AllPlay Dance, a new initiative to give children with disability a chance to express themselves through dance, was awarded $627,000 under the NDIS ILC National Readiness Grants program.
The Hon Jane Prentice MP, Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services, said the Deakin University-led program gives people with disabilities, particularly children, a chance to access mainstream dance programs and build skills and self-esteem.
“All children love to dance and AllPlay Dance breaks down barriers to enable people with disabilities to have fun and connect to their community,” Assistant Minister Prentice said.
The inspiration behind AllPlay Dance was Melbourne mother Tabitha, who struggled to find a dance school for her 10-year-old daughter Bianca who has Mowat-Wilson syndrome, a rare genetic disorder.
Tabitha said it was only through sheer perseverance that she found a dance school that would take Bianca on an ‘even ground’.
“With assistance from the NDIS, Bianca now attends dance class once a week and is absolutely thriving – it’s the highlight of her week,” Tabitha said.
Professor Jane den Hollander, Deakin University Vice-Chancellor, welcomed the Federal Government’s support and said the ILC program was a perfect fit for AllPlay.
“AllPlay Dance will mean more children with a disability can join routine activities in their communities, while Deakin researchers can gather evidence to show why participation is important for all children, regardless of ability.”