VALID currently supports 23 PAGs based in local communities across Victoria. The groups include self-advocacy groups, peer support action groups and parent action groups. They are very diverse and are at very different stages of development – some have been going for 12 months, others are only just starting, but all bring a commitment to changing the way communities respond to the aspirations of people with disabilities. Whilst the initial impetus for developing the groups was to provide information about the NDIS, we are starting to see the groups take on broader community issues with members beginning to focus on a range of concerns that they have identified.
Some of the issues PAGs are working on include:
- Getting access to paid work opportunities
- Moving out of home
- Acknowledging the leadership skills of people with disabilities and nurturing their development
- Access to affordable transport
- Support to become more independent
- Support and effective services for people with behaviours of concern under the NDIS
A key success factor for the groups is the role of the PAG Facilitator. Each group selects a facilitator who is responsible for developing and leading the group in partnership with the VALID Community Development team..
The PAGS started when VALID was initially funded as a Disability Support Organisation to support people with disabilities and their families to prepare for and engage with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
To do this, we have established, and continue to establish, Peer Action Groups (PAG) to help people build their capacity as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is rolled out across Victoria.
Individual capacity building leading to working with families, friends and the community leading and creating change within the broader community
The Peer Action Groups are a support base for the Mainstream and Me Community Educators enabling people with a disability to work with businesses, government and the community to make systemic changes.
As well as providing individual mentoring to PAG Facilitators, VALID also brings facilitators together on a monthly basis to share information, strategise, offer mutual support and learnings, and foster development of the facilitator’s leadership aspirations.
If you are interested in joining a Peer Action Group or volunteering as a leader/facilitator, or would like to start a group in your local area please contact David Craig [email protected]
You can find the contact details for Peer Action Groups here