Last week, Deaf Australia sent out a media release regarding the Abbott Government’s decision to cut the Disability Ministry. We wanted the government to reinstate the Disability Ministry and also confirm their commitment to the Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) because we had heard concerns from our members about a rumour that the EAF may be reduced.
Deaf Australia is pleased to say that the Government, through DEEWR, have confirmed that the Coalition currently do not have plans to change the funding of the EAF program, particularly the Auslan component.
The Assistant Minister for Social Services, Senator Mitch Fifield, said that the Coalition does not propose any cuts to the Employee Assistance Fund.
“Social and economic participation by people with disability is integral to the inclusion of people with disability in society, a central tenet of the NDIS of which the Government has repeatedly stated its strong and unequivocal support,” said Senator Fifield.
Deaf Australia would like to thank DEEWR and Senator Fifield for promptly responding to the issues raised in our media release.
“In my discussions with the Department, I reinforced that the EAF program as a whole is important to Deaf people,” said Deaf Australia Acting President Mr Todd Wright, “Deaf people need access to Auslan interpreters as well as access to captioning and notetaking services, and workplace modifications including technology and equipment.”
The Department has also advised us that eventually the EAF will be moved under the Disability portfolio in the Department of Social Services, under the responsibility of Senator Mitch Fifield, Assistant Minister of Social Services.
However, we are still concerned about the Government’s decision to axe the Disability Ministry and are calling for this portfolio to be immediately reinstated.
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- Some Deaf Australia members were worried because they heard rumours that the EAF would change
- Deaf Australia wanted to find out what was going on, so we sent out a media release and have also been in contact with DEEWR
- DEEWR have told Deaf Australia that there are currently no changes planned for the EAF
- Deaf people can keep using the EAF as normal
- If Deaf people have any concerns about the EAF, please contact us