Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

National Disability Strategy Youth Roundtable

Young people with disability met to discuss the barriers they face at the National Disability Strategy Youth Roundtable in Melbourne today.

Bill Shorten, said over 30 people attended the event and the Australian Government provided almost $25,000 to the Youth Disability Advocacy Service to host the Roundtable.

“The Roundtable was a great opportunity for young people with disability to come together and bring creative, forward-thinking ideas and solutions to break down the barriers many of them experience,” Mr Shorten said.

“People with disability encounter barriers such as exclusion from community, educational and employment opportunities, a lack of funding for and access to services and lax enforcement of disability standards and legislation.

“The limited opportunities to participate in community life, with barriers to whole-of-life education and employment opportunities, especially during transitional stages, is a major issue for young people with disability.

“For example, access to quality education is recognised as the best path to economic participation and greater independence.

“The National Disability Strategy is a key part of the Government’s commitment to promote social inclusion for all Australians and will help address the barriers faced by people with disability.

“This Roundtable is part of the extensive, nation-wide consultations on the development of the Strategy.

“The Strategy will provide a new whole-of-government, whole-of-life approach to disability issues that will tackle the social and economic divide between people with disability and those without.

“It is important for these future leaders to develop a strong network and to collaborate closely as we embark on the development and implementation of the National Disability Strategy.

“Australia recently ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the new Strategy will be an important mechanism to ensuring the principles are integrated into policies and programs,” Mr Shorten said.