Media Release by Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens

Ursula Stephens opens Vision 2020 Australia forum

The, Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens, today opened the National Member Forum of Vision 2020 Australia.

Her opening address confirmed the commitment of the Australian Government to work collaboratively with the third sector to build a fairer and more inclusive Australia.

“We recognise that the raison d’ĂȘtre of both the sector and government is ensuring the well-being of all Australians, and that when we work in partnership we are more likely to achieve this,” Senator Stephens said.

Dr Stephens encouraged all Vision 2020 members to get involved in the national compact consultation, which begins on Monday 3 August on the compact website (

Senator Stephens said that the work of Vision 2020 is central to the government’s social inclusion work.

“The work you do to stop the unnecessary loss of vision and support those with vision impairment enables people to fully participate in their communities and fulfil their hopes and dreams for their lives,” Senator Stephens said.

The Government has announced a range of measures to address barriers to participation faced by people with a disability.

These include the new Disability Employment Services which will commence on 1 March 2010. Under this program services will be more flexible and responsive to the needs of people with disability and employers.

Places in the new services will be uncapped so that all people with disability on income support will be able to access the services they need to help them find work.

The Australian Government has also committed $58.3 million over four years for the Improving Eye and Ear Health Services for Indigenous Australians.