Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

Ability the focus of International Day of People with a Disability

The achievements and skills of Australians living with disabilities will be highlighted on International Day of People with a Disability (December 3), Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Amanda Vanstone, said today.

Senator Vanstone said that $100,000 in Federal funding would be used to fund community events across Australia that highlighted ability, rather than disability.

“The theme of the day in Australia, Celebration of Ability, was officially launched today by the Governor-General, Dr Peter Hollingworth,” Senator Vanstone said.

“The day will focus on activities which emphasise the skills, contributions and capacities of people with disabilities.

“We want to break down stereotypes, and show how people with disabilities are using their skills, expertise and knowledge.

“The NICAN has received $75,000 in funding to coordinate activities promoting the day, including a national photographic competition and exhibition.

“The exhibition will display positive images of people with disabilities participating in all aspects of life, being active in their communities, and experiencing the freedoms and independence all Australians expect to enjoy.

“The Federal Department of Family and Community Services, in partnership with Centrelink, play a leading role promoting the International Day. Funding of $25,000 will be used to organise a range of local events including activities such as BBQs, art shows to encourage and enable people with a disability to develop their artistic skills, Celebration of Ability breakfasts, family days and sausage sizzles.”

Senator Vanstone said that the Federal Government was fully committed to maximising opportunities fpr people living with disabilities to participate in their community.

“As part of the new $1.7 billion Australians Working Together package, we will provide working credit to help people with disabilities to take up work opportunities, a new quality assurance system for specialist disability employment services, and more places for people with disabilities in vocational and educational training.

“Feedback from recent community consultation on the Australians Working Together package has been very positive – people with disabilities and service providers have welcomed the $177 million we’re spending on initiatives that focus on employment, ability and participation.”

“I also want to use this opportunity to ask interested people to nominate for vacant positions with the National Disability Advisory Council (NDAC). The Council plays a vital role in ensuring that our communities and services are more accessible to people with disabilities.

NDAC nomination advertisements will appear in this weekend’s press.