News + Views

Voice at the Table Training for CIJ Staff

In August CIJ staff participated in SARU's Voice at the Table training to help us work in more accessible ways with people with cognitive disability.

Cameron Bloomfield and Eva Sifis delivering SARUs Voice at the Table training at the CIJ.

Voice at the Table training provides practical information to organisations to ensure they are listening to the voices of people with cognitive disabilities. The session was facilitated by self-advocates Eva Sifis and Cameron Bloomfield, who shared their lived experience as they delivered the training. Topics included the importance of inclusive practice, tips on identifying barriers to participation for people with cognitive disabilities and techniques for running inclusive meetings.

This training forms part of the CIJ’s ongoing work with the Self-Advocacy Resource Unit (SARU) on the Voices for Justice project. Voices for Justice is delivering self-advocacy training to people with cognitive disability and lived experience of the criminal justice system.

The first participants in Voices for Justice commenced training this month and will be ready to provide expert advice on their experiences to government and other policy makers to drive positive, consumer-led change in the criminal justice system when they graduate in November 2019.

CIJ can facilitate the engagement of Voices for Justice, and welcomes expressions of interest. Contact Stan Winford or Michael Haralambous for further information.

CIJ staff participated in some unique exercises during the VATT training that demonstrated the journey of someone with a cognitive disability through the service system.

Supporting Justice update

Meanwhile, the Supporting Justice project has moved into its systems change stage of work. The project team have developed a system map that visualises the criminal justice system from the perspective of a person with disability. The map highlights factors that influence a person’s experience as they move through the system and maps the relationships between these different factors.

Utilising the system map, the project team is consulting with key stakeholders in the criminal justice, disability and social services sectors to build a shared understanding of the system and opportunities for change. As part of CIJ’s work with the Self-Advocacy Resource Unit (SARU) on the Voices for Justice (VFJ) training, the Supporting Justice team have also consulted with VFJ participants who have shared their lived experience of the system and priorities for change.

Staff from the Neighbourhood Justice Centre during a consultation on the Supporting Justice system map.

The project team are wrapping up the map consultations and are consolidating their findings in preparation for a systems change workshop. The workshop will bring together leaders in the criminal justice and disability systems and put the voices of people with lived experience of the criminal justice system at the centre. At the conclusion of the workshop the project will have a list of change priorities to work with stakeholders to improve the justice system for people with disability.

To keep up-to-date on the Supporting Justice project, click here to sign up to the project bulletins.