Best practice to service Australians living with a disability focus of future action plan

By Melissa Coade

March 8, 2022

Anne Ruston
Social services minister Anne Ruston. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Families and social services minister Anne Ruston says a new action plan and guide will be developed for ‘disability confidence training’ for professional service providers. 

In a statement on Monday, Ruston said the work aimed to ensure equal access to services, which was an issue raised at the Disability Royal Commission last year.

“Nobody should be turned away or discriminated against because of their disability,” Ruston said. 

“We’re hoping to provide educational institutions and professional bodies with the tools they need to incorporate disability awareness and confidence into their training.”

The government initiative is part of Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031 under its community attitudes targeted action plan.

The Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) will get $1 million to design the project and develop ‘disability confidence training’ for a higher education curriculum.

The minister said the training would be designed for service providers in the health, education, social science and justice workforces. She added that evidence and research developed in consultation with people living with a disability, the disability sector, academics, researchers and other experts would inform the new action plan and guide. 

ACOLA board chair professor Richard Holden welcomed the funding announcement as an opportunity to lift capability for disability service provision across sectors. 

“This project will help inform what actions we can take, individually and collectively, to deliver professional supports and services in a way that works for the whole Australian community,” Holden said.

The government has promised a further $1.6 million to implement the consolidated training to increase disability inclusion across learning institutions and industry bodies once they have been finalised. 


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