Report highlights barriers faced by people with disabilities

6 August 2009

ACOSS welcomes the release of the Government’s consultation report, Shut Out: The Experience of People with Disabilities and their Families in Australia, as a first step to inform the National Disability Strategy and strengthen the service and support for people with disabilities.

The National Disability Strategy Consultation Report found that people with disabilities and their carers experience stigmatisation and are excluded from key areas of life such as work and education.

“We welcome the Government’s moves to assist people with disabilities break down barriers so they can fully participate in economic, social and cultural life,” said Clare Martin, CEO, Australian Council of Social Service.

“We also commend the inclusion of carers within the consultation and development of a National Disability Strategy.”

“Discrimination and exclusion are daily experiences for some people with disabilities. Stories relayed in the report include a child with an intellectual disability who was refused care by a child care centre, and a man who was denied a vital organ transplant because of his disability.”

The consultation report forms part of the National Disability Strategy, which is a key component of the Government’s social inclusion agenda.

ACOSS has been advocating for better support and services for people with disabilities and their carers, particularly those on low incomes. One option for review is a national disability insurance scheme. ACOSS supports further discussion and investigation of a scheme of this kind to assist people with disabilities to live and participate as fully as possible in society.

ACOSS looks forward to its ongoing work with members spanning advocacy and service provision to ensure that the needs of people with disabilities and their carers are met effectively by strong and sustainable community services.