Page 931 - Week 03 - Thursday, 19 March 2015

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bringing together a person with a disability who needs someone in the home to offer them support and a person without disability who needs somewhere affordable to live. It offers a simple but effective way to meet the housing and support needs of people with a disability in our community. A young woman stated that the homeshare program is a great opportunity for people with a disability to be included in society and that it assisted her to move out of her parents’ home and enjoy newfound independence with the support and bond she shares with her housemate.

The intentional community is another innovative approach to supporting the housing needs of people with a disability. Several years ago the families of Jackson, Daniel and Ben, three young men in their 20s, started planning and designing a place for their sons to live, each in their own homes. The plan was to build and then create a community of intent—a place where all residents, including Daniel, Jackson and Ben, could feel a sense of belonging in a safe, welcoming and friendly neighbourhood. The young men and other residents in the intentional community are now settled in a supportive environment. They all know each other, greet each other and socialise at barbecues, music sessions, afternoon teas, working bees and parties.

The initiatives of future directions lead a strong platform for the ACT to implement the national disability insurance scheme. My Choice ACT was a self-directed funding pilot preparing participants to exercise greater control over supports and services they receive and how they are provided and managed. The evaluation of the pilot highlighted that giving people with disability control over how they directed their funds was a positive and a beneficial experience. One participant said:

Being in charge of my own destiny ... being in control of my care ... it gave me the direction of where I am now, at this very moment.

What an empowering place to be when preparing to transition to an NDIS environment of choice and control.

Another achievement is the everyone, everyday disability awareness program that was implemented in partnership with the Education and Training Directorate. This program is about fostering and promoting tomorrow’s leaders. Thousands of children and their teachers across Canberra have taken individual and collective action to create an inclusive environment. The calibre of this work was recognised nationally through the improving education outcomes category in the 2014 national disability awards. The program is an example of what can be achieved when portfolios work together.

Boundless Canberra is another example of what can be achieved when the government, business and community sectors work together towards the common goals of inclusion. Together we have built a world-class playground where there is no barrier to play or inclusion. At Boundless, children with disability and those without fly on the giant swing, spin together on the carousel and get soaked in water play. Through this play they make new friends.

These are just some of the achievements in improving outcomes and opportunities for people with a disability. Future directions has provided a strong foundation from

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