Ageing, Disability & Home Care

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Disability not the problem in an accessible society

3 December 2012



Minister for Disability Services Andrew Constance today celebrated International Day of People with Disability with the launch of a strategy to make NSW more accessible for everyone.

Mr Constance revealed the National Disability Strategy NSW Implementation Plan 2012-2014 at one of our nation’s iconic buildings, the Sydney Opera House, this morning.

“This strategy takes a different perspective about disability and accessibility issues,” Mr Constance said.

“Social inclusion is not caused by a person’s disability but by barriers created by society.”

The plan commits all areas of government to shift the structural and attitudinal barriers which impact on the lives of people with disability.

“The outcomes will be reported publicly and the results of this activity will influence future planning,” Mr Constance said.

The National Disability Strategy NSW Implementation Plan 2012 -2014 is the first whole-of-government disability plan for NSW. It supports the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and highlights the importance of access to mainstream services and is accountable to those with disability, carers and the community more broadly.

“Disability is an issue that affects not only the four million Australians with disability but also their families, carers and the broader community,” Mr Constance said.

A stunning aerial performance ‘The Other Superman’ by three time paralympian Paul Nunnari in the southern foyer of the Opera House dramatically illustrated what is possible in an accessible environment.

“I know what can be achieved by people with disability when barriers are removed, whether it be physical, attitudinal or discrimination,” Mr Nunnari said.

“Once given an opportunity they can contribute, succeed and enjoy life.”

There are 1.3 million people in NSW with disability, of whom 420,000 have a severe or profound disability that affects their ability to communicate, get around and care for themselves.

“Six National Disability Strategy outcome areas have been identified in the plan which require a whole-of-government, whole of life approach to disability planning and service delivery and over 130 actions will be taken,” Mr Constance said.

The National Disability Strategy NSW Implementation Plan outcomes areas are:

Inclusive and accessible communities - transport, housing, buildings, websites

Rights protection, justice and legislation – address criminal justice issues, improve access to complaints handling, support people with disability to stand for local government elections in 2016, maximise people’s autonomy through supported decision making

Economic security and employment - provide incentives to employ people with disability, create pathways for school leavers and volunteering opportunities

Access to personal and community support – through self directed supports and individualised funding, assistive technology, housing for Aboriginal people with mental illness

Learning and skills development - early childhood education, improve options to develop skills through community participation, life choices and active ageing

Health and wellbeing – improve access to health services, prevention and screening programs

The National Disability Strategy NSW Implementation Plan 2012-2014 builds on the government’s commitments outlined in NSW 2021, which aims to strengthen the NSW skill base, improve customer service experience, keep people healthy, break the cycle of disadvantage, make it easier for people to be involved in their communities and enhance cultural, creative, sporting and recreation opportunities.

To view the National Disability Strategy NSW Implementation Plan 2012-2014 visit www.adhc.nsw.gov.au/nds.

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