Media Release by The Hon John Cobb MP

Australian Government supports International Day of People with Disability

The Minister for Community Services, John Cobb said on Sunday, Australians around the country acknowledged the abilities of people living with disability, and highlighted the contribution they make to our social, economic, political, sporting and cultural life.

‘International Day of People with Disability also enables us to create awareness, and further promote understanding of disability issues,’ Minister Cobb said.

‘Over 25 years, since the United Nations’ International Year of Disabled Persons, Australians have moved towards stronger inclusion and participation for people with disability, through economic and social reform.

‘These changes include laws against disability discrimination, improvements in telecommunications access, approval of a range of disability standards and reforms within disability employment services.

‘We’ve come a long way in the past quarter of a century, but we must make a commitment now to continue to support Australians with disability to participate fully in every aspect of our society.

‘Every year the Australian Government commits over $12 billion across a range of programs to support people with disabilities, their families and their carers in our community.

In order to highlight the extra-ordinary contribution both people with disability and individuals supporting people with disability are invited to take part in the inaugural National Disability Awards, as part of United Nations’ International Day of People with Disability.

Minister for Community Services, John Cobb, announced the Awards at an event in Canberra celebrating International Day of People with Disability 2006.

‘The Awards will publicly acknowledge and pay tribute to individuals with disability who are excelling in their community, as well as the families, carers and others who support people with disability.

‘While there are already established disability awards, they tend to recognised organisations, rather than individuals. These Awards will focus on the achievements of individuals.

‘Nominations will open in March 2007 and the inaugural Awards will be presented on International Day of People with Disability 2007,’ Mr Cobb said.