Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Wear a loud shirt today to support deaf children

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator Jan McLucas
    Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister
    Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers

Minister for Families, Community Services, Indigenous Affairs and Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas, today supported all Australians wearing bright and colourful shirts to celebrate Loud Shirt Day.

Loud Shirt Day is a national campaign run by First Voice, a national coalition supporting deaf and hearing impaired children.

Today people are swapping their business shirts, school uniforms and every day wear for the brightest possible outfits to help raise funds for children with hearing impairment.

“Loud Shirt Day is a great way for people right across the country to show their support for people who are deaf or hearing impaired,” Ms Macklin said.

“Hearing impairment in infancy affects language development and comprehension and can affect a child’s participation at school.

“That’s why it’s so important that children with hearing impairment can get access to early intervention therapies as early as possible, so they can achieve their potential.”

To help children get access to early intervention services, the Australian Government has delivered more than $140 million for the Better Start for Children with Disability initiative.

Better Start gives children under the age of six who have been diagnosed with a moderate or greater vision or hearing impairment including deafblindness, as well as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome or Fragile X syndrome, access to up to $12,000 in flexible early intervention funding.

Senator McLucas encouraged parents of young hearing impaired children to register for Better Start for Children with Disability.

Better Start provides families with the financial assistance needed to make a real difference to their children’s lives,” Senator McLucas said.

“More than 5,000 children, including more than 1,300 children who are hearing impaired, have registered for Better Start since 1 July last year.

“I encourage those parents who haven’t already to find out more about Better Start and register for this really important initiative.”

Better Start for Children with Disability also provides additional support for families living in outer regional or remote areas through a one-off payment of $2,000 that helps families meet the costs of accessing services, such as travel and home visits.

The Gillard Government is also investing $1 billion for the first stage of a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

From the middle of next year, an NDIS will benefit thousands of people with disability living in the Barwon area of Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Hunter in New South Wales and the ACT.

Families can register or get further information on Better Start for Children with Disability by calling Carers Australia 1800 242 636 or downloading an information brochure from

For more information on Loud Shirt Day, visit