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PWDA E-Bulletin
Edition #98 July 2015
 
ISSN 2202-0705
Image: Larissa Bechelli and PWDA Individual Advocate Stephin Hargreave preparing for the NSW Council of Intellectual Disability annual conference.
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Dear ,
Welcome to PWDA’s July 2015 E-Bulletin.
 
Our E-Bulletin goes out to subscribers regularly by email. Please share this ebulletin with anyone you might think would like to receive it.
 
Larissa Bechelli and PWDA Individual Advocate Stephin Hargreave are pictured above. Stephin supported Larissa to attend the recent NSW Council for Intellectual Disability annual conference. Larissa has been working with PWDA for the past five years and she spoke at the conference about how advocacy support from PWDA helped her navigate the legal system and manage her finances after she removed herself from an abusive relationship. “I had a hard life when I was with my ex-husband and I like to share my story to get across what advocacy can do for you,” Larissa said. 
 
To be added or removed from our E-Bulletin mailing list or to change your details, please email us, click on the "Unsubscribe / Change Profile" link at the very end of this E-Bulletin or contact PWDA on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin. 
 
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If you would like to become a member of PWDA please visit pwd.org.au/membership.html or contact us for a membership form. 
 
PWDA Disability Rights Defenders
Disability Rights Defenders can change lives through regular, monthly, tax-deductible donations. These regular donations support:
  • systemic and legal advocacy projects,
  • members’ and stakeholders consultations,
  • other essential projects like the Boarding House project,
  • work with Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) in the Pacific,
  • information and training to people with disability and their associates.
Learn more about the Disability Rights Defenders program on the PWDA website.
Contents
 
 

  • Brand new housing options for Bella after five years in hospital
  • Job Opportunities - Community Connectors
ECONOMIC SECURITY AND EMPLOYMENT 
  • Wage Justice Campaign: UPDATE
  • Development of a new National Disability Employment Framework
  • Inquiry underway to address employment discrimination 
HUMAN RIGHTS
  • Universal Periodic Review (UPR)
  • NSW Strategic Plan for Children and Young People
  • Supported Decision-Making Research Symposium
  • Report Released on Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport
  • Response to Senate Inquiry report on young people in aged care
PREVENTING VIOLENCE AND ABUSE 
  • UPDATE: PWDA Royal Commission Disability Support project
  • China Disabled People's Federation Conference
  • Capacity building workshop in China
  • Hundreds benefit from PWDA training
 
 
 
 
 
From the President
 
Welcome to this E-Bulletin for July 2015.

In late June I spoke as part of a panel discussing working towards decent incomes and work opportunities for people on Disability Support Pensions. I called for a resetting of our debate on disability and jobs – focussing on improving employment services, removing disincentives and addressing barriers to employment. The session also included an address from the Social Services Minister Scott Morrison, the Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten and Senator Di Natale the Leader of the Greens so this was a good opportunity to have our message heard.
 
 Photograph of Craig Wallace
Craig Wallace
President of People with Disability Australia
 

While I welcome the approach that has been taken by Minister Morrison on some issues since assuming the portfolio, little is served by the continued denigration of people on the Disability Support Pension by Government in sections of the media. It is disappointing that once again people with disability are being portrayed as bludgers. We need to promote the skills and employability of people with disability and also avoid demonising people with disability. Government and media have a shared responsibility to stop traducing the reputations of people with disability with employers.
 
Work on welfare and employment also remains confused by the lack of a full time dedicated Disability Discrimination Commissioner who has a disability more than 12 months after former Commissioner, Graeme Innes was not re-appointed.  This is despite disability discrimination complaints, especially on employment, making up the majority of matters which come before the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC).  As many have observed it also appears incongruous at a time when there is a bevy of Commissioners being appointed on issues ranging from freedom to windfarms.

PWDA continues our work to support people with disability and others affected by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.  We are conducting information sessions explaining how PWDA can support people with disability, their friends and family, staff working in disability organisations, ex-staff and whistleblowers to engage in the Royal Commission and speak up about abuse they have experienced or witnessed.  This is ongoing important work for PWDA and I congratulate the staff involved lead by PWDA’s Matthew Bowden.

One of my passions is about the powerful nexus between disability arts, cultural institutions and rights and I want to briefly mention two projects which show what is possible.   

I was very pleased to lend my support and story to the Grassroots Democracy Campaign for Disability Rights Exhibition at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka.  The Honour Board is a reminder of how much we owe many advocates over decades who have fought for Inclusion.

I am also pleased to have helped promote Arts Access Australia who have joined forces with Access 2 Arts to create 'Reasonable and Necessary' - a project designed to encourage people to think big about their goals and their futures under the NDIS National Disability Insurance Scheme. 

