Connection is vital for people living with a disability and their families as a way of obtaining both formal and informal advice and support.
Through the many disability-focused groups and organisations available, people with disabilities can even connect with others with similar backgrounds.
It's not hard to get to know others through local support groups, disability organisations or online disability forums.
A recent government report People with disability in Australia by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has drawn together information from a range of sources to look at the experiences of people with disability across different areas of interaction.
This report shows that 32 per cent of adults with disability experience high psychological distress, compared with 8 per cent without disability and 79 per cent have avoided situations in the past year (2019) for fear of discrimination.
Support is out there and contacting an organisation or community group that supports people with specific disabilities can be a good way of meeting people, getting advice and sharing experiences.
Many disability organisations run regular group meetings and social activities and may also be active on social media or have online discussion forums.
There are also self-advocacy groups run by people with disabilities who have joined together to have their voices heard. The following is a list of some of the many disability support groups available in Australia:
- First Peoples Disability Network Australia - national organisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a disability
- Able Australia - supports people living with multiple disabilities
- The Disability Advocacy Resource Unit - offers a geographical directory of disability advocacy organisations
- Vision Australia - provides blindness and low vision services
- Association for Children with a Disability - offers free information, training and NDIS funded supports
- Deaf Australia - an advocacy and information organisation for bilingual Deaf people
- BrainLink- provides support for people with an ABI, their families and carers
- Physical Disability Australia - advocates government and promotes rights
- Mind Australia - a leading provider of community mental health services
- Scope - supports people with physical, intellectual or multiple disabilities
A good place to start would be to investigate these and other disability groups online. Being a part of a bigger picture can make all the difference.