Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

$225,000 Available For Disability Conference Funding

Disability organisations are eligible to apply for up to $225,000 in funding to enable people with a disability to attend conferences in Australia the Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, announced today.

“The funding is available through the National Disability Conference Funding Program. This program annually allocates funds to support national and international disability conferences. Organisations can be eligible for up to $10,000 towards the costs of a national conference, and up to $20,000 for an international conference,” Senator Patterson said.

“This program has provided funding to some 61 organisations over the past three years.

“The funding can be used in a number ways, including assisting with special aids, equipment, interpreters for people who are deaf or hearing impaired, providing information in alternative formats, or with travel and accommodation costs.

“I encourage conference organisers to apply now for funding for conferences being held between 1 July 2004 and 30 June 2005.”

Last year, the Australian Government allocated funds to 19 organisations. Applications for funding included:

  • $10,000 to the University of Technology (Sydney), providing a forum for discussion and strategy development on the inclusion of people with disabilities in recreation and higher education;
  • $10,000 to Multicultural Mental Heath Australia, providing a forum that will bring together major groups and services in Australia that focus on the mental health needs of people from a non-English speaking background; and
  • $10,000 to Access Arts Inc, providing an exchange of performance/workshop skills both nationally and internationally for carers to attend and to strengthen relationships between art and disability organisations.

“I encourage people organising conferences, for the 2004-05 financial year, to utilise this program and apply for funding so they can provide people with a disability equal access,” Senator Patterson said.

“People with disabilities make up approximately 20 per cent of the population, and the Australian Government is committed to providing an environment where people with a disability can contribute and participate in all levels of society,” said Senator Patterson.

Applications close 26 April 2004. Further information can be obtained by contacting the Office of Disability on (02) 6244 7726 or free call 1300 653 227, TTY 1800 672 682