Free tours in community languages at Melbourne’s first Autism Expo


Friday, 10 July 2015

Free tours in community languages at Melbourne's first Autism ExpoPolaron Language Services will be offering free guided tours in Arabic, French, Greek, Polish and Spanish during the Autism Health & Wellbeing Expo to help families from migrant background to access information about existing services for children with autism.

Polaron Language Services’ CEO and Kingston resident, Ms Eva Hussain, explains why she has decided to organise the free tours: “In some communities there is still a stigma associated with autism, for this reason migrant communities might not seek help. But even those families who decide to access services, might only get half of the story because they sometimes don’t want to engage an interpreter, out of a sense of shame that has its roots in their culture. I have seen this often enough, also in my Polish community. This Expo offers the best opportunity to spread the word, to demystify autism, so that more people can get the right information in their language,” said Ms Hussain.

According to a study conducted by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (now Department of Social Services) in 2012, children who use a language other than English at home, are still under-represented in the utilization of the services that are available, with the main reason being identified in a lack of knowledge and a lack of information material in the community languages.

The Autism Health & Wellbeing Expo, the first of its kind in Victoria, aims at taking the guess work out of the search for what is available, by presenting under one roof a range of services for people with autism, their carers and their educators.

The Expo will showcase psychology, speech pathology, anti-bullying and language services, as well as community, government and adult support organisations.

The guided tours in Arabic, French, Greek, Polish and Spanish will start at 12.00 pm from the stand of Polaron Language Services. Families from migrant backgrounds are encouraged to take their children along to participate in activities and competitions, including a free soccer clinic and a princess to meet and greet. There is also a Quiet Room for people with autism so they can rest when they need to.

Interview talents in English, Arabic, French, Greek, Italian, Polish and Spanish ahead of the Autism Health & Wellbeing Expo that will be held Saturday 25th July.
Autism Health & Wellbeing Expo
Saturday 25 July
from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm
Darebin Arts & Entertainment Centre
Crn Bell Street and St Georges Road, Preston 3072