The Bendigo Autistic Advocacy and Support Service is inviting people to have their say on the group’s 2018 direction as it continues to grow and tackle a lack of inclusiveness in the city.
The service launchedin 2016 to support and mentor autistic people and their families. The group also aims to advocates for inclusion.
BAASS co-convener Susanna Flanagan said a lack of inclusion was still a problem in Bendigo.
“The interesting thing is that currently ‘inclusion’ is a bit of a buzzword and its being used increasingly because of things like the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme,” she said.
“But what we find is that in a lot of contexts some groups are committed to inclusiveness but have no meaningful understanding of what that means.”
Mrs Flanagan said others were using the word to appeal for funding without necessarily putting enough thought into how to make programs or projects inclusive.
She said BAASS had approached organisations and offered to work with them to show how they could be become more truly inclusive.
This year offered BAASS the chance to build on its existing programs, including those focused on inclusiveness, as well as bring more people on board and strengthening structures, Mrs Flanagan said.
The service was inviting members of the public to a community meeting on Friday 19 January to share their ideas or get involved.
They wanted to hear from a broad range of people and organisations that might want to link in with them.
The meeting would also offer a chance for discussions on alternative venues that could save the group money in the future.
The meeting takes place from 5pm at 125 Willis Street Bendigo and people are encouraged to email BAASS to confirm their attendance at firstname.lastname@example.org