Govt Supports Disability Conferences
14 April 2015 at 10:00 am
The Federal Government is to provide new funding to increase participation at disability conferences – hot on the heels of the controversy surrounding a recent disability conference where a speaker had to be lifted onto the stage in their wheelchair.
Assistant Minister for Social Services, Senator Mitch Fifield, said the funding will provide support to conference organisers to increase participation of people with disability at disability-related conferences.
Senator Fifield said 25 groups would receive Government support this financial year as part of a $250,000 investment into disability-related conferences.
In March disability advocates slammed the organisers of a national disability conference after one speaker has to be carried onto the stage because it was not wheelchair accessible.
Attendees at the 2015 National Disability Summit claimed people with disabilities were actively excluded from participating in the event run by Informa Australia at Melbourne's Sheraton Hotel.
Social media showed the conference’s disability toilets being used for the storage of chairs.
Senator Fifield said the funding will assist organisations with the expenses such as the costs of conference fees, accommodation and travel for people with disability, and the provision of Auslan interpreters.
“This latest funding will help to facilitate the open discussion of important issues facing people with disability and the organisations that support them, particularly as we transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme,” Senator Fifield said.
"Support for these national conferences demonstrates the Government’s commitment to backing organisations that are working to improve the lives of people with disability.
"It’s important that people with disability and disability support organisations have the opportunity to come together to learn, to impart knowledge and skills, and to chart the way forward for their organisations.
"The funding is being delivered under the Department of Social Services New Way of Working for Grants, which has seen 18 grant programmes consolidated into seven, and substantial funding committed across these programmes for new and existing services.”
Further information on the new way of working for grants is available at www.dss.gov.au/grants