The Catholic Bishops of Australia welcome and support the Federal government’s commitment to DisabilityCare Australia (formerly known as the National Disability Insurance Scheme or NDIS), a scheme which aims to help people with disability and their families.
The Catholic Bishops believe that people with disability and their families should be provided with the most appropriate levels and quality of service throughout their life. This includes services for families supporting and caring for the person with disability.
The Bishops said the current national approach to disability services is crisis-driven, welfare-based and lacks dignity. DisabilityCare intends to ensure better accessibility, choice and control over service delivery.
Bishops Delegate for Disability Issues, Bishop Terry Brady said ‘Governments need to ensure the rights of persons with disability are upheld by taking action to stop the historic discrimination and exclusion of persons with disability. DisabilityCare should ensure all persons with disability in Australian society will enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
Chairman of the Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life, Bishop Eugene Hurley said that it is critical that social justice is taken into consideration in this area, especially for indigenous families and new arrivals.
“DisabilityCare will ensure that there is funding for essential support and care for people with disabilities including respite, therapy, aids, equipment, home modification and access to community care and education”, he said.
Ms. Michele Castagna, Chair of the Australian Catholic Disability Council said the Council fully supports the Bishops statement.
“Governments must uphold the rights of all their citizens, including persons with disability by acting on existing policies, particularly those relating to discrimination and exclusion of persons with disability as a marginalised group. The time for change is now. People with disability need to be seen as truly equal citizens”, she said.