Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Providing more options for people with disability

Joint Media Release with:

  • Michelle Rowland MP, Member for Greenway

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers Jan McLucas and Member for Greenway, Michelle Rowland today joined disability support organisation Ability Options and local families benefiting from its services to celebrate International Day of People with Disability.

“International Day of People with Disability is a day to recognise the contribution people with disability and their carers make to the community—the perfect opportunity to celebrate the achievements of this organisation,” Senator McLucas said.

“Ability Options has worked tirelessly to enable people with disability to live and work with dignity and independence as valued members of the community.

“Their innovative approach is delivering meaningful jobs and training opportunities for people with disability as well as helping them pursue other interests and hobbies.

“The work of organisations like Ability Options is critical in helping our government reach its goal of making the lives of people with disability easier.”

Member for Greenway, Michelle Rowland congratulated Ability Options for their ongoing support for a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

“We want every Australian, including people with disability, to achieve their best in life, to develop skills and gain experience, and to have the confidence to dream big and believe in themselves,” Ms Rowland said.

“It’s great to see the local community getting behind a National Disability Insurance Scheme; Ability Options have been a big part of ensuring we’re all on board.”

“I am proud to be part of a government that is taking on the challenge to deliver real reform, a disability system that is strong, fair and sustainable.”

A National Disability Insurance Scheme would fundamentally transform disability support for about 410,000 Australians with disability, their carers and their families, giving everyone the care and support that is reasonable and necessary to fully participate in society.

“We now have agreement from the states and territories to lay the foundations for a National Disability Insurance Scheme by mid-2013 – a year ahead of the timetable set out by the Productivity Commission,” Senator McLucas said.

“And we have established an advisory group who will work closely with governments and key stakeholders and provide opportunities for ongoing engagement in the disability reform process.

On International Day of People with Disability (December 3), the Gillard Government announced a new agency will be established to lead the Commonwealth’s work to design the launch of a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The agency will also oversee new projects to that identify practical ways to prepare the disability sector and workforce, and people with disability, to move to a new ways of delivering disability services.

The Gillard Government will provide $10 million for projects that examine how to deliver individual, personalised care, ending the crisis-driven approach that is still sometimes applied.

“We know that the current system of disability services in Australia is not delivering the kind of support Australians with a disability and their carers need,” Senator McLucas said.

“We need to act as quickly as possible to improve the lives of the millions of Australians affected by a disability.”

Established in 1976, Ability Options is one of the largest Disability Employment Services in New South Wales, providing support services to more than 3,000 people with a disability through employment, supported accommodation, respite, community access, case management and self management.