The City of Playford talks about the impact of Let’s Talk Disability workshops in their workplace.

For many, interacting with people with disability can feel challenging. You want to do the right thing, but you’re not always sure what the right thing is, and sometimes you’re left feeling awkward.

Let’s Talk Disability provide fun interactive workshops that lift the lid on any awkwardness. Tailored to different businesses, councils and the corporate sector – the workshops are led by people with disability whose honest, no-nonsense approach will have you laughing while learning. 

The City of Playford in South Australia have brought in the Let’s Talk Disability team several times to deliver disability awareness training for staff. Amy Godfrey – Coordinator of Disability Access & Social Inclusion at the City Council –  talked to us about how the workshops have helped make a difference in their workplace. 

How did you find out about Let’s Talk Disability? 

I was on the look-out for informative and fun disability awareness training for staff that was delivered by people with lived experience of disability. We saw an advertisement on the NDS LinkedIn page  – and we were really excited to find out more information.

What do you like about the workshops? 

We love that the workshops are presented by people with lived experience of disability (and different experiences). It makes the experience less academic and more relatable. The workshop structure is also really engaging – you don’t just sit down and listen. It’s interactive, fun, humorous and personal. Ultimately – Let’s Talk Disability provide a safe space for everyone to ask questions, learn and share.

Have you seen any positive impacts directly occur as a result of the training? 

We’ve seen a real shift in thinking around projects and everyday decisions internally at Council as a direct result of the workshops. Staff are seeing the role they play in enabling greater access and inclusion for people living with disability  – and know who to connect with if they need further advice.”

“Influential community leaders have also continued to talk about disability within their communities well after the workshops –  to help reduce stigma and create positive and safe spaces for families.

What do you feel are the benefits of the workshops for businesses? 

People don’t know what they don’t know. Unless you have personally experienced disability in your life, it can often feel daunting to know if you’re using the correct language –  and how to provide an accessible and inclusive environment for people living with disability.”

“The workshops really helped us create a safe environment for people to talk openly about disability – and helped staff gain self-assurance and confidence in communicating and supporting people with disability. Personal stories shared by facilitators gave great insight for attendee’s to think about how they could look to enable positive participation of people living with disability in the community.

You’ve booked the workshops a couple of times – what reason/s do you book them again for staff? 

We received some great feedback months afterwards from staff who attended the first four workshops.

When it came to delivering a project for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities to reduce stigma around disability –  we decided we needed Let’s Talk Disability involved. As part of our planning discussions, we also incorporated a session of peer mentoring to build community capacity in having conversations about disability in public settings. LTD were very helpful in tailoring workshops to suit specific business and community project objectives.

What is some of the feedback from staff you’ve received on the workshops? 

We’ve received incredibly positive feedback from staff who have participated in workshops!

“Powerful messaging. Brilliant!”

“Fabulous and engaging speakers”

“Fantastic workshop – should be mandatory for all staff!!”

“More programs like this in schools, community and workplaces!”

“The presenters’ enthusiasm was infectious!”

“A session on disability by people with disability. Awesome!”

 What would you say in recommending the workshops to another business?  

We highly recommend these workshops to other organisations!

Everyone in society plays a role in enabling people with disabilities to live a life they deserve, just like everyone else. Let’s Talk Disability workshops play an important role in raising awareness and confidence in staff to understand the role they play, the difference they can make and in challenging the stereotypical mindsets around disability in the community, shifting thinking to accept and champion diversity.

Is there anything you have yourself taken away from the workshops? 

I am always aware that I work in an access and inclusion role, but have not had a personal experience of disability. I greatly value the opportunity to hear and learn how I can personally  improve accessibility, engagement and communication for people with disability – both in the workplace and in greater society. It’s something I personally feel very passionate about.

Everyone in society plays a role in enabling people with disabilities to live a life they deserve, just like everyone else.

Amy Godfrey

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