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PWDA E-Bulletin
Edition #97 June 2015
ISSN 2202-0705
IMAGE: National Disability Insurance Scheme Citizens' Jury Scorecard launch event panellists pictured from left to right - Sue Salthouse (Launch event MC), Kristen Laurent (Juror), Louise Glanville (National Disability Insurance Agency Deputy CEO), Linda Blaik (Participant Witness), Max Hardy (Citizens’ jury facilitator), Gemma West (Juror) and Kristy Trajcevski (Advocate Witness).
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Dear ,
Welcome to PWDA’s June 2015 E-Bulletin.
 
Our E-Bulletin goes out to subscribers regularly by email. Please share this E-Bulletin with anyone you might think would like to receive it.
 
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Citizens' Jury Scorecard launch event panellists pictured above from left to right are Sue Salthouse (Launch event MC), Kristen Laurent (Juror), Louise Glanville (National Disability Insurance Agency Deputy CEO), Linda Blaik (Participant Witness), Max Hardy (Citizens’ jury facilitator), Gemma West (Juror) and Kristy Trajcevski (Advocate Witness). 
 
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  • systemic and legal advocacy projects,
  • members’ and stakeholders consultations,
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Learn more about the Disability Rights Defenders and sign up online.
 
Contents
 
 

  • Search for the right program over for Pat*
  • New Disability Support Organisation project
  • The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Framework
HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE CRPD
  • Roundtable brings key stakeholders together
  • DSP portability changes
  • New DSP claims to be reviewed by Government appointed doctors
  • Abolition of disability support pension for people confined in psychiatric institutions
  • 2015 Federal Budget
  • Wage Justice campaign update
ACCESSIBILITY AND SOCIAL INCLUSION
  • Mardi Gras award honour
  • Premises Standards Review
  • NSW Disability Inclusion Plan
  • NSW Election
  • Affordable, accessible housing crisis
  • Housing in NSW
  • Housing at the national level
  • Calls for changes to the National Construction Code for more accessible housing
  • Update: Royal Commission Support Project
  • National Gathering
  • Public Hearing
  • Police and Prosecutorial Responses Issues Paper
  • Royal Commission Training update
  • Senate Inquiry into Domestic Violence
  • Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (NSW)
  • National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children: Third Action Plan
  • Senate Inquiry into Violence, Abuse and Neglect against People with Disability
  • It’s Time to Talk: A Conference about Domestic Violence
  • National Children’s Commissioner Roundtable on Domestic Violence and Children
  • What does it take? Making services accessible to women and girls with disability who experience sexual assault and/or domestic violence Research project
  • Steering Committee for the Hallmark Disability Research Initiative at the University of Melbourne
  • Apprehended Violence Orders Legal Issues Coordinating Committee
  • Our Watch Consultation on the National Framework for the Prevention of Violence Against Women
  • 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59)
  • 8th session of the Conference of State Parties to the CRPD
  • Organisations embrace training opportunities
 
 
 
 
 
From the President
In May Therese Sands and I took part in the Federal Budget lock-up in Canberra.  While many of the harsh measures from 2015 remain in the drawer, it was pleasing the see green shoots of a more sensible approach to disability, welfare and jobs though a package which reflects reform themes that PWDA has advocated for since before the last election.
 
The JobAccess Gateway could be a promising beginning for a new system which is more responsive and accountable and we especially welcome the provision of funding to allow people employed in Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) or workshops, to access support from a Disability Employment Service (DES) provider for up to two years to assist with securing employment in the open labour market.
 
 Photograph of Craig Wallace
IMAGE: People with Disability Australia
President Craig Wallace

Government should seize this opportunity to complete a transformative reform task on ADE’s rather than patching holes in a broken system. The Government has also announced a significant reform effort on Disability Employment Services between now and 2018 and I would encourage you to have your saySadly people with disability are often the first to need rights protections through mechanisms like the Fair Work Ombudsman and consultations are also underway on an important project looking at rights protections under the Fair Work Act. You can be involved via a short survey here. 
 
In May we handed over the first ever participant lead scorecard for the NDIS.  The scorecard was handed over in a live-streamed question and answer event involving witnesses, jurors and other participants at the National Disability Insurance Agency Office in Geelong on Tuesday 19 May.  You can see the launch, a film about the jury process and the report here
 
PWDA share the jury’s view that the NDIS is starting to enable quality of life outcomes for people with disability that would otherwise be unobtainable. 
 
