Cultural Perspectives launches MiAccess website – Multilingual Information Access for people with disability and their carers at its inaugural community education session at Bankstown, Sydney. The website launch marks a major milestone of the three-year National CALD Disability Information Project delivered by Cultural Perspectives under the Information Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) Program, aiming to build understanding of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) among people with disability from CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) background and to increase their access to information in their languages.
MiAccess (www.miaccess.com.au) is accessible in 10 languages: Arabic, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Dari, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Spanish, Thai, and Vietnamese, and hosts information in over 30 languages that is essential in both understanding disability environments and accessing the NDIS as well as understanding the particular issues experienced by people with disability from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
The community education session is the inaugural event of a series of strategically planned community engagement activities, jointly held with the Arab Council Australia for a group of Arabic community members to showcase the new website and build their understanding of the NDIS.
People from CALD backgrounds have similar rates of disability as other Australians but are less likely to receive formal assistance. CALD people with disability have lower rates of disability service use at 30-50% usage compared to people born in Australia. CALD status of active participants with an approved plan remained at 9.2% nationally in August 2020 (compared to 8% in December 2018) which is well below the estimated 20% of people from CALD backgrounds who have disability.
Pino Migliorino, Managing Director of Cultural Perspectives Group and former Chair of the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia said: “It is evident that people with disability from CALD backgrounds have a need for relevant and easy to access multilingual information on the NDIS. We are proud of this project and the benefits it will deliver to people with disability from CALD backgrounds, their carers, families and the broader community.”
“The MiAccess website will become an important online destination for all multilingual matters and information about the NDIS and disability in CALD communities”
Hala Al Duleimi, the Health and Disability Unit Manager at Arab Council Australia, said at the community education session “I’m excited to be at the first community event where MiAccess is launched and introduced to the Arabic community. For people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds navigating and understanding the social system in Australia can be both difficult and a real obstacle. The provision of translated resources and information will definitely meet their needs and help them access the NDIS and services they need”
The project has been greatly enhanced by the innovative development of immersive VR learning experiences and using them as a way of telling personal stories of people with disability from CALD communities and the way in which an NDIS plan has empowered them and increased their quality of life. The VR experiences have been featured in the community engagement aspect of the project. The project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services. Visit www.dss.gov.au for more information