Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Helping Australian Disability Enterprises get ready for a National Disability Insurance Scheme

From tomorrow, Australian Disability Enterprises can apply for grants of up to $30,000 from the Australian Government to help them prepare for a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Jan McLucas will tomorrow open applications for the NDIS Readiness Fund, part of $3.1 million investment by the Gillard Government to help Australian Disability Enterprises prepare for reform in the way we deliver disability care and support.

“A National Disability Insurance Scheme will significantly change how we deliver disability care and support. We want all areas of the disability sector to be ready to make the change, including our Australian Disability Enterprises which employ more than 20,000 Australians with disability,” Senator McLucas said.

“These grants will help Australian Disability Enterprises—particularly smaller, regional businesses—prepare for the changes by helping with the costs of new equipment or services such as training sessions.”

Senator McLucas said the investment responds to recommendations made by the Australian Disability Enterprise Vision Advisory Group, which was appointed by the Government to provide strategic advice on a Vision for Sustainable Supported Employment.

“The Advisory Group’s report has made 11 recommendations, including removing disincentives to work, developing better career paths and improving wage and superannuation outcomes,” Senator McLucas said.

“While the report is comprehensive and will require careful consideration, the Government felt it was important to respond immediately to some of the more pressing recommendations around supported employment.

“That’s why we are delivering the NDIS Readiness Fund.

Visiting Nadrasca Business Services in Nunawading with Senator McLucas today, Member for Deakin, Mike Symon said the local disability enterprise provided employment and training opportunities to people with disability in Deakin who otherwise may not have had that opportunity.

“Nadrasca Business Services is a great example of an inclusive supported employer. They play an important role in our community and I look forward to continuing to work with them as we lay the foundations of an NDIS,” Mr Symon said.

“The NDIS Readiness Fund will provide Australian Disability Enterprises, just like Nadrasca Business Services with the opportunity to apply for funding to get them ready for the new environment that an NDIS will bring.

Applications to the NDIS Readiness Fund open tomorrow and will close on Thursday 5 April 2012.

For further information or to apply, visit from 9am tomorrow.