Women take lead in fighting myths

Disability in the Arts,  Disadvantage in the  Arts WA chairwoman  Helen Errington. Picture: Martin Kennealey d436063
Disability in the Arts, Disadvantage in the Arts WA chairwoman Helen Errington. Picture: Martin Kennealey d436063

Chairwoman of the Fremantle-based Disability in the Arts, Disadvantage in the Arts WA, Helen Errington, said it was women with disabilities who found it the hardest.

A forum to discuss the issue will be held in Victoria Park at VisAbility on Thursday.

�Women with disability, in particular rural women with disability, have been the most marginalised of all disability populations when it comes to leadership and governance,� Ms Errington said.

She said the forum would raise awareness about women with disability gaining leadership roles.

The forum will include talks from some of WA�s most successful women leaders in policy, disability and the arts.

Ms Errington said she had to overcome a lot of myths and society�s attitude to disability before she could get to a leadership role.

�There were exceptional people around but by and large the broader groups in community with disability were marginalised to a degree,� she said.

�Some of this has to do with expectations of the ambitions for people with disability by society and people can be fearful of engaging with people with disability; they don�t know what to say.

�I felt others were getting a better go than me because of my disability, but I just needed a few resources to give me a leg up.

�I could think, write, speak and learn, I just needed a wheelchair and a ramp.�

Ms Errington said the marginalisation was rarely intentional but positive promotion was needed to help people get over their �automatic� views.