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Accessibility

Trail-blazing Aussies improving Australia’s disability space

Churchill Fellow Helen Smith

The Winston Churchill Trust is accessibility and inclusive practices for persons with disabilities. Every year the Trust awards Fellowships to people who identify as having a disability and to people also want to improve things for Australians to make us a more inclusive society.

As an early example – back in 1981, personal computers were only just emerging, certainly not used to assist people with disabilities. Yet in 1981, the Churchill Trust sent Jan Kornweibel from Western Australia around the world to study developments in the practical application of microprocessor computer-based aids for the disabled. She went to the USA, France, the Netherlands and the UK. Jan was a trailblazer, and this year received a Churchill Trust Recognition Award for her work in the community.

“On International Day of People with Disability, we are proud to congratulate and introduce our new Fellows who will be working in ground-breaking areas of disability and inclusion.” said Adam Davey, CEO of the Winston Churchill Trust.

“Our Fellows represent the spectrum of disabilities from blindness, deafness and other physical disabilities, to cognitive impairments and neurodiversity.

“The breadth of areas our Fellows are working within to improve society for people with disabilities cuts across all elements from the arts, justice systems, to transport and infrastructure.”

This year’s Churchill Fellows who are focusing on improving outcomes for people in the disability space include:

Belinda O’Connor (ACT) –  The NRMA – ACT Road Safety Trust Churchill Fellowship to identify success factors and barriers for low vision and telescopic glasses driving;

Dan Graham (NSW) – The Gilbert Spottiswood Churchill Fellowship to investigate greater opportunities for professional performing artists with neurodiversity;

Laura Anderson (VIC) –To understand global approaches to supporting rehabilitation for cognitively impaired offenders;

Jody Barney (VIC) –To engage with other First Nations Deaf people working within the Justice Systems;

Claire Fraser (VIC) –To investigate the use of creative arts modalities with people born deafblind to improve wellbeing; and

Patricia Malowney (VIC) – The Rodney Warmington Estate Churchill Fellowship to assess international best practice for end to end transport opportunities for disabled people.

Rohan Symonds – (VIC) To measure the effects of Project Team in America learnings for Australia’s implementation teaching individuals with disabilities how to identify their barriers and generate solutions.

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