Landmark new legislation will require Government bodies to show how they are supporting the needs and rights of Western Australians with disabilities.
Disability service plans will have to be lodged and their implementation detailed by the Government bodies, under financial reporting obligations.
Disability Services Minister Eric Ripper said non-Government agencies, providing services with State funds, would have to sign funding agreements.
Mr Ripper said all organisations would be required to reflect the principles and objectives outlined in the landmark Disability Services Bill 1992, introduced today to the Legislative Assembly.
"This unique Bill provides a clear statement of the value and importance the Government and people of this State, place on the lives of people with disabilities and the opportunities available to them," the Minister said.
"It is the first time in this State that the rights of all Western Australians with disabilities, and the principles by which services are delivered to them, have been enshrined in legislation."
The Bill was based on the policy 'A Fair Go for Everyone: Disability Policy for Western Australia. It stemmed from nearly three years' extensive consultation, to create a policy for the provision of services for Western Australians with disabilities.
Mr Ripper said the Director of the Bureau for Disability Services would help in the development of the disability service plans, would evaluate them and report to him on their effectiveness and implementation. A conciliation and review process was also included in the Bill to provide avenues for the resolution of complaints, by people with disabilities, about services specifically for them.
Other features of the Bill:
· provided a definition of disability, agreed by community consensus, to ensure that no person with a disability can be disadvantaged by being excluded from the legislation;
· ratified the establishment and functions of the Advisory Council for Disability Services;
· stated that services should be flexible and adaptable and recognised the broad diversity of disabilities and the diverse range and needs of people with disabilities.