On 26th February, Minister for Disability Services, John Ajaka officially launched the NSW Disability Inclusion Plan.
The plan is one of the first steps to implement the Disability Inclusion Act 2014, which enshrines the rights of people with disability into NSW law.
The NSW Disability Inclusion Plan and the Disability Inclusion Action Plans of individual NSW government departments will be tools in planning and providing more accessible services for people with disability, and building communities that are more inclusive.
The actions in the plan set the direction for change under four key focus areas; developing positive community attitudes and behaviours creating liveable communities, supporting access to meaningful employment, and improving access to mainstream services through better systems and processes.
The NSW Government has said identifying additional priorities for the plan, and designing the most effective solutions will require a collaborative approach, with key government, non-government, private sector and community partners. Central to its success will be the ongoing involvement of people with disability in the design, implementation and evaluation of the plan.
During consultations around the draft plan the Disability Network Forum emphasised the important role independent advocacy, information and representation of people with disability would play in these efforts. Read the Disability Network Forum's submission to the draft NSW Disability Inclusion Plan outlining its concerns and recommendations.
Unfortunatley funding for these services is uncertain. The Disability Network Forum is continuing to work to secure ongoing funding and welcomed this commitment from the NSW Labor Party on this issue. But there's more work to do.
In the meantime if you would like to be involved in the ongoing development and implementation of the plan visit www.facs.nsw.gov.au/dip to read and download the plan and to stay update about opportunities.
The FACS Disability Inclusion and Access team can be contacted directly on:
Phone1800 782 306
National Relay Service Speak & Listen 1300 555 727 or freecall1800 555 660
Translation and Interpreting Service131 450