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Minister Orr Media Release: More funding to support Canberrans with disability

June 26, 2020

Following the release of the ACT COVID-19 Disability Strategy and engaging with community and disability sectors, Minister for Disability Suzanne Orr today announced new funding aimed at addressing areas where more support was need.

Minister Suzanne Orr said the ACT Government has been listening to the community and will continue to improve support for people with disability, their carers and their families.

“This funding will ensure that people with disability and the disability sector are provided with timely, sensitive and appropriate information and support during this time of ongoing uncertainty,” Minister Orr said.

“We will continue to listen to the needs and experiences of people with disability in our community, which will inform the second phase of funding under the Strategy.  This support will assist people with disability, their families and their carers to be included, safe and healthy as our community begins to come back together.”

The funding announced today builds on recent emergency community grants and will support the sector to successfully navigate the community recovery period. The strategy guides the ACT Government’s support to people with disability, their families, carers and the disability sector in their response to the COVID-19 environment.

ADACAS CEO Michael Bleasdale welcomed the announcement, highlighting the importance of individual advocacy in ensuring that people with disability get the health treatment and services they need, and is very pleased to see this highlighted in the ACT’s COVID-19 Disability Strategy.

“People with disability have been strongly impacted during this COVID period experiencing increased isolation and feeling anxious about possible infection,” Mr Bleasdale said.

“In addition, some people have received less support than usual, or have had to adapt to changes in the way that support is delivered.  Funding initiatives to meet the needs of people with disability during this time and into the future as restrictions continue to ease is very important, as is restoring opportunities to re-engage safely with the community.”

Funding under the First Phase announced today includes:

  • $100,000 for both Aged, Disability and Carer Advocacy Service (ADACAS) and Advocacy for Inclusion (AFI) to provide individual advocacy for people with disability to be delivered through health settings;
  • $110,000 to National Disability Services to be a central point of contact to support necessary collaborations in the ACT disability sector. This will mean people get consistent information in a timely manner.
  • $40,000 to create a targeted communication partnership for engaging people who are vulnerable and isolated.
  • $50,000 to ensure that thin markets in the disability sector remain viable including services that provide specialist supports such as positive behaviour support. 
  • Continued support to ensure that people with disability and their supporters can access Personal Protective Equipment as they need to.

 A range of additional resources for people with disability and their supporters are available on the Community Services Directorate COVID-19 webpage, including a planning tool for people with disability during COVID-19.

Statement ends