Reasonable and Necessary is also a fun and creative way for people to share their goals with planning teams at the NDIS and I hope we will continue to see this kind of innovation coming through the NDIS.

While PWDA supports and campaigns for the NDIS, our support is not unconditional and we will never drop our critical and constructive eye on the scheme. I am particularly concerned about services in South Australia, the lack of clarity around information and advocacy and some of the unacceptably low pricing and support levels for some items of goods, services and equipment.  These were all issues raised by the Citizens Jury and PWDA will be keeping a close eye on how the recommendations are addressed by the National Disability Insurance Agency.

In Canberra recently I supported InvolveCBR which is the ACT Governments commitment under the National Disability Strategy.  The approach seeks to harness & combine the efforts of ordinary people, businesses and Governments in a campaign for change.  I congratulate the ACT Government on this initiative. Approaches like this should be the cornerstone of the National Disability Strategy across Australia rather than solely relying on a conventional government reporting framework.  Campaigns must be co-designed with us at the centre.   

We will be continue to work on ideas like this as we move towards planning PWDA’s approach to the Federal Election.  At our Board meeting in late June PWDA reconstituted a new Political Action Committee in order to begin to plan our key themes and campaign approaches.   

Whenever an election is called, PWDA will be prepared to strongly advocate on behalf of people with disability.  

Membership engagement is what makes us effective and allows us to demonstrate an organised disability community.  Please pass on the word about joining PWDA – it’s online, easy and free.   
 
Craig Wallace
PWDA President
 
Follow Craig on Twitter via @CraigWtweets
 
PWDA Membership
 
Membership of People with Disability Australia
Do you believe in the equality and dignity of all people living with disability? Do you believe everyone has the right to fully participate in our society? 
 
Then show your support for equality and dignity and become part of a growing national disability rights movement in Australia!
 
It’s easy, online and it’s free.
 
Membership for Individuals
Membership for Organisations
 
If you represent an organisation incorporated in Australia with a governing body and a membership base of at least 75% of people with disability, your organisation can take Full Organisational Membership.
 
If you represent an organisation interested in supporting the disability rights movement and the aims and objectives of PWDA, your organisation can take Associate Organisational Membership.
 
PWDA News
 
INDIVIDUAL ADVOCACY
 
Brand new housing options for Bella after five years in hospital
Bella* has spent five years on a waiting list for appropriate housing and over that time she has been living in a mental health ward in a Sydney Hospital.

Our Individual Advocacy service has been working with Bella, who has intellectual and psychosocial disability, since 2012. Bella has become institutionalised and her human rights have been violated because she has not had appropriate housing during this time. 

After extensive lobbying, including with MPs, and searching for appropriate housing – Bella was last month offered a place in a brand new housing development.
 
IMAGE: Green road sign. The word Advocacy is spelt out in white capital lettersIMAGE: Green road sign. The word Advocacy
is spelt out in white capital letters
 
PWDA is concerned that Bella’s situation is far too common, and many people with disability are effectively living in public hospital beds when they should be living in the community.

People with disability have a right to live in the community.  They shouldn’t be stuck in hospital beds that are required by critically ill people.  It also costs more to keep a person in a hospital bed than it does to appropriately support them to live in the community. 
 
For individual advocacy support contact the Disability Rights Information Service (DRIS) between 9:30 am and 4:30 pm (AEST) Monday to Friday on (02) 9370 3100 or Toll Free on 1800 422 015 or TTY Toll Free on 1800 422 016 or email dris@pwd.org.au
 
* not her real name
DISABILITY SUPPORT AND THE NDIS
 
Job opportunities - Community Connectors (3x part time, casual)
As part of the Disability Support Organisation (DSO) Capacity Building Project, PWDA is looking for motivated people with great communication and organisational skills, and with connections and experience in the specific communities below, to work as facilitators for one to three peer groups in each of the following communities:
 
1.) People living with HIV/ people with disability who identify as Lesbian, Gay,  Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex or Queer (LGBTIQ);
 
IMAGE: A post-it-note on a table with text on it that says 'Now!!! Hiring'. There is a pen next to the paper
IMAGE: A post-it-note on a table with text on it that says 'Now!!! Hiring'. There is a pen next to the paper.
2.) People living in assisted boarding houses in the Hunter region; and
3.) Culturally and linguistically diverse communities in the Western Sydney Region.
 
These positions support knowledge and capacity development among people with disability who may engage, now or in the future, with self-directed funding and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Each position is for 8-12 hours per week for the period of 12 months, with possibility of extension. Some weekend work may be required.
 
