Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Applications open for National Disability Conference Initiative

Conference organisers can now apply for grants of up to $12,000 to improve access for people with disability and their carers.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disability and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas, today announced the opening of the Australian Government’sNational Disability Conference Initiative.

Under the Initiative, conference organisers can apply for funds to support the inclusion of people with disability at disability-focused conferences held in Australia during 2011-2012.

Grants can be used to assist people with disability and their carers with the costs of attending the conference, such as conference fees, accommodation or travel.

The grants may also cover services such as Auslan interpreters, live captioning services, hearing loops or note-takers for people who are deaf and hearing impaired.

“Conferences are a wonderful opportunity for people with disability to come together to learn and share their experiences. They also support professional development and enhance the leadership capacity of people with disability,” Senator McLucas said.

“This funding is about making conferences with a disability focus more accessible and inclusive so more people can attend and reap the benefits.”

Last year, theNational Disability Conference Initiative supported people with disability to enjoy Australia’s only disability film festival,The Other Film Festival 2010.

The internationally recognised festival, held biannually in Victoria since 2004, showcased films by, with or about people with disability.

The Initiative funded Auslan and English interpreting services, captioning services, accommodation, festival programs in accessible formats and hearing loop hire.

Organisers noted a forty per cent increase in attendance compared to the previous festival.

Eligibility requirements and application forms for the National Disability Conference Initiative are available at FaHCISA website.

Applications close Friday 25 March 2011.