‘There was one guy who hadn’t been out of his house since 2003.’ We hear from Peter, who has been working in disability service for 13 years, about Alternative Aspects Media. ‘The guys are the main thing. I work on helping people with their NDIS plans and saw a need for the socially isolated.
‘Initially we started with three guys who all had similar interests: watching Youtube, games, websites, software and coding.
‘I said I’d be happy to help them enhance their skills, but we had to meet in town. This got them out of their comfort zones. The guys do 95% of the work and learn from their mistakes. We’ve been running 27 weeks and in that time 2 of the guys have gone on to find work.
‘Alternative Aspects are making videos for the disabled to help them become informed and to help alleviate their anxieties. We’ve done videos on what to expect if you visit a Myotherapist or a speech pathologist. https://www.facebook.com/Alternative-Aspect-Media-1619431261707841
‘The guys are also working on audio stories using sound bites, for people who would like a record of the story of their lives. They’ve entered the Short Film Festival with a film about disabilities. Another project is making a video on lost and unique skills. We are looking for people to contribute to that.
‘Check out our new website www.alternativeaspectmedia.com.au We have made audio recordings of people’s lives, who want to tell their story. Our aim is to provide people with a disability in our community, the opportunity to have their story, poetry or music recorded and available for the public to enjoy. Some content will be available for purchase and some will be free. Stories can be very healing and many people benefit from getting the opportunity to pass on their wisdom to others. This can be especially powerful for people who do not always feel that they have a voice and the chance to help others. We have no funding, so we get people to sponsor or donate to have their stories told. We also have volunteers working with the guys as mentors.
‘For Mothers’ Day, we took to the streets to interview people about how they felt about their mothers. The guys were reluctant at first, so I modelled what to do. You wouldn’t believe it, they interviewed a worker in a gaming store and he ended up inviting them to a conference on gaming!
‘We’ve had lots of applications from people wanting to join but we’re still working out a process of how to be inclusive. I’m hoping Alternative Aspects becomes its own community. We’ve created an environment where these people can meet and talk. I can already see the social benefits, for example, the guys took themselves off to the movies the other day. It’s capacity building. We hope that down the track the group could form into its own little business.’
‘Without the NDIS this wouldn’t be possible, as the NDIS helps us drive this type of innovation,’ adds Ralph from Access Your Supports who, among other things, are the auspice for The Treehouse, who were featured last year.’
Photo: Peter and Ralph with some of the members who edit our content.