Senator the Hon Jan McLucas Media Release - Improving access to conferences for people with disability

Date posted: 
8 July 2011

People with disability will be supported to participate in a range of conferences across the country following the announcement of around $320,000 to conference organisers.

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas, said the funding, through the National Disability Conference Initiative, will improve access and participation to 28 disability conferences across Australia.

"The Australian Government is delivering practical support to conference organisers to help ensure people with disability, their families, friends and carers can attend and fully participate in conferences," Senator McLucas said.

"Conference organisers will receive grants of up to $12,000 to help improve access for people with disability and their carers.

"The grants can be used to cover the cost of conference fees, accommodation and travel expenses, as well as providing Auslan interpreters, live captioning services, hearing loops, and making conference materials available in a range of formats such as Braille or larger font."

"We expect many Australians with disability and their carers will benefit from these grants. For example, children and their carers who attend the annual National Epidermolysis Bullosa Kids and Carers Camp."

"These children get real value out of the camp and it gives families the chance to learn more about caring and share their experiences, while experienced volunteers take the children on a range of outings," Senator McLucas said.

This initiative will also ensure that ten people can attend the Disability Advocacy Network Australia's Fourth National Disability Advocacy Conference. To help improve their accessibility, they will have their travel and accommodation expenses covered as well as having access to hearing loops, Auslan interpreters, attendant care and video streaming at the conference.

"Conferences provide a great opportunity for people with disability, their carers, disability service providers and advocacy groups to share knowledge and experiences, discuss and debate a host of issues.

"This is one way we can ensure that people with disability are supported to get involved and have their say."

"The Australian Government is working hard to ensure people with disability have the same opportunities as other Australians."