Media Release from Federal Minister Kate Ellis and Parliamentary Secretary Jan McLucas

SENATOR JAN MCLUCAS

Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister
Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers

KATE ELLIS MP
Member for Adelaide

29 November 2012

Local company takes out national disability award

World-first technology that allows people who are deaf or hearing impaired to enjoy live theatre is one of the innovative products by an Adelaide company that has delivered them top honours at the 2012 National Disability Awards in Canberra overnight.

The Captioning Studio was presented with the Excellence in Improving Social Participation Award at a gala event held at the National Gallery, which recognises the significant contribution of individuals and organisations to improving the social participation of people with disability.

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas and Federal Member for Adelaide, Kate Ellis recently visited The Captioning Studio in Adelaide to experience the technology that is making a real difference in the lives of people with disability.

“The Captioning Studio has worked tirelessly to promote and provide access in a wide variety of areas for people with hearing impairment and I congratulate them on this fantastic award,” Ms Ellis said.

“People with disability should have the same opportunities as all Australians and the ongoing commitment of the Captioning Studio to creating an inclusive and accessible society is helping make this a reality.

“I have seen firsthand the outstanding work Captioning Studio does to improve accessibility for people of all abilities, so it’s no surprise to me they was chosen from more than 200 nominations across the country.”

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas said it was vital to recognise individuals and organisations who help to overcome the barriers and challenges faced by people with disability.

“The annual National Disability Awards, now in their sixth year, provide an important opportunity to celebrate the remarkable contributions that organisations like the Captioning Studio make to our community and to the disability sector,” Senator McLucas said.

“We are highly impressed by the Captioning Studio’s innovative technology, which continues to provide greater opportunities and accessibility for so many people with disability.”

The Co-Founder and Director of The Captioning Studio, Nari Jennings said, “Access to education is something that is incredibly important to me, both professionally and personal.”

“Having grown up in a deaf family, I am very aware of the struggles faced by deaf and hard of hearing students in the classroom. My dream is that every child with a hearing loss across Australia will have the opportunity to try 3D Speech for themselves and experience the difference it can make for them.”

Senator McLucas said the 2012 National Disability Awards follow what has been a historic year for the disability sector.

“The Australian Government is getting on with the job of delivering the largest disability reform ever undertaken in Australia  a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).”

“We are investing $1 billion for the first stage of an NDIS, which will begin from the middle of next year, including here in South Australia.”

In South Australia, an NDIS will start supporting infants with disability from July next year, before expanding to support children with disability up to age 14. By 2015, nearly 5,000 children in South Australia with significant and permanent disability will be benefiting from an NDIS.

The National Disability Awards are part of the Australian Government’s celebration of International Day of People with Disability, which occurs on 3 December each year and is in its 20th anniversary this year.

Ms Ellis is encouraging local organisations to attend an event next week to celebrate IDPwD.

For more information, visit the International Day of People with Disability website at www.idpwd.com.au or call 1800 440 385.

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