Page 4465 - Week 12 - Thursday, 26 October 2017
disability, in our great Canberra community. To achieve this, we must ensure that people with disability can fully participate in the social and economic life of our city.
I am proud to have opened the first round of the new disability inclusion grants on 20 September this year. The grants round is open until 8 November. The disability inclusion grants program delivers on this government’s election commitment of $200,000 over four years to promote the inclusion of people with a disability by removing hurdles to social participation.
I encourage community groups, not-for-profit organisations and small businesses to take a look at the grants and think about how a grant could be used to improve access for people with disability. I encourage potential applicants to engage with people with disability to identify barriers and consider the best way of addressing them. I also encourage Canberrans with a disability who have faced access or communication barriers in getting involved in a social group or club, or who may have experienced challenges accessing a local small business, to talk to these groups or businesses and let them know about the disability inclusion grants.
Grants can be used to provide disability awareness training, infrastructure modifications or the purchase of assisted technologies such as hearing loops. I am sure there are many other innovative ideas to increase inclusion in our community.
I wish to thank the disability reference group for its thoughtful consideration of the grants guidelines and how the disability inclusion grants program was shaped and will complement existing grants.
MR STEEL: Minister, what else is the ACT government doing to encourage greater community participation for people with disability and build opportunities for people with disability to connect with community?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Steel for his supplementary. This morning I also announced $25,000 in community grants to aid celebrations of the International Day of People with a Disability, known as I-Day. I-Day is a United Nations-sanctioned day that aims to promote awareness and understanding of disability issues and encourage support for the dignity, rights and wellbeing of people with disability. I-Day also seeks to increase awareness of the benefits of inclusion of people with disability in every aspect of political, social economic and cultural life. We celebrate I-Day on 3 December each year, and these grants encourage greater community participation for people with disability, showcasing their contributions and achievements and building ongoing opportunities for people with disability to connect with their communities.
Today I was really pleased to be able to announce the recipients of the I-Day grants who have received up to $5,000 to promote awareness and understanding of disability issues. I encourage people with disability, their friends and family, plus, of course, the wider community to attend as many events as possible around the weekend of 3 December. Some of the events that received an I-Day grant include: a game and panel to talk about health and disability with ACTCOSS; an opportunity to dance like no-one is watching at the no lights, no lycra, lightly lit event—unlike the usual no