The last few weeks have been really exciting and energising for me. Real change is happening. Over the past couple of weeks I have had the privilege of working with, meeting and speaking to a large number of people who really believe in living and learning about real inclusion. I am also on track with my research and am really enjoying the actual process of my PhD.
Early May we worked with all of the fourth year pharmacy students at the University of Queensland. The students got to participate in our hands-on experiential workshop exploring both physical as well as hidden disabilities. There was lots of fun and laughter, as well as important conversations and questions about feelings, emotions that were generated through the process and even more importantly critical reflection about the link between lived disability and community pharmacy and the general workplace support and information role the students will perform. The commitment and enthusiasm of these students and their desire to learn more about disability and difference was very encouraging.
Last week I was excited and honoured to be the keynote speaker for the NDS - National Disability Services annual conference held at Jupiter's Casino on the Gold Coast. With over 450 delegates it was a great event to be a part of. There was exciting discussions based around the many current topical issues around disability. There was good information about current government directions and policy and the many interesting issues surrounding the NDIS. There were some great speakers and I met many many people who are really supportive of new and exciting and innovative approaches to caring and disability and real lived inclusion. We need an industry that believes in entitlement. People with disabilities have an entitlement and a right to good quality flexible care that they are in charge of. They need to be able to choose what they want. What they need and how it is done for them and how they can best live their lives.
It has to be their decisions as it is their life.