The positions are payable at The Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award Level 3, pay point 1, plus superannuation and PWDA above award conditions. There is no closing date for these positions but interested applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
 
For further information or if you are interested in applying for a position, please contact Ann Penhallurick, DSO Project Coordinator, on 0437 337 410 or email annp@pwd.org.au 
 
 
ECONOMIC SECURITY AND EMPLOYMENT
 
Wage Justice Campaign: UPDATE
The AAT ruling means that ADEs must move forward to meet their obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)

PWDA welcomes the decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) to set aside a decision made by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) to grant an interim exemption of 4 months to the Commonwealth and Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) so they could continue to use the Business Services Wage assessment Tool (BSWAT). The AAT ruling means that ADEs must move forward to meet their obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)
 
 
 
IMAGE: A yellow roadworks sign that has black text on it that says 'UPDATE'. A city skyline is in the background.
IMAGE: A yellow roadworks sign that has black text on it that says 'UPDATE'. A city skyline is in the background.

The AAT decision, made on 28 July 2015 effectively means that Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) are not exempt from the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and they must take action to meet their obligations under the DDA, including the payment of fair wages.
 
Importantly, the AAT decision recognises the right of people with disability to be included in decisions that impact on their lives.  

PWDA was disappointed when, on 30 April 2015, the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) granted the Commonwealth and ADEs the temporary 4 month exemption to the DDA without any notice or opportunity for input from people with disability working in ADEs.  PWDA immediately appealed this decision.
 
PWDA argues that ADEs should not be provided with further on-going exemptions from their obligations under the DDA and must prioritise the move to a fairer wage system.
 
Both the Government and ADEs have known since 2012 that the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) discriminated against workers with disability, resulting in those workers being paid wages as low as $1 an hour. ADEs have already had the benefit of a 12 month temporary Exemption from the DDA to transition to a fairer wage.
 
Despite this, the Government and ADEs continue to seek exemptions to the DDA and delay transition to fairer wages.
 
PWDA asserts that further exemptions perpetuate violations of the human rights of ADE employees, most of whom have an intellectual disability, and that thousands haven’t had their wages re-assessed in over three years.
 
We argue that a suitable and non-discriminatory wage assessment tool already exists (the Supported Wage System), and further delays are not justified on the basis of the development of a new tool.
 
There is no evidence to substantiate the assertions made by some ADEs that non-discriminatory wage setting would threaten the viability of ADEs or result in closures and job losses.  Mass closures or job losses do not need to occur as the Government has committed substantial resources to assist ADEs with the payment of additional wage costs; to move to a new wage system; to support the ongoing employment of people with disability; and to provide certainty to employees and their carers/families that ADEs will not close because of concerns about perceived liability for discrimination.

We respect the work of the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) and the crucial role it plays in the protection and promotion of human rights. However, in this instance we welcome the AAT decision which upheld the right of people with disability to be heard in matters that impact on our lives.

PWDA was joined in the AAT proceedings by AED Legal Services and was represented by the Australian Centre for Disability Law (ACDL). To view further background to this issue please refer to:
For further information on PWDA’s advocacy on employment issues, contact Samantha French, Advocacy Project Manager, on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email samanthaf@pwd.org.au

Follow Sam on Twitter @SamPWDA

Development of a new National Disability Employment Framework
A Disability Employment Taskforce has been established within the Department of Social Services (DSS) to review the disability employment system to better understand what is and is not working and to find ways to improve on this approach. The Taskforce has recently undertaken national consultations on the development of a new National Disability Employment Framework to boost employment rates for people with disability.
The Taskforce Issues Paper outlines what the Australian Government is currently doing to assist people with disability find and keep jobs. It also poses questions to encourage discussion.
 
PWDA made a submission to the Disability Employment Taskforce and you can read it on our website

Some of the key issues highlighted in PWDA’s submission include:
  • Workforce Participation of People with Disability;
  • Principles for Changes to Disability Employment Services;
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme;
  • Australian Disability Enterprises;
  • Disability Employment Services; and
  • Support for Employers.
For further information on visit the DSS website at www.engage.dss.gov.au

For further information on PWDA’s advocacy on employment issues and ongoing input to the development of a new Disability Employment Framework, contact Samantha French, Advocacy Project Manager, on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email samanthaf@pwd.org.au

Follow Sam on Twitter @SamPWDA 
Inquiry underway to address employment discrimination
Submissions are being sought and consultations are now occurring as part of the Willing to Work National Inquiry into Employment Discrimination Against Older Australians and Australians with Disability.