We think they pinpoint issues requiring attention including: the need for ongoing development of the skills and roles of planners and Local Area Coordinators; the need for participant capacity building and a need to accelerate information, linkages and capacity building supports.
 
I am increasingly concerned about the delayed roll-out of Information Linkages and Capacity Building in the NDIS as well as the lack of clarity about funding for individual advocacy within packages.  A lack of information and advocacy is a dangerous combination for the NDIS as it means people with disability are separated from the power and supports to realise their plans. 
 
I have long been passionate about disability attitudes. While attitudes alone mean little without real reform, real reform can also come from the right attitudinal change. No one said this better than Stella Young with her blistering critique of patronising campaigns which worked from an inspiration or charity model. That’s why I’m proud of the grassroots campaign, supported by many PWDA members, which ignited over TEDx, as well as the petition that’s circulating around the remarks by Kyle Sandilands.
 
Speaking of change, PWDA members will be asked at the end of the year to think about some important changes to our status from an  incorporated body to a company limited by guarantee.   
 
Little will change in terms of how the control is retained by members of our board.  What will change is the nature of our liabilities and how risks are managed. A company status is more appropriate given the types of financial relationships and contracts PWDA holds.  It means that members have a limited exposure if something goes wrong.
 
Gilbert and Tobin are now working for PWDA on a free of charge basis to redraw the constitution for you to consider at our Annual General Meeting later this year.  We are taking this opportunity to review the constitution in many areas and ensure that it is fit for purpose.
 
The Governance Advisory Group, headed by PWDA Vice President Stuart Mawbey, is undertaking important work to get ready and ensure members are informed and I would urge members to keep in touch via the communiques and to let us know your views via pwd@pwd.org,au  
 
Membership engagement is what make 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.
 
On a final note, I want to acknowledge the life of Madeleine Sobb.  Part of that energetic Youth Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS) crew from Victoria, Madeleine was an activist who was warm, forthright and sharp of dress and of mind in equal measure. Our thoughts are with the YDAS community, especially her partner Jarrod, as we lose another bright voice for disability rights at a ridiculously young age.  
 
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.
 
 
Media Releases and Alerts
 
Subscribe here to receive PWDA Alerts and PWDA Media Releases as they become available.
 
 
PWDA News
 
INDIVIDUAL ADVOCACY
 
Search for the right program over for Pat*
PWDA has been working with Pat and his mum Jenny* for four years. We have been trying to find the right Day Program for Pat that meets his needs.
 
Nineteen-year-old Pat has autism and mild intellectual disability. He was not ready to join a Transition to Work (TTW) Program but found finding the right mix of people in a Community Participation Program (CPP) a challenge. 
 
A PWDA Individual Advocate met with the Minister for Disability Services and advocated for CPP funding, which Pat received. 
IMAGE: The word Advocacy is spelt out in letters on top of a red button on a computer keyboard.IMAGE: The word Advocacy
is spelt out in letters on top of a red button on a computer keyboard.
After a lot of searching and hard work with Pat and his mum, we were able to find a great Day Program for Pat that the service provider has tailored to meet his needs.
 
Pat’s new Day Program has a mix of group-based, individual and pre-vocational activities that will hopefully lead to Pat taking part in a TTW program. 
 
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 real name
DISABILITY SUPPORT AND THE NDIS
 
New Disability Support Organisation project
PWDA is now one of around 20 Disability Support Organisations (DSO) nationwide. Each DSO is part of the Capacity Building Project, aimed at enabling community-based peer support groups to meet, discuss, gain information about, in general get to know – and comment upon – how the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) might affect them, their friends and associates. 
 
PWDA is, as always, keeping focus on individuals and groups who may have less opportunity than others to have their voices heard. This means we are aiming to, first up, encourage peer-group participation among people with disability who identify as LGBTIQ, are living with HIV, living in boarding houses, or who are Deafblind.  
 
IMAGE: A large green lower case letter 'i', used to symbolise communication of information.
IMAGE: A large green lower case letter 'i', used to symbolise communication of information.

Once these groups are established, PWDA hopes to work with other groups and communities, including people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.  
 
