Page 1312 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

businesses that have already affiliated with the scheme in support of promoting greater inclusion for people with a disability.

We are also working on a range of programs to increase the participation of all people in the social, economic and cultural life of our ACT community. These include the highly successful program known within the Canberra community as BLITS. BLITS—business leaders innovative thinking and solutions—promotes initiatives that value and engage people with disability as consumers, suppliers, employees and employers in business, the arts and sport.

BLITS is busy implementing programs and initiatives promoting change. These include youth civics, a disability awareness program, which is a significant ACT government commitment to influence attitudes and behaviours within the community by raising awareness among the next generation of decision makers—that is, youth aged four to 17. The program aims to develop and implement activities that cover all aspects of young people’s lives, including education, social and recreational areas.

The BLITS two-inch lip is a program to raise awareness among businesses of seemingly insignificant barriers, such as a small two-inch lip at the entrance to the business and a range of other barriers making entry by people with a sensory or mobility impairment difficult or even hazardous. The BLITS tick is an accreditation scheme that recognises government, business and community agencies that are welcoming and accessible for people with disability. The scheme is being developed across the sectors of tourism and accommodation, retail, entertainment and hospitality, and employment and government.

My department are working to facilitate greater access to the community for people with disability, including Sharing Places, Tandem, House With No Steps and ACT Council of Community Service—or ACTCOSS. We have a strong working relationship with the ACT Social Enterprise Hub. The hub provides business development and support services to accelerate the growth of social enterprises. The hub offers networking, resources and employment opportunities for people who would otherwise be seriously disadvantaged in the labour market.

With the assistance of the ACT Social Enterprise Hub, social ventures such as Ronnie’s Succulent Snails have established a niche business in the ACT. This is a professional business, run by a young Canberra man, that harvests snails for an Australian restaurant. I understand that many here, possibly even you, Madam Assistant Speaker Le Couteur, have contributed to Ronnie’s Succulent Snails.

Cafe Ink provides a supportive environment to increase social and economic participation. This is achieved through paid employment, development of work skills and opportunities to access certified training. Another social enterprise that has received support is Paperworks. Their vision is to have a social enterprise that employs artisans of varying abilities to produce paper products for the Canberra market.

My department has also commenced a range of work to develop innovative housing models. For example, an intentional community will be developed in Phillip. This

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video