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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 June 2010) . . Page.. 2243 ..


A bit more detail on funding for the ACT Deaf Community: the Canberra Deaf Children’s Association receives an annual grant for the provision of information and support to families. The ACT Deafness Resource Centre receives $182,000 per annum with the provision of information, referral, communication and systemic advocacy services across the ACT deaf community.

Disability ACT is currently in negotiation with the ACT Deaf Board for the management of interpreter services in the ACT. Therapy ACT provides early intervention programs to children up to the years of eight who have a hearing impairment, and this includes free assessment and intervention to assist clients to develop the skills to maximise their participation in the community.

Clients work with other therapists, carers and teachers and speech pathology services. Social workers also assist therapy clients deal with diagnosis and plan a positive future. Therapy ACT also provides drop-in clinics located in Belconnen, Tuggeranong, Gungahlin and Holder for parents and children.

Noah’s Ark is a not-for-profit community-based organisation that provides services to families with young children with a focus on children with additional needs. In addition to the ACT toy library, Noah’s Ark provides a long-day care service for families. The Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services through the Office for Children, Youth and Family Support provides funding to assist in the provision of the resource centre and toy library to assist families to access developmentally appropriate resources and information.

The Noah’s Ark long-day care centre and playschools are able to access support for children with additional needs through the inclusion support agencies managed by Communities@Work. Noah’s Ark also provides an after-school and school holiday program for children with disabilities aged 12 to 18, and this latter service was funded through the Australian government’s non-government centre support program.

I note that the Noah’s Ark CEO is here and would no doubt recognise the effort and the work of DHCS in working with Noah’s Ark. As a program of respite effect, Disability ACT has committed new funding to Noah’s Ark in 2010-11 to support the after-school care services for a number of children with a disability who access the program. Disability ACT will work with Noah’s Ark over the next 12 months to develop a business model for ongoing service provision under this program.

The ACT government is aware of the impacts that the changed financial circumstances of the Shepherd Centre and Noah’s Ark are having on families and children that access these services. Our focus is on supporting children receiving services, whether through government or our non-government partners. The ACT government is working and will continue to work with these organisations to respond to these changes brought about by the cessation of the Australian government funding.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (11.50): The minister for disability either just misled the Assembly or misled the estimates committee. She calls Mr Doszpot to task for citing the loss of certainty of funding as a result of the reallocation of funding by the


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