As part of the project we have welcomed Ann Penhallurick to the PWDA team as DSO Project Officer.  The DSO project will also employ a small number of part time Community Connectors. These individuals will be drawn from the communities they will be working among. Community Connectors will be supported and trained in, among other things, group facilitation, community information gathering and exchange. The Community Connectors may also, in turn, encourage and train group leaders in the groups they work with. The aim is to develop both individual and community capacity to interact confidently with the new funding arrangements
 
The NDIS is the biggest change to the disability support system in Australia's history. The more we know about it, the better. The more we engage with our knowledge, test out what is going on, respond and report back, the better. The nitty gritty of what PWDA – as a DSO - can contribute to this interaction with the NDIS will become clearer in the next few weeks and months. 
 
For further information contact Ann Penhallurick, DSO Project Officer, on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email annp@pwd.org.au
 
The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Framework
PWDA developed a joint submission with Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) for the national Quality and Safeguards Framework under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).  

The provision of high quality supports under the NDIS, and the safety of NDIS participants is critical to ensuring the NDIS delivers positive change for people with disability.  

PWDA and WWDA’s submission focussed on overarching issues to guide the Framework, including the application of human rights principles, the need for market regulation, the establishment of a national, statutory protection mechanism, and the importance of peer support, representative organisations of people with disability, and independent advocacy and information. 

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
 
ECONOMIC SECURITY AND EMPLOYMENT
 
DSP portability changes
PWDA was extremely disappointed when a Bill passed in the Senate that included a measure that changes the portability requirements for people receiving the Disability Support Pension (DSP).
The measure came into effect on January 1 this year. DSP recipients are now permitted to only travel overseas for four weeks over a 12 month period (previously there was a 6 week portability allowance). If a person remains overseas beyond four weeks they will have their payment suspended, but if they return within 13 weeks of the payment being suspended, their DSP will be restored without the need for a new claim.
 
 
 
IMAGE: People with Disability Australia President Craig Wallace answering questions from TV, newspaper and radio journalists about the 2015 Federal Budget
IMAGE: People with Disability Australia President Craig Wallace answering questions from TV, newspaper and radio journalists about the 2015 Federal Budget.
However, if a person exceeds the additional 13 week period, their DSP will be cancelled and they will need to reapply once they return to Australia. This assessment will be completed under the current DSP eligibility rules.

The Department of Social Services (DSS) have confirmed that DSP recipients remain eligible for indefinite portability if they are:
  • assessed as having a severe impairment and no future work capacity; or
  • terminally ill and returning to their country of origin or to be with family; or
  • paid under an Australian international social security agreement
We strongly advise that if you are travelling overseas for an extended period of time, check with your Centrelink office to see how this rule applies to you. You can find further information on the measure on the DHS website.
 
New DSP claims to be reviewed by Government appointed doctors
In January, DSS also brought in requirements for new DSP applicants to be assessed by government appointed doctors. New applicants will no longer be required to produce a report from their own doctor when they lodge their DSP application. If a person with disability is provisionally considered eligible for DSP following a Job Capacity Assessment (JCA), they will be referred to a government appointed doctor, who should have specialist knowledge of their particular condition.
 
This doctor then makes recommendations to the internal assessor as to whether the claim should go ahead. The applicant should take any supporting medical evidence they have with them to this assessment. There is no second opinion, if an applicant does not agree with the assessment by the doctor they would need to go through the DSP appeals process.
 
These requirements commenced in January for new DSP applicants under 25 in metropolitan areas, and DSS intends to roll out ASAP to all people under 35 by 1 July 2015. More information can be found on the DSS website. The Welfare Rights Network also have a useful blog outlining the changes. PWDA's objections are outlined in our media release, We need more jobs, not doctors.

Abolition of DSP for people confined in psychiatric institutions
In the 2014-2015 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) the government flagged that they wanted to remove DSP from people who are held in psychiatric institutions, but who have not been convicted of a crime due to mental impairment legislation.

PWDA, along with a number of other organisations including the Aboriginal Disability Justice Campaign (ADJC), First Peoples Disability Network and the Australian Centre for Disability Law (ACDL), have been strongly advocating against the Bill containing this measure. The Bill was referred to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry, and PWDA provided evidence to support our views at the public hearing held by the Committee. The Chair of the Commitee, Senator Rachel Siewert has summarised how counterproductive this measure is to the rehabilitation and support of people with disability.  

