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Easy read Uluru Statement released to assist Australians with intellectual disabilities

Jarred Cross -

An easy read Uluru Statement from the Heart has been released for people living with an intellectual disability in the lead up to October's referendum.

The First Peoples Disability Network published the rework on Wednesday, crediting members of the community for their contribution.

Disability sector organisations, including Inclusion Australia, the Council for Intellectual Disability and Victorian Advocacy League For Individuals With Disability (VALID) were also involved it's development.

The launch comes amid a series of open-invite discussions hosted by FPDN and the sector to better inform the broader public on the proposed Voice to Parliament.

FPDN chief executive and Worimi man, Damian Griffis, said he hoped people would take up the opportunity to read the material.

"I really encourage everybody to utilise this….a universally accessible way of understanding the Uluru statement from the heart," he said at the Disability Day of Solidarity virtual Voice town hall meeting on Wednesday.

"I'm very proud and we are very proud at the First Peoples Disability Network to have been involved with our friends from the intellectual disability community developing this. It was developed by people with intellectual disabilities themselves. They should be immensely proud of that work."

Mr Griffis said while portions of the Uluru Statement were tricky to work, overall sentiment "is very clear in the plain easy English version. Because a lot of it's about heart" and a "fantastic universal resource" for everyone.

The document includes information on the process of a referendum, the timeline and movements in the lead up to the first Uluru Statement reading in 2017 and imagery.

"We seek a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history," in the full-length Uluru Statement reads as "Makarrata is an Aboriginal word that means working together after a struggle" in the new version.

Former Labor opposition leader and current NDIS Minister Bill Shorten told ABC News on Wednesday afternoon the easy read statement did not come from the government, and that the organisations behind it "want to make sure that merely because someone has an impairment, they don't miss out on hearing the case".

Minister Shorten added those organisations are encouraging a yes vote, and resisted a question of whether it qualifies as campaign material.

"What they've done is they're saying that we want people to be informed and they put out an easy read guide. I think it's pretty good actually"

"It comes from the sector…it's deconstructing and it's making the case for it. It certainly doesn't denigrate anyone."

The easy read Uluru Statement from the Heart is available for view at the Have Your Say website.


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