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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 7 May 2015) . . Page.. 1502 ..

In May the disability confidence Canberra workshop was held, with a focus on opportunities for business. Promotional material regarding the workshop was distributed to make sure that there was a positive turnout. Officers from Disability ACT presented the disability inclusion statement to the council, and very supportive, positive feedback came our way.

Planning, as I said, is underway for the Chief Minister’s inclusion awards, including engaging sponsors and finalising the categories. The event, we hope, will be held in the Great Hall of Parliament House at the end of this year.

Also in April, the Disability Expert Panel met, and members agreed to the inclusion statement’s principles and the approach. So not only do we have it supported here, hopefully through this Assembly, but the ACT Disability Expert Panel, which is well represented across many of our champions and our community, absolutely agree it is the right way to go.

An NDIS participants’ capacity building reference group has been developed by the task force. This reference group met earlier in the year. It provides strategic oversight of the sector development fund participants’ focused activities. Membership of this group includes representatives from Women with Disabilities ACT, the Mental Health Consumer Network, Mental Health, Justice Health, Alcohol and Drug Services, people with a lived experience of mental illness, expert panel members with a lived experience of disability, Carers ACT, advocacy organisations, Ethnic Disability ACT, a guardianship representative, and the Education and Training Directorate. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community outreach workers were also there.

Looking at how we work across sector development, we have released our NDIS 2015 organisation sponsorship grants. These grants support service providers to host NDIS subject matter conferences and other events here in the ACT. As at 16 April we had received 29 applications. Twelve were approved. The amount spent on individual allocation has been close on $7,000 and the amount spent on organisational allocation has been over $20,000. That was as at mid-April, and I am sure that money has increased.

Also in April there was an NDIS webinar, which is a very popular way of accessing information. That particular event was held on 29 April. A panel discussed their experience and tips for families and carers on preparing for the national disability insurance scheme. Sue Salthouse, another disability champion who is known to all of us, and the convener of Women with a Disability, emceed that event. Individuals were invited to submit questions prior to that event taking place.

Reflecting on the success of this government in supporting people with a disability, I am reminded of the enhanced service offers, which were grants provided to 1,300 Canberrans with a disability. Just recently I had the pleasure of meeting a grant recipient who recently received his re-engineered and converted bike which allowed him to be in his wheelchair. The bike is effectively split, with a wheelchair accessible platform in the middle. He rides his wheelchair into the bike, and he rides his bike. It is a 650 Suzuki, I think. I know he was most impressed to have a

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