New plan for Indigenous people with disability
A $3 million plan has been unveiled to address the cultural barriers and disadvantage faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability.
Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter, Assistant Minister for Disability Services, Jane Prentice and Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said the Australian Government Plan to Improve Outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People with Disability (the Plan) will drive better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability, their families and carers.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are 1.8 times more likely to have a disability than other Australians,” Minister Porter said.
“We are announcing today up to $3 million in funding over three years for two targeted projects that will support the Plan; a research project to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners and ex-prisoners with disability as well as a trial on integrated health and education approaches to support students with disability in remote communities.”
Assistant Minister Prentice said consultations over the last three years show that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability face unique challenges.
“The Plan recognises the importance of supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability, particularly in remote locations.
“We need to ensure services are delivered within a cultural framework that is appropriate for the community’s customs and practices.”
The plan identifies five key priority areas for action:
- Housing – access to appropriately designed shelter and accessible, well-designed communities that are fully inclusive of all residents.
- Justice System – the right to be free from racism and discrimination and a disability-inclusive justice system
- Education – an inclusive high quality education system that is responsive to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability
- Economic security – including employment and business ownership opportunities
- Health Services – that meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability to ensure the highest possible health and wellbeing outcomes.
“By addressing these issues head on, this Plan aims to achieve improved outcomes and overall social, emotional, cultural, and economic wellbeing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability and their families and carers,” Minister Porter said.
A copy of the plan is available at: https://www.dss.gov.au/disability-and-carers/supporting-people-with-disability/resources-supporting-people-with-disability/australian-government-plan-to-improve-outcomes-for-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-people-with-disability
 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People with a Disability, 2015. Analysis based on Surveys of Disability, Ageing and Carers, 2009, 2012 and 2015) Cat 4430.0.