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Feeds

Currently, a student intern from the Griffith Business School, Kianna Lowe is currently going through our Resource Library to identify any broken links so that these can be tidied up.   It isn't a fun or especially invigorating job, but it is an important one.  It is another job that we don't need to find extra time to do.   We really appreciate the hard work of Kianna, the contribution that she is making to the platform and the terrific support that we have received from GBS.  
Providing university programmes like PhD study online isn't only a matter of convenience for some Australians who live with a disability, it determines whether up to 20% of society can pursue their academic/research potential.  As Australia's population ages, the size of that exclusion will increase.  The platform strongly supports the provision of university courses online. Underpinning our views on PhDs is a belief that research about disability should be steered by people who live with a disability.  When we secure funding, we plan to commission seven online business micro-courses from the Griffith Business School.
Recently, Gabrielle Wilson, a GBS student currently doing an internship with the platform drafted a report about registering with the NDIA. We approached and consulted Rollie Pontigon, General Manager of Plan Partners (An NDIS plan management service provider) to have a look and review the summary of Gabrielle’s report and provide us with feedback and comments. The input from Rollie was fantastic and provided us with a great basis to improve our submission for NDIA registration. Plan Partners is the company that manages Gary’s NDIS plan, "so we are very supportive in helping him fulfil his goals and aspirations, more importantly in sharing this to all participants towards economic social and community participation fostering disability entrepreneurship in Australia and the role the platform could play in supporting Australians who live with a disability to pursue their entrepreneurial potential". If you know an Australian who lives with a disability, a carer or other person with an established connection to disability in Australia please encourage them to contact us at [email protected] or phone us on 0436 480 769.
With the fantastic assistance of GBS student intern Kianna Lowe, we have started reaching out to people that would be great facilitators/speakers.  Conversations have already commenced with a couple of them.   Our plan is to conduct monthly webinars that can be attended by Bronze and full members of the platform.  The last 15 minutes of each webinar will be devoted for Silver and Gold members for a discussion about how an NDIS plan and other sources of support could be used to pursue the matters raised in the webinar. Our hope is these webinars will be amongst the reasons people will choose to join the platform and remain members.  If you know an Australian who lives with a disability, a carer or other person with an established connection to disability in Australia please encourage them to contact us at [email protected] or phone us on 0436 480 769.
Do you like what we are trying to set up?  Have you enjoyed reading the resources we have been sharing?  Do you also see the potential benefits of disability entrepreneurship?  If so, we would be thrilled to hear from you. The website of the platform includes provision for the display of testimonials (from pilot testers, Bronze members, followers and members of the Australian disability community).  We haven't activated that feature until we have some testimonials to share. We believe such testimonials are an authentic and powerful demonstration that we are doing something useful.  In addition to being helpful for people considering joining the platform, our intent is to reference them in future grant and philanthropic funding applications. Are you willing to support us?  Great, if so send us an email to [email protected] or comment on one of our social media posts.
In March, we likely will hear the outcome of some of our recent grant and philanthropic funding applications.  Best case scenario, these would cover all of our immediate and first-year funding needs.  Worst case scenario, we would be in a bit of a bleak situation.  The Executive Team have been discussing what to do if we find ourselves in a worst-case situation. Also in March, the Advisory Board will be meeting and will discuss the financial situation. We will be keeping our valued community of followers informed about our financial situation and plans...
The platform currently has 871 followers on LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/enabledvip, 37 followers on Twitter - https://twitter.com/enabledgary and 126 followers on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100063583626783. Given that we achieved these numbers without paid advertising, we are incredibly grateful for the support. In the case of LinkedIn, can you help us reach 900 followers and beyond.  Please urge your social media networks to follow us and encourage them to visit our website - www.enabled.vip.
Long-term followers will already know that our Advisory Board includes incredibly talented @Joe-Anne Kek-Pamenter.  Jo has recently completed a new pitch deck for the platform.  A PDF version is included here. We are incredibly grateful for Jo's talent, enthusiasm and generosity.  We are sure you will agree, she did a great job. We have started including the PDF with our grant applications and philanthropic outreaches. The task of knocking on doors and rattling tins to raise the money that we need continues.  We are thrilled to share that in February our community event with the incredibly impressive Janine Shepherd and the Queensland Deputy Premier.  Our hope is that this will raise the profile of the platform.  Thank you everyone for your continued support, please keep spreading the word about us in your networks.  
We are currently working on two grant applications: (i) A Queensland social sector development grant; and (ii) A commonwealth disability grant; Both of which makes for a lot of, but it is "par for the course" for not-for-profit social enterprises.  All the failures we are having of late aren't fun, but we haven't let them dishearten us.  We have needed to trim back our plans and work to 'live within our means'. We think our application writing has improved, but time will tell. We'll keep you posted.  One of things we really want to do is a paid social media hit to get the word out about disability entrepreneurship and the platform.
Are you an experienced business person, a successful gig worker or someone who has monetised a hobby/craft?  Irrespective of whether you live with a disability, please pay that experience and success forward by becoming a mentor. Our experience to date suggests mentoring one person takes a couple of hours per month.  Mentoring is conducted via email and video link/phone. Contact us at [email protected] to discuss and make a. positive contribution to disability entrepreneurship in Australia. PS We have resolved the TED Talk and embedded video issue.
This great and inspiring TED Talk isn't about disability entrepreneurship but it is a great example of the transformative potential of assistive technology to enable people who live with a disability to pursue their potential.  In Gary's case, in addition to his great wheelchair, he uses an over-bed desk and a headset plus chest speaker to supplement his thin voice.  The NDIS is far from perfect (especially during this period of cost cutting), but Australians can be proud to have the scheme, which gives us options far beyond those available in other countries.  Assistive technology can be such a boon to assist you with your endeavour.
It took a nasty pandemic, but we're seeing a long-overdue change to work before our eyes.  And this time the power is all with the job seekers and workers.  This is a landscape that suits members of the platform intern of gig work and small business entrepreneurs.

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