A leadership course aimed at empowering members of our disabled community will come to Bunbury in October 2021.
For the first time in Western Australia, the 30 Foot Drop Empowered Leadership Course will take place October 18-29.
The course was created to help change “low societal expectations” about people with disabilities working professionally in the community and progressing into leadership roles.
30 Foot Drop founder and systemic advocate Ben Aldridge said the course was the first of its kind to be developed by people with disabilities, for people with disabilities.
“Marian Wright Edelman said ‘You cannot be, what you cannot see’ and it is so true. As a person with a disability in the workplace, there is no implied path that you Very rarely, people with disabilities can look at the hierarchy in politics or business and see anyone they can relate to, ”Aldridge said.
“So many people with disabilities miss the opportunity to develop their leadership potential because society assumes that they will never be able to use it. That is why this course focuses on personal leadership.”
It’s about creating change, but to create that change we need more advocates, and in order to get more advocates we need to train. This is the subject of this course.
30 Foot Drop Founder Ben Aldridge
Mr. Aldridge became quadriplegic at the age of 22 after an “alcohol-assisted gravity accident” caused him to fall ten meters (30 feet) from The Cut in Townsville.
In a wheelchair, the spinal cord injury caused Mr. Aldridge to lose sensation from the armpits down, with limited movement remaining in his biceps, forearms and shoulders.
He said his life until the accident had been “pretty typical”, without thinking too much about his future or the community.
“It all fell apart and it took me about five years to figure it all out. But when I started working, I quickly got angry with society’s ignorance of disability,” said Mr. Aldridge.
“I was ignored, I spoke with contempt and struggled to find a job because people didn’t understand what I could or couldn’t do.”
Mr. Aldridge launched his business 30 Foot Drop soon after, with the goal of bringing “lasting change” to those who identify with a disability.
The Empowered Leadership course as part of 30 Foot Drop aims to fill the void of people with disabilities who lack opportunities to develop their leadership skills.
Mr Aldridge said the course also focused on developing storytelling skills.
“Storytelling is such an often overlooked skill in leadership, but it’s so important because that’s how you can get a message across.
“People generally wouldn’t understand what it’s like to be patted on the head like a dog or pushed in your wheelchair when you don’t want or need to be pushed. Storytelling can help. to pass on that experience, ”said Aldridge.
The 30 Foot Drop Empowered Leadership Course is free and will take place in Bunbury this month before continuing in Mandurah, Geraldton, Merridan, Kalgoorlie, Perth, Carnarvon and Busselton.
The online component of the Personal Leadership Course will begin October 18, with the face-to-face storytelling workshop taking place in the Bunbury Enable training room from October 26-28.
“It’s about creating change for people with disabilities in society, but to create that change we need more advocates, and in order to get more advocates we have to train. of this course. “