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Deafblind Awareness Week: DBA Story: Steve Hardy

Steve is from the Sunny Coast, Queensland and is an avid supporter in bringing the best of not only himself, as a Deafblind person, but to many of this peers he has supported for nearly 2 decades: Meet Steve Hardy: ‘I am Deafblind and have been fortunate to have participated

Steve is from the Sunny Coast, Queensland and is an avid supporter in bringing the best of not only himself, as a Deafblind person, but to many of this peers he has supported for nearly 2 decades:

Meet Steve Hardy:

‘I am Deafblind and have been fortunate to have participated in deafblind advocacy, mentoring, leadership and administrative roles with Deafblind Australia ((DBA) for more than 17 years.

I really valued being on the Board of Deafblind Australia, finding the time really useful for developing collaboration and leadership skills, serving as President for a term, working on Membership Engagement and more recently the CRM system to support the community.

In 2016, I was selected to be trained and employed by The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) to become NDIS Champions – to deliver reliable, fact-checked information about the NDIS in their local communities.

I really enjoy getting an outcome for people, and I have had the opportunity to impart my skills and experience and help out within the community, advocating and mentoring participants in the community, particularly around NDIS matters.

In my view, and from my own personal experience, and working with other deafblind people, I believe the NDIS is the most significant and positive social program revolution that has opened up enormous opportunities for deafblind people all over Australia to connect and network to overcome their adversities of isolation and lack of employment skill-building for economic participation in the Community.

Able-bodied people are able to be paid under the NDIS, and Deafblind people should also have that opportunity for economic participation benefits.

The NDIS is the most satisfying social program I have ever been involved and the Information Linkages and Capacity (ILC) Capacity Building program, which has allowed me to participate in these supporting roles with DBA.

The NDIS ILC program has been most successful in allowing greater networking and connections in the Deafblind Community all across Australia with many workshops, online forums and team projects.

ILC funding has allowed me gainful employment to assist with delivering DBA projects and programs as part of the wider deafblind engagement process.

It is disappointing ILC funding has ceased for DBA, as much work is still to be done, particularly in overcoming the enormous gap for Deafblind people, who are extremely disadvantaged by isolation, which affects their communication, socialization, mobility and everyday life.

Through this cut in funding by DSS, I no longer have any gainful employment to utilise my experience and skills for funded DBA projects, which is sad, because there is much more work to be done in the Deafblind Community’, Steve Hardy.

Watch the AUSLAN video on Youtube or watch below:

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