$14 million for a more inclusive Australia for all people with disabilities

The Hon Jane Prentice MP, Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services, is delighted to announce $14 million for 39 organisations around the country to make Australia more accessible and inclusive for people with disability.

The projects have been funded as part of a new national readiness grant program to support the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) component of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) which promotes activities for all people with disability, including those who do not have an NDIS plan.

Mrs Prentice said these projects highlight the opportunities ILC will generate and the broader impact of the NDIS beyond individualised funding.  The success of the NDIS is premised on a strong and viable mainstream disability services sector.  

“There are 4.3 million people with disability in Australia and only 460,000 are expected to be eligible for the NDIS. These projects seek to build the capacity of mainstream services and raise awareness about the need to make our community more accessible and inclusive for all people with disability,” Minister Prentice said.

“It is impressive to see such a variety of initiatives spanning education, employment, cultural awareness, sport and health from a range of organisations and groups who have come together with a common goal.

Mrs Prentice met with representatives from People with Disability Australia, one of the successful grant recipients, to hear about their Economic Activation E-Hub initiative.  The E-Hub is an online hub where mainstream employers can connect with people with disability seeking career opportunities.

“One of the main aims of the NDIS is to increase the economic participation of people with disability, which is why projects, like the E-Hub (that provide a platform for people with disability to connect with employers) are so important,” Minister Prentice said.

People with Disability Australia Co-Chief Executive Officer, Ngila Bevan said the E-Hub project aimed to address the current barriers to economic participation for people with disabilities by fostering communication and connections between a vast array of mainstream services and people with disabilities. 

“The E-Hub project will enable people with disability to lead, shape and influence their community and drive greater disability inclusion from employers in greater numbers and concerted means,” Ms Bevan said.

Other successful initiatives include a school education project to better engage students with communication support needs, a project to build more inclusive beaches with surf lifesaving clubs around Australia and the Aboriginal Aunts and Uncles mentoring program for young Aboriginal people with disability.

Nineteen of the 39 funded initiatives, are national or cover multiple States and Territories, with an additional eight in both Victoria and New South Wales, three in South Australia and one in Queensland.

ILC will start at different times across Australia, first commencing in the ACT in July 2017. In South Australia and New South Wales, ILC will start from 1 July 2018. In Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory, ILC will start from 1 July 2019.

There will be another ILC National Readiness funding round later in 2017. More information will be available on the NDIS website.