Australians with a Disability
In 2009, the Australian Government’s ‘Shut Out’ report clearly stated that people with disabilities are among our nation’s forgotten people. The common perception is that disability is someone else’s problem, someone else’s story. Yet, the statistics alone show that if we were living in an inclusive society, disability would be part of all of our stories, with 15% or 1 in 7 of the Australian population aged 15-64 years having a physical, sensory or cognitive disability.
We are lucky to live in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, yet the daily reality for people with a disability is that they struggle to access the things that we all value as fundamental necessities of life: somewhere to live, to work, adequate healthcare, access to education and recreation.
At Inclusion Melbourne, we are guided by the central belief in the worth and value of every person in our society. We know all too well that more often than not, people with disability are seen as recipients of services and a burden, rather than contributing to, and equal members of our community. Our vision is to provide people with disability the opportunity to live, work and thrive in inclusive communities where everyone has the right to participate in community life and take their place in society as respected citizens.
The good news is that Australia is in the midst of a true cultural shift as communities make themselves more accessible than ever before. The history of disability support in Australia is one where the passive receipt of services was encouraged and there was little or no opportunity to be included as active and valued members of society.
Now, we are moving to a support scheme that encourages participation and values the contribution of everyone. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is driving the required transformation to an individualized and personalised model. The NDIS is being rolled out between now and 2019 and will give participants access to greater choice than they have ever been offered in the past.