The Inquiry is being conducted by the Australian Human Rights Commission.
  The Commission will be examining practices, attitudes and Commonwealth laws that create barriers to employment for older Australians and people with disability. The Inquiry will also make recommendations on Commonwealth laws that should be amended, or action that should be taken to address employment discrimination against older Australians and people with disability.
 
 
 
IMAGE: A hand touching a button that has text on it that says 'YOU HAVE A VOICE'.
IMAGE: A hand touching a button that has text on it that says 'YOU HAVE A VOICE'.

PWDA will make a submission to the Inquiry and looks forward to consulting with our members about their experiences and ideas to improve employment opportunities for people with disability. Visit 
the Inquiry website to access further information including guides on how to make a submission, consultation 

For further information on PWDA’s advocacy on employment issues, contact Samantha French, Advocacy Project Manager, on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email 
samanthaf@pwd.org.au

Follow 
Sam on Twitter @SamPWDA
 
HUMAN RIGHTS
 
Universal Periodic Review (UPR)
PWDA is part of the Australian NGO Coalition preparing for Australia’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) by the UN Human Rights Council in November 2015.  The UPR is a mechanism for the UN Human Rights Council to review the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States.  Australia was last reviewed under the UPR in January 2011.
 
The Australian NGO Coalition has prepared a joint NGO report that sets out the key human rights issues for people in Australia.   PWDA jointly prepared the section on people with disability with a number of disability organisations, including the Australian Centre for Disability Law (ACDL), Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) and Advocacy for Inclusion (AFI). 
 
The Australian NGO Coalition has also prepared 18 thematic Fact Sheets to build on the information in the NGO report and provide further information to the Human Rights Council on key issues and recommendations. A series of disability specific Fact Sheets have also been prepared by PWDA, ACDL, WWDA, AFI, and these provide greater detail on the key human rights issues for people with disability, including:
  • Forced sterilisation
  • Restrictive Practices
  • Equality before the Law
  • Involuntary Treatment
  • Violence in Institutions
  • Indefinite Detention
In early July, the Australian NGO Coalition partnered with the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) to convene a UPR Briefing for approximately 70 diplomatic staff representing 48 countries, as well as representatives from the Attorney-General’s Department and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Christina Ryan from AFI represented issues for people with disability on the NGO panel that was facilitated by AHRC President, Gillian Triggs.
 
The Australian NGO Coalition is now preparing a delegation to brief country missions in October and to participate in the UPR of Australia in Geneva in November.
 
More information on these activities is available on the website of the Human Rights Law Centre.  The Twitter hashtag for the UPR is #AusUPR
 
For further information contact Therese Sands, Co-Chief Executive Officer on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email thereses@pwd.org.au 
 
Follow Therese on Twitter @TheresePWDA

NSW Strategic Plan for Children and Young People
On 22 July, PWDA participated in a forum aimed at discussing a range of topics relevant to the development of a NSW Strategic Plan for children and young people aged 0-24 years. 
 
The forum was conducted by the NSW Advocate for Children and Young People, Mr Andrew Johnson who was appointed on 9 January 2015. 
 
The development of the strategic plan is an opportunity for PWDA to raise human rights issues specific to children and young people with disability, including the need for a stronger voice of children and young people with disability, the inclusion of children and young people with disability in decision-making, rights to education and to be free from violence and harm. 
 
More information about the NSW Strategic Plan and the role of the Advocate for Children and Young People is available on their website.
 
For further information contact Therese Sands, Co-Chief Executive Officer on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email thereses@pwd.org.au 
 
Follow Therese on Twitter @TheresePWDA
 
 
Supported Decision-Making Research Symposium
On 15 July, PWDA participated in a research symposium that brought together researchers, service providers and disability organisations to explore research methodologies and directions in decision-making models.
 
Supported decision-making is critical to ensuring that people with disability are able to exercise choice and control, and be active participants in all aspects of life.  The symposium sessions included presentations on supported-decision making projects and breakout sessions to discuss principles for research in this area.
 
PWDA participated in a panel discussion to highlight the importance of research that is led by people with disability and inclusive of people with disability in the design, implementation and evaluation of research projects.  
 
For further information contact Therese Sands, Co-Chief Executive Officer on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email thereses@pwd.org.au 
 
Follow Therese on Twitter @TheresePWDA
 
 
ACCESSIBILITY AND SOCIAL INCLUSION
 
Report released on Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport
PWDA welcomes the release of the final report of the review into the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport, and we acknowledge the considerable input that people with disability provided throughout the review. The report details how State and Federal Governments are progressing when it comes to providing accessible transport and makes a range of recommendations. 

