‘It is not just what we do but why and how we do it that determines success’.
If we are to achieve the goal of inclusive and sustainable development, emphasis will need to shift from traditional beneficiary models of service delivery based on meeting individual/community need to creating transformational services where communities work together to create measurable outcomes and social impact.
DEAL Foundation works with people with disabilities, community, public and private sector organisations, academia and industry bodies to create a network of connected communities for greater synergy and impact in sustainable development. Its focus is on building an ecosystem that enables disabled community owned enterprises to exist, thrive and prosper.
Disabled community ownership of assets puts the people with disabilities in control, promotes solidarity and helps create unity of purpose. Through widening meaningful participation in decision making processes, people with disabilities become active stakeholders with a commitment to articulate, find and evaluate solution options for challenges faced by them. While subject matter experts have a vital part to play, people with disabilities are supported to create a safe space to share knowledge from their peers which helps build confidence, participation and informs decision making. Doing this helps achieve improved outcomes and allows ethical and broader social wellbeing issues to be brought into the realm of governance.
Spurred by this development paradigm, Disability Entrepreneurship and Leadership (DEAL) Foundation is engaged with the self-help model where people with disabilities are supported and feel empowered to build resilient and sustainable communities. Bringing communities of interest and place together has enabled collaboration and helped people with disabilities to emerge from exclusion and isolation and instil hope for an inclusive future.