Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

International Day of People with Disability: Reason to Celebrate

The United Nations International Day of People with Disability was marked today by an event at Parliament House in Canberra, which acknowledged the achievements of the 3.6 million, or one in five, Australians with disability in our community.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, said the International Day provided a perfect opportunity to focus on the accomplishments of people with disability.

“For people with disability and their carers there are many issues and challenges they need to overcome on a daily basis, but we’re here to celebrate people who face these constraints with determination and a keen interest in achieving a fulfilling lifestyle,” Senator Patterson said.

To mark this day:

  • the 11th Disability and Carers calendar, Hand in Hand was launched, which promotes disability and carer programs and highlights the abilities of people with disability, and the contribution they make to the community;
  • I launched the Kids Media Disability Education website –, an informative and interactive site, which offers information on caring and support; and
  • Making the Journey, an Arts Access Australia publication was released, which follows 12 people with disability and their involvement in cultural activities, including dancing, singing and acting.

“The Howard Government is committed to providing more opportunities for participation by people with disability in Australia’s economic and social life. In fact, we provide more than $11 billion a year to support people with disability, carers and disability business services,” Senator Patterson said.