Promoting Positive Community Attitudes
In September 2015 DESSA received funding from the Department of Justice & Equality under the Disability Awareness Grant Scheme 2015. The aim of this funding programme is to promote initiatives to support disability awareness.
The project aimed to enable people with disabilities experience social inclusion in the same way as other members of the community by creating positive attitudes among community development practitioners. Central to this aim was competency building of staff and volunteers working in Family Resource Centres in understanding disability, the barriers experienced by people with disabilities and in responding to their needs in an inclusive manner.
The project had four components
- Completion of a scoping exercise within FRCs to ascertain existing attitudes, supports and services to disability and capacity of staff and volunteers
- Development of a Social Inclusion Positive to Disability Charter for FRCs
- Delivery of regional educational information sessions about disability equality and perspectives on disability
- Creation of opportunities for volunteering and social contact between people with and without disability within FRCs;
The project was delivered in partnership with the FRC National Forum, the national representative and peer support body of Family Resource Centres (FRCs) throughout Ireland.
The original project target audience was Family Resource Centres, however this was broadened to include organisations connected to FRCs in recognition of their social inclusion work.
The main achievements of the project were
- Engagement with 34 FRCs in the completion of a scoping exercise on the capacity of staff and volunteers of FRCs in including people with disabilities and their families within FRC activity.
- Report on the findings of the scoping exercise ‘Disability and Social Inclusion in FRCs: A Scoping Exercise on the Inclusion of Disabled People in Family Resource Centres’.
- Dissemination of technical guidance documents on access and current disability policy and legislation issued to FRCs participating in the scoping exercise.
- Delivery of 8 social inclusion and disability equality workshops in Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Kildare, Kerry and Dublin.
- Development and dissemination of a Community Inclusion Charter and Inclusion Guidance document to 109 FRCs through Ireland and other organisations engaged in this project.
- Development of a social inclusion best practice model with youth services in Leitrim.
- Strategic direction to DESSA in responding to and meeting the future capacity requirements of FRCs and other organisations with a social inclusion remit.