Bendigo a winner in disability funding

La Trobe University and the City of Greater Bendigo council have received a combined $332,000 in disability grants.

The Information, Linkages and Capacity Building grants are part of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and aim to help people with a disability become better connected to their communities.

La Trobe Rural Health School has received $167,000 to develop an on-line education module to help ensure children with a disability have all the supports they need – from home to school.

Professor Teresa Iacono said a team of La Trobe allied health and education staff will join with academics from Federation University, teachers, clinicians and families of school-aged children with a disability to develop the online resource.

“We intend to increase knowledge of disability and education policy, obligations and funding criteria available to children, including those who do not receive individual funding,” Professor Iacono said.

“There is often confusion and misunderstanding about the NDIS, education policies, legal requirements, rights and obligations, plus health professionals, educators and parents often lack the chance to work together to address a child’s needs.

“We hope by developing this online resource we remove the confusion that interferes with children with a disability getting the services they need.

“We were also very pleased to see Greater Bendigo Council was successful in securing funds, helping strengthen the support for people with a disability in our region.”

Council has received $165,000 to continue its Inclusive Towns Project, which aims to improve the accessibility of local businesses.

City Health and Wellbeing Director Vicky Mason said 40 per cent of adults had some form of disability or long-term health condition.

“Everyone with a disability is a potential customer,” Ms Mason said. “Inclusive Towns helps businesses make some simple changes in the areas of communication, physical environment and awareness of disability amongst staff.

“Often, just a few small changes can make a business much more user-friendly for everyone in our community.”