Wagga is preparing for the biggest celebration of people with disabilities it's ever seen.
On December 1, support groups around Wagga will coordinate entertainment and showcase their services for International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Wagga's Riverside Precinct will feature live music from The Mighty Yak, dance, speakers, stalls, activities, food and drink.
Team lead of the Disability Royal Commission counselling and support team at Relationships Australia Canberra and Region Amanda "Bex" Beckett said while Wagga had held events for the day before, this year would be bigger, better, and more coordinated.
"This time, we want to make it more of a community focused event, so we're asking any services and supports in the disability spaces or even schools if they want to come down and take part in the day," she said.
"Council are involved as well, and we have ADA [Aged and Disability Advocates] coming along. They usually put on a big dance party.
"We want everyone to come along and join this day that celebrates disability."
IN OTHER NEWS:
This is my Brave Australia (TIMBA) will be hosting a live storytelling event, where people have the opportunity to hear from people with lived experience with disability.
This follows the success of an earlier TIMBA event at the CSU Riverina Playhouse that received rave reviews from audience members.
TIMBA founder Tim Daly said they want to breaking down stigma through the power of storytelling.
"We try to get as many stories out there regarding, in this instance, disability to break down those stigmas, and promote inclusion and diversity," he said.
"Our live storytelling event in Wagga was a great success, and we got great feedback from that, so this is where this all eventuated.
"We'll be showing some of the stories we recorded in Wagga, and hopefully we'll have some new storytellers up on the stage during the event."
Ms Beckett said personal stories in this area were important not only in dispelling stigma, but dispelling mystery around the lives of people with disabilities.
The social model of disability is increasingly popular in discussions around disability. It holds people are disabled by attitudes and social conventions, not their physical or mental ailments.
This means simply hearing someone's story can have a bigger affect than the listener realises.
"It's not the wheelchair a person is using - it's the missing ramp," Ms Beckett said.
"Hearing people's stories helps us recognise where we're not seeing or understanding people's lives.
"The disability royal commission has wound up now, with 222 recommendations. I think it's a really great way to wind up that time, and have a celebration of all that work."
Patrons and willing volunteers can learn more by contacting Bex on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The United Nations theme for International Day of Persons with Disabilities is United in action to rescue and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for, with and by persons with disabilities.
The official date in 2023 is December 3. The Wagga celebrations will take place from 10am to 2pm at the Riverside precinct on December 1.
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