Ten outstanding individuals and organisations received a 2014 National Disability Award at a gala event held at Parliament House in Canberra on 25 November 2014.
There were twenty-three finalists, from more than 200 nominations across eight award categories, who travelled to Canberra for the event.
There were three nominees connected to the Deaf community, including a deaf person and two organisations that provide information that communicates in a Deaf accessible format.
- Jordanna Smith (NSW) – Emerging Leaders Award in Disability
- Opera Australia (Vic) – Improving Inclusive and Accessible Community Award
- Vicdeaf (SLC Vic) and Emergency Management Victoria – Improving Health and Wellbeing Outcomes Award
Jordanna Smith and Vicdeaf (SLC Vic)/ Emergency Management Victoria took out the awards in their categories. Opera Australia missed out the award by narrow margin.
This is a great outcome for the deaf community; demonstrating that when organisations are inclusive (particularly in the area of communication inclusion) this creates equality and inclusion for deaf people and the deaf community.
“What Vicdeaf (SLC Vic)/ Emergency Management Victoria and Opera Australia did is to make information accessible for everyone and no one is left behind, no one,” explains Deaf Australia CE Kyle Miers.
“Deaf Australia would like to congratulate other winners and nominees of the awards. They were all deserving winners.“
Senator Mitch Fifield, the Assistant Minister for Social Services, who attended the event, also congratulated the 10 recipients.
“These recipients are working hard to break down barriers for people with disability,” Senator Fifield said.
“From innovative education programmes and inclusive sports for adults and children alike, to leadership in business and employment, and community support programmes that are making a positive difference in health, tourism, emergency services and opportunities for Indigenous Australians.”
“I congratulate all recipients, and wish them all the very best as their work continues to inspire other Australians to improve the lives of people with disability.”
The award categories reflect the priorities of the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 and the determination by all levels of government to deliver a united approach, both now and into the future, to address challenges faced by people with disability.
The National Disability Awards are a major part of celebrations marking the International Day of People with Disability on 3 December each year.
Jordanna Smith, New South Wales
As a finalist with lived experience of disability, Jordanna’s contributions include participation in a number of voluntary and paid positions that support her efforts to achieve equality for people with disability, particularly for the deaf community.
Vicdeaf (SLC VIC)/Emergency Management Victoria, Victoria
To ensure safety for deaf and hard of hearing citizens throughout Victoria, Vicdeaf (through their Auslan interpreting service, SLC VIC) partnered with Emergency Management Victoria to improve fire safety information and awareness. As a result, 21 Auslan videos were posted on the Country Fire Authority website during the 2013 bushfires.
Photographs courtesy of : www.idpwd.com.au/awards/