Canberrans with disability
The ACT Government is working towards full inclusion and participation of people with disability. Under our agreement with the Commonwealth Government for the joint funding of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), we have committed to improve outcomes for people with disability to increase social and economic participation.
Over 6,800 Canberrans are now accessing support through the NDIS. Our investment of $716 million over four years enables NDIS participants to access the supports and services they need.
Our $1.8 million Integrated Service Response Program has helped people at risk of falling through the gaps and has increased support for independent individual advocacy.
The ACT Government will continue to invest in this program over the next year, to provide short-term coordination and emergency supports for people with complex needs as the NDIS continues to mature and develop.
Continuing mainstream supports
We will continue to grow our investment in support for Canberrans with disability with the full scheme arrangements for the National Disability Insurance Scheme in place from 1 July 2019. Our shared investment with the Commonwealth Government is projected to see about 500 additional participants join the scheme over the next four years.
At the same time as we are growing our contribution to the NDIS, we will maintain existing disability services that are not eligible to be considered as in-kind contributions to the scheme from 2019. This will ensure these services remain free and accessible for Canberrans with disability who are not currently receiving an individual support package through the NDIS. These services include the Children and Young People’s Equipment Loan Scheme, the Child Development Service, the ACT Taxi Subsidy Scheme, the Integrated Service Response Program and Rehabilitation, Aged and Community Care supports.
Disability inclusion grants
Our annual Disability Inclusion Grants provide an opportunity for community groups and small businesses to become more accessible and welcoming to people with disability. After doubling funding to $100,000 per year in 2018-19, the second round of grants supported 15 organisations with projects that aim to reduce barriers to arts and sports, legal, medical and community services and recreational activities for people with disability.
Other initiatives with ongoing support include:
- The International Day of People with Disability Grants Program, providing funding for individuals and organisations to run a program or event that celebrates and acknowledges the contribution, skills and achievements of people with disability.
- Peak organisation funding for People with Disabilities ACT and Women with Disabilities ACT, to enable peer support, grass roots capacity-building and systemic advocacy for people with disabilities who live in the ACT and surrounding region.
- The Companion Card Program, supporting social inclusion for people with disability and their carers by enabling people to attend participating venues and events without incurring the cost of a second ticket.
- A 10 year Disability Justice Strategy is close to finalisation after consulting and engaging with people with disability, families, carers, service providers and the legal and justice sectors.
- INVOLVED communication and engagement activities, building on Involve: Canberra Disability Commitment to drive a community-wide shift in attitudes for a more inclusive Canberra.
- The Chief Minister’s Inclusion Awards, recognising and celebrating leaders in disability inclusion across the Canberra community.
- The Inclusion Support Program, supporting students with disability from kindergarten to year 12, with adjustments to meet their needs at school.
- Hearing and Vision support for students from preschool to year 12, where specialist trained staff work with the child’s school and other involved services to support the student’s access to the curriculum.
- Small group programs, providing support at a range of public schools across the ACT for students from kindergarten to year 12.
- Learning Support Centres (LSC) at ACT primary schools, high schools and colleges provide classes for students with a significant learning delay, a mild intellectual disability or who meet the ACT Student Disability Criteria for Autism.
- Learning Support Units (LSU) provide small classes located in primary schools, high schools and colleges.
- Learning Support Units Autism (LSU-As) provide small classes in primary and high schools.
- Specialist schools, providing educational programs for students with high and complex needs who have a moderate to profound intellectual disability or Autism. There are primary schools and high schools on the north and south sides of Canberra.
- The Support at Preschool (SAP) program, working with schools to support the inclusion of children with developmental delay and disability in their preschool year.