Page 445 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 15 February 2005

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promoting an inclusive society;

strengthening the capacity of people with disabilities to maximise control over their lives;

improving planning and the use of available funding; and

developing a sustainable service delivery sector.

The framework identifies aims, objectives and actions under each of these priority areas.

The Government acknowledges the significant contribution made by the ACT Disability Advisory Council and Disability Working Groups in developing Future Directions and indeed, throughout the reform process.

In fact, Future Directions is supported by a companion document Challenge 2014 – A ten-year vision for disability in the ACT.

Challenge 2014 is a community-based visualization for the future of disability in the ACT. It throws out a challenge to everyone in the community to take responsibility for improving outcomes for people with disabilities, their families and carers.

Mr Speaker, I would like to take the opportunity to highlight some of the other more recent actions undertaken to revitalise disability services and supports. These build on the initiatives already outlined in previous Reports.

Information and referral services have been improved with initiatives such as a trial Disability Phone line for people with disability, their families and carers.

The phone line enables members of the community to talk with someone with specialist knowledge, who is able to answer queries and refer people to appropriate services.

This financial year the Government has also provided $1.25 million - with a commitment to increase this funding to $1.5 million in 2005/2006 - to establish the Local Area Coordination Service in the ACT.

This service will enable a more immediate and local response to people with disabilities and their families through the provision of service coordination, information and advocacy.

Disability ACT has continued to foster partnerships and undertake consultations with individuals and the community to develop policies and services.

Disability ACT and the Disability Reform Quality and Standards Working Group, in consultation with the disability community are continuing to develop the ACT Quality Standards and Guidelines. It is anticipated that this will be completed within the next 18 months and will include pilot testing of a self-assessment process.

Mr Speaker, Disability ACT continues to work across Government agencies to create opportunities for people with disabilities.

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