In its response to the review the Australian Government has indicated support for a number of recommendations including:
 
 
IMAGE: A bus parked beside a footpath with a ramp at one of the entrances to it.
IMAGE: A bus parked beside a footpath with a ramp at one of the entrances to it.
  • That the Australian Government, jointly with State, Territory and Local Governments, develop accessibility guidelines for a whole-of-journey approach to public transport planning by 30 June 2016; and
     
  • That the Australian Government, jointly with State and Territory Governments, commence a process for updating and modernising the Transport Standards to bring them into line with other laws and regulations, such as the Access to Premises Standards,  by 30 June 2017.
Visit the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development website to read the report and the Australian Government’s response to it.

PWDA represents the Australian Cross Disability Alliance on the National Accessible Public Transport Advisory Committee (NAPTAC) and we look forward to working with governments and transport stakeholders to implement further recommendations that will lead to genuine improvements in making transport easier to access for people with disability.

For further information on PWDA’s advocacy work on transport issues and our role on the NAPTAC, contact Samantha French, Advocacy Project Manager, on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email samanthaf@pwd.org.au

Follow Sam on Twitter @SamPWDA
 
HOUSING AND LIVING IN THE COMMUNITY
 
Response to Senate Inquiry report on young people in aged care
In March 2015, PWDA made a submission to the Senate Inquiry into the adequacy of existing residential care arrangements for young people with severe physical, mental or intellectual disabilities in Australia. The Inquiry has released its report, including some good recommendations about improving data collection, better case management of people with disability placed in aged care facilities, and the importance of advocacy for people with disability in avoiding institutionalisation.
 
IMAGE: A picture of a persons hand writing the word 'REPORT' on a whiteboard.
IMAGE: A picture of a persons hand writing the word 'REPORT' on a whiteboard.

However, the committee also recommended extra funding for “specialised disability accommodation”.  PWDA is concerned that this recommendation will lead to the development of further congregate and segregated housing models rather than genuine community housing options.  PWDA continues to recommend changes to the housing system to make housing affordable and accessible, allowing people with disability to choose where they live, and who provides their services.
 
For further information contact Dr Jess Cadwallader, Advocacy Projects Manager, Violence Prevention, on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email jessc@pwd.org.au 
 
Follow Jess on Twitter @JessPWDA
PREVENTING VIOLENCE AND ABUSE
 
UPDATE: PWDA Royal Commission Disability Support Project
PWDA recently appeared at the second Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse public hearing into out-of-home care.  PWDA raised some key issues regarding the poor recognition of and response to children with disability in the child protection system, the problems with segregated settings for children with disability in out-of-home care, and the dearth of robust data about children with disability in out-of-home care. You can click this link to read a transcript of the hearing PWDA appeared at.
 
IMAGE: Self-Advocate Jane Rosengrave sharing her story with an unidentifiable person.
IMAGE: Self-Advocate Jane Rosengrave sharing her story with an unidentifiable person. 

As part of our Disability Support for the Royal Commission project, PWDA is currently running engagement in regional Victoria. From 8-10 July, self-advocate Jane Rosengrave joined PWDA to travel through Stawell, Horsham, Warracknabeal and Nhill, to share information about our project and how we can support people to share their stories with the Royal Commission.

On 20-21 July, information sessions were provided in Ararat and Bendigo, and on 28-29 July, information sessions were provided in Canberra and Queanbeyan. For further information about these sessions please visit PWDA’s Disability Support for the Royal Commission website
 
For further information contact Dr Jess Cadwallader, Advocacy Projects Manager, Violence Prevention, on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email jessc@pwd.org.au 
 
Follow Jess on Twitter @JessPWDA
 
INTERNATIONAL CAPACITY BUILDING  

 
China Disabled People's Federation Conference
From 24-26 June, PWDA took part in the China Disabled People’s Federation (CDPF) Conference in Nanjing. The focus of the conference was on capacity building for provincial Disabled Persons Associations.
Ngila Bevan represented PWDA and gave two keynote speeches to the Conference discussing: ‘The implementation of the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in Australia with a focus on accessibility and living in the community’, and ‘The human rights-based approach in practice – best practice examples and skills for effective leadership and advocacy by disability organisations’. 

The Conference was attended by over 350 people with disability, disability service providers and disability advocacy leaders from across China. It was a tremendous opportunity to engage with people with disability in China and exchange knowledge about how disability supports and services can be delivered in a way which realises human rights and creates opportunities for increased community participation.

Darryl Barrett, Advisor to the Disability Discrimination Commissioner, was also on the expert panel and we were joined by David Robinson, Director of the International Programmes Unit, and Jacqueline Au, Program Manager from the Australian Human Rights Commission.