2015 Federal Budget
On May 12 Treasurer Joe Hockey handed down the new Federal budget for 2015-2016. Whilst the Budget was silent on a number of measures called for in PWDA’s pre budget submission, such as addressing the critical lack of affordable and accessible housing, PWDA welcomed a number of measures, including initiatives aimed at improving employment participation for people with disability.

The Government has scrapped plans from the 2014 Budget to index the DSP to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rather than the higher male average weekly earnings. This is important recognition of the increasing living costs faced by people with disability. The government has also postponed plans for the immediate sale of Australian Hearing. 

However, the budget still contains a number of harsh measures with people on low incomes doing the heavy lifting.  These measures have been summarised by the
Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS).

The Government has now tabled a number of new Bills in Parliament to pass measures contained in this year’s budget, and also claim that key family and small business packages announced in the budget are dependent on the Senate passing Bills which were blocked last year. 

For further information on DSP changes and the Federal Budget contact Kate Finch, Advocacy Projects Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email katef@pwd.org.au
 
Follow Kate on Twitter @katepwda

 
UPDATE: Wage Justice Campaign
PWDA is extremely disappointed and concerned that the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) Payment Scheme Bill 2014 was passed in the Senate on 15 June.

People with disability, whose rates of pay were determined using the discriminatory BSWAT tool, will now have to decide whether to accept half of what they’re owed AND sign away their legal rights OR to continue as part of the representative action in the Federal Court where they are likely to be awarded what they are owed.
 
 
IMAGE: Gordon Prior (middle) surrounded by supporters. (Credit: ABC)
IMAGE: Gordon Prior (middle) surrounded by supporters. (Credit: ABC)
PWDA has been part of a coalition of disability organisations – AED Legal Centres, Inclusion Australia, Disability Advocacy Network Australia and the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations - that have worked tirelessly to keep Senators informed of our concerns with the bill and the disadvantages that this legislation will have on people with disability.  
 
In November 2014, the Bill was defeated in the Senate, but was put back on the agenda in June 2015.
PWDA will continue to work on this issue and provide further updates in our E-Bulletins.
 
 
For further information contact Samantha French, Advocacy Projects Manager, on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email SamanthaF@pwd.org.au 
 
Follow Samantha on Twitter @SamPWDA
 
HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE CRPD

Roundtable brings key stakeholders together
In February, PWDA and Queensland Advocacy Incorporated (QAI) convened a roundtable on implementing the UN Convention Against Torture (CAT) and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in Australia.

This disability rights workshop was a follow up to the disability sector’s advocacy at the review of Australia by the UN Committee Against Torture in November 2014. It was held at the Australian Human Rights Commission and supported with funding from the Disability International Participation Program.  
 
IMAGE: The word Human Rights is spelt out in white letters on one of many green arrows.
IMAGE: The word Human Rights
is spelt out in white letters on one of many green arrows. 
 
The workshop was attended by disability peaks, lawyers and academics with the aim of strengthening the network of disability rights advocates committed to working collaboratively on the intersection between CAT and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) over the longer term.  
 
Topics discussed included advocacy to seek ratification of the Optional Protocol (OPCAT) and the establishment of a National Preventative Mechanism (NPM) to monitor places of detention, and strategies to strengthen advocacy on key issues by applying the torture and ill-treatment framework.
 
Outcomes included a commitment to hold further roundtables on specific topics like restrictive practices, the criminal justice system, immigration detention, and to initiate further research into the extent to which NPMs in other countries are conducting their work through a disability lens. 
 
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
 
ACCESSIBILITY AND SOCIAL INCLUSION
 
Mardi Gras award honour
PWDA received The Ron Austin Award for Fabulous Parade Entry at the 2015 Annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Awards.
 
Training Officer Mel Harrison accepted the award on behalf of PWDA and pointed out how important it is to acknowledge people with disability as sexual beings and as active members within the community. 
 
We would like to thank PWDA member Patty Panayitou and Information and Projects Liaison Officer Pete Darby for all their hard work on our float and presence at the Mardi Gras. 
 
