Campaign spreads Accept Difference message

Community advocates: Annette Bush and her son Jacob support the media and education campaign.

Community advocates: Annette Bush and her son Jacob support the media and education campaign.

FAMILIES with disability are having their voices heard in a groundbreaking social change campaign.

The Bush family from the Nambucca Valley is among them.

Annette Bush has been advocating for her son Jacob to be included in the full aspects of life since his birth 17 years ago.

Jacob has Down Syndrome as one of his many attributes. 

“Unfortunately with disability, many times people are segregated and they are segregated because they have a disability and for no other reason,” Mrs Bush said.

“I don’t think that’s fair and that is why we are very strong advocates for inclusion.”

Mrs Bush is featured in the radio community announcement and Jacob appears in some of the print advertisements.

The home-grown media and education campaign communicates the important Accept Difference message to the community.

Early Connections, an alliance of a group of five early intervention services from Taree to Coffs Harbour, has been funded to roll out an awareness and social change campaign encouraging greater inclusion of families with disability.

The campaign aims to break down the stigma people with disability can experience in public and foster a greater feeling of acceptance of difference and heightened awareness among the broader community.

Port Macquarie mum Emily Kinney supports the campaign and has provided feedback on the website.

Mrs Kinney’s five-year-old son Arthur has the rare disorder, Angelman Syndrome.

She hopes the campaign will raise awareness about the importance of inclusion.

“While our general experiences have been overwhelmingly positive, there have been a few little times we have been frustrated,” she said.

A three-month advertising campaign, as well as business and community education and online activity around #Accept Difference, are part of the initiative.

Real-life case studies will be shared too. 

One in five Australians have disability and research shows the benefits of inclusion.