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Welcome to our eNews

This fortnightly email is to keep you updated on the work of Women with Disabilities Victoria, and updated on news related to our priority areas. Contributions to this eNews are welcome, email

In this Issue:

Independent Mental Health Advocacy

Independent Mental Health Advocacy has just been launched. It is the first service of its kind in Victoria. Our advocates give information and support to people on compulsory treatment orders so they can understand and act on their rights.
WDV's submission on Victoria's Mental Health Strategy

WDV has made a submission to the consultation on Victoria's next 10 year mental health strategy. We call for, among other things:
  • Disability accessible mental health services and information
  • Trauma informed responses to women with disabilities
  • Safety for women in mental health services
We were pleased to endorse a submission by Women's Health West who called for a stronger commitment to gender equity and the social determinants of health.
Family Planning Victoria's new collection of A-Z fact sheets

Family Planning Victoria has launched a new collection of fact sheets on a range of reproductive and sexual health topics. There are over 50 fact sheets available on topics such as contraception choices, puberty and unplanned pregnancy, with key titles also available in different languages.
German organisation trains blind women in cancer detection: The Age

Miki Perkins writes for The Age about " a unique initiative that trains blind and visually impaired women to use their tactile capabilities for early breast cancer detection."


WDV seeks a Gender Equity Training Coordinator

Women with Disabilities Victoria is looking for a Gender Equity Training Co-ordinator to implement workforce training within the third phase of WDV's Workforce Development Program on Gender and Disability. The position is part-time (.7 EFT) and for an 18-month contract period. For details read the job ad and position description.

Women with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Applications close on Friday 25 Sep.

Inquiries: Karen Russell
T: 03 9286 7800
Phone Support training at WIRE

If you're over 21 years with good communication skills, an open mind and committed to volunteering for at least a year, then think about doing WIRE's phone training. WIRE has been an incredible stepping stone into employment for many Victorian women. The next training sessions start in October. If you are interested, contact WIRE and attend an information session.
Write for The Mighty website

The Mighty is asking the following: “Staring” is a topic that comes up so much in our community. Tell us about one unforgettable “staring” experience you or someone you love had that’s related to disability, disease or illness. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Share Your Story page for more about our submission guidelines.
Become an OPA volunteer

Since its establishment in 1986, the Victorian Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) has promoted the rights, interests and dignity of people with disability (specifically intellectual impairment, mental disorder, brain injury, physical disability or dementia) living in Victoria.

The Public Advocate, OPA staff and OPA volunteers provide services for people with disability through advocacy, guardianship, advice, education, information, research and support.
OPA's 900 volunteers are from a variety of backgrounds, age groups, and communities. They work across three programs: Community Visitor Program, Independent Third Persons Program and the Community Guardianship Program. They fulfill their responsibilities with professionalism, compassion, and with the best interests of people with disability in mind at all times.
Find out more about volunteering with OPA.

Volunteer English home tutors needed

Northern Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) at Melbourne Polytechnic (NMIT) seeks volunteer home tutors to help eligible adult migrants and refugees, who cannot attend regular English classes, to learn English and about life in Australia. Volunteering takes one hour a week. Volunteers will receive free training, resources and support:
Most tutors visit people in their homes; some support students in class and work with a teacher or meet students at an agreed venue e.g library. An info session and training program is held every term.

Info sessions: Tue 6 Oct (Preston) & Thu 8 Oct (Broadmeadows) | Melbourne Polytechnic

Contact: Call Pearl Yau 9269 1153 or email

Try before you ride: Public Transport Victoria

Join Public Transport Victoria to learn more about how to safely travel on trams, trains, buses, coaches and taxis. Boost your confidence by practicing getting on and off the different types of transport, with staff there to answer any questions. When you register, please advise of any access requirements.

Open meeting with Minister Martin Foley

You are invited to an open afternoon with guest speaker Martin Foley MP, Minister for Housing, Disability and Aging,  Minister for Mental Health, Minister for Equality, Minister for Creative Industries.
Light refreshments provided.

Provider/Organiser: Eastern Disability Action Group
Wed 23rd Sep, 2015: 2.00pm - 3.00pm , Ringwood East
Contact: Woody Marriott
Phone: 9720 9800
Seminar on Living with anxiety

Anxiety Recovery Centre Victoria is running a community education seminar ‘Living Well with Anxiety. Speakers include:
  • Raspal's personal story on changing her exercise and nutrition to achieve a healthier,stronger body and mindset.
  • Dr. Celin Gelgec: Are You Sure? Can I? What If?
  • Dr Sunil Bhar: Working through Fear and Panic
  • Clare's personal story of becoming a transgender woman who beat anxiety by finding her true self.
  • Dr Cathie Stevens: Sleeping Well with Anxiety.
Cost:  $25 Full | $15 ARCVic
Details: 1pm-5pm, 17th October, Marriott Hotel, Melbourne (cnr Exhibition & Lonsdale Streets)

Women making Facebook Groups as safe, supportive spaces

"Women are reclaiming parts of the internet, creating secret safe spaces to congregate and offer both personal and professional help and support." The Help a Sister Out Facebook Group was founded by former WDV Board Member, Catherine Brooks.

IMAGE from Daily Life: Woman using a laptop computer
What People’s Stares Mean to Me as Someone With a Vision Impairment by Jessica Naert

writes in The Mighty, "The stares themselves don’t really bother me. Getting asked if my guide dog is in training doesn’t really bother me. I’m never bothered when people ask questions and genuinely want to learn more about my visual impairment or how my guide dog helps me. However, people staring because I don’t fit inside the little box they think of when they think of blindness and being frequently told I “don’t look blind” does bother me. People with visual impairments are capable people no matter how they look. These negative stereotypes are harmful to the wellbeing of others and their ability to work and be productive members of society."

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