The Maritime Union of Australia has heralded the Government's endorsement of a National Disability Insurance Scheme as a historic reform that will go a long way to improving life for one of society's most disadvantaged groups.
The scheme will be phased in nationally over seven years and will mean every Australian is covered in the event they suffer, or are born with, a disability.
It will also give people with a disability the capacity to direct government funding to the support services they consider most relevant to their lives.
MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin sits on the Federal Government's Disabilities and Carers' Council and described the scheme as a crucial step forward.
"This is a historic reform, in the same league as Medicare and compulsory superannuation," Mr Crumlin said.
"For too long, some our most vulnerable citizens have had to endure substandard support, as they navigate the maze of state and commonwealth services.
"This new system will ensure a decent system of care and support for people with disabilities, allowing them to live with dignity and respect.
The scheme is estimated to cost $6.3 billion to implement and will fund a raft of support services.
Importantly, it will also help many people with a disability - and their carers - return to the workforce, boosting the nation's productivity and providing the potential to fill skills shortages.
"This is the type of change that you expect from a reformist government. We congratulate Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Minister Jenny Macklin and Minister Bill Shorten for their efforts," Mr Crumlin said.
You can learn more about the NDIS Campaign HERE.