For further information contact Ngila Bevan, Manager Advocacy and Communications, on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email ngilab@pwd.org.au
 
Follow Ngila on Twitter @NgilaPWDA

Capacity building workshop in China
PWDA took part in a workshop on capacity building for Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) with China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 8-9 July in Chongqing.

Ngila Bevan from PWDA and Ben Schokman from the Human Rights Law Centre participated in this workshop on the panel of international experts which also included Kening Zhang,  a member of the United Nations (UN) Committee Against Torture, and Shiqiu Chen a member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Topics for discussion included: UN Human Rights Mechanisms; NGO Engagement with UN Human Rights Mechanisms: Rules and Procedures; and Building the Capacity of NGOs to Engage with Human Rights Work.  The workshop was facilitated by the China Ministry of Foreign Affairs and attended by a wide range of Chinese civil society representatives including academics, legal aid providers, NGOs and representative organisations.  

Following Government reforms to make it easier to operate as an NGO, there has been a rapid growth in the number of human rights related organisations in China over the last decade.  Participation in this workshop was a mutually beneficial opportunity to share PWDAs experience of some of the challenges faced by human rights organisations in Australia, good practice in effective domestic and international advocacy strategies, and the advocacy opportunities that are created by engaging with the UN human rights mechanisms.
 
PWDA’s involvement in this workshop and the China Disabled People’s Federation Conference was made possible thanks to an invitation from the Australian Human Rights Commission as part of the Human Rights and Technical Cooperation Programme between the Department Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 
  
For further information contact Ngila Bevan, Manager Advocacy and Communications, on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email ngilab@pwd.org.au
 
Follow Ngila on Twitter @NgilaPWDA
 
PWDA TRAINING
 

Hundreds of people benefit from PWDA training

PWDA has been busy delivering Disability Awareness Training to a number of organisations in and around Sydney including the Australian Foundation for the Peoples of Asia and the Pacific (AFAP). The training we provided will support the important work AFAP do throughout the Asia Pacific region to help people with disability to overcome extreme poverty.

Disability Awareness Training was also delivered to 25 staff members at the Central Coast Community Women's Health Centre in Gosford. More training on the topic of responding to sexual assault will be delivered to this service in September.  
 
 
 
IMAGE: A person holds up a pink card with white lowercase letters which spell out training.IMAGE: A person holds up a pink card with white lowercase letters which spell out training.
PWDA has also now completed its Boarding House Training Project which involved working with 280 Boarding House residents on their tenancy rights and responsibilities. 

For further information contact Greg Robertson, Training Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email gregr@pwd.org.au 

Greg is also on Twitter @gregpwda
 
DISABILITY NEWS
 
International News
 
Sex and disability: breaking the taboo
16 July 2015
Samantha Evans, The Independent 
Sex is important to wellbeing, offering many benefits, both physically and mentally, to keep us happy, healthy and satisfied
 
Disability advocates fight assisted suicide measures
5 July 2015
Anna Gorman, The Daily Signal
As California legislators consider a bill that would allow terminally ill patients to get prescriptions to end their lives, disability rights advocates are speaking up in opposition.
 
1 July 2015
Penelope Friday, Huffington Post
Wheelchair Accessible parking spaces are a hot button trigger for a lot of people. People with disability get really frustrated, and able-bodied people finding it difficult to understand why blue badge ('disabled permit/placard') holders are getting quite so irate about a minor parking infringement.
 
National News

New Network for Young Women with Disability
30 July 2015
Pro Bono News
A national Not for Profit peer-led network for young women with disability has been launched to help girls and young women with disability realise their human rights. 
 
NATIONAL: Will small towns attract service providers for the NDIS?
29 July 2015
John Stewart, Lateline
Lateline investigates how the $20 billion National Disability Insurance Scheme will deliver services to people in some parts of regional Australia.

Disability Commissioner Future Uncertain
14 July 2015
Xavier Smerdon, Probono News
The Abbott Government has refused to reveal its intentions over the future of the Disability Discrimination Commissioner role, more than 12 months after the full time position was abolished. 

 
 
Australian Capital Territory News
 
Federal funding cuts force closure of vital disability support
28 June 2015
Christopher Knaus, Canberra Times
Federal funding cuts have forced the closure of an essential disability support service that has linked millions of people with inclusive travel and recreation.

'Still work to do' on first anniversary of NDIS rollout

30 June 2015
Clare Colley, The Canberra Times
Residents who transitioned to the NDIS in its first year are less satisfied than many of their interstate counterparts and the number of eligible participants continues to exceed expectations, the latest report shows.
 
