Commissioner Dr Rhonda Galbally AC from the Disability Royal Commission has used the theme for this year’s International Day of People with Disability (IDPWD) to draw attention to the importance of translating innovative projects and programs into systemic change.
IDPWD is held on 3 December each year. The theme this year is ‘Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world’.
‘The Royal Commission has heard about so many innovations that achieve access and equity, that are solutions for inclusive development,’ Commissioner Galbally said.
‘We’ve heard about wonderful innovative playgroups, childcare centres and preschools where inclusive play, learning and social support welcomes every child and their family, with or without disability.
‘We’ve heard about innovations in work, where people with disability have set up and run their own businesses.
‘And in housing and living, we’ve heard how people with disability are choosing to leave group homes and are supported to live all manner of ways – to live alone, with a friend, or to share their home with a person without disability who contributes to social engagement in exchange for low or free rent.’
Commissioner Galbally says however, truly transformative innovation is when innovative projects and programs are translated into systematic change.
‘These programs are led by visionary, dedicated, determined people with disability; parents, community organisations, passionate citizens, teachers and academics who have put their time, money and energy into trialling innovation.
‘They expect that if innovation is proven to work that it will be adopted nation-wide.
‘To develop a truly accessible and equitable Australia for people with disability, innovation that has been shown to work must now be embedded in government policy – in legislative reform, in strategy, and in systems across the nation.
‘Only then will innovation transform the lives of people with disability in Australia.’
The latest edition of the Royal Commission’s Connect newsletter features more stories about International Day of People with Disability.
The Royal Commission will deliver its final report to the Australian Government by 29 September 2023.