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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 4117..


MR WOOD (continuing):

the process being undertaken. I am committed to consulting with the community as we progress the model for a single therapy service.

The review also suggests that the feasibility of establishing a students with a disability advisory council be investigated. We recognise the importance and value of having students with disabilities in an advisory role. We feel, however, that this would best be achieved by having students on an advisory committee which includes wider representation from government and non-government organisations, parents, carers and the community.

There are two points of difference between the DRG's response and the government response to the review. The first relates to an acceptable definition of students with a disability. The review recommends that the Commonwealth's definition be adopted. The DRG rejects this definition on the grounds that it may restrict access to services for children with development delays. The government is committed to working with the DRG to establish a set of criteria for access to therapy services that are inclusive of all children with developmental delays and disabilities.

The second point of difference relates to the age at which service to students with disabilities should transfer to adult services. The DRG is of the view that the cut-off age should be 20. This would no longer be an issue with the implementation of a single therapy service. A single service would ensure that eligible children, young people and adults have access to therapy services.

One of the strengths of this review was the consultative mechanism employed throughout. The government has worked closely with people with a disability and the wide range of stakeholders, including representatives of government and non-government agencies, disability and parents organisations. The consultants utilised a steering committee, a reference group, questionnaires, meetings, forums and workshops to gather information and feedback. In this regard, I am confident that the report's recommendations are representative of the views of the community. I give my thanks to everybody involved in the process for their dedication to this important task.

Mr Speaker, the government has demonstrated in its response to the review of therapy services for students with a disability its commitment to the provision of quality services for our young people with a disability. The commitment will continue into the future as we work in close consultation with the disability sector and wider community to achieve our shared goals.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Petitions-out of order

Mr Wood presented the following papers:

Petitions which do not conform with the standing orders-

Number of MLAs in the Assembly-Mr Stefaniak (267 citizens).

Dedicated driver training and motorsport complex-Mr Quinlan (581 citizens).


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