Disability in the Jewish community: video launched

Representatives from Jewish organisations and David Southwick MP (third from right) marking International Day of People with a Disability in Caulfield on December 3.

AS International Day of People with a Disability was marked around the globe on Sunday, several Jewish organisations came together to host the “You can ask me anything” breakfast held at the Caulfield Park Pavilion.

Maccabi All Abilities, Jewish Care, Access, Flying Fox and AUJS hosted nearly 100 people for a no-holds barred conversation with members of the community who live with a disability, together with their families.

Questions discussed ranged from light-hearted inquiries such as “What is your ideal Sunday?” to more personal queries such as “What is your biggest fear?”

Hailing the event as a major success, Michelle Feiglin, a parent of a child with a disability, said, “It enabled a very real glimpse into the lives of people and their families living with a disability.

“The tears and laughter around the table where I sat reflected the power of the morning in tapping into the real issues that face us all as human beings.”

The organisations also launched a new video, You Can Ask Me Anything – Living with a Disability in the Jewish Community, featuring interviews with 11 members of the community with a disability.

Access president Vicki Factor said she was proud to see the community coming together for the event.

“It was a privilege to watch our clients who access services at Access, Jewish Care, Maccabi and Flying Fox engage with and help us educate the community about what it means to live with a disability.”

Sharon Malecki agreed, although she noted there’s far more to be done.

“In the past 30 years, we have come a long way towards improving the inclusion of people with disabilities in our community but we still have a long way to go,” she said.

“It shouldn’t have to be our disability providers running events for the disability community, it should be our communal organisations running events for our community, which acknowledge and celebrate the value of all abilities.”

Member for Caulfield David Southwick said “The weekend’s forum demonstrated the importance of starting the conversation, treating people equally and looking beyond a person’s disability.

“We are very lucky to have some great organisations … working together to advance social inclusion in our community for those of all abilities.”

Watch the video at https://goo.gl/mJuBnq.