In the Media

Kelly Vincent – Vision Australia Interview Regarding International Women’s Day

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Male Announcer: On 1197AM 5RPH and digital radio it’s Question Time; a discussion with the decision makers.

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Hans Reimer: And once again it’s great to welcome Dignity for Disability MLC Kelly Vincent to Question Time. Good evening, Kelly.

Kelly Vincent: Hi Hans, how’s it going?

Hans Reimer: Good thank you. Coming up this Sunday is International Women’s Day,

Kelly Vincent: Mmm…

Hans Reimer: are you doing anything specific to celebrate it?

Kelly Vincent: I’m sure it won’t surprise you that I am. Firstly tomorrow is the International Women’s Day Luncheon, at which I’m hosting a table, and I’ve put together a table of some of the talented women that I work with from within the Dignity for Disability party and I’ll be celebrating the work that I do with them on a regular basis and the contribution to our party and the rights of women with disabilities and people with disabilities more broadly in South Australia. Natasha Stott Despoja, Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls will be speaking at that event, so I’m sure it will be a good one. And then at 6:30 the following morning in conjunction with a local artist that I’ve been working with, I’m hosting a big table at the International Women’s Day Breakfast, which Senator Penny Wong coordinates. The breakfast is in Adelaide each year and it attracts about 2,500 people to attend, so it’s a big audience and a good chance to get together and celebrate the achievements of women but also network on how to solve some of the many issues that women in Australia still face.

Hans Reimer: You do a fair bit with Women With Disability in South Australia,

Kelly Vincent: Mmm…

Hans Reimer: they have a new chapter don’t they, for young women? Can you tell us about that?

Kelly Vincent: Yes, it’s fantastic news to hear that Women With Disability Australia have launched their youth chapter to try and encourage young women with disabilities to get engaged in human rights, specifically the human rights of women with disabilities, and show young women some of the steps they can take when they’re just starting out on that path, to learn more about their rights and how to implement them. As I’m sure you’re aware Hans, I’m a big advocate for educating young people about their rights, because I think that that education holds people in good stead to make changes both for themselves and others into the future.; so it’s a really positive new network that they’re starting up and I’m really excited about it. You can find it on Facebook, they have a Facebook page for the network, if you just search WWD, so Women With Disability, WWDA sorry, Women With Disability Australia, Youth Network, that should come up on Facebook, and I’m sure if you contact Women With Disability Australia they could send you some more information as well, so I encourage everyone to get involved.

Hans Reimer: So what difference does it make to women with a disability to have their own organisation and advocacy?

Kelly Vincent: Well I think it’s very important for a number of reasons, Hans. Of course, in an ideal world, we wouldn’t need “specialist”, if you like, advocacy organisations to advocate for specific human rights, we would just understand the human experience on the spectrum on which they exist, but we don’t live in that ideal world yet, so I think it’s important because women with disabilities in particular are far more likely to experience domestic, physical, and sexual violence than our non-disabled peers, and a range of other circumstances make it difficult for women to leave abusive relationships or abusive situations; this could be that the abuser is also the person that provides their personal support, so getting them up and dressed I the morning for example; it could be financial disadvantage; the lack of accessibility in society, for example if there’s a lack of accessible public transport where you live and you can’t drive a car, it’s very difficult for you to leave that situation and go and find an accessible place to stay if you are looking to leave that situation; so there are a number of ways that we need to combat this, and again I think education is really important, and in particular I think providing young people with disabilities with adequate sex education. Often people with disabilities are infantilised or it is assumed that they can’t understand sex education, or that there are just too many taboos around disability and sexuality; however, is actually far more difficult not to have that conversation because it has the flow on effect of making a person potentially more susceptible to abuse because they don’t have the knowledge to perhaps understand what constitutes sexual, safe and health sexual behaviour and what doesn’t. We need to educate people be aware of their rights and also make sure that we’re creating an accessible society where people have the opportunity to leave abuse situations if they find themselves in it.

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Hans Reimer: Dignity for Disability MLC Kelly Vincent, thanks again for joining us on Question Time.

Kelly Vincent: Thanks, Hans.

Male Announcer: Be listening at the same time next week for Question Time; a discussion with the decision makers on 1197AM 5RPH and digital radio.

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