Welcome to Belong

Belong is a free network led by and for people with disabilities in Victoria. Whatever your culture, gender identity, age or disability, you are welcome here.

We come together online, both in groups and for one-to-one meetings, to build connections, share experiences and support one another through all our ups and downs.

We offer technical support when needed and engage in systemic advocacy and community building.  Members also work together to promote a better understanding of disability culture and pride.

Would you like to feel better connected to the disability community?

Belong members are building a cohesive, supportive network of people with disabilities.

Having a disability is inclusive of but not limited to: 

  • Physical disabilities; 
  • Learning disabilities; 
  • Sensory disabilities; 
  • Being Deaf, deaf or hard of hearing; 
  • Speech/communication conditions; 
  • Being blind or vision impaired; 
  • Chronic health conditions (eg. MS, arthritis, Chronic Fatigue/ME); 
  • Prolonged physical or mental illness; 
  • Mental health conditions; 
  • Acquired brain injury
  • Neurodiversity (eg. Autism, ADHD); and 
  • People who are self-identifying, undiagnosed, or in the process of diagnosis. 

 

Here is how our current members describes the network:

“It has brought me so much joy. I have been searching my whole life for a tribe like this.”

“Speaking with people who share your lived experience lightens your mental load, and for an hour or two a week you get to be with your community. You learn how to listen meaningfully, and you are listened to and validated. It’s a safe space that is very hard to come by in our go, go, go world.” 

For many Victorians with disabilities the last few years have been really tough. The stress of dealing with the NDIS, the rationalisation of the mental health sector and the age-old battles of stereotyping and discrimination have been compounded by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One thing is clear –  wrestling with systemic barriers, NDIS, Centrelink or trying to find any other form of support that you need is particularly hard when you do it alone. Feeling connected to a community of people that share your experiences can be really powerful.

 

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Joining Belong

When first joining the network you will be invited to attend two online induction workshops. Here we talk about how we work together to ensure that the network is safe and accessible for everyone.

Members can then attend facilitated online group meetings weekly, fortnightly or monthly depending on your availability. We have regular Campaigns and Advocacy meetings, as well as a new program of guest speakers and monthly face to face meetings. You can seek out others for one-to-one meetings and connect though WhatsApp or Discord.

We are respectful, friendly and inclusive – come along and see how it feels to you.

Considering Joining the Network?

Please complete the form below to join Belong.

We hold induction workshops for new members every month. If you are interested please fill in the short form below and we will get straight back to you.