Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Capital grants available for Australian Disability Enterprises

Organisations that provide supported employment opportunities to people with disability will be able to apply for new funding for capital improvements from today.

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas, announced the opening of the new Capital Fund for Australian Disability Enterprises at the National Disability Services’ Employment Forum in Sydney today.

Australian Disability Enterprises can apply for grants up to $20,000 for capital improvements that enhance their business viability.

“Australian Disability Enterprises give people with disability the chance to participate in work, to experience the sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that employment offers including meeting new friends, and to become more financially independent.”

“The Capital Fund is an incentive for these organisations to deliver further innovation in employment outcomes and encourage broader skill development and career options for people with disability,” Senator McLucas said.

“I encourage all eligible disability enterprises, particularly those in regional, rural and remote areas, to apply to the Capital Fund.”

Australian Disability Enterprises are businesses, partly funded by the Australian Government, that employ around 20,000 people with moderate to severe disability across Australia.

They provide products and services across a wide range of industries, including design, printing and packaging, manufacturing, laundry and landscaping.

The Australian Government is working with an Advisory Group of disability sector representatives and employers to develop a ten year vision for supported employment in Australia, which will be released later this year.

For more information on the Capital Fund for Australian Disability Enterprises, including application forms, visit the website of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

Applications must be submitted by 7 October 2011.