#OneSmallThing - Celebrating International Day of People with Disability 2023
This year, to celebrate International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD), the Julia Farr group (including JFA Purple Orange, inhousing, Stretchy Tech and the Julia Farr MS McLeod Benevolent Fund) are calling on the community to do #OneSmallThing each day in the seven days leading up to IDPwD to create a more inclusive community.
To get the ball rolling, we've curated a heap of tips, resources and information around seven key topics where we think #OneSmallThing can make a difference, and we'd love you to contribute! Those topics, and the days we'll be focusing on them, are:
Day 1 (Monday 27 November): Digital communication
Think image descriptions on social media posts, checking colour contrasts on your designs, and creating accessible documents. When it comes to accessible digital communication, we've got you!
“So I can see a little bit. I do have my font enlarged on my iPad. And it needs to have a black background and white font. When my iPad is set up like that, if I take my time and read slowly enough, I can read.” – Steven Hellier, who is deafblind
While this section is about digital communication, it might help to understand that there is a wide spectrum of communication needs and how you can better connect with people who have different ways of communicating and interacting with the world. For more information, watch our video about Demystifying Diverse Communication.
Top Digital Communication Tips
- Build accessibility into your website - whenever possible, aim for AAA accessibility.
- Make your social media accessible by choosing the right colours, adding image and video descriptions, and adding captions and voiceover to video.
- Make your documents accessible by utilising Microsoft's built-in accessibility features, structuring your documents correctly, and adding alt text to images and graphs.
To find more information about bringing these top tips to life, visit our Digital Communication page.
Day 2 (Tuesday 28 November): Language
What you say, and how you say it, matters! Learn about helpful and unhelpful narratives, why language matters, and we'll also demystify diverse communication while we're at it!
Language changes and it's our job to adapt and change with it. It's important to understand that not everyone communicates the same way, and that diverse communication should not stop connection!
On the Language page, you'll find
- Video on diverse communication and how people communicate in different ways
- Video on how language matters, and the impact on what and how you say things
- Diagram on what not to say (trigger warning: this diagram does contain ableist words that some may find triggering)
- Important key takeaways
- How to be respectful and polite in asking questions and what questions to ask
To find more information and view videos around diverse comminucation and how language matters, visit our Language page.
Day 3 (Wednesday 29 November): Employment
On this day we'll be sharing tips and resources for creating a more inclusive workplace. So handy!
People living with disability are more likely to be underemployed and employed in low quality jobs. They face more barriers to employment than their non-disabled peers, which can include physical access barriers, low expectations, negative attitudes and practices, and lack of opportunities.
Most people with disability can work when employers remove these barriers and creating an inclusive workplace culture is the ideal place to start.
Top Employment Tips
- Small adjustments to your recruitment techniques can go a long way towards creating a more inclusive workplace. For example, use your job advertisements to invite people living with disability to apply. Ask them if any adjustments can be made to support them in the interview process and beyond.
- Consider approaches such as job carving to maximise the potential of your employees.
- Rather than making assumptions about an individual’s capabilities, give them opportunities to learn, grow and develop.
- Use the Business Toolkit of resources to help you create a more inclusive workplace.
- Refer young people living with disability aged 15-25 to CYDA’s DREAM Employment Network if they want to offer their talents and unique perspectives to forward-thinking employers.
To find more information about bringing these top tips to life, visit our Employment page.
Day 4 (Thursday 30 November): Housing and Community
There's some awesome working happening to ensure housing and communities are more accessible and inclusive for people living with disability. We'll share our insights and resources!
Social isolation and loneliness can be harmful to both mental and physical health. They are considered substantial health and wellbeing issues in Australia because of the impact they have on peoples' lives.
While social isolation and loneliness can affect anyone, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports that “people with disability aged 15–64 are twice as likely (17%) to experience social isolation as those without disability (8.7%)”. This is a worrying statistic.
What can be done to help people living with disability to feel more a part of their communities?
Top Housing and Community Tips
- Consider how you can encourage others to feel a sense of belonging when they participate in neighbourhood initiatives and activities.
- Think about the accessibility of your home and how you can make changes to make it more accessible for others.
To find more information about bringing these top tips to life, visit our Housing and Community page.
Day 5 (Friday 1 December): Education
"Every learner matters and matters equally"
Inclusive schooling is where it's at. To help you learn more, we'll share tips from our series of Raising the Bar workshops for parents and educators and our Inclusive School Communities project.
If kids grow up studying and playing alongside kids who live with disability, then it's no big leap later in life to work alongside colleagues who live with disability, or to hire and be hired by people living with disability.
On the Education page, you'll find
- Videos on the importance of inclusive education and teaching to diversity
- A brief summary of inclusive education and why it's important
- The difference between inclusion, exclusion, segregation and integration
To find more information around inclusive education and view a the videos, visit our Education page.
Day 6 (Saturday 2 December): Technology
Hey Siri, can you give me some tips? Sure thing, we've got loads of cool tech to share from the team at Stretchy Tech and our Connect with Tech project.
“Assistive technology helps provide me with equity: It enables me to engage with the world and escape the isolation that I face without the support." – Annette Holden
Read Annette's story of living with a vision impairment and the many benefits she has experienced with Assistive Technology.
Top Technology Tips
- Visit the Stretchy Tech and read the customer stories to understand the life-changing impact of inclusive assistive technology.
- Research mainstream technology options to see what is available.
- Familiarise yourself with all of the resources on the Connect with Tech website - they have been designed for people living with disability.
To find more information about bringing these top tips to life, visit our Technology page.
Day 7 (Sunday 3 December): Events
It's time to get the (accessible) party started! Let's talk accessible events!
What better way to finish up our seven days of #OneSmallThing than to share our tips on how to make your events more accessible!
There's a lot to consider when making an event accessible. To find more information on how to make your events accessible, visit our Events page.
Got #OneSmallThing you'd like to share on any of the topics above? We'd love to hear from you!
Simply send us an email at email@example.com or message us on socials with your #OneSmallThing - it can be a quick mobile video, something in writing, an audio file, a drawing, or any other medium that works for you!