New South Wales News
 
2000 children set to benefit from NDIS in the Nepean and Blue Mountains region
30 June 2015
Rachel Browne, The Sydney Morning Herald
This rollout will allow much needed early intervention, and other services, to start flowing to people with disability, their families and carers from September

National Disability Insurance Scheme expands to Maitland
30 June 2015
Michelle Harris, Newcastle Herald
The National Disability Insurance Scheme is set to roll out in Maitland from Wednesday, opening it up to 5000 more residents in the region two years after the NSW trial of the reform was launched in the Hunter.

Toddler institutionalised in 1948 reunited with family who thought he was dead over 50 years later
3 July 2015
Cathy Morris, Parramatta Advertiser
When Donovan Calkins was two-and-a-half years old, he left his family and the only life he had ever known and was placed in an ­institution.
 
Northern Territory News
 

Celebrate art, culture & diversity at the Desert Harmony Festival
PR Wire
The Desert Harmony Festival, a community based festival in Tennant Creek, Northern Territory Australia, will be held to promote indigenous art and culture.

 
Queensland News
 
Aboriginal man's disability life of service
13 July 2015
Jon Coghill, ABC Sunshine Coast
Sunshine Coast Aboriginal man Paul Constable-Calcott has worked most of his life changing the lives of people with disability.

The Voice: Tim McCallum's rise from busker to national spotlight
6 July 2015
Kristian Silva, Brisbane Times
The next time Tim McCallum decides to busk in Brisbane's cultural precinct he's likely to draw quite a crowd.

Man's warning after being billed $14k for cancelled course

4 July 2015
Leah Kidd, News Mail
A man with disability has been left with a sour taste in his mouth after he tried to cancel an online management course and received a $14,400 bill in the mail.
South Australia News
 
People with intellectual disability gain greater legal rights as bill passes SA Parliament
29 July 2015
Nance Haxton, ABC News PM
Legislation promising people with intellectual disability equal treatment in the justice system has been passed by the South Australian Parliament.

People with psychosocial disability being held in mainstream prisons

13 July 2015
ABC News
Eight people with psychosocial disability were held in South Australian mainstream prisons last month because of a lack of dedicated beds in psychiatric facilities.

NDIS pilot scheme funding ‘hurting’ disability sector
14 July 2015
891 ABC Adelaide
A disability services expert is demanding the Federal and South Australian Governments solve funding differences which are delaying any further rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
 
 
Tasmania News
 
Duncan Abey, Hobart Mercury
Two years after the National Disability Insurance Scheme kicked off in Tasmania, Frank Gunn’s family are still pinching themselves.

Tasmanian disability service provider tripling workforce thanks to NDIS
2 July 2015
Bianca Gurra, ABC News
Tasmania's largest disability services provider is set to triple its workforce over the next four years thanks to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Helping hand for star on the rise

2 July 2015
Camron Slesser, The Advocate
Sam Marthick, of Burnie, has seen incredible success in recent months, being selected in Tasmanian teams in football and basketball. 
 
Victoria News
 
Former Yooralla manager jailed for sexual abuse of woman with intellectual disability
29 June 2015
Mark Russell, The Age
A manager at Victoria's biggest disability services provider Yooralla has been jailed for four years after he was caught by a hidden camera preying on a vulnerable cognitively impaired woman in his office.

Investigation finds system handling abuse of people with disabilities is ‘failing’ most vulnerable
3 July 2015
Thomas O’Byrne, Manningham Leader
An investigation into how allegations of the abuse of people with disabilities are handled has found the system is “fundamentally failing” society’s most vulnerable. 

Token suggestion of equipment for children with disability 'an insult'
4 July 2015
David Johnston, The Border Mail
The community group behind a major playground lost to Yarrawonga is fuming at disabled equipment proposed for the park being described as “token” inclusions.
 
Western Australia News
 
Tim Clark, The West Australian
A Perth couple with disability have won an extraordinary legal battle against a major mortgage lender that was trying to throw them out of their home over loans which went bad during the global financial crisis.

NDIS offers helpful extras
14 July 2015
Sally McGlew, Community News
Grace King is delighted to be working with the National Disability Insurance Scheme as one of the participants and leaders in the new Midland centre.
 
Consultations, Surveys and Petitions
 
Below are consultations, surveys and petitions for the benefit of PWDA members and subscribers to participate, get active and make your voice heard on a range of issues relevant to people with disability from a range of different organisations, researchers and individuals. Please consult with the specific survey/consultation/petition if you require more information.
 
