Adelaide roundtable hears concerns of people with disability
The Australian Government would continue to work for better services for people with disability and to ensure they got fair treatment in the workplace and the community, the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Bill Shorten said today.
Mr Shorten spoke at the “Community Voices” disability forum in Salisbury East, in Adelaide, hosted by the Member for Makin, Tony Zappia, and Member for Wakefield Nick Champion.
The roundtable allowed people with disability, their parents and carers, and disability organisations to voice their concerns and ideas and be heard by Federal politicians.
Mr Shorten said that the Australian Government was developing a National Disability Strategy to address the barriers faced by people with disability.
“People with disability encounter barriers every day when they try to access community facilities, get an education or find work,” Mr Shorten said.
“They also suffer from a lack of access to services and lax enforcement of disability standards and legislation.
“What really stops people with disability from achieving their potential, is not their disability, as much as the attitudes society has towards it.
“The limited opportunities to participate in community life are a major issue for all people with disability.
“For example, access to quality education is recognised as the best path to economic participation and greater independence. Yet people with disability face extra barriers when they try to get an education.
“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.”
Mr Shorten said the Government was also reviewing Disability Employment Services as part of its social inclusion agenda to support people to retain and maintain employment.
“Having a job is important for financial security and social inclusion, and finding fulfilling jobs is still a major issue for people with disability.
Today’s roundtable focussed on the experiences for people with disability or chronic illness, and their families and carers, in Adelaide.
“Listening to people with disability, and their families and carers, lets me hear first-hand what issues are important and where we need to do more,” Mr Shorten said.