Finding support and help: how your community can make a difference

Why is community participation important?

The Productivity Commission report said addressing the relatively lower levels of community participation and inclusion for people with disability will have important benefits.

The Productivity Commission reported:

  • It can lead to improved well-being outcomes for people with disability and their carers (in relation to health, employment, education, income and life satisfaction outcomes).
  • It can lessen longer-term care and support costs for people with disability and it may prevent people who have modest disability care and support needs from needing more costly levels of care and support.

For example:

  • The provision of accessible public or community transport for people with disabilities can reduce the need for them to use taxis and the associated costs of taxi vouchers.
  • The design of shopping centers, access to public or community transport, enables people with disabilities who can use public transport to be independent and shop for themselves. They don’t have to rely on others to shop on their behalf.
  • The provision of orientation and mobility services for people with moderate levels of vision impairment can reduce the likelihood of them falling or having accidents, leading to further disability or impairment.
  • Support for people with disabilities and carers is also likely to have economic benefits, increasing participation in the workforce.
  • The community as a whole benefit from inclusive arrangements, not just people with disabilities. In the broadest sense, inclusion can enhance Australia’s social capital, engaging more people in their community and better-reflecting community diversity.
  • It creates better networks among people and breaks down stereotypes. It can promote economic and social participation.

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