Friday, 13 September 2013
Disability Care: Where do we go from here?
People with a disability, their families and carers will be watching Australia’s newly elected Liberal/National government like a hawk to ensure that the long awaited national disability insurance scheme, DisabilityCare Australia, is implemented as promised.
We are poised on the brink of an entirely new way of life for many people with a disability, and the very thought that the scheme could fall victim to political grandstanding is just too much to bear. And yet, there is scope to ensure that the understanding of this scheme is broadened so that the entire community becomes aware of their responsibility to provide an accessible and inclusive space for all. Whether that is a business taking on the challenge of adapting their space to be more accessible, or an employer actively seeking a person with a disability as an employee, there is so much scope to bring all Australians into the circle of knowledge about disability.
With statistics indicating that currently one in five, or around 18.5 percent of Australians have a disability, the number involved in the disability sector is significant. The human impact of the failure of successive governments to listen to the words of hundreds of reports on disability, the raised and then dashed hopes of pilot schemes that do not get funded longer term, the effect of day to day grovelling for the provision of simple in-home support services is devastating. I want to see people given the support that will enable them to compete for training places, tertiary education and employment on an equal basis with others, and I see DisabilityCare as being a part of the way this equity can come about.
Dignity for Disability believe that there are across the board gains to be made through the implementation of DisabilityCare, and we will be working hard to ensure the federal parliamentarians keep the promise that has been made to the disability community. As far as we are concerned, the budget must allocate funds for DisabilityCare as an ongoing core essential, not as a discretionary item, and we will be seeking that assurance from Tony Abbott.