Australians with a disability feel forgotten. That is the resounding finding of The Australian Governments 2009 Shut Out Report on the experiences of Australians with disability.
As highlighted in our infographic, Australians with a disability make up 18.5% of the population, and most encounter human rights violations at some point in their lives. These violations may range from perpetual cycles of poverty, living close to or below the poverty line, unemployment and being dependant on income support which barely leaves enough money for things like travel, clothing, medications and leisure.
Although people with a disability may be present in our community, too few are actually active members of it, leading to social isolation, community exclusion, unemployment and segregation.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is one part of the drastic reform needed in order for all Australians to be contributing and included members of our society. Support providers like Inclusion Melbourne, together with its advocacy partners, are changing perceptions in the general population about people with a disability and their desire to be welcomed by the community.
Australia has come a long way in the changing of attitudes and inclusion of people with a disability, yet we still have a long way to go to become a truly inclusive, supportive and cohesive society.