These strategies are to be released later in 2016 but there has been considerable work over 2015-16 on strategies specific to four cohorts in particular:
- people living in rural and remote areas of Australia
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
- Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities
- people with identified mental illness and psychosocial disability.
Overcoming challenges for specific communities
Wherever possible the Agency will use the existing strengths and potential of specific communities to assist in implementing and managing the Scheme, including:
- the skills and experience of people in the community
- resources from local organisations, schools and businesses.
In some instances the following will also be considered
- local council land, property, buildings and parks,
- arts, culture and stories of the community.
The following sections focus on the specific needs of each of the cohorts.
Assisting rural and remote Australians with disability
To overcome the unique challenges of delivering a comparable level of supports and services to rural and remote participants as those available in Australia’s major cities, the Agency is developing the Rural and Remote strategy 2016-19. The strategy will be publicly released in late 2016.
The strategy’s vision is to ensure that people with disability in rural and remote Australia, are supported to:
- participate in social and economic life to the extent of their ability
- contribute as valued members of their community, and
- achieve good life outcomes.
Recognising that one type of disability service model or delivery will not be successful for all rural and remote communities, the Agency’s approach in these regions will require time and flexible solutions to the challenges for each community.
People with disability living in rural and remote areas sometimes experience greater disadvantages, including lower incomes, poorer housing and higher unemployment. Sometimes there may be few or no suppliers in these communities. In these circumstances, the Agency will need to focus its approach to ensure that appropriate and useful supports are available for participants.
Two advantages that rural and remote communities frequently have are strong community networks and successful local solutions. These can be used to help people with disability, as well as their families and carers to organise and access other supports and services.