Dice 4 Diversity is focused on providing social education in a fun environment, utilising role-playing games. Adventurers will take ownership of a character in a fantasy world, work in a team to overcome adversity and navigate their way to a successful outcome. Role-playing is a great way to learn social skills in a safe environment – the fun and enjoyment is a bonus. Dice 4 Diversity offers sessions to children from Year 3 and up, teens and adults with all types of diverse abilities who have an interest in enjoyable social activities and expanding their social networks. School age participants will play in groups with other players of similar age. Parents, carers and support workers are more than welcome to attend.
Navigating social interactions can be difficult. Some people are good at it, but many struggle in these situations. But those that are good at it did not become so proficient without practice. Frequent social interactions in different situations are a great way to learn how to communicate effectively, while also learning social norms.
Our aim is to assist people with disabilities to enhance their social skills, enabling better interactions with the wider community. Participants will have the opportunity to meet people outside their current communities which will expand their social boundaries within age-appropriate cohorts.
We want to improve social skills through the necessity of communication and cooperation during role-playing games. We have a set of rules to guide behaviour within the room to enable all participants to be engaged in the role-play. Each session is limited to 4 participants to enable deeper participation.
The sessions are paper-based and all equipment will be provided. However, participants are able to purchase their own equipment if preferred.
Adult and high school sessions are 3 hours long, Year 5/6 primary school sessions are 2 hours long and Year 2-4 are 1.5 hours long. Participants will receive small corrective feedback throughout the session that will feed into a discussion at the end of each session to talk about how the interactions unfolded and provide some points for improvement. Programs can be booked as a block of 5 or 10 weeks fitting within a half or full school term.
In early February 2021, ABC Canberra came out to do a good news story on our program. They came out, filmed some of the sessions, interviewed Adventure Guide Ian, some of our adventurers and some of the parents. The story was shared on their Facebook page, was then picked up by the national ABC News facebook page, and the positive response was literally overwhelming. To our amazement, the story was shared around the world and Dice 4 Diversity received emails and messages of support from across Australia and the world, requests to run our program in cities and towns across Australia and around the world.
In 2018, Ian and his daughter Mackenzie were invited by Down Syndrome Australia to join some Trisomy 21 adults and another parent to discuss a range of topics including sport and community participation, health, education and employment. These discussions were produced into a series of toolkits, each of which has a short excerpt on YouTube. They can be seen here: Community Participation, Health, Education, Employment and Down Syndrome as part of society. Meeting and talking with these exceptional people was one of the key moments that lead to the creation of Dice 4 Diversity.