Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

New approach to help people with disabilities

A $10 million trial to give people with disabilities greater opportunities to maximise their participation in the community was announced today by Federal Minister for Community Services, Larry Anthony.

“Too often the skills and talents of people with disabilities go unnoticed,” Mr Anthony said. “Yet this large, enthusiastic group of people has so much to offer our community.

“To begin in July, this trial will aim to improve assessment of abilities and the way in which people with disabilities are helped to access services such as rehabilitation, training and job search.

“Trial participants will be offered an individual appraisal of their abilities, needs and any barriers to participation, with the aim of better matching support services to the person’s own needs.”

Mr Anthony said the two-year trial would help provide people with disabilities the opportunity to maximise their potential socially and economically.

“It will also explore avenues to increase the choice of services for people who need rehabilitation assistance to enter or return to the workforce.

“This will involve testing whether the private sector has the capacity to deliver additional rehabilitation services.

“The trial targets a significant issue raised in the welfare reform process, as many submissions to the Welfare Reform Reference Group highlighted the need for a greater focus on ability and better, more effective interventions.

“Through this trial, the Federal Government will receive invaluable information on the abilities and needs of people with disabilities and appropriate intervention strategies.”

Family and Community Services will work closely with the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service Australia, Centrelink, and the disability sector implementing and evaluating in the trial.

Regions taking part in the trial will be announced shortly.