Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Young Australians speak up for an NDIS

The Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin, today met with a group of young Australians with disability at the first National Youth Disability Conference in Melbourne to discuss progress toward a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The conference, organised by the Victorian Youth Disability Advocacy Service, brings young people with disability, service providers and researchers from around Australia together to discuss national issues, actions to address them and different ways to advocate on behalf of young people with disability.

Key issues discussed by attendees over the past two days have included employment support, educational opportunities, independence and youth advocacy.

The Gillard Government is investing $1 billion to launch the first stage of a National Disability Insurance Scheme. From next year this will benefit around 20,000 people with disability living in the Hunter region in New South Wales, the Barwon region in Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT.

From mid-2013, thousands of Australians with significant and permanent disability in the launch sites will:

  • work with local people to identify their plans and goals for the future;
  • be assessed to receive NDIS individualised care and support packages;
  • have decision-making power about their care and support, including choice of service provider;
  • be assisted by local coordinators to help manage and deliver their support; and
  • access a system they can easily navigate and that will link them to mainstream and community services.

Two of these launch locations – South Australia and Tasmania – will be dedicated to delivering care and support packages to children and young people.

In South Australia, an NDIS will focus on children aged 0 to 14 years, with the focus on young people aged 15 to 24 in Tasmania.

In Tasmania, the launch of an NDIS for young people will support them as they move through important transitions from school, to further education, training or employment.

In South Australia, launching an NDIS for infants and young children will test how an NDIS can best provide vital early intervention services and support to help children get the best start in life.

The Australian Government provided $12,000 to support the conference as part of the National Disability Conference Initiative, which helps people with disability participate in relevant conferences and raise awareness of people with disability.

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