Page 3913 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 29 October 2013

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applicant will be able to purchase waterproof hearing aids, enabling him to take part with more independence. He will be able to hear the starter’s gun, safety warnings and the coach’s instructions and will be able communicate fully with the other participants and team members.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, how has Disability ACT supported people with a disability in applying for an enhanced service agreement?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Gentleman for his question. The second round of the enhanced service offers are now open. As with the first round, we expect a large volume of applicants.

In addition to new applications, applicants who were unsuccessful in round 1 have been encouraged to apply again. Before putting an application in to the second round, we have asked unsuccessful applicants to go back to the application guide, to attend one of the information sessions or supported computer workshops, or to make contact with an individual planner to work through their application.

The grants continue to be comprehensively promoted. Disability ACT will continue to use tailored strategies to ensure that the most vulnerable and hard to reach people in our community have the opportunity to hear about the grants and how to access help with completing their applications.

The ACT NDIS Taskforce and the team of individual planners have attended numerous network meetings, community groups and service provider forums to promote round 1 and to educate individuals and providers on the enhanced service offers. This community promotion and conversation will continue through round 2.

Some 120 workers from government and community services attended sessions targeted at health and disability workers. Five community information sessions were held across Canberra. Eighteen workshops were hosted for people who did not have access to a computer and needed a hand with completing and submitting their application. These services will continue to be provided through round 2. Individual planners continue to be available not only to assist successful applicants with any queries they have but also to assist applicants who may not have been successful in round 1 to apply for a grant in round 2.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, of the 740 grants that have been offered, how many of these were awarded to individuals that currently are not receiving any support or assistance from the government?

MS BURCH: It is not surprising that I would not have that level of detail. I think they are going through that. But what has been surprising in this is that they were clearly a priority. We have been very surprised and heartened by the number of applications from those with socio-psych or mental health concerns and those that are not currently receiving a service. I think that is testimony to the promotion of these grants—

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