Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Celebrating International Day of People with Disability

Joint Media Release with:

    Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister
    Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers

    Parliamentary Secretary for School Education

The Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin, the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Jan McLucas and Parliamentary Secretary for School Education, Jacinta Collins, today celebrated International Day of People with Disability with students, staff and parents at Clifton Hill Primary School in Melbourne.

Ms Macklin said Clifton Hill Primary School was a great example of a school community that was fully inclusive of students with disability.

“The school works with families and support staff to make sure its students with disability are getting the best outcomes, and that they are fully part of the school life,” Ms Macklin said.

“This is in no small part due to the efforts of the school principal Geoffrey Warren, who last week received the Excellence in Improving Education Outcomes Award at the National Disability Awards.

“The Australian Government is also committed to creating an inclusive and accessible society for people with disability.

“We’ve just introduced legislation for a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) into Parliament, and have committed $1 billion to launch a scheme from mid-next year.

“From the middle of next year, the NDIS will be real for more than 20,000 people with disability in five launch sites across the country – in the Barwon area in Victoria, the Hunter in New South Wales and across South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory,” Ms Macklin said.

Senator McLucas said the Government’s National Disability Strategy, a 10-year reform plan, would help to ensure that people with disability have the same opportunities as other Australians.

“The Strategy will help us create better services, programs and community infrastructure so that people with disability have access to a quality education, to health care, support to get a job and to access buildings, transport and media,” Senator McLucas said.

“And hundreds more children with disability are eligible for critical early intervention services and therapies after we expanded the eligibility criteria for the Australian Government’s successful Better Start for Children with Disability initiative.

“This $13.4 million boost over five years means that from 1 January 2013, children diagnosed with Prader Willi, Williams, Angelman, Kabuki Make Up, Smith-Magenis, CHARGE, Cornelia de Lange, Cri du Chat syndromes and microcephaly can access Better Start funding for the first time.”

Senator Collins is encouraging people to get involved in IDPwD by attending an event this week, or by promoting IDPwD at their schools, work places or community events.

“One of the biggest barriers that people with disability can face is access to a good education,” Senator Collins said.

“The Gillard Government is providing $200 million to schools through the More Support for Students with Disability initiative.

“This money is being used to provide assistive technology and extra training for teachers to ensure students with disability don’t get left behind,” Senator Collins said.