A unique program which provides positive and constructive activities for Western Australian school-leavers with disabilities, is being expanded.
Acting Disability Services Minister Pam Beggs said today the Post School Options Program would receive $1 million in joint-funding this year and would help some 170 school-leavers with disabilities across the State.
Mrs Beggs said funding contributions were made by the Lotteries Commission, the State and Federal Governments.
The program, which started in 1990, funded non-Government organisations to obtain employment, provide on-the-job training and support or skills development opportunities, for school-leavers with disabilities.
With this expansion, a total of about 570 Western Australian students with disabilities would have been assisted.
Mrs Beggs said Western Australia was the first State to implement and maintain a jointly-funded program of this kind and it had been commended by the Commonwealth as a model to apply to the rest of the nation.
"The State Government is determined to provide this type of support to people with disabilities, to enable them to participate as much as possible, in what the community has to offer," the Minister said.
"I am also pleased that people with disabilities are included in mainstream programs such as public sector traineeships announced recently by the Premier."
Mrs Beggs said Western Australians with disabilities, their families and carers, were very satisfied with this unique program and it demonstrated the benefits of co-operation between the Government and the community.
"This initiative, which is an adjunct to the 'Smart Moves' campaign announced by Education and Training Minister Kay Hallahan, provides opportunities for young people with disabilities to make positive contributions to the community on the completion of their school years.
"Work is an important aspect of social life and gives identity, self-esteem, and independence as well as contributing to society. Young people, including young people with disabilities, are our greatest asset," she said.