Dis­abil­ity expo set to shine

Blair MP hosts vi­tal event

The Queensland Times - - NEWS - JOEL GOULD joel.gould@qt.com.au

HE ad­mits it is one of the best things he has ever done as Blair MP.

Which is why Shayne Neu­mann con­tin­ues to host the Blair Dis­abil­ity Links expo on an an­nual ba­sis, with the next event set to be held on Fri­day, De­cem­ber 1 at Bras­sall Shop­ping Cen­tre.

Last year there were well over 1000 peo­ple at the expo, show­cas­ing just how pop­u­lar it has be­come since Mr Neu­mann first held the event in 2010.

“Blair Dis­abil­ity Links gets big­ger each year, demon­strat­ing just how im­por­tant it is to con­nect the ser­vice providers with the com­mu­nity,” Mr Neu­mann said.

“The event is a great net­work­ing op­por­tu­nity for the ser­vice providers and or­gan­i­sa­tions. I held the first Blair Dis­abil­ity Links in 2010 be­cause I recog­nised the need for dis­abil­ity ser­vice providers, peo­ple liv­ing with dis­abil­ity and their car­ers to con­nect and share in­for­ma­tion through­out our lo­cal com­mu­nity.

The Blair and Som­er­set re­gion has a sub­stan­tial number of peo­ple liv­ing with a dis­abil­ity in it, show­cas­ing why the expo has been so well re­ceived by the public.

“The num­bers vary from week to week but we are talk­ing about a high pro­por­tion of peo­ple liv­ing with a dis­abil­ity here and a higher pro­por­tion of peo­ple liv­ing on a dis­abil­ity pension than nearly any other elec­torate in Queens­land,” Mr Neu­mann said, as he pro­vided some his­tor­i­cal per­spec­tive.

“That goes back to the days of the Challi­nor Cen­tre and the in­sti­tu­tion­al­i­sa­tion of peo­ple liv­ing with dis­abil­i­ties at Wa­col and where the USQ cam­pus now is.

“His­tor­i­cally it has been that peo­ple with dis­abil­ity have lived in com­mu­nity as well...adults and kids.”

Mr Neu­mann will re­lease the 2018 Blair Dis­abil­ity Links directory at the expo, a book­let which fea­tures more than 90 ser­vices and or­gan­i­sa­tions which as­sist peo­ple with dis­abil­ity and their car­ers in Ip­swich and the Som­er­set Re­gion. The directory doesn’t just link peo­ple with a dis­abil­ity to ser­vice providers.

“I am also link­ing ser­vice providers with each other be­cause not ev­ery ser­vice provider de­liv­ers the same ser­vice,” Mr Neu­mann said.

“If a client is get­ting a ser­vice in terms of trans­port, but that ser­vice provider doesn’t de­liver house­hold ser­vices, they can contact an­other ser­vice provider and point their client in that (di­rec­tion).”

Mr Neu­mann has given away more than 80,000 of the Blair Dis­abil­ity Links and Blair Se­niors Links book­lets in the past seven years.

“They go like hot­cakes,” Mr Neu­mann said.

“I have or­gan­i­sa­tions ring me up and say ‘can you de­liver a box of them’.”

If ser­vice providers wish to up­date their details in the up­com­ing re­lease of the dis­abil­ity and se­niors book­lets, or if they are not in it al­ready and want to be, they should contact Mr Neu­mann’s of­fice on 3201 5300.

Blair Dis­abil­ity Links expo is on Fri­day, De­cem­ber 1 from 10am to 2pm at Bras­sall Shop­ping Cen­tre, two days be­fore the In­ter­na­tional Day of Peo­ple with Dis­abil­ity, which celebrates the con­tri­bu­tions and achieve­ments of peo­ple with dis­abil­ity.

It shows how im­por­tant it is to link ser­vice providers with the com­mu­nity

— Shayne Neu­mann

PHOTO: DAVID NIELSEN

SUC­CESS: Shayne Neu­mann MP with Shawn Gam­ble and Peter Tully of Able Aus­tralia at the 2016 Blair Dis­abiliy Links expo.

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