A rousing performance by the Find Your Voice Choir highlighted the importance of involving people of all-abilities in the community at a city forum on Wednesday.
The Power of Partnerships event at Warrnambool's Lighthouse Studio featured disability advocates and people with a disability talking about the projects they are involved in that are building access and inclusion for people with all-abilities across the south-west.
Self-advocates within the all-abilities sector spoke at the event, which was hosted by All Abilities Advocacy and the Rural Access Program through the Warrnambool City Council.
All Abilities Advocacy's Kylie Thulborn said it was important people with a disability had a voice within the community.
"Difficulties and challenges can and should be overcome," she said.
"Everyone has a right to be heard."
Rural Access Program officer Neil Ballard said initiatives such as the Hampden Hurricanes, Disabled Surfers Association, choirs and other sporting and community opportunities helped to include everyone.
"It's about enhancing access and inclusion," he said.
"We want to create more opportunities for people with a disability to participate in the community like everyone else does."
While the Rural Access program will wrap up this year due to state government funding ceasing, Mr Ballard said the south-west initiatives had strong connections and community support which meant they would continue.
He said the all-abilities footy team was one of the first created, which led to other teams beginning across the region, including in Hamilton, Horsham, Stawell and Ararat.
"Now there is a western league where those teams play each other," he said.
"The support from South Warrnambool Football Club, which they are now apart of, has been great."
Warrnambool City Council administration support officer Kimberley Dempsey said she was "really grateful" for her job.
She helped to organise the forum and spoke about her involvement with community netball, which is held on Mondays at The Arc from 5.45pm.
"People don't see me with a disability," she said.
"They see me as a real person."