National disability information org welcomes new Disability Gateway
Independent information provider for people with disability, IDEAS welcomed the launch of the long-awaited federally-funded Disability Gateway portal.
IDEAS has been lobbying for a national disability information service for more than five years, advocating for independent accurate information services to be easily accessible to all people with disability and their families and carers.
“Access to accurate information services has been requested by people with disabilities and their families and carers for more than a decade and it’s something we have heard consistently across the 30 years we’ve been in operation,” IDEAS executive officer Diana Palmer said.
The 2019 Tune report confirmed that help to get information and then navigate the complex systems of the NDIS and other mainstream supports systems for people with disability had remained unaddressed. Meanwhile, the Disability Royal Commission reporting on the status of people with disability during the COVID-19 pandemic pointed to serious deficits in consultation and accessible information supports to people with disability.
The report released in December by the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS further detailed failings in planning relating to navigation support of the complex system of the NDIS for people attempting to become participants.
IDEAS Chair Martin Heng said, ”IDEAS had more than its hat in the ring as applicants to operate this important infrastructure which, if done well, will have material benefits immediately for all Australians with disability who need information to access the services and supports they need to simply get on with life.”
IDEAS also congratulated the Benevolent Society, the awarded operator of the Disability Gateway.
“To see the Gateway brought into being is a serious beginning,” Ms Palmer said. “But there is much more work to do to make individual choices more accessible for people in the communities where they live.”
“The Previous Minister, Paul Fletcher, made the gateway part of the coalition platform in readiness for the May 2019 election. As proponents of change, we are grateful to both Minister Fletcher, Minister Ruston and the Department of Social Services for getting the Gateway stood up,” Ms Palmer said.
IDEAS is a membership-based not-for-profit organisation with over 400 members, made up of people with disability, family members, carers and supporters of people with disability. It has impacted more than 9 million lives in its 30 years of operation.