Close this search box.
Charities Policy Community Organisations Governance Associations

Calls for sweeping changes to disability policy in Australia

2 min read

The National People with Disabilities and Carer Council report, Shut Out: The Experience of People with Disabilities and their Families in Australia, precedes the Federal Government’s upcoming National Disability Strategy, to be released mid-2010.

The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) is calling for the government to focus on providing certainty for the funding of disability support services by introducing a National Disability Insurance Scheme. AFDO says the funds should then be given directly to people with disability via a Disability Inclusion Allowance so they would be able to choose their own services, support and equipment.

Shut Out clearly tells us that now is the time for positive change,” said Lesley Hall, CEO of AFDO.

“No matter what disability you have or when you become disabled, if you live in Australia at the moment you’ll face the results of decades of systemic neglect,” she said.

“These measures are about meeting the basic human rights of people with disability as laid out under the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disability,” said Hall. “We’re not asking for people with disability to have extraordinary lives, just ordinary ones.”

Hall’s sentiments echo those outlined in Shut out, which states that “[people with disability] do not want special treatment–they just want the barriers removed so they can get on with living.”

Australian Employers’ Network on Disability CEO Suzanne Colbert has also called for the inclusion of employers of people with disability in the dialog regarding employment opportunities.

“Currently the needs and concerns of employers are not part of the equation – conversations about the employment of people with disability are largely between disability service providers and government,” she said. “The voices of employers are unheard.”

Australian Council of Social Service CEO Clare Martin commended the report’s inclusion of carers in the consultation and development of the National Disability Strategy.

Martin is confident that the Shut Out report will lead to strengthened service and support for people with disabilities, and ACOSS will continue to advocate for people with disabilities and their carers in the lead up to the National Strategy’s release.

+ posts

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Up