Chapter 4—Management and accountability

Disability strategy and carer recognition

From 1994 to 2010, departments and agencies reported on their performance under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. In 2010–11, the Commonwealth Disability Strategy was overtaken by the new National Disability Strategy, which sets out a 10-year national policy framework for improving life for Australians with disability and their families and carers. The strategy includes new mechanisms for monitoring and reporting on progress, separate from annual reports. In particular, a high-level report to track progress for people with disability at a national level will be produced for the Council of Australian Governments and made available online by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs at www.fahcsia.gov.au.

While annual reports are no longer required to address specific measures of performance in this area, this annual report includes several examples of activities that helped to ensure that people with disabilities can readily access the museum’s facilities and programs.

In particular, during 2011–12 the Disability Action Plan was finalised and the Disability Reference Group established, to identify and implement ways to improve the museum’s visitor experience for people with disabilities. More detail on the plan and related activities is provided in the ‘Visitors’ section on pages 47–8.

Although Old Parliament House is not a ‘public service care agency’ as defined in the Carer Recognition Act 2010, it endorses the aim of the Act, to ‘increase recognition and awareness of carers and acknowledge the valuable contribution they make to society’. The agency has taken measures to ensure its compliance with the requirements of Act, including:

  • ensuring that all employees have access to carer provisions and appropriate workplace flexibility where required
  • developing and implementing the Disability Action Plan, in which carers are key stakeholders
  • including carer groups among the groups consulted in the development of the Disability Action Plan, and inviting representatives of carers to form part of the reference group providing advice on the plan’s implementation
  • participating in the ACT Companion Card scheme, under which free entry is granted to the companion or carer of a person with a disability who requires some level of assistance
  • offering free entry for people with a disability and accompanying carers attending museum events on the International Day of People with a Disability.
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