Posted on 29. Sep, 2010 in Clayton Update

People living with a disability in Dandenong and Keysborough can now develop new information and communication technology skills, thanks to a $35,000 grant from the Brumby Labor Government.

Joining the celebrations in Dandenong today, Community Development Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the Internet for People with a Disability project would enable clients of the Wallara community service organisation develop skills and confidence to help get online.

“The Brumby Labor Government is pleased to support projects that help more people access employment, education and social opportunities available online,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“Wallara has been providing quality services and supports for people living with a disability for more than 50 years, and with this new project they will be able to continue to support local people with digital inclusion.

“With this $35,000 funding, Wallara will purchase new computers and equipment which people with learning or intellectual disabilities or vision impairment can learn to access and use the Internet.”

Ms D’Ambrosio said five Wallara staff and one participant will also receive ‘train the trainer’ training to support the individuals develop their skills.

“In turn, these six people will go on to provide Internet training to Wallara Industries employees at the Keysborough site and to residential clients in Dandenong,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“Residents of the local aged care centre will also have the opportunity to be trained at Wallara.”

Ms D’Ambrosio said about a third of Australians living with a disability used the Internet to keep in touch with friends and family by using email and getting involved in chat sites.

“This grant will boost digital inclusion through activities that will help Victorians to use ICT effectively and improve their digital literacy,” she said.

“Wallara’s clients of all ages, abilities and backgrounds can maintain their social connections, apply for jobs and participate in a range of other activities online.

“The training sessions will run for 45 weeks over a 12 month period, during which time it is expected that at least 25 people will be trained in ICT and how to use the Internet.”

Ms D’Ambrosio said today’s announcement was funded through the Victorian Government’s Digital Inclusion Fund to help more Victorians get the skills they need to participate in the community, gain employment and connect with others.

“These grants help to ensure that no Victorian experiences disadvantage because of who they are or where they live, by targeting groups who might otherwise be excluded from many social and community activities,” she said.

The Victorian Government’s $1.8 million Digital Inclusion Fund is a two year commitment to supporting social, community and economic inclusion online in disadvantaged communities.

For more information about digital inclusion, visit www.dpcd.vic.gov.au.

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