Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

More support for People with Disability to attend conferences

People with disability, their families and carers will be supported to attend a wide variety of conferences with 33 conference organisers receiving a share of $320,000 under the National Disability Conference Funding Program for 2009-10.Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services, Bill Shorten, today announced that organisers were eligible to receive grants of up to $10,000 for national and $20,000 for international conferences to cater for people with disability.

‘This funding is critical to enabling people with disability, their families and carers to attend conferences, by covering the cost of conference fees, accommodation and travel,’ Mr Shorten said.

‘The funding improves access to conferences by funding Auslan interpreters or hearing loops, and providing conference materials in alternative forms, such as Braille, larger-font or note-takers.

‘We have made sure that conferences funded under this Program cover a wide range of topics from improving social engagement, policy development and conferences on skills for managing with disability from day to day.’

Last year, Brain Injury Australia were able to assist 25 people with disability and four carers to travel to and register for their Insights and Solutions International Conference on Alcohol and Other Drug Related Brain Impairment conference, and assisted nine people with disability and two carers with accommodation expenses.

Better Hearing Australia Inc used the Program’s 2008 -09 funding to produce their Better Hearing National Conference material in large print, Braille and audio format and used real-time captioning and hearing loops.

‘Funding under this program demonstrates how we are breaking down barriers so that people with disability can fully participate in conferences,’ Mr Shorten said.

‘Not only are we strengthening social inclusion for people with disability but we are increasing public awareness of the needs of people with disability.

‘We are showing business organisations that they will be supported to adapt their services to successfully provide for people with disability.’

The conference organisers to receive funding are:

  • Victorian Advocacy League for Individual with Disability Inc: ‘Having A Say’ (10-12th February 2010)
  • Deaf Children Australia: 4th World Congress on Mental Health and Deafness (27-30th October 2009)
  • Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect): Asia Pacific Autism Conference 2009 (20-22nd August 2009)
  • Short Statured People of Australia Inc (SSPA): 2009 SSPA National Disability Conference (20-26 September, 2009)
  • Spectronics: Inclusive Learning Technologies 2010 Conference (25th-28th May 2010)
  • Early Childhood Intervention Australia: ‘Everyday in Everyway’ (20th-22nd May 2010.)
  • Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities Inc: Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities – Australian Braille Authority AGM + workshops (1 March 2010)
  • Able Australia Services: 8th National Deafblind Conference (28-30th April, 2010).
  • Australian Community Support Organisation: 4th Forensic Disabilities Conference – Disability and Justice (16th-17th July 2009)
  • Blind Citizens Australia: Strengthening our Voice (17-18th October 2009)
  • Victorian Branch of the Australian Society for the Study of Intellectual Disability (ASSID Vic): 9th Annual Disability Support Workers Conference (18-19th November 2009)
  • The Osteogenesis Imperfecta Society of Australia (Brittle Bone): 11th Bi-annual Osteogenesis Imperfecta Society of Australia Conference (9th-11th April, 2010)
  • Mucopolysaccharide & Related Diseases Society Australia Ltd (MPS Australia: 11th International Symposium on Mucopoloysaccharide and related Diseases (23rd-27th June 2010)
  • Australian Speak Easy Association Inc (NSW/ACT branch): Stuttering: Integration not Isolation (17th-21st February 2010)
  • Ability Incorporated Advocacy Service: Ability Incorporated Advocacy Service National Advocacy Conference (5th-8th November 2009)
  • Duchenne Foundation: Towards a Brighter Future – Sydney 2010 (27th-28th February 2010
  • Association of Consultants in Access Australia Inc: (21st-23rd April 2010)
  • Better Hearing Australia Inc: Better Hearing National Conference 2009 (3rd-8th September 2009)
  • Spinal Injuries Association: The Reality for Today and the hope for Tomorrow (1 October 2009)
  • Wimmera Uniting Care: An Unconventional Art Conference (25th October 2009)
  • National Council on Intellectual Disability Inc: Community Through Connections (11th-15th April 2010)
  • Educators of Deaf Students Association Inc (EDSA0: Australian New Zealand Conference for Educators of the Deaf Real Learning – Real Outcomes, Foundations for the Future (10th-12th July 2009)
  • Australian Sign Language Interpreters Association: Aslia National Conference 2009 (21st-23rd August 2009)
  • Multiple Sclerosis Australia: National Multiple Sclerosis Advocates Conference (17-20th August 2009)
  • The Junctions Works Limited: Spark Creative Arts Festival for People with Disability (9th – 11th September 2009)
  • Senses Foundation Inc: More than Gadgets – Assistive Technology Tools for Access and Learning (24th-25th August 2009)
  • Haemophilia Foundation Australia: 15th Australian & New Zealand Haemophilia Conference (8th-10th August 2009)
  • Albinism Fellowship of Australia: Shining the Light on Albinism – National Conference of the Albinism Fellowship of Australia (12th-13th September 2009)
  • National Disability Services: Shining Through – Creating sustainable employment in a turbulent world (6th-9th September 2009)
  • Accessible Arts: Arts Activated Conference (25th-26th March 2010)
  • Cystic Fibrosis Victoria: 8th Australasian Cystic Fibrosis Conference (29th August -1st September 2009)
  • Deafness Forum of Australia: 6th National deafness Sector Summit (1st May 2010)
  • Australasian Society for the Study of Intellectual Disability (ASSID): 44th ASSID Conference – Power and Passion: Progress through Partnerships (4th-6th November 2009)