CONSULTATIONS & RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES
 
Willing to Work National Inquiry into Employment Discrimination against Older Australians and Australians with Disability
http://pwd.org.au/what-s-on-consultations-and-meetings/willingtowork.html
 
Sex and disability
http://pwd.org.au/what-s-on-surveys-and-research/research-sex-and-disability.html

People with intellectual disability and their life experiences
http://www.pwd.org.au/what-s-on-surveys-and research/ryanthorneycroftsurvey.html
 
 
SURVEYS
 
The Australian Longitudinal Study of Adults with Autism spectrum conditions
http://pwd.org.au/what-s-on-surveys-and-research/autismspectrum.html

Using the online environment to improve wellbeing and social connectedness
http://pwd.org.au/what-s-on-surveys-and-research/using-the-online-environment-to-improve-wellbeing-and-social-connectedness.html

Project seeking female participants to share their experience with NDIS
http://pwd.org.au/what-s-on-surveys-and-research/research-project-looking-for-women-s-experienec-with-ndis.html
 
 
 
PETITIONS
 
NSW Transport Minister: Increase the Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme for people living with disabilities
 
If you would like to promote your consultation, survey or petition
in the PWDA EBulletin please email pwd@pwd.org.au
New Resources

Aussie First: Deaf friendly mobile phone plans available now
Jeenee Mobile has launched a new Deaf-friendly mobile phone plan.
http://deafaustralia.org.au/aussie-first-deaf-friendly-mobile-phone-plans-available-now/

Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) Youth Network
The WWDA Youth Network provides easy-to-use human rights information to girls and young women with disability.
 
Reasonable and Necessary – A tool for people with disability to help them plan for the NDIS
This tool enables people with disability to express aspirations of what they consider ‘reasonable and necessary’ in their lives and start thinking big about future under the NDIS.
http://reasonableandnecessary.org/
 
 
Conferences and Events
Below are details of conferences and events.

3 August 2015: Understanding and contesting institutional disablism
If you are interested in exploring what disablism is and its impact on your life and on those around you, join the Centre for Disability Studies for this symposium.

http://pwd.org.au/what-s-on-conferences-and-events/3-august-2015-understanding-and-contesting-institutional-disablisim.html

19-20 August: Australia’s Disability Employment Conference
You can hear from a range of speakers and take part in discussions about employment of people with disability at the 2015 Disability Employment Conference.

20-21 August: Accessible Arts - Engaging Students forum

Exchange information, ideas and inspiration with industry experts and practitioners from the arts and disability network in this interactive two day forum.
http://pwd.org.au/what-s-on-conferences-and-events/20-21-august-2015-accessible-arts-engaging-students.html

18-19 September: Arts and Disability Expo
The expo is a two-day event showcasing the products and services available for individuals is the arts and disability sector.
http://pwd.org.au/what-s-on-conferences-and-events/18-19-september-2015-arts-and-disability-expo.html

27-29 October 2015: The New World NDIS Conference
This ground breaking international conference will welcome more than 1500 people with disability, service providers, IT professionals and companies all wanting to be part of the technology revolution in disability services in the 21st century.
http://pwd.org.au/what-s-on-conferences-and-events/27-29-october-2015-conference-the-new-world-ndis.html 
 
About PWDA
 
People with Disability Australia Incorporated (PWDA) is a national disability rights and advocacy organisation. Our membership is made up of people with disability and organisations committed to the disability rights movement.

PWDA was founded in 1981, the International Year of Disabled People, to provide people with disability with a voice of our own. We have a cross-disability focus and represent the interests of people with all kinds of disability.

As a non-profit, non-government organisation we depend on public donations, bequests and fundraising activities to maintain our commitment to improving the lives of people with disability. As a deductible gift recipient, all donations of $2 or more are fully tax deductible. Your tax deductible donations support the work of PWDA. If you are able to support us, please visit pwd.org.au/donations.html
 
Privacy Statement
 
PWDA conforms to the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Bill 2000, which came into effect in December 2001, the National Privacy Principles issued by the Australian Privacy Commissioner and the Spam Act 2003. This newsletter is distributed by email. You have provided us with an email address. This email address will be used only for the purpose for which you have provided it and you will not be added to any other mailing lists unless you specifically request that this be done. Your email address will not be disclosed without your consent.

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Contact Us
 
If you would like to receive PWDA E-Bulletin in an alternative format or have an enquiry, please contact PWDA by email pwd@pwd.org.au or on one of the numbers listed below.

People with Disability Australia Incorporated
PO Box 666 Strawberry Hills NSW 2012
Phone 02 9370 3100, toll-free 1800 422 015
TTY 02 9318 2138, toll-free 1800 422 016

PWDA publishes items contributed by other organisations at our discretion and we do not take responsibility for the promotion and advertisement of events arranged by other organisations.
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