 
IMAGE: Alicia Melita from Northcott, Pete Darby from PWDA, Jodie Wilkins from Northcott and Jill Maginnity from Cerebral Palsy Alliance holding a certificate & trophyIMAGE: Alicia Melita from Northcott, Pete Darby from PWDA, Jodie Wilkins from Northcott and Jill Maginnity from Cerebral Palsy Alliance holding a certificate & trophy
We would also like to extend our thanks to Northcott, Touching Base and the Cerebral Palsy Alliance for their hard work and commitment on this project .
 
 
Premises Standards Review
PWDA has provided a submission to the Department of Industry and Science on the five year review of the Access to Premises Legislation, which aims to provide equitable and dignified access to premises by people with disability.
 
Prior to this, we had written to Attorney-General George Brandis, the human rights policy branch and the Premises Standards Review team regarding our concerns of the short time frame in which submissions could be submitted. The short timeframe meant we were unable to widely consult with members and stakeholders regarding the accessibility of premises and areas for improvement.
 
Within the submission, PWDA recommended that more needs to be done in providing consistent and reliable provisions for people with disability; that the legislation should include the public domain and recreational areas; and that further research needed to be undertaken regarding the effectiveness of implementation since the Act came into effect.
 
PWDA hopes for further opportunity to consult with members and the Premises Standards Review team to achieve greater accessibility for people with disability. The review by the Department of Industry and Science is due in May 2016.

For further information contact Samantha French, Advocacy Projects Manager, on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email SamanthaF@pwd.org.au 
 
Follow Samantha on Twitter @SamPWDA 
 
NSW Disability Inclusion Plan
In February the NSW Government launched the new NSW Disability Inclusion Plan. The new Plan replaces the NSW Implementation Plan (2012-2014) as the strategy through which the state government will work towards fulfilling its’ obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
 
The new Plan focuses on four key areas:
  • Developing positive community attitudes and behaviours
  • Creating liveable communities
  • Supporting access to meaningful employment
  • Improving access to mainstream services through better systems and processes
According to the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) the new plan sets out the governments’ first steps under each of the focus areas and also outlines areas for further development. PWDA provided input to the draft plan and will continue to work with FACS as they implement the current projects and establish future priorities.
 
PWDA will also continue to call for an evaluation of progress made under the NSW Implementation Plan (2012-2014) and for this to be publically released. This evaluation is essential for people with disability and government to see where progress has being made, what strategies and initiatives are supporting inclusion for people with disability and where much more needs to be done in future. 
 
FACS have stated that an evaluation report was commissioned at the beginning of 2015, and we look forward to the report being made public soon.
 
NSW Election
The NSW Election was held on Saturday 28 March 2015 and the Liberal/National Coalition Government was re-elected for another parliamentary term. PWDA outlined our priorities for Government in our NSW Election Platform and prior to the election, Minister for Disability Services John Ajaka provided a formal response on behalf of the Government.
 
A number of key announcements were made in the lead up to the election, including a pledge for increased social housing (see below) and a commitment of early roll out of the NDIS to young people in South Western Sydney.

For further information contact Kate Finch, Advocacy Projects Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email katef@pwd.org.au
 
Follow Kate on Twitter @katepwda
 
HOUSING AND LIVING IN THE COMMUNITY
 
Affordable, accessible housing crisis
Over the past 12 months PWDA has increased our systemic advocacy around the lack of affordable, accessible and appropriate housing in Australia. Housing remains one of the issues most commonly raised by people with disability who contact us for individual advocacy support.
 
At the federal and state level, pressure has been mounting for Government to respond to the critical lack of affordable housing, and address those perverse policies that force up housing prices and lock people on low incomes out of the housing market. At PWDA we are focused on ensuring that there is also pressure to address the lack of universal housing design so that people with disability are no longer limited in their housing choices. 
 
IMAGE: Animated drawings of four different coloured houses situated next to each other. They are blue, green, orange and red.
                 IMAGE: Drawings of four different sized houses next to each other. They are blue, green, orange and red.
Housing in NSW
In November 2014, the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) launched a consultation on Social Housing in NSW. They released a Discussion Paper, to which PWDA provided a submission.
 
Social housing also became an election issue in the run up to the NSW state election in March 2015. The Liberal Party, the NSW Council of Social Services (NCOSS), and Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) signed an MOU which pledged the Government to commit $1 billion to a dedicated social and affordable housing fund.
 
