Speak My Language - CALD and Indigenous communities talking about living well with a disability (SML) is a national initiative funded by the NDIA, that will be rolled out over 3 years - 2020, 2021 and 2022.

SML involves CALD and Indigenous Australians with disabilities, and their supporters, sharing real stories and experiences, via podcast, broadcast and online.

The stories will be about living well with a disability, and they will inform people about skills and resources available in the community to support people to live well.

Additional interviews with guest speakers will give accurate and up-to-date information about further opportunities in the community. Together, the podcasts, broadcasts or videos will provide practical tips on utilising personal skills and talents, and community resources and networks, in order to live well with disability - at home, in the community and at work or school.

Importantly, we are aiming to deliver this content in over 25 community languages, and the content will be culturally appropriate because it will be generated from within cultural and linguistic communities, and within Aboriginal communities.

The Ethnic Communities Council of NSW is delivering the program in partnership with state and territory based Ethnic and Multicultural Communities’ Councils. SML is an initiative funded by the National Disability Insurance Agency.

Program Objectives

As SML is funded under the NIP, we are required to do this by:

  • Increasing the accessibility, quality, and consistency of information available to people with disability, families, carers and relevant supports and services
  • Improving the capacity of people with disability to exercise choice and control
  • Enhancing the ability of relevant supports & services to respond to the needs expectations of people with disability
  • Complementing, not duplicating information already provided by NDIA, or NDIA Partners in the Community

Guiding Principles

  • SML will have a person and life focus, not a disability or NDIS focus Adults with disability have the same legal and ethical rights as all other adults
  • Children with disabilities have the same rights as all other children.
  • SML will vigorously protect the legal and ethical rights of children and young people
  • SML will not directly work with children under 16 years
  • Young people between 16 and 18 years can be directly involved in SML, but only with a parent present, and ONLY where the agency employing the Traveller provides the necessary documentation to ECCNSW relating to Child Safety under the MOU
  • All people are cultural beings (e.g. consider concepts such as ‘individual’, ‘family’, ‘person-centred’, ‘disability’ through the cultural lens)
  • SML will explore and respect cultural identity Communities are the greatest source of inspiration and supporting Inclusion is everyone’s business
  • Barriers to inclusion must be challenged – by challenging cultural taboos or concepts where these are barriers to inclusion
  • SML will identify and address any actual or perceived conflicts of interest (such as Travellers interviewing clients of their service)

SML will seek to build the capacity of all who encounter the program, including but not limited to:

  • Individuals
  • Families
  • Teams and Organisations
  • Community
  • Broader Society