Albany is to host the first country service dealing with human relationships and sexuality for people with intellectual disabilities.
‘Launching the new ‘People 1st Programme’ today (Friday) Disability Services Minister Paul Omodei said Albany was selected to receive the award-winning service following a needs analysis of the South-West, and the positive and receptive response the concept received from service providers in the region.
Mr Omodei said the program had assisted more than 1,150 Perth people with intellectual disabilities and their families to address complex personal issues for the past six years, and the Albany service would focus primarily on providing people with advice on a range of protective behaviours.
“We have created a more accessible community for people with disabilities, but with increased community participation comes an increased need to ensure that they are not socially isolated and are aware of protective behaviours,” he said.
“Some people with intellectual disabilities can be vulnerable to exploitation and abuse and the ‘People 1st Programme’ can provide them with the knowledge and skills they need to keep safe.
“This program offers people with disabilities, their families and other stakeholders a practical and common-sense approach to resolving personal issues that can beset us all from time to time, but that could have a significant impact on the lives of people with disabilities.”
Mr Omodei said the program was being established partly through a $50,000 grant from the State Government through the Disability Services Commission.
“It is particularly pleasing to be able to launch such an innovative and effective service in a major regional centre,” he said.
“Real acceptance, real community inclusion and real improved quality of life for Western Australians with disabilities and their families can only be achieved through strengthening the ability of our community to respond effectively and creatively to their needs.
“Services such as the ‘People 1st Programme’ are doing just that and will make a significant contribution towards a more welcoming community for all.”
Media contact: Hugh Ryan 9213 6700