Following the election, the Hon. Brad Hazzard MP, became the new Minister for Family and Community Services and was also appointed Minister for Social Housing. This new portfolio position is important recognition of the critical state of social housing in the state.
 
On May 25, the new Minister hosted a high profile Social Housing Forum in Sydney which PWDA attended. The forum brought together representatives from the community sector, community housing organisations, building companies and government to discuss the best way to improve the housing situation in NSW. At this Forum the Minister also released a report of findings from the Social Housing consultation process.

Housing at the national level 
There is increasing pressure on governments to act on the critical shortage of housing for people with disability. This issue is becoming all the more urgent as the NDIS rolls out and many people are looking at their housing options for the future.  
 
At the recent meeting of all state and territory Disability Ministers there was a commitment towards investment for housing for NDIS participants in the trial sites.
 
Whilst this is a welcome focus on the housing needs of people with disability, PWDA is urging the government and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to use this money to catalyse a much broader response to the housing crisis for people with disability, not just create specialist disability housing for NDIS participants. 

Calls for changes to the National Construction Code for more accessible housing
PWDA is a member of the Australian Network on Universal Housing Design (ANUHD). The Network advocates that houses in Australia need to be suitable for all people, including people with disability and older people.  ANUHD is calling on the government to change the National Construction Code to include minimum access features for all new and extensively modified housing. You can sign up to support ANUHD’s position statement via their website.
 
For more information on housing issues, contact Kate Finch, Advocacy Projects Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email katef@pwd.org.au.
 
Follow Kate on Twitter @katepwda 
 
 
PREVENTING VIOLENCE AND ABUSE
 
Update: Royal Commission Support Project 
The Project Steering Group members for the PWDA Disability Support for the Royal Commission Project  recently travelled to Stawell in Victoria to begin community engagement around a number of previous institutions in regional Victoria. Members of the Steering Group, which provides governance in relation to implemation of the Royal Commission project, met with a number of individuals and organisations in the area to discuss how people with disability could be supported to share their story with the Royal Commission. The Steering Group plans to return to Stalwell and will run information session in coming months.
 
IMAGE: The Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse logo is displayed on on a computer as one of the public hearings gets underway.
IMAGE: The Royal Commission
into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse logo is displayed on on a computer as one of the public hearings gets underway.
 
National Gathering 
PWDA participated in the Royal Commission Community Based Support Services National Gathering, which saw all community based support services gather and share their ideas and experiences with each other. Discussions at the Gathering centred on the varying needs of people coming forward to the Royal Commission and looked towards a post-Commission service sector.
 
Public hearing 
PWDA will be giving evidence at the Royal Commission's public hearing into out-of-home care in Sydney on Monday 29 June. The hearing will examine preventing child sexual abuse in out-of-home care and responding to allegations of child sexual abuse occurring in out-of-home care.  PWDA will be drawing the Commission's attention to the heightened risk of sexual violence against children with disability in out of home care, and the changes required to keep children with disability safe.
 
Police and Prosecutorial Responses Issues Paper
PWDA has provided a submission to the Police and Prosecutorial Responses Issues Paper, which highlights the numerous impediments faced by children and adults with disability seeking to report child sexual abuse to the Police. The submission will be available to read on our website once it is uploaded the Royal Commission website 
 
Royal Commission Training update
Since February the rollout of training for the Royal Commission Disability Supports project has significantly increased. PWDA has delivered a number of Disability Awareness trainings in Mt Isa and in Brisbane to services including Bravehearts, Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service,
 
The Centre Against Sexual Violence, Anglicare, and Relationships Australia.  Training in Responding to Sexual Assault was also delivered to Endeavour clinical staff in Brisbane and Lifestyle Solutions on the Sunshine Coast. This training package challenges myths surrounding sexual assault and people with intellectual disability, builds participants’ capacity to support sexual assault victims and explores ways to decrease the vulnerability of people with intellectual disability to this crime.
 
Training has also started to be rolled out in Adelaide. To date all staff working for Victim Support Services have completed Disability Awareness training. Further training is planned for Adelaide in July. 
 
