21 September 2023
Life Without Barriers, in conjunction with a range of organisations including the Brotherhood of St. Laurence (BSL) and Polaron Language services has brought together the largest, freely available body of community-translated, accessible factsheets, video and audio materials about the upcoming referendum and Voice to Parliament in Australia.
With almost 100 translations in community languages, including some First Nations languages and accessible formats such as Auslan, this body of work represents the country’s largest range of accessible resources for people with disability, low literacy, or for whom English is not a primary language.
Claire Robbs, Chief Executive of Life Without Barriers said this project was about offering reliable and factual information so that all voters can be informed as they head to the polls next month.
“Our purpose is to work in partnership with other organisations like BSL so that all voters have equal access to information on the Referendum and the process as well as what is being proposed in the question people will be asked on 14 October.
“We wanted to eradicate as many barriers as possible for people to access information about the Voice to Parliament in order to understand what they were voting for and to be a part of this important democratic process,” Ms Robbs said.
“Life Without Barriers works in and with communities right across the nation, all with different linguistic and literary needs and we felt it was our responsibility to give the people we serve, their families and communities access to accurate and accessible information about the Voice to Parliament.”
BSL’s Executive Director Travers McLeod said the role of partnering has been key to ensuring information is shared as widely as possible.
“We’ve been out in the community every day educating people on the Voice to Parliament and we know firsthand how critical it is for diverse communities to have access to tailored, easy-to-understand information on the referendum.”
“These important materials will provide accessible advice for those who don’t or can’t access their information from mainstream formats, supplying them with the facts as they prepare to vote,” Mr McLeod said.
The resources, now freely available on the Life Without Barriers website, include two key fact sheets along with videos and audio materials in over 50 written languages such as Italian, Japanese, Swahili and Arabic, accessible formats such as Auslan and includes 5 Aboriginal languages in audio form.
As a national service provider Life Without Barriers works with over 13,000 carers and staff to support more than 23,000 people, including those who live in regional, rural and remote communities or who may not have reliable access to the internet or the news media.
To access these materials visit – Voice to Parliament - Resources and Information | Life Without Barriers (lwb.org.au)