Grants now open to make conferences more accessible

The Liberal-National Government has announced the opening of the National Disability Conference Initiative grants, with organisations set to share in $315,000 of funding.

The grants aim to assist conference organisers maximise the inclusion and participation of people with disability at nationally-focussed, disability-related conferences in Australia.

Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher said the grants directly support people with disability and their carers to attend disability-related conferences that might otherwise be inaccessible to them.

“Grants of up to $10,000 are available to organisations to help people with disability participate in conferences from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020,” Mr Fletcher said.

“It is vital that the voices of people with disability and their carers are included and heard at a national, state and local level.

“The National Disability Conference Initiative promotes inclusive and accessible communities as part of the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020.”

Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services, Sarah Henderson said organisations could use the grants in a number of ways to support people with disability attend conferences.

“The grants can assist people with disability and their carers with the costs of attending conferences, for example with conference fees, accommodation and travel costs,” Ms Henderson said.

“The grants can also be used to facilitate access so that people with disability can participate in conferences, such as funding accessible materials, AUSLAN interpreters, assistive computer devices or software, aids or appliances or other costs relating to venue accessibility.

“As an example of how grant funding has made a difference, 26 people on the autism spectrum received sponsorship to pay for their registration to attend and present at the Asia Pacific Autism Conference in September 2017.”

Applications open on 9 January 2019 and close at 2pm (AEDT) on 20 February 2019. To apply for a grant or for more information on the National Disability Conference Initiative grant round, go to Australian Government Community Grants Hub at communitygrants.gov.au or Grant Connect at grants.gov.au.