Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Grants for conference organisers to improve accessibility

From tomorrow, conference organisers can apply for grants of up to $12,000 to improve access for people with disability and their carers at their events.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Jan McLucas is inviting organisations to apply for funding under the Australian Government’s National Disability Conference Initiative.

The Initiative allows conference organisers to apply for funds to support the inclusion of people with disability at nationally-focused disability conferences held in Australia during 2013-2014.

Grants can be used to assist people with disability and their carers with the costs of attending the conference, such as conference fees, accommodation or travel.

Services such as Auslan interpreters, live captioning services, hearing loops or note-takers for people who are deaf and hearing impaired can also be covered.

“Attending a conference is something that many of us don’t think twice about but the fact is there are many Australians who face barriers when doing so,” said Senator McLucas.

“It is through initiatives like this that we can help ensure that people with disability have the same opportunities as other Australians to fulfil their potential and participate in community life.

“Conferences are a wonderful opportunity for people with disability to come together to learn and share their experiences. They may support professional development and enhance the leadership capacity of people with disability.

“For example, last year our National Disability Conference Initiative supported people with disability to attend the Critical Reflections on the Status of Women with Disabilities in a Globalised World conference.

“This supported 40 people with disability and three carers to meet with leading academics in the field and women active in the disability community, and share insights into this important issue.

“The Australian Government is working hard to ensure people with disability have the same opportunities as other Australians.

“Through the National Disability Strategy, our government is delivering a range of accessibility measures to make it easier for people with disability, their carers and families to participate in community life, including going to the cinema, using public libraries and accessing public buildings.”

Eligibility requirements and application forms for the National Disability Conference Initiative will be available from tomorrow at:

Applications close at 2pm AEST on Friday 26 April 2013.