Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Improving access to conferences for people with disability

People with disability will be supported to participate in a range of conferences across the country following the announcement of around $320,000 to conference organisers.

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas, said the funding, through the National Disability Conference Initiative, will improve access and participation to 28 disability conferences across Australia.

“The Australian Government is delivering practical support to conference organisers to help ensure people with disability, their families, friends and carers can attend and fully participate in conferences,” Senator McLucas said.

“Conference organisers will receive grants of up to $12,000 to help improve access for people with disability and their carers.

“The grants can be used to cover the cost of conference fees, accommodation and travel expenses, as well as providing Auslan interpreters, live captioning services, hearing loops, and making conference materials available in a range of formats such as Braille or larger font.”

“We expect many Australians with disability and their carers will benefit from these grants. For example, children and their carers who attend the annual National Epidermolysis Bullosa Kids and Carers Camp.”

“These children get real value out of the camp and it gives families the chance to learn more about caring and share their experiences, while experienced volunteers take the children on a range of outings,” Senator McLucas said.

This initiative will also ensure that ten people can attend the Disability Advocacy Network Australia’s Fourth National Disability Advocacy Conference. To help improve their accessibility, they will have their travel and accommodation expenses covered as well as having access to hearing loops, Auslan interpreters, attendant care and video streaming at the conference.

“Conferences provide a great opportunity for people with disability, their carers, disability service providers and advocacy groups to share knowledge and experiences, discuss and debate a host of issues.

“This is one way we can ensure that people with disability are supported to get involved and have their say.”

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

Organisations receiving National Disability Conference Initiative funding

Organisation Conference Title Date
Rubinstein Taybi Syndrome Australia Incorporated Inaugural Australian Rubinstein Taybi Conference 2011 8 Jul 2011
National Association of Australian Teachers of the Deaf Staying on Track with Deaf Education 15 Jul 2011
Australian Sign Language Interpreters Association Between a Rock and a Hard Place 26 Aug 2011
Vision Australia Vision Australia TEXPO 2011 2 Sept 2011
National Disability Services Limited Working in the New World 5-6 Sept 2011
Australian and New Zealand Spinal Cord Society Incorporated Striking AcCord 13 Sept 2011
Jobs South West Inc. Get Up Stand Up 28 Sept 2011
Albinism Fellowship Of Australia SPF Spectacular Platinum Festival 7 Oct 2011
Australasian Tuberous Sclerosis Society Inc Riding the TSC Wave – The ATSS Family Conference 8 Oct 2011
Blind Citizens Australia Doing It For Ourselves 15 Oct 2011
Metabolic Dietary Disorders Association Celebrating You 2011 15 Oct 2011
Haemophilia Foundation Australia 16th Australian & New Zealand Haemophilia Conference 20 Oct 2011
Speak Out Association Of Tasmania Inc Speak Out Self Advocacy 21 Oct 2011
Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability Victoria ASID VIC Disability Support Worker Conference 16 Nov 2011
Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia Advancing Multiculturalism 16 Nov 2011
Motor Neurone Disease Association of Australia Inc. Ask the Experts 27 Nov 2011
Disability Sport and Recreation Limited Scoring the Equaliser 2 Dec 2011
Cerebral Palsy Alliance Emerge Leadership Conference 3 Dec 2011
Aspergers Syndrome Support Network Side by Side – Connecting with AS 16 Feb 2012
Victorian Council of Social Services Strengthening Disability Advocacy 13 Mar 2012
Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA) Limited Fourth National Disability Advocacy March/April 2012
Spinal Cord Injuries Australia Spinal Cord Injury Expo & Conference 17 Mar 2012
Deafness Forum of Australia Ltd 7th National Deafness Sector Summit 27 Apr 2012
Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association Australia Inc. National EB Kids and Carers Camp 27 Apr 2012
Employers Making a Difference Inc Raising the Bar 2012 9 May 2012
Round Table for Information Access for People with Print Disabilities Round Table on Information Access 2012 19 May 2012
Australasian Lymphology Association The 9th Australasian Lymphology Association Conference 24 May 2012
Centre for Disability Studies Transforming Rights into Reality 4 Jun 2012