Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Ramping up accessible information and representation for people with disability

Joint Media Release with:

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

Australians with disability will benefit from improved access to the ABC’s Ramp Up website with an additional $557,700 investment from the Australian Government.

The Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas, said the funding would ensure the website continues to provide a forum for discussion about disability in Australia.

Ramp Up is a lively online community for people who live with disability, their friends or family members, people who work in the sector or those who want to find out more and have their say,” Ms Macklin said.

“Since its launch in 2010, Ramp Up has established itself as a centre for discussion and debate on issues to do with disability, receiving over 230,000 visits.

“This funding, provided over two years, will help ensure accessible information continues to be available through this interactive disability website.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas announced the new funding at the National People with Disabilities and Carer Council Meeting held in Melbourne today.

Senator McLucas said the new investment built on the Government’s initial funding of $557,500 to establish and support the website in 2010.

“This new funding will enable Ramp Up to improve content delivered via text-to-speech readers and to raise the profile of the website and disability issues through the mainstream media,” Senator McLucas said.

“Consultations for the National Disability Strategy identified the need for better information for people with disability, and strategies to reduce social isolation and support community participation.

“Today, we are showing that this Government has got the message. We know how important it is that the disability community has the chance to share and discuss information that’s important to them, and we recognise the good work that Ramp Up is doing here.”

Attending the meeting today, editor of Ramp Up, Stella Young provided Council members with an update of the website’s achievements to date and future plans.

Ms Young will be covering the Paralympic Games (29 August – 9 September) for Ramp Up in London, providing a perspective that is broader than sport.

Senator McLucas also announced the establishment of a new Reference Group which will engage people with disability on the implementation of the National Disability Strategy.

“Endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in 2011, the National Disability Strategy sets a long term strategy for improving the lives of Australians with disability, their families and carers.

“The strategy sets out a 10-year reform plan for all governments to address the barriers faced by Australians with disability and will ensure that mainstream services and programs including healthcare, housing, transport and education, address the needs of people with disability.

“The National Disability Strategy Implementation Reference Group will ensure the views of people with disability are heard as we work towards a ten year national plan for improving life for Australians with disability, their families and carers.”

“The establishment of this Reference Group is a critical step in providing collaborative and expert advice and information to Government on issues relating to the implementation of the National Disability Strategy.”

The Reference Group will comprise existing members of the Council, including:

  • Dr Rhonda Galbally AO, Chair of National People with Disabilities and Carer Council
  • Dr Ken Baker
  • Mr Alan Blackwood
  • Ms Samantha Jenkinson
  • Ms Belinda Epstein-Frisch

It will also include a representative from the following organisations:

  • Australian Federation of Disability Organisations
  • Children with Disability Australia
  • People with Disability Australia Incorporated
  • First Peoples Disability Network
  • Carers Australia