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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 2 December 2021) . . Page.. 4034 ..


As we bring together the disability health strategy—as Minister Davidson has said, a commitment under the parliamentary and governing agreement, and an ACT Labor election commitment—in collaboration with the Office for Disability, co-designing this with the ACT disability community is crucial. Only together can we ensure that there are better health outcomes for people with disability, their families and carers. I was pleased recently to attend the first disability health services roundtable, on 16 November, and a listening report from the roundtable will be finalised soon.

The ACT Health Directorate is working closely with Canberra Health Services to ensure that the ACT disability health strategy and the CHS disability action and inclusion plan closely align. Canberra Health Services has already been working with the Australian Network on Disability to consult with CHS team members, the ACT community, including consumers and carers, and community groups and non-government organisations to collect data and advice to inform the draft disability action and inclusion plan.

A public consultation process recently invited people with disability to provide feedback through a survey, and I thank everyone who promoted engagement with this. The draft disability action and inclusion plan will shortly be shared with the community for further feedback and engagement, via the YourSay platform. The top five themes identified through consultation for inclusion in the CHS DAIP include CHS staff training and awareness of the needs of people with disability, including methods of communication and how to make reasonable adjustments. This, of course, aligns with the priority identified through the disability needs assessment that CHS conducted relating to staff, education and attitudes.

Other themes are the physical environment of the hospital, including access to buildings, accessible and suitable consultation spaces, parking and spaces in the hospital to meet sensory needs; effective services and resources, including specific programs for the coordination of complex care, and consultation with people with lived experience to inform programs and resources for staff; communication, including accessible alternative formats, how to respectfully communicate with people with disability and their significant others; and person-centred care, including how to make reasonable adjustments, the staffing levels required to provide exceptional care, involving carers, where appropriate, in decision-making and care, and working through the NDIS Canberra Health Services interface—an ongoing challenge, Madam Speaker.

I also briefly touch on one recent commitment that we have made to increase the opportunity for people with disability to access sexual health education and support. The 2021-22 budget included $913,000 over four years for Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT to provide sex education directly to young people with disability. It is a service that is not covered under most NDIA agreements, which has caused many parents of teenagers with disability great distress that their young person has not been able to access appropriate sex education, because sometimes that communication requires very specialised skills.


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