Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

GCLA Urges Us to Make Our Communities Inclusive for All; Supporting People to Achieve Their Goals

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

GCLA Urges Us to Make Our Communities Inclusive for All; Supporting People to Achieve Their Goals

Article excerpt

Byline: Julia Bartrim julia.bartrim@ gladstoneobserver.com.au

HARD FACTS

One in five Australians have a disability. Of these, just under 1.4 million have severe or profound core activity limitation

In 2099, it is estimated that approximately 4 million people will have a severe or profound disability in Australia -- more than triple the current number

2.4 million people with a disability need assistance with at least one broad area of activity

Around one third of Australian households include a person with disability

Just over half of Australians aged 65 and over live with a disability

Disability and employment

Australians with disability are more likely to be unemployed compared to those without a disability (10.0% compared with 5.3%)

Australia ranks 21 out of 29 OECD countries for labour force participation of people with a disability

19% of people with a disability who are employed work as professionals

36% of people with a severe or profound disability are employed

People with a disability are more likely to run their own business -- 13% -- than those without a disability -- 10%

-- Sourced from The House With No Steps

"Inclusive communities".

This is the catch-cry of Laurie Ellis, operations manager at Gladstone Community Linking Agency.

GCLA is a local not-for- profit organisation that has served the Gladstone region for more than 23 years. It offers a range of services to members of the community with disabilities and to the aging.

But Mr Ellis says it's not so much a question of providing services, as it is about supporting people to achieve their goals.

"For us it's about celebrating achievements and not focusing on a need," he said.

"People with disabilities have the same aspirations as anyone else in the community."

However, as anyone with a disability, or, anyone who has a family member with a disability, knows, it can be much harder for people with disabilities to find meaningful employment. …

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