Visit our dedicated Royal Commission support website for further information or contact Jess Cadwallader, Advocacy Projects Officer, 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
 
 
Senate Inquiry into Domestic Violence
The Australian Cross Disability Alliance (the Alliance) appeared at a public hearing for the Senate Inquiry into Domestic Violence held on 11 June in Canberra. The Alliance made a submission to this Inquiry highlighting the issues for people with disability, particularly women with disability, in relation to domestic violence. The submission and evidence given to the Committee emphasised that people with disability are at high risk of violence in their homes, including in group homes, residential settings and institutions. Further information about the Inquiry can be found here. You can read a transcript of the hearing attended by the Alliance here.
 
Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (NSW)
PWDA attended a consultation held by the new Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, the Hon. Pru Goward MP, about a proposed scheme to release information about potential perpetrators' prior record of violence. The Minister advocated strongly that if this scheme went forward, people with disability should be just as entitled to access this information about potential perpetrators, including amongst their support workers. PWDA has compiled submission regarding this proposal, and have also successfully advocated for a specific Roundtable to consider the potential impacts of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme on people with disability.
 
National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children
PWDA is participating in consultations and prepared a submission for the development of the Third Action Plan of the National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children. We strongly emphasised that children and young people with disability must be much better served by this overarching violence prevention framework, and that it must be underpinned by Australia’s human rights obligations. Our advocacy has resulted in the Department of Social Services (DSS) conducting a follow-up Roundtable on children with disability so that experts from across Australia can consider how the Third Action Plan can best be used to ensure the safety of children with disability.
 
PWDA presents at Domestic Violence Conference
PWDA presented at the recent It’s Time to Talk conference held by Bankstown and Canterbury City Councils to inform front-line workers about family and domestic violence. PWDA's Project Support Officer, Ms Merideth Lea and Advocacy Projects Manager, Violence Prevention, Dr Jess Cadwallader, discussed the higher rates of domestic and family violence experienced by people with disability, including in group homes, and detailed some of the key impediments for people with disability in accessing domestic violence services and the justice system. 
 
National Children’s Commissioner Roundtable on Domestic Violence and Children
PWDA participated in the Roundtable on Domestic Violence and Children, convened by Ms Megan Mitchell, the National Children's Commissioner. PWDA highlighted issues in relation to the experience of domestic violence against children with disability. PWDA's submission to this investigation by the National Children's Commissioner can be viewed here.
 
What does it take? Research project
PWDA has been invited to be part of the advisory group for a research project funded by the Australian National Research Organisation on Women’s Safety which focusses on the accessibility of domestic violence and sexual assault response services to women and girls with disability. Dr Patsie Frawley is the Chief Investigator, and the research team includes Professor Sue Dyson and Dr Sally Robinson, all highly regarded researchers in this area. The project is being run in partnership with Women with Disabilities Victoria, a Disabled Persons Organisation, and the Victorian Centres Against Sexual Assault Forum, the state peak for sexual assault response services.
 
Hallmark Disability Research Initiative at the University of Melbourne
Advocacy Projects Manager, Violence Prevention, Dr Jess Cadwallader will represent PWDA on the steering committee for the Hallmark Disability Research Initiative at the University of Melbourne. This steering committee will help guide the initiative in providing funding grants for research engaged in issues of disability rights.
 
Apprehended Violence Orders Legal Issues Coordinating Committee
PWDA has joined the Apprehended Violence Orders Legal Issues Coordinating Committee. This Committee provides non-government expertise regarding various legislative and legal issues around domestic violence in NSW. PWDA will focus on ensuring that the domestic violence legislative framework in NSW is inclusive of people with disability.
 
National Framework for the Prevention of Violence Against Women
PWDA attended a consultation for the new National Framework for the Prevention of Violence Against Women, which is a joint initiative of the Australian National Research Organisation on Women’s Safety (ANROWS), Our WATCH and VicHealth. The framework aims to enable the coordination of violence prevention activities across Australia, and across a range of different sectors and situations. 
 
For further information regarding PWDA's violence prevention and response work contact Dr Jess Cadwallader, Advocacy Projects Officer, Violence and 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 ADVOCACY
 
59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59)
PWDA was joined by Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) to participate in CSW59 in early March 2015. CSW59 was a critical meeting for government and non-government discussions and action for progressing women’s human rights.

Aside from participating in formal meetings, PWDA and WWDA also joined with networks of women and girls with disability from around the world to highlight and advocate for the inclusion of the specific rights of women and girls with disability.

