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Intellectual disability support service sets sail in Sydney’s east

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A Windgap Foundation initiative aimed at boosting participation and social inclusion for people living with intellectual disabilities has set sail in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

A $3,000 grant from Slater and Gordon’s Community Fund will allow the Sailability project to get off the ground and out to sea on a weekly basis, rather than just two or three times annually.

Windgap Foundation Day Program Manager Glen Snowden said the program teaches sailing techniques to people with varying degrees of intellectual disabilities, including Down Syndrome, Autism and Asperger’s.

“The Sailability program has proven to be very popular, with participants of all levels of intellectual disability having a great time out on the water,” Mr Snowden said.
“More than 125,000 people are living with an intellectual disability in NSW and they really benefit from a combination of support programs that aren’t always readily available.

“Sailing is a great activity that promotes independence and empowerment, while the level of social inclusion also helps participants build strong relationships.
“Everyone who has participated has wanted to return more regularly and now they’ll get a chance every week thanks to a generous grant from Slater and Gordon’s Community Fund.”

Slater and Gordon NSW General Manager Rachael James said programs like Sailability are crucial to help people with intellectual disabilities reach their full potential.

“People living with intellectual disabilities can struggle to cope with day-to-day tasks that many of us take for granted,” Ms James said.

“A little bit of support and inclusion can go a long way in helping them achieve greater independence and have the best possible quality of life.

“Sailing is a great way to help people with intellectual disabilities broaden their social network and build life skills and Slater and Gordon is proud to support such a fantastic initiative.”