The current National Disability Strategy, which aims to create an inclusive and informed approach to all Government policies and programs, is due to expire at the end of 2020.
Minister for Families and Social Services, Anne Ruston and Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Stuart Robert say the new strategy would help drive real, practical improvements in the lives of all Australians with disability.
“...We are seeking agreement to release a position paper in early 2020, which will lay the foundation for the Disability Reform Council to develop and test a new strategy informed by consultation with people with disability,” Minister Ruston says.
From April to July 2019, Australians were invited to take part in a national consultation to shape a new National Disability Strategy.
As part of the consultation, more than 2,500 people responded to an online survey – around three-quarters of whom identified as having a disability or being a family member of a person with a disability.
The Government has reviewed the responses and released the consultation report Right to Opportunity, which explores the improvements and challenges people with disability have experienced since the implementation of the first National Disability Strategy 2010-2020.
Minister Ruston says that “...in the coming months, we will focus on meeting with people with disability, their families and carers, and other stakeholders to discuss what is working and how we can address the challenges and barriers that remain.”
The consultation cited the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) as the biggest improvement for people with disability in the last 10 years but noted that respondents also said they faced implementation challenges, including for those who were not eligible for the Scheme.
Minister Robert says,“the NDIS is just one part of how [the] Government is helping people with significant and permanent disability but we need a national approach across states and territories to ensure people with disability who aren’t eligible for the Scheme are also well supported.”
“More than 4 million Australians identify as having a disability, with around 500,000 of these people expected to become NDIS participants. We look forward to working with our state and territory colleagues to ensure that all Australians with disability have access to appropriate supports, whether as part of the NDIS or from other service systems.”
Respondents to the survey also highlighted that perceptions of people with a disability in the media has improved as has inclusion and accessibility in the community.
The report also showed that while community attitudes and awareness of people with disability have improved in recent years, challenges and barriers remain including in disability employment, community access, and support for independence and wellbeing.
To read the full report: click here