Time to think about how to create a more inclusive Australia23 Mar 2016
I hadn't given any thought to the upcoming election. But With the recent new indicating that the federal government may hold the election in July, I thought it was worth thinking about what we can do to make Australia more inclusive.
Disability policies aren't talked about as much as other topics in the lead up to an election. But it's in everyone's best interest to continue making the country more inclusive. Things that are made to accommodate a particular group of the community often end up helping the general public as well, captions on videos for example.
Vision Australia has put together a list of topics to consider. Their focus is on assisting the blind. But they cover topics that are important to everyone, such as education, employment, and accessibility. If you're interested in reading a draft of their full proposal head over to their website - 2016 Federal Election: towards a more inclusive Australia
- Handling of the NDIS
The government wants to reduce the cost of welfare and the best way to do that is to get more people into employment. The current unemployment rate is around 6%. Disability unemployment is around 9.4% though. So there's room for improvement. How they'll continue to assist in improving workplace accessibility, workplace recruitment practises, and making society's attitude towards inclusion are the important questions for this topic.
Education is an important step towards successful employment so we have to ensure that those with a disability aren't disadvantaged. How resources will be allocated, how gaps will be addressed, and how teachers can be trained to better teach all students are important things to consider.
For the most part I think we have decent accessibility in Australia. But there are things that could do with some improvement. Access to services and information comes to mind.
- Ensure information is available to everyone by publishing it digitally
- Place captions on videos
- Access to brail and audio versions of documents
Once you remove the barriers people have with interacting with society they're more freely able to live their lives.
The NDIS aims to address the needs of people and enable them to succeed. It's important that we know how the NDIS will be handled because it's not uncommon for the new government in power to change what the previous government put in place. How they'll ensure it is rolled out successfully, and if they are going to make changes are the important questions for this topic.
These are my current thoughts. It will be interesting to see what each part starts it election campaign.
What do you think needs to be address in the upcoming election?