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Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Bright New Future for Young People with Disabilities

Young school leavers with disabilities are likely to get improved access to jobs, further education and training under an $80,000 joint initiative by the Australian and ACT Governments.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, and the ACT Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, John Hargreaves, today urged all interested stakeholders to take part in a Canberra-wide series of consultative workshops in May.

“The Australian and ACT Governments are jointly working towards ensuring that all young people with disabilities who are preparing to leave school have a real pathway to the future, whether it be a job, training or further education,” Senator Patterson said.

“The Post School Options (PSO) project will involve extensive consultations with young people with disabilities, their families and carers, as well as schools, universities, employment services, post school options services, other community groups and relevant Government departments.

“I encourage everyone to have their say on how the system is going to look and more importantly, how it is going to work.”

Mr Hargreaves said: “The project aims to make it easier for young school leavers with disabilities to get involved in their community by finding employment or access to further education and training.

“The consultations will focus on issues previously highlighted by young people with disabilities, parents and service providers. These include access to information, access to appropriate activities and continuing learning opportunities, the ability to move on to new opportunities and access to a range of individual, tailored and future options.”

“This project provides a real opportunity to deliver meaningful change and represents a significant collaboration between the Australian and Territory Governments.”

Stakeholders are invited to take part in group workshops or to make individual contributions. The workshops will be held in Deakin on 23 May, Narrabundah on 24 May and Dickson on 25 May.

Individual contributions can be made by contacting Emily Schindler at S & S Consultants on (07) 3202 7314 or email SSCPL (sscpl@gil.com.au)

More information about the dates and venues for the workshops can be accessed by visiting dhcs | ACT website (www.dhcs.act.gov.au)