Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

National Disability Strategy launched

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Jan McLucas, today launched the long term strategy for improving the lives of Australians with disability, their families and carers.

Senator McLucas was joined by Australian of the Year Simon McKeon and members of the Australian Government’s National People with Disabilities and Carer Council Dr Rhonda Galbally and Senior Australian of the Year Professor Ron McCallum, to launch the National Disability Strategy in Melbourne.

“The National Disability Strategy will help to ensure that people with disability have the same opportunities as other Australians,” Senator McLucas said.

“It is the first time in our history that all governments have committed to a unified, national approach to improving the lives of people with disability, their families and carers.”

The strategy sets a 10 year reform plan for all governments to address the barriers faced by Australians with disability and will ensure that mainstream services and programs including healthcare, housing, transport and education, address the needs of people with disability.

“The National Disability Strategy provides the framework for change. We will continue to work with people with disability, their families and carers, and the disability services sector, to deliver changes that will improve people’s lives.”

The National Disability Strategy is one of the Gillard Government’s election commitments for people with a disability, their families and carers.

The Strategy is supported by a range of community participation initiatives to remove barriers and expand opportunities for people with disability and their carers:

  • $5 million to support local governments to make public spaces more accessible;
  • $3 million to support leadership development for people with disability;
  • $1 million to promote liveable housing design;
  • $1 million to provide digital playback devices and improved access to digital content in public libraries;
  • $500,000 to improve cinema access for people with hearing and vision impairment;
  • $500,000 for the disability website,Ramp Up.

The Australian Government is also delivering increased funding for disability services such as supported accommodation and respite care, with more than $6 billion over five and a half years under the National Disability Agreement.

Senator McLucas thanked the members of the National People with Disabilities and Carer Council for theirShut Out report, and the more than 2,500 people with disability and their carers who put forward their views and experiences and helped to shape the strategy.

“Their input provided us with insight to the barriers people with disability face every day of their lives and was an essential part of the Strategy’s development.”