Recognising lived disability within the workforce

Recognising lived disability within the workforce

International Day of People with Disability is held on December 3 each year. It aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability and celebrate their achievements and contributions.

Baptcare is proud to celebrate one our employees, Belinda Allen, Community Connector – NDIS based in Hobart, on this Day.

Belinda was one of the first females in Australia to be diagnosed with a rare form of Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy at the age of 11. She became wheelchair dependent after falling pregnant with her son (now 22).

Moving from Queensland to Tasmania three years ago, she found it hard to find work. With a background in working as the Founding CEO of a service that provided individuals with acquired brain injuries and high care supports with accommodation services in small local communities, she was well qualified but still received knockback after knockback.

“Trying to find a job in Tasmania as a person with a disability, who had skills and attributes was a very difficult task for me. I was told by disability employment services that I was too highly qualified to work in the State Government and other services. After applying for 300 jobs, I found Baptcare and they accepted me and my skillset,” said Belinda.

Belinda works at Baptcare as a Local Area Coordinator in the Community in the South West Region of Tasmania where she assists people to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

She finds that her lived experience with disability helps in understanding the clients she interacts with on a daily basis.

“I have definitely found there is a mutual understanding and it has made a significant difference in my relationships with my NDIS clients,” said Belinda.

However, working with a disability has not been without its challenges.

“The main challenges for me have been transport, access to buildings and functions, and the culture of the community. I believe there needs to be a cultural change in the attitude toward people with disabilities working,” said Belinda.

“I am thankful for my Baptcare team members and management for their support. I haven’t encountered any challenges while working at Baptcare as I have been fully supported, my needs have been met and I love the culture and commitment to the Values and Mission of the organisation. I am grateful to Baptcare for their total acceptance,” said Belinda.

Looking to the future Belinda hopes to provide those she serves with, “access to the NDIS, full use of the Scheme, the ability to live a good life, and a totally inclusive lifestyle with an improved provision of supports”.

Baptcare is committed to building a respectful and inclusive workplace, appointing the best person for the role and supporting diversity. Baptcare welcomes applicants who may require adjustments.

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Baptcare joins National Redress Scheme

Baptcare Victoria and Tasmania has joined the National Redress Scheme to provide acknowledgement and support to people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse. The Scheme was created in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which estimated that 60,000 people experienced institutional child sexual abuse in Australia. Redress is an alternative to seeking compensation through the courts and can provide people with access to: counselling;a payment; anda direct personal response from the institution (for example an apology) for people who want it.The Scheme started on 1 July 2018 and will run for 10 years. Baptcare has now joined the Scheme, which means that if there are people who were abused in the care of Baptcare, they can apply to the Scheme for redress. Baptcare also represents the following defunct institutions: Abercare (Price Street, Essendon), Abercare (Buckley Street, Essendon), Abercare (Niddrie), Abercare (Keilor), Abercare (Moonee Ponds), Westside Children’s Home, Heathmont Family Group Home, Boronia Family Group Home, Baptist Social Services, Baptist Community Care Ltd. We believe it is vitally important to endorse and join this Scheme, supporting people who have experienced abuse. People can apply now using an online or paper form. Free and confidential Redress Support Services are available throughout the process. For more information, visit nationalredress.gov.au or call the National Redress Scheme line on 1800 737 377. -ENDS- About BaptcareBaptcare is a purpose driven organisation focused on delivering the best of care to people of all ages, cultures, beliefs and circumstances. Through our social enterprise model, we deliver better outcomes for more than 13,000 people in our community, combining the best commercial practice with a social a heart. Baptcare has more than 3,000 dedicated staff across Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia to deliver the best of care to people in Residential Aged Care, Retirement Living, In Home Care, Family and Children Services, Affordable Housing and Disability