Ageing, Disability & Home Care

Living Life My Way: NSW Government launches statewide consultation on disability services

7 July 2011

Delegates at a two day summit, which began in Sydney today, were told that they were part of the first step in the most significant development to the delivery of disability services in NSW history.

Minister for Disability Services, Andrew Constance, told the 500 delegates at the “Living Life My Way” summit that the NSW Government was working towards the introduction of a person centred approach which will place people with a disability at the centre of decision making.

“The delivery of person centred disability services is the key to giving people with a disability control over their own lives and futures,” Mr Constance said.

“Every individual has the right to choice, to respect and to the best support that can be offered. We have a wonderful opportunity to refocus our attitudes and priorities and recognise the rights of people with a disability to determine their own lives.”

Mr Constance said that under the NSW Government’s plans, people with a disability would finally have control over their lives and futures in a way the service system has never previously allowed.

“Instead of being told what supports they will receive, people will be able to choose what best suits them.”

“They will be able to determine how their support resources are used and who delivers their services.”

Mr Constance said that the O’Farrell Government’s person centred approach was a cornerstone of the second phase of Stronger Together, its $2 billion plan to expand and improve disability services which runs until 2016.

“It will be the strongest person centred service arrangement in the country. For a systemic reform of this magnitude to be relevant and effective, it has to be designed, controlled and owned by the people who use and rely on the system.”

“This includes a commitment to expanding individualised funding arrangements as well as significant investment in additional resources designed to place people with a disability at the centre of decision-making.”

“To ensure that the $2 billion is spent in the most appropriate way we need to hear the views of those who receive the services and those who deliver them.”

“Before our new approach can be finalised, the NSW Government needs to hear the suggestions and comments of people with a disability, their families and carers, advocates and non government service agencies.”

Mr Constance said that the two day summit would allow people with a disability and those in the disability sector to discuss the issues in depth.

The Living Life My Way summit is just the beginning of consultations, with more than 100 consultations to be held throughout the state over the next two months.

”It is critical to hear the views of people living all across the state, especially the views of the thousands of people in small towns and communities around NSW who have a direct interest in the delivery of disability services.”

The extra $2 billion committed to disability services is the single largest funding commitment made by any State Government in the history of disability services.


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