Promise for Disability Service Met

Disability Minister Jay Weatherill says the service Dignity for Disabled originally formed to lobby for, is now successfully and running.

Im very pleased to announce that the State Government has now achieved its aim of making sure that young people with intellectual disabilities, who arent able to enter the workforce when they leave school, are now able to access full-time programs of activity.

We made this commitment to the parents of children with intellectual disabilities and we have fulfilled it.

Mr Weatherill made the announcement today at the Dignity for the Disabled picnic at Elder Park. The Dignity for Disabled group began as a lobby group for the 5-day a week program that has now been developed by the State Government.

The two new pilot programs are being provided by Minda and the Intellectual Disability Services Council to enhance the Moving On program for school leavers with intellectual disabilities.

Moving On was established to give school leavers with intellectual disabilities a range of interesting and meaningful activities during the day.

The 5-day a week service was the major recommendation arising out of the Moving On Working Party, which comprised parents and representatives from disability organisations and which reported to the Minister late last year.

Day options programs also provide much-needed respite for families, but they had been criticised by parents and disability advocates last year for not being enough.

Early indications are that the new, 5-day a week pilot projects, which have room for up to 40 people, have been a real success with families, Minister Weatherill said.

Weve also made sure that country school leavers can purchase full time activity services by providing them with an increased allocation and a 10 percent country loading.

When the Moving On program began in 1997, it cost $2.2m a year and had 168 young clients. But this cost has more than tripled to $7.5m this financial year, with 508 clients.

In the past two years the Government has increased funding for Moving On by more than 25 per cent, including a $1.2m boost in the last budget, Minister Weatherill said.

Since coming to office in 2011, the Rann Labor Government has increased funding to disability services by 16.8%. Our recently released Housing Plan for SA makes a solid new commitment to people with disabilities, with 5 percent of all new housing developments set aside for people with disabilities.

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