APA calls for bilateral support for NDIS on International Day of People with Disability

For immediate release - Monday 3 December 2012

As the nation recognizes and celebrates Australians with disabilities on International Day of People with Disability, 3 December, the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) is calling on all our federal politicians to support the draft NDIS legislation. 

Last week the Government introduced laws in the lower house for the scheme. The bill will establish a transition agency with responsibility for running the NDIS.

‘International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) is a United Nations sanctioned day that unites people around the world in celebrating the achievements and contributions of people with disability,’ AP President Melissa Locke said. ‘Australia has the opportunity to become a world-leader in care and support or people with a disability. Federal parliament must support this scheme.’ 

More than one billion people, or approximately 15 per cent of the world’s population, live with some form of disability. In Australia over 400,000 people are living with significant and permanent disabilities.

‘Currently, support for people with disability in Australia is highly fragmented, under-resourced, and discriminatory against individuals based on where they live or how they acquired their disability,’ Ms Locke said. 

‘As a paediatric physiotherapist who works with families of children with disabilities, I am too aware of how the system fails their needs. We urge all parliamentarians to support this bill; to provide the necessary funding for care, support, therapy, aids, equipment, home modifications, and access to the community.’

This year’s IDPwD theme is ‘Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all’.

‘Let’s start by removing the barriers in our system that hold back our most vulnerable. On International Day of People with Disability, I’d like to see our leaders commit their support to this vital scheme.’

For more information, please contact:
Ruth Heenan
p: (+61 3) 9092 0813 m: 0416 565 332
e: ruth.heenan@physiotherapy.asn.au

About International Day of People with Disability:
Established in 1992, the annual event aims to build awareness of disability issues and of the important role people with disability have in their local communities, their country and internationally.
Persons with disabilities, ‘the world’s largest minority’, often face barriers to participation in all aspects of society. Barriers can take a variety of forms, including those relating to the physical environment or to information and communications technology (ICT), or those resulting from legislation or policy, or from societal attitudes or discrimination. The result is that persons with disabilities do not have equal access to society or services, including education, employment and health care. 

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