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Needs of Students with a Disability and Their Families Recognized


  • Published: 2010-08-06 : Author: Carers Australia
  • Synopsis: The Coalition have assured that nationally agreed definitions of disabilities will be secured before July 2011.

Carers Australia welcomes the announcement from the Coalition about their plans to invest in greater support for students with a disability and their families.

Carers Australia CEO Joan Hughes said, "this pledge to provide greater financial support to students with a disability is a welcome announcement from the Coalition. This measure has the potential to ensure greater equality for students with a disability, regardless of location, school-type or level of disability."

The increased funding will come in the form of an Education Card, which can provide up to $20,000 per student per year, equating to a $314 million investment, and will be introduced from January 2012.

The Coalition have assured that nationally agreed definitions of disabilities will be secured before July 2011, to ensure equality across the country and aid the implementation of this policy.

"One positive aspect of this proposal is that the new funding will follow the holder of the Education Card, regardless of where they choose to reside," said Ms Hughes. "That the funding is paid directly to educational institutions will help to ensure consistency of support."

"However, it is vital that there is broad consultation regarding the nationally agreed definitions of disabilities, including with unpaid family carers.

"Family carers are likely to be more affected than most by this policy and so their consultation and input will be crucial to the success of this scheme."

The importance of consulting with family carers when there are new policies, or changes to existing policies, that affect their lives is included in Carers Australia's Federal Election platform which was launched today in Canberra.

Carers Australia looks forward to the Coalition's response to their requests for support as outlined today.

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