Representatives from Cerebral Palsy Alliance were honoured to attend the first NDIS Jobs and Skills Forum, organised by the Federal Government, in Canberra last week.
NDIS participants, their families, providers, disability organisations and the wider disability sector came together to talk about employment and disability, including representatives from CPA’s advocacy community, CPActive!
Two incredible young CPActive Champions, Meret Hassanen and Declan Lee, joined Minister for the NDIS Bill Shorten MP, Chair of the NDIS Joint Standing Committee, Libby Coker MP and Every Australian Counts organiser Elly Desmarchelier at the summit.
Meret and Declan held critical roles in driving discussion in face-to-face breakout groups and were front and centre stage. In fact, they even met the Prime Minister at a special summit dinner on Wednesday night, discussing the current systems and advising the Government on the best ways to support people with disability into work.
“Coming together with participants, providers and people from the NDIS and government, provided a great forum to discuss current challenges in the sector and new ways forward. It was great to be able to contribute experience ideas through being part of the panel discussion and co-facilitating a breakout session. I look forward to more of its kind,” said Meret.
“I’m proud to say that I’m beginning to feel more comfortable in my own skin as an advocate with multiple disabilities. I look forward to seeing what Bill Shorten and the Labor Government take from this forum (with cautious optimism!) to improve the employment prospects and the NDIS. Never have I been so proud and so humbled to be a member of the disability community,” Declan said.
The forum was a promising step forward in developing a co-designed, inclusive approach to increasing employment opportunities for people with disability and ensuring the NDIS is truly meeting the needs of our disability community.