The Australian Human Rights Commission has set an example to the world by implementing the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. According to the act, it is unlawful to discriminate against people with disabilities. Equal rights and opportunities are encouraged for disabled people in terms of employment, education and also access to premises. Not only the disabled individual, but also friends and relatives of the disabled person are protected against discrimination.
The National Disability Strategy
The Council of Australian Government was chosen as the central mechanism for the implementation of the National Disability Strategy announced by the Australian Prime Minister in 2009. This has enumerated a national plan for 10 years for bettering the quality of life of disabled Australians and their families including their careers. This requires a commitment by not just the government but also by the community and industry to adopt a unified approach to the development of policy and program to benefit them.
The Salient Features of the Strategy
There are six areas of priorities identified for the improvement of the lives of disabled people, their careers and families. This was ratified on 13th Feb 2011. They are:
- Communities which are accessible and inclusive. This refers to the physical environment which includes parks and public transport
- Protection of Rights through Legislation and Justice: Protection is extended by law against discrimination. A mechanism for complaints is available as also advocacy and the justice systems and the electorate
- Economic Security: For those unable to work, housing and income support is ensured. And for those who can , with their disabilities, go out to work, business and job opportunities are opening up leading to financial independence for the individual
- Personal and Community Support: The disabled are encouraged to be included in the community and their active participation is recommended. Specialist disability services for their care is also extended
- Education and Acquiring Skills: Education from childhood leading to schools and further education including vocational training and lifelong learning is opened to them. This also ensures their finding employment after education
- Physical Well being and Health: Promotion of good health is encouraged as also the opening of opportunities for enjoyment of life
NOVA Employment Services is a key organization that implements this policy by providing training to disabled personnel to the individuals directly or through schools and then offering these trained individuals to industry.