Earlier this year, we launched a unique set of videos featuring people from a multicultural background living with disability.

In the videos, people tell their story in their mother tongue, as we attempt to battle stigma associated with mental health and disability across multicultural communities in Australia.

The videos remind us that mental health and disability can impact anyone, with the hope that they will encourage more people to reach out for support.

Why create the videos?

With more than 25 per cent of our Autism Services clients representing people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, AnglicareSA identified the responsibility to ensure all community members are aware of services available to assist themselves and their loved ones.

In December 2017, AnglicareSA and Flinders University conducted a joint research project to learn more about how to engage CALD communities in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The research found the key factors impacting CALD engagement with formal disability services were:

  • cultural views of disability based on home country experience;
  • stigma;
  • a lack of familiarity with Western healthcare systems;
  • and familial and community responsibility for the care of people with disabilities.

As part of the research – a total of 55 people and families (including AnglicareSA clients and community leaders from newly emerging multicultural communities across Asia and Africa) were interviewed.

“Language is most important. People have not understood what the NDIS means, even me.”

Bhutanese Community Leader

“It is a difficult subject for them, unless it has been made simple through brochures in Arabic, through something that they can read and make sense of.”

Syrian Community Leader

“The issue of labels becomes important. For awareness to be made we need to unpack what disability is and tailor our messages according to each different form of disability.”

Ugandan Community Leader

Community representatives also noted the absence of CALD people in disability-related promotional materials, which further compounds the challenges in reaching out for support.

The videos below were one of the research outcomes aiming to battle the stigma facing people from diverse communities living with disability.

This is Our Story in our Words

AnglicareSA Video Series

Naquibullah & family

Naquibullah (35) believes he and his family wouldn’t have any knowledge of autism if they never came to Australia from Afghanistan. Two of Naquibullah’s sons live with autism and said his children shouldn’t be treated any differently to others.

They’re now supported under the NDIS.

Watch Naquibullah’s story below.

Mwajemi & Balebanga

When Mwajemi arrived in Australia around 15 years ago with no English, she didn’t know what autism was. She was stressed as to why her son, Balebanga (11) had such learning difficulties and provided such challenges.

Now, Mwajemi believes more people need training and education, and pleads to those who are looking for support for their loved ones, to reach out. Balebanga is now able to enjoy a wealth of activities thanks to funding from the NDIS.

Watch Mwajemi & Balebanga’s story below.

Robert

Robert has an acquired brain injury. But he believes it has reshaped his view on the world and himself. Under the NDIS, Robert receives a number of different supports, such as assistance with maintaining his beautiful garden.

He said he’s comfortable with who he is as a person now and would like to remind people that while we’re all different – we’re all human beings.

Watch Robert’s story below.

Phillip, Van & Huong

Phillip (14) is originally from Vietnam and lives with autism. Phillip’s dad Van described the very negative stigma associated with disability in Vietnam, and how his perspective has changed since arriving in Australia.

While previously facing many challenges and obstacles, he said ‘the door has become more open’ for the family.

Watch Phillip, Van & Huong’s story below.

Diana & Jenelle

Diana’s daughter Jenelle (32) has Down syndrome. Diana talks about how disabilities in Aboriginal communities can be perceived as a sign of ‘abnormality’. But in changing times, Jenelle is now able to access the right supports and pursue the opportunities to do the things she wants to keep her happy.

Watch Diana & Jenelle’s story below.