Women debate disability

Disability in the Arts, Disadvantage in the Arts WA chairwoman and Carlisle resident Helen Errington. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au   d436063
Disability in the Arts, Disadvantage in the Arts WA chairwoman and Carlisle resident Helen Errington. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au d436063

Disability in the Arts, Disadvantage in the Arts WA chairwoman Helen Errington said it was women with disabilities who found it the hardest.

A forum to discuss the issue is on 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 disabilities gaining leadership roles.

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

Speaking from her own experience, Ms Errington said she had to overcome a lot of myths and negative attitudes to disability before she could attain a leadership role.

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

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