A DiVine launch

Chris Morris
Summary 
The DiVine website was launched in Melbourne yesterday. DiVine is the first website in Australia for and by people with a disability. The Victorian Government asked people with a disability what they wanted on a website. People told them that they wanted their own place where they felt special. The launch was held on International Day of People with Disability. To celebrate, popular band Rudely Interrupted played music at the Arts Centre.
Posted by: 
Chris Morris on 04/12/2009
Three members of the band Rudely Interupted play a song while DiVine writer Heidi Everett joins in on guitar
Rudely Interupted and Heidi

Heidi Everett has some fun with Rudely Interrupted at the DiVine launch

The Victorian Government launched the DiVine website in Melbourne yesterday. DiVine is Australia's first online community for and by people with a disability.

Parliamentary Secretary for Human Services Telmo Languiller joined some of the writers of DiVine and Melbourne-based indie rock band Rudely Interrupted to officially launch the website.

Extensive research

Mr Languiller says DiVine is the result of extensive research which asked what people with a disability wanted from a website.

The Victorian Government developed DiVine because we could see the need for a dedicated online space for people with a disability, he says. Victorians with a disability told us that they wanted their own space on the internet where they felt included, positive and hopeful. A place that was accessible and where people with disability were the centre of attention.

Encouraged participation

Mr Languiller says the government wanted to create an online environment that encouraged participation and a sense of belonging.

It is vitally important that all Victorians have the opportunity to feel that they are a part of a community, and I am delighted to launch this truly innovative and informative site, he says. This is a first for Victoria, in fact it’s a first for Australia – no other government has created an online space specifically for and by people with a disability.

Showcase abilities

Mr Languiller says DiVine:

  • showcases the skills, abilities, contributions and achievements of people with disability
  • promotes a positive image of people with disability
  • involves people with disability presenting ideas to the broader community.

DiVine’s contributors are all people with disabilities from around Victoria. They have a wide variety of backgrounds, ages and interests, but all share a passion. They want to ensure people with a disability can have the same opportunities to participate in the community.

Engaging stories

The author’s informative and engaging stories can be found in the various sections of the website, including:

  • Out and About
  • Arts
  • Lifestyle
  • Tech Talk
  • Rights and Policy.

Ease of use is a major feature of the website. It conforms to the AAA standard for accessibility, and also has some of the best features of web 2.0.

The launch coincided with International Day of People with Disability. The day is celebrated worldwide to recognise the achievements and contributions of people with disability.

To celebrate

To celebrate the launch and International Day, DiVine contributors and their guests enjoyed Rudely Interrupted’s performance at the Victorian Arts Centre last night before a documentary about the band was shown on the ABC.

The band’s 22-year-old lead singer Rory Burnside says that DiVine will help give a voice to many people with a disability.

Self-expression is extremely important, whether it be through speech or through music or writing. I strongly believe that people with a disability, as with all individuals, should be able to express themselves and be treated justly and equally.