Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Early intervention workshop puts spotlight on disability issues

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas today announced that the Australian Government will commit $300,000 for research to underpin a bid to establish a Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Today’s commitment was made at the Research Workshop on Early Intervention Therapies for Children with Disability in Canberra, where leading researchers from across the country discussed the next steps to build a body of research focused on early intervention for children with disability.

“Today’s workshop will help better inform our Government about how we can ensure better outcomes for children with disability, their families and carers,” Senator McLucas said.

“Importantly, the work we are doing in the early intervention research area forms part of our broader efforts to build a strong evidence base to underpin a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The workshop will also assist in identifying key research and data issues to help inform policy development and improvements to early intervention therapies for children with disability.

“If successful, this new Cooperative Research Centre will have the support of 11 organisations, seven universities and one medical research institute, as well as 30 other organisations, including six international bodies.

“This workshop and support for a research centre form part of our continued commitment to provide all Australians the peace of mind to know that if they have or care for someone who has a disability, they will get the care and support they need.

The Australian Government is investing $1 billion over four years for the first stage of a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

“An NDIS will mean people with disability have more control and choice over the care and support they receive, and are able to access care that meets their needs to help them participate in school, work and the community to their full potential.”

Senator McLucas said the first stage of an NDIS will provide care and support to about 20,000 people with significant and permanent disabilities.

“Eligible people with disability will be supported to develop individual plans to deliver ongoing personalised care and support over their lifetime.”

The Australian Government is working with state and territory governments to identify locations for the first stage.

The Early Intervention Research Workshop included researchers from the National Disability Insurance Scheme Advisory Group, National People with Disabilities and Carer Council, Australian Institute of Family Studies, Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, First Peoples Disability Network, Better Start expert advisory group, Autism advisory experts, the Social Policy Research Centre, Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, and the National Health and Medical Research Council.