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Disability Inclusion Act 2014 - what it means for people with disability, their families and carers

The Disability Inclusion Act 2014 (the Act) owes much to the valuable input of people with disability, their families and carers.

The Act, which replaces the Disability Services Act 1993, has two main roles:

  1. Committing the NSW Government to making communities more inclusive and accessible for people with disability now and into the future. These commitments will continue even when the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is operating across NSW.
  2. Regulating specialist disability supports and services to people with disability in NSW and introducing better safeguards for these services until the change over to the NDIS.

Choice and control

The Act makes it clear that the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) can provide funding in a number of different ways to give people with disability control over the supports and services they need. This will help prepare people with disability to make choices and decisions under the NDIS.

Quality supports so you can live life your way

The Act reinforces that all FACS disability services and those disability services provided by other organisations funded by FACS must comply with the NSW Disability Service Standards. This applies in the period of transition of services to the NDIS and until such time as when a NDIS quality framework is finalised by the Commonwealth

Safeguards

Everyone has the right to live free from abuse, neglect and harm. The Act includes new safeguards to help this to happen for people with disability using supports and services. These safeguards will begin from 3 December 2014 and will be in place until the NDIS is across NSW in full, in 2018.

Inclusion

The Act commits the NSW Government to promoting inclusion of people with disability, which will enrich community life for everyone. The government’s commitment will continue even after NSW has moved fully to the NDIS.

To ensure that inclusion becomes a reality, a whole-of-government plan will set direction from the top. The four-year State Disability Inclusion Plan will aim to improve access to mainstream services and to ensure that people with disability are included in the community.

Your Rights

The law officially recognises that people with disability have the same human rights as others. This is an important achievement that brings NSW into harmony with the United Nations’ view that disability arises because of barriers that society puts up to equal participation by all. This Act will help to dismantle existing barriers so that people with disability can participate fully in their communities.

These rights are included in the Act as ‘principles’. The principles of the Act include the right to respect and dignity, the right to make decisions that affect your life and the right to enjoy a full social and economic life as part of the community. In addition there are also principles recognising the needs of particular groups. These are people with disability who are also Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, women or children.

The Disability Inclusion Act is due to be reviewed in 2019.

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