Today is International Day of People with Disability. Almost 1.5 million Australians living with disability volunteer, accounting for 24 per cent of all Australians, who give their time to help others.
The Australian Government is currently developing a new National Disability Strategy to improve the lives of people with disability, their families and carers, with a focus on better inclusion. In our recent submission to the strategy consultation, Volunteering Australia made some recommendations on how to better support volunteering and the vital role it plays for those living with disability.
We recommend that the Australian Government:
- Recognise and support the important role of volunteering in the lives of people with disability.
- Recognise that volunteering offers opportunities for social, economic, and cultural inclusion. Equal access to these opportunities for people with disability offers self-empowerment and potential pathways to employment.
- Recognise and support extending volunteering initiatives so that more people with disability gain the benefits of inclusive programs, guidance, and opportunities.
- Strategically consider volunteers in workforce planning and recognise the vital role volunteers play in delivering services to meet the needs and aspirations of people living with disability.
- Invest in supporting volunteers, including effective induction, training and ongoing management programs.