Since the launch of Realize activities in December, Realize has continued to offer an information drop-in for individuals with disabilities to socialise, make friends, develop skills and have fun, for families to reduce their isolation, share experiences, develop and access peer support and for organisations and NGO's working in education, health and social care to share the support they can offer.
Realize has also been working closely with individuals with disabilities, their families and the local community to identify the main barriers for individuals with disabilities in leading happy, healthy, safe and fulfilled lives.
Feedback identified some of the key barriers being access to education, access to healthcare, lack of information and physical access. As a result over the next year, Realize aims to address these areas.
Launching in May 2018 : Realize More– an online information site giving information on a range of disabilities, support and strategies for families and carers (including a parent/ carer forum), strategies and resources for teachers and information and support for health professionals.
Realize More will host Access Belize– offering information on accessible places to visit, stay, eat and shop in Belize
In March, Realize launched Healthcare 4 All! Working alongside individuals with disabilities, their families and carers to drive forward inclusion in healthcare through consulting with healthcare professionals, delivering training on disability awareness and inclusion and developing resources to enable healthcare professionals to work inclusively.
Education 4 All! Working together with children with disabilities and their families and teachers to improve inclusion in the classroom for children with disabilities through disability and inclusion training for teachers and developing a teacher’s handbook on disability and inclusion proving information, strategies and resources.
As an NGO and charity that is largely volunteer-run, we are delighted to have support from volunteers. In the last 4 months Realize has hosted a volunteer placement for Dr Nancy Hertzog from USA who provided some initial support in developing information on Gifted Children for Realize More and Kate Winser who is supporting Realize with Healthcare 4 All! until end August 2018. We were also grateful to Office Grus who not only nominated Realize as their charity of the year but also recently provided 14 staff volunteers to support the Easter Information and Support drop-in.
We are grateful for everyone who connects with what we do – whether through funding Realize’s projects, giving time and talent as a volunteer, or applying knowledge and skills to help us grow. We value every connection and collaboration.