'She spoke in a way I could understand'
The Public Advocate Colleen Pearce was delighted to take part in the monthly meet-up of Voice at the Table graduates on 6 June 2019.
Voice at the Table (VATT) works to redress the barriers that people with cognitive disabilities face in exercising their right to civic, economic and political participation.
In 2018, VATT:
- co-designed and delivered four training courses for people with cognitive disabilities
- engaged 43 people with disabilities in consumer participation training, mentoring and gave them the tools so that they could participate on boards, committees, advisory groups and consultations
- trained and employed 10 people with cognitive disabilities as VATT facilitators
- launched the VATT website voiceatthetable.com.au
- trained 135 staff and volunteers from 33 community and public sector organisations in Inclusive Meeting Practice and Consumer Participation.
An independent evaluation conducted by Effective Change Pty Ltd found positive impacts for individuals, organisations and the community.
VATT's mission aligns with OPA's goal to learn from and use the lived experience and knowledge of people with disability in policy development and systemic advocacy work (as described in OPA's Disability Action Plan).
The VATT graduates were very positive about Colleen's participation in their June meeting, with feedback including the very important "she spoke in a way I could understand".