Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson has today launched the McGowan Government’s State Disability Strategy, a 10-year plan to change the lives of more than 400,000 people with disability in Western Australia.
A Western Australia for Everyone – State Disability Strategy 2020-2030 – launched at Kings Park on the UN International Day of People with Disability – sets the vision and direction for the next 10 years of a more inclusive Western Australia that acknowledges and responds to the value of diversity in our community.
It is the State’s commitment to all people with disability and aims to promote opportunities for the whole community to work together to achieve transformative change.
The strategy has been launched alongside WA Police and Autism WA, organisations which have partnered to deliver one of the initiatives outlined in the first action plan that accompanies the strategy. The Autism Awareness Card will alert emergency services, including Police, that the person carrying the card may have communication difficulties or exhibit unusual behaviours.
The strategy outlines a new ‘whole of community’ commitment to changing the lives of people with disability and is grounded in four foundational pillars of participation and contribution; inclusive communities; living well; and rights and equality.
Development of the strategy was led by the Disability Services Commission Board and the Ministerial Advisory Council on Disability, alongside a co-design group comprised of people with disability. The process involved significant consultation with people with disability, their families and carers, Aboriginal people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and people in regional Western Australia.
It is supported by the first of a series of action plans which outline specific actions and commitments from the whole WA community, including the State Government, industry and the disability sector to creating a more inclusive Western Australia for people with disability.
The first action plan was launched alongside the State Disability Strategy with headline commitments including:
- a $5 million innovation fund to support outcomes of the strategy;
- significant commitment to increase the number of Specialist Disability Accommodation properties in Western Australia by enrolling approximately 400 State-owned houses;
- commencing work to ensure ACROD parking bays are better monitored and penalties are enforced for parking infringements and demerit points;
- supporting women with disability with two new accessible family and domestic violence refuges; and
- increasing the representation of people with disability employed in the public sector to five per cent by the end of 2025.
The strategy encompasses education and training, jobs and economic participation, housing, disability services, health and mental health, justice and advocacy, access and inclusion, planning, infrastructure, sport and recreation and more.
As stated by Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson:
“This strategy is about making sure everyone is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.
“I’m proud to be launching the McGowan Government’s strategy and vision for Western Australians with disability on the UN International Day of People with Disability.
“The McGowan Government is committed to building inclusive communities which support and empower people with disability. A long-term strategy is required to deliver solid outcomes across a range of key areas, which is why I have committed to implementing a sustained approach over the next 10 years.
“This commitment to change is not only about what the Government can do alone – but the power of community coming together to build a truly inclusive Western Australia.
“This will be an ongoing journey of change and we can all do our bit.
“My thanks and congratulations to the DSC Board, MACD and the co-design group, who have been instrumental in the development of this strategy. Their voices are reflected across the strategy in the pillars, priority areas and actions, and importantly in the tone, aspiration and challenge we are setting for all Western Australians.”