Poverty amongst people with disabilities is a national disgrace
The fact that Australia currently ranks in the bottom third of OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) nations regarding the employment of people with a disability[i], with those people half as likely to be employed as those without disability[ii] is a national disgrace.
Carers Australia CEO Ara Cresswell said the "recent report Disability Expectations: Investing in a better life, a stronger Australia gave a stark assessment of Australia’s performance regarding the economic engagement and subsequent poverty of Australians with a disability".
Ms Cresswell said "we want to live in an Australia that acknowledges diversity and values the potential of each individual where flexible workplaces and sensible policy are the norm. We have both a National Disability Strategy and a National Carer Strategy, both blueprints for a focus on participation for all people with a disability and the friends and family that support them. It makes no social or economic sense to exclude productive Australians from the workforce, relegating them to the ranks of the poorest people in the nation."
Carers Australia acknowledges that the adoption of a National Disability Insurance Scheme has the potential to change the lives of Australians with a disability and their carers allowing them greater access to services, support, and, ultimately, employment. “It will be some time before we see the full implementation of the NDIS and the subsequent impact it has upon employment of people with disabilities. The time for change is now”, continued Ms Cresswell.
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[i] Disability Expectations: Investing in a better life, a stronger Australia (2011 PricewaterhouseCoopers)