Understanding the Australian Disability Sector 

The National Disability Insurance Scheme has brought a considerable amount of change to the Australian disability sector. This scheme has mandated a new model for the provision of information, service, and support to individuals with a disability, family members, and caregivers. This is in line with the fundamental rights guaranteed to all members of the Australian communities, including the right to participate in economic and social activities within the community.

Today, local governments bear significant responsibility for the planning and implementation of the various strategies for increased economic participation. In turn, it becomes necessary for local governments to contribute to the integration of people with disability into the community.

As expected, various actions already exist, and some have yielded significantly positive results. However, the capacity of the local government to influence and create real impact is far from fully understood. In fact, there are various levels of understanding as to the range of impact local government action can achieve. Similarly, it has become increasingly harder more than ever to communicate sector experience that would spur a faster understanding of the peculiarities of people with disability.

In turn, this resource emerges to bridge that gap. It provides an overview of the various framework across local governments within Australia. It examines the underlying notion that stands at the core of the various actions. In turn, it establishes that new responses must not only be local, but they must be based on existing needs if results are to emerge.

This resource intends to create awareness among local governments and other relevant stakeholders. Similarly, it hopes to increase the knowledge and understanding concerning the planning and implementation of necessary strategies to drive economic and social inclusion.

Role of Existing Legislation

The existing legislation concerning the issues hopes to ensure that it can promote better access and inclusion for individuals with a disability. In turn, it recognises the proximity of the local government to affected parties and provides that they play a significant role in achieving the necessary inclusion.

Impact Opportunities for Local Governments

Local governments have a vital role to play if access and inclusion are to become a reality for people with disability. This is because they are best suited to understand the need of the local communities through engagement. In turn, they can develop plans that meet the needs of the local communities. 

Local governments have the opportunity to drive inclusion through the following means:

  • Making vital services available to individuals with a disability, including their family members and caregivers 
  • Facilitating access of people with disability to various facilities and services 
  • Advocating for support and services 
  • Employing individuals with a disability 
  • Ensuring that various infrastructures and services are accessible to people with disability
  • Collaborating with various stakeholders across different levels to provide an inclusive environment