People with disabilities and their families in the South-West region will benefit from the State Government's new five-year business plan, which for the first time directs funding according to the number of people with disabilities in country areas.
At a local launch of the plan in Bunbury today, Disability Services Minister Paul Omodei said the Disability Services Commission was directing 26 per cent of its funding to country regions where 26 per cent of Western Australians with disabilities lived.
"Under the commission's new five-year business plan, Making a Difference, the State Government has provided an additional $34.5 million to 2005 to increase existing services and develop new ones to benefit people with disabilities and their families," Mr Omodei said.
"The Making a Difference business plan is about helping people reach their full potential.
"People with disabilities and their families and carers will benefit from increased services in the areas of accommodation, respite and family care, options for school leavers and adults with disabilities, professional and therapy services, and aids and equipment."
Mr Omodei said the South-West was the most populous of the commission’s nine country regions, with around 500 people with disabilities registered for commission services.
The commission has offices at Bunbury, Busselton, Manjimup and Nannup, and last year established a new supervisory region, Harvey-Collie, to ensure that the commission’s operations in the South-West remained responsive to the ever-changing needs of people with disabilities.
Mr Omodei said a key component to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities was increasing community access and participation.
"Country communities are renowned for their strength and innovation and for supporting their fellow citizens," he said.
"We aim to help families and communities to better support people with disabilities so they can enjoy the same choices and opportunities as the rest of the community."
Mr Omodei said disability affected the lives of one-in-three Western Australians, either directly or as a family member or carer of a person with a disability.
“WA leads the nation in providing for people with disabilities and their families, through innovative and responsive services, an unmatched pool of knowledge and expertise and a strong funding commitment from the State Government,” the Minister said.
"Making a Difference is not just a name - it is a reality."
Media contact Hugh Ryan 9213 6700