Carers Strategy Priorities put forward to inform the ACT Disability Strategy
In late 2022, Carers ACT consulted on and prepared a submission to raise the views and needs of Carers as the ACT Government develops the Disability Strategy 2023–2033. Our submission highlighted our firm belief that the ACT Disability Strategy 2022-32 (‘Disability Strategy’) should work in tandem with the ACT Carers Strategy 2018-28 (‘Carers Strategy’).
Ultimately, both strategies share a common vision – the creation of a more welcoming and accessible community that cares for carers and the people they care for. It is evident from feedback received during the consultation process that a truly inclusive Disability Strategy will be mutually beneficial to both carers and people with disabilities. The following Priorities are based on the Carers Strategy and demonstrate the need for a unified approach in creating an inclusive Canberra.
The new Disability Strategy should recognise and value the role of carers. Recognition in this context means demonstrating respect for the skills, knowledge, and contribution of carers in all facets of community life. This includes the recognition of unpaid carers as the backbone for the disability support system.
Education and Work
This submission values the need to increase opportunities and supports for both carers and people with disabilities to complete their formal education, engage in the workplace, and achieve their aspirations. We have heard from carers that increasing accessibility and overall supports for the people they care for in both educational institutions and workplace settings gives them greater confidence and peace-of-mind.
Better access to information that is current and relevant assists in meeting the needs of both carers and people with disability. Access to information about services and resources should be readily available to increase the use of appropriate support systems and increase independence for those with disabilities.
Ongoing carer engagement
It is important to acknowledge that carers are directly impacted by the outcomes of supports provided to increase independence and quality of life for the people they care for. Truly inclusive service delivery takes into consideration the experiences and unique needs of those in care relationships. As such, carers need to be involved in determining their own journey and actively consulted alongside the care recipient.
Enhanced social support
A variety of support services available for carers and the people they care for need to be improved, reviewed, or expanded to prioritise access and inclusion. The Disability Strategy should acknowledge that disability impacts family members, carers and the individual experiencing the disability. Discussions of accessibility in community engagement should actively consider the dignity of the person with disability, their family members and their carer.
Read the full Submission
The ACT Government advises that the Disability Strategy 2023–2033 and the first 4-year Action Plan will be considered by government and presented to the ACT Legislative Assembly in mid-2023 for endorsement and action.
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