
Exhibitors will also be presenting Information Sessions at the Expo throughout the day. A schedule of these will be available soon.
   Has the Program changed? 
There have been some changes to the Program due to cancellations,
so please use the updated program on the website to plan your attendance and delete earlier versions.
 Is it worth families and workers attending the conference?  
The Advocacy Stream is open to all delegates, but it is aimed at providing deeper information and discussion for families & workers. 

In 2014 it will feature sessions on:

  •    NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) update on the launch of the scheme
  •    practical tips for getting the most out of your individual funding  
  •    housing & accommodation – what’s going to happen under the NDIA 
  •    examples of accommodation using individual funding 
  •    Peer Support groups for individuals/families looking to learn how to manage some part of their funding or support.  

I have other questions?  Where can I get more information from? 
If you have questions or need other information please contact the VALID office - 03 9416 4003  (metro callers & services)
- rural families or participants Freecall 1800 655 570
or email 
All forms & info are on the website:
If you need any of the conference information in other formats, eg. large print or text only please contact Brenda (

 Is it worth families and workers attending the conference?  
The Advocacy Stream is open to all delegates, but it is aimed at providing deeper information and discussion for families & workers. 
In 2014 it will feature sessions on:

  •    NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) update on the launch of the scheme
  •    practical tips for getting the most out of your individual funding  
  •    housing & accommodation – what’s going to happen under the NDIA 
  •    examples of accommodation using individual funding 
  •    Peer Support groups for individuals/families looking to learn how to manage some part of their funding or support.  

I have other questions?  Where can I get more information from? 
If you have questions or need other information please contact the VALID office - 03 9416 4003  (metro callers & services)
- rural families or participants Freecall 1800 655 570
or email 
All forms & info are on the website:
If you need any of the conference information in other formats, eg. large print or text only please contact Brenda (

Women, Food and Physical Activity

This workshop will explore the impact of gender on women’s relationship with food and engagement in physical activities.

The workshop will cover:

• Key concepts of gender as key determinants of health
• The complex interplay between women’s health, body size, food and physical activity
• How gender impacts on chronic disease and eating behaviours
• Health promotion approaches that account for gender in these areas

This workshop is designed for professionals working in a range of areas including health promotion, social policy, community development, health and support services, women’s health, community health and local and state government to better plan their services to respond to the particular needs of women.

Workshop dates

Tuesday 25 February 2014


9.30am – 3.00pm


Women’s Health Victoria, Level 8, 255 Bourke St, Melbourne


*$99 Standard (Incl. GST)

*$55 Concession/Unemployed (Incl. GST)


To register, please go to Event Registration

For enquiries, please Contact Women's Health Victoria

Awards, Funding & Grants

The Australia Council for the Arts invites you to attend an information session about the new Artists with Disability Program.

The Australia Council recently announced a new Artists with Disability Program, to enable artists with disability to create, development, present, produce, exhibit and tour their work. Individuals and groups who identify as having disability can apply for grants of up to $10,000 for development and up to $20,000 for arts projects. The program closes on 3 March 2014 and guidelines are available here.

At the information session, you will have the opportunity to meet with a representative from the Australia Council and get the lowdown on this new program. We will discuss what the program is about, give some examples of eligible/ineligible activities, what you can use the funds for, plus answer all your questions.

The Australia Council is committed to providing access for all to their programs and services. Please get in touch  with any accessibility requirements.

When: Wednesday 5 February
Where: Arts Access Victoria, 222 Bank Street, South Melbourne VIC 3205
Time: 2:00pm-4:00pm
RSVP: Louisa O'Toole Please specify in the subject line which session you are attending.

Information session in conjunction with Access Arts Victoria and Arts Victoria.
Just for Fun

Disability, anonymity, and the dark side of the Internet - An ABC Ramp up article by WDV member Jax Jacki Brown

Antony and the Johnsons video - Epilepsy is Dancing

Picture you, picture me photography project

Save the date - Monday 3rd March for a performance to celebrate international women's day.  (more info to come) 

Copyright © 2014 Women with Disabilities Victoria, All rights reserved.

All of our contact information can further be found at

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp