Volunteerability toolkit launches to provide employment opportunities

Posted 10 months ago by David McManus
Volunteerability was set up in 2020 to support South Australians living with
disability find meaningful volunteering roles and to identify and break-down barriers to inclusion. (Source: Supplied)
Volunteerability was set up in 2020 to support South Australians living with disability find meaningful volunteering roles and to identify and break-down barriers to inclusion. (Source: Supplied)

An online toolkit, co-designed by people living with disability to improve volunteering opportunities has launched in Adelaide.

At a time when volunteer groups are crying out for more help, the new resource is a one-stop shop of tools, tips and templates to inform people living with disability, their carers, the disability sector, and volunteering-involving organisations.

Orana Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jim Liu says the toolkit provides workplace safety education using accessible videos. It is aimed to debunk unfair stereotypes, offer ways to overcome real and perceived barriers and to assist organisations, along with volunteer managers, to build and improve inclusive practices for people of all abilities.

“There are broader community benefits too – on the one hand we have organisations desperately seeking volunteers, and on the other hand there [are] a large number of people with disability who want to help out their community,” says Mr Liu. 

Annette Holden, Volunteerability disability awareness session co-facilitator, says volunteering had changed her life for the better after she became legally blind more than a decade ago.

“There is a huge pool of talented and skilled people who want to engage in the community, who are isolated and could do some incredible volunteering work if given the opportunity,” says Ms Holden, an Adelaide-born former journalist and communications officer for Australian Prime Ministers and Senators.

The new toolkit has been co-designed by people with disability, volunteer and disability groups and is part of the Volunteerability Program. This program is a partnership between Orana Australia, Southern Volunteering South Australia (SA) Inc, and Northern Volunteering South Australia (SA) Inc — funded by the Australian Department of Social Services.

 

Without volunteers, our communities would be very different places. Volunteers make an immeasurable contribution, not only to our community, but also to our economy – they are the heart of so many communities and we should never take them for granted,” says Human Service Minister Nat Cook.

“Volunteering supports pathways to employment reduces social isolation and provides opportunities for inclusion.”

Mel Kerton, Chief Executive Officer of Southern Volunteering (SA) Inc, says that no stone has been left unturned and no question unanswered in the utility of the toolkit.

“I’ve been working in the volunteer sector for nearly 30 years, and I have never seen anything like this toolkit. It is a deep-dive into good practice around involving people with disability,” says Ms Kerton.

For volunteer organisations like Green Australia, the toolkit assists with disability training in an inclusive, insightful and meaningful way, to provide a plethora of ways to engage people living with impairments for the good of society.

Amy Anderson from Green Adelaide, says resources like disability awareness training can open your eyes to how much more inclusive volunteering can be. Amy is the engagement officer for the metropolitan landscape board and helps support more than 100 volunteer groups to help make Adelaide a cooler, greener, wilder and climate-resilient city.

“I think any volunteer manager or staff members interested in building their volunteer base by making it more inclusive should look at the tool kit,” says Amy.

Green Adelaide is among the government and non-government volunteer-involving organisations helping Volunteerability launch the new online toolkit. To access the toolkit for yourself or your organisation, please check it out through the Volunteerability website.