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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 13 December 2016) . . Page.. 61 ..

the inclusion awards. The office will provide a focal point for our ongoing work. This includes meeting our commitments under the national disability strategy through the involve initiative.

The office will also oversee a new grants program that Labor announced during the election campaign, which will support community organisations to include people with disability in their activities. It will work with advocacy groups and the new disability reference group to take forward key government priorities such as the disability justice strategy.

The Office for Disability will also complement the Office of Mental Health, which is the responsibility of my colleague Minister Rattenbury. The two offices will work together to ensure that people with psychosocial disability are supported across the human services system.

I recently also attended a number of events to celebrate International Day of People with a Disability, or IDay. I was pleased that the ACT government—and this will be a role for the Office for Disability—provided IDay grants of more than $24,000 to support events and activities that focused on inclusion around Canberra.

MS CHEYNE: Minister, what else is the ACT government doing to support people with disability in our community?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Cheyne for her supplementary question. The ACT government is supporting people with disability in our community in many ways. For example, the government is committed to increasing opportunities for people with disability to be engaged in meaningful employment. The government recently supported an employment roundtable that explored ways of improving employment opportunities for people with disability. The government also introduced an inclusion traineeship program. Positions in this program are specifically for people with disability and have attracted an overwhelming number of applicants.

The ACT government will continue to explore other ways to improve employment opportunities for people with disability, such as hosting a providers expo linking people with disability to disability employment agencies and employers, increasing awareness of school-based apprenticeships, working with the Canberra Business Chamber to provide advice on employing people with disability, and a work experience program designed to help Canberrans with a disability to enter the ACT public service by providing an opportunity to improve skills and confidence.

Another way in which the ACT government is supporting people with disability is through the Involve initiative which I mentioned earlier. Involve is a social movement where organisations or individuals can pledge to support inclusion in our community and can undertake a community ambition. An example of Involve is the Engage sports initiative run by students aged 12 to 15 at Marist College. It provides students with disability across Canberra’s south with an enjoyable experience of sport while also interacting and learning with other student volunteers.

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