After a lifetime of institutionalisation, more than 360 ageing people with intellectual disabilities are finding their place within their local communities, through art.
The Lost Generation project, developed by the Disability Services Commission and the arts organisation DADAA, will link residents in commission-run accommodation with activities that will increase their engagement with their local communities.
Launching the project in Midland, Disability Services Minister Tony McRae said this group of people were particularly vulnerable to social isolation.
“For the most part, this generation of people have lived their lives in institutions,” Mr McRae said.
“Many are now reaching retirement age and the opportunity to fill their days with meaningful and enjoyable activities is diminishing.
“As a result, their links to their local community are becoming tenuous and there is a real risk they will become socially isolated.”
The Minister said the Lotterywest-sponsored project used art and film as a link between participants and their communities to develop and maintain social and physical skills among ageing people with disabilities.
“Importantly, it provides a way for people who have limited communication means to express themselves and connect with their communities,” he said.
Mr McRae said community support was vital to the success of the project.
“A total of 10 local governments have agreed to work on the project with people living within their areas - comprising the Town of Kwinana and the Cities of Swan, Cockburn, Rockingham, Mandurah, Melville, Fremantle, Stirling, Joondalup and Wanneroo.
“There also have been expressions of interest and support from businesses, particularly the Rio Tinto WA Future Fund.
“It is through this level of commitment and community partnerships that the project’s participants will find new friends and contacts within the community.”
The State Government is planning for the Lost Generation project to run across WA for up to five years.
Minister's office - 9213 7150