National Disability Strategy – a blueprint for action
A report setting out how governments across Australia will work together to deliver the National Disability Strategy has been tabled by the Standing Council on Community and Disability Services to the Council of Australian Governments.
The Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin said the National Disability Strategy Report to the Council of Australian Governments 2012 will drive the implementation of the National Disability Strategy over the next two years.
“Through the National Disability Strategy, all governments have committed to working with people with disability, their families and carers, and the disability services sector to deliver changes that will improve people’s lives,” Ms Macklin said.
“This report will help ensure we remain focused on achieving key outcomes as we implement the National Disability Strategy over the next 10 years.
The National Disability Strategy covers six broad areas-inclusive and accessible communities; rights, protection, justice and legislation; economic security; personal and community support; learning and skills; and health and wellbeing.
Improving the design of both mainstream and disability-specific services will transform the experiences and lives of people with disability and create more inclusive communities.
The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas said the Australian Government is committed to working with state, territory and local governments to continue to implement the Strategy.
“The Strategy sets a ten year reform plan for all governments to address the barriers faced by Australians with disability and will ensure that services and programs including healthcare, housing, transport and education address the needs of people with disability.”
“Local governments as well as state and territory governments have a significant role to play in promoting inclusiveness in every aspect of service delivery, supporting opportunity for full participation and ensuring that the built environment is accessible to all,” Senator McLucas said.
The Strategy’s purpose is to promote inclusion and engagement across every aspect of government service delivery.
For example, the Australian Government Information Management Office is working to ensure that all Commonwealth Government websites conform to accessibility standards and the Australian Electoral Commission is implementing measures to support people with disability to cast their vote and actively participate in democratic processes.
A new initiative under the Strategy is the appointment of Disability Champion Ministers from a range of portfolios, who will play an important role in broadening the focus of disability into other areas of government.
The Standing Council on Community and Disability Services has welcomed nominations from five state government Ministers and a representative of local government to fulfill this important role.
The Standing Council on Community and Disability Services will provide a report on the progress and achievements of the Strategy in 2014.