QDeNgage offers Queenslanders the opportunity to engage people living with disability
Businesses, organisations and individuals, including those involved in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector will be able to better engage with Queenslanders living with disability thanks to a new initiative spearheaded by the Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN).
The initiative, known as QDeNgage will provide consultancy, engagement, training and speakers for Queensland businesses and organisations. For example, an early childhood service may use QDeNgage consultants to explore how accessible their centre would be for a parent with a sight impairment, or an outside school hours care (OSHC) service may use the consultancy to learn more about how to support a parent with mobility issues who wishes to volunteer at the service.
The initiative was launched yesterday by Queensland Minister for Disability Services Coralee O’Rourke, alongside QDN CEO Paige Armstrong. Ms O’Rourke said the new initiative will help businesses and organisations undertake disability inclusion health checks, conduct disability inclusion training for staff, and host customer and consumer engagement sessions with people with disability.
“Consultants will work with business, services, researchers and Government to plan, design, deliver and evaluate services, products, environments and policies to deliver on quality, accessibility, affordability, inclusion and innovation,” Ms O’Rourke added.
Ms Armstrong noted the diverse range of skills consultants from QDeNgage bring to the table, saying they were available to assist organisations to design, deliver and evaluate their services, products, and policies to include the perspective of people with a disability.
“A lot of organisations are seeing the real value in engaging a QDeNgage Consultant and we are looking forward to working with businesses, organisations and Government agencies who want to give themselves this market edge,” Ms Armstrong said.
QDN Chairperson Nigel Webb hoped for improved outcomes for those living with a disability in Queensland, through businesses engaging in the program. He noted that by involving people living with disability from the beginning, businesses and organisations could design products and services that meet a broader, more inclusive range of needs.
“QDeNgage can help you connect with the 20 per cent of the Queensland population who identify as people living with a disability. We know that one in five Queenslanders identify as having a disability and want to be customers and consumers of all that business, industry and the community has to offer.”
Ms O’Rourke said the program was illustrative of the Queensland Government’s commitment to State which is inclusive, adding “we want to create thriving communities where Queenslanders, regardless of their ability, can be included and participate in their communities, be resilient and enjoy social and economic wellbeing”.
For more information about QDeNgage, visit https://qdn.org.au/our-work/qdns-work/qdengage/.