More information on CSW59 is on PWDA’s website.

Further information can be obtained from Therese Sands, Co-Chief Executive Officer by emailing thereses@pwd.org.au or calling one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin.

8th session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD
PWDA participated in the 8th session of the Conference of States Parties (COSP) to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) from 9-11 June 2015 in New York. The COSP is a meeting for countries that have ratified the CRPD and gives delegates the opportunity to discuss progress on implementation.

In 2015 the focus was “mainstreaming the rights of persons with disabilities in the post-2015 development agenda" and the debate included roundtable sessions on mainstreaming disability in the reduction of poverty and inequality; improvement of disability data and statistics; and addressing the vulnerability and exclusion of persons with disabilities: the situation of women and girls, children’s right to education, disasters and humanitarian crises. For more information please see the UN Enable website.

PWDA was represented by Advocacy Project Manager Samantha French, and she was joined by Gayle Rankine and June Reimer from First Peoples Disability Network and Rosemary Kayess from the Australian Centre for Disability Law.

Further information on the event is available on PWDA’s website.    

For further information contact Samantha French, Advocacy Projects Manager, on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email SamanthaF@pwd.org.au
 
Follow Samantha on Twitter @SamPWDA 
 
 
PWDA TRAINING
 
Organisations embrace training opportunities
It has been a busy start to 2015 for training at PWDA, with a number of exciting trainings events taking place and future opportunities being pursued.
 
The year started with Disability Awareness training being delivered to the NSW Attorney Generals and Justice Department Sheriff’s Office in early January.  Twenty Court Sheriffs took part in this training. There were some great discussions around accessibility of court rooms and ways that improvements could be made. Also in January we completed Disability Awareness training with Evolve Housing staff making it a total of approximately 60 employees who completed this training since November 2014.
 
IMAGE: A hand underlining the word training, which appears in large red text.
IMAGE: A hand underlining the word training, which appears in large red text.
 
Disability Awareness training was also successfully delivered to Auburn City Council staff. The training content was developed to provide participants with a comprehensive introduction into disability, legal obligations and rights, as well as respectful communication and barriers to accessibility. The training received very positive feedback and Auburn Council have asked us to provide further training.
 
We have been working hard to promote our Disability Awareness training to Councils over the past four months so we can help them implement their Disability Action Plans and make their communities more inclusive. As a result, we have received further enquiries from many other councils interested in running Disability Awareness training for their staff.
 
As part of our Boarding House Project, we started our second round of training to Boarding House residents, with a focus on their tenancy rights and responsibilities. To date, 256 residents have participated in this training with a further 40 residents to complete this training in the next month. 
 
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 

Follow Greg on Twitter @gregpwda
 
DISABILITY NEWS
 
International News
 
15 June 2015
AFP, Yahoo!7 News
Maya is among thousands of Nepalese who face a daunting future after suffering loss of limbs, spinal and other permanent injuries in the twin quakes that claimed more than 8,700 lives.
 
Julie Ireton, CBC News
Keenan Wellar, co-leader at LiveWorkPlay, said a more person-centred approach is needed for people seeking appropriate housing with supports.
 
20 May 2015
Ritam Banati, International Business Times
It has been discovered that nearly two thirds of reported sex abuse incidents in the U.K., are on people with disability.
 
 
National News
 
10 June 2015
Bianca Soldani, Daily Mail Australia
Weighing in on the comments made on air, President of People With Disability Australia, Craig Wallace challenged Sandilands to experience what navigating the community using a wheelchair is really like.

22 May 2015
Melissa Davey, Guardian Australia
The president of People with Disability Australia, Craig Wallace, who worked closely with Stella Young on the now de-funded ABC website Ramp Up, said it appeared to him no-one from the disability sector, including himself, had been consulted about the campaign.
 
19 May 2015
Probono News 
People With Disability Australia has hailed the success of the NDIS Citizens’ Jury Scorecard report, saying it has uncovered deep and meaningful feedback. 
 
 
Australian Capital Territory News
 
12 June 2015
Christopher Knaus, Canberra Times
Disability advocates say they are "appalled" by allegations that an ACT carer washed a client with a broom, but warn the case is only the tip of the iceberg.
 
Few Canberra sex workers willing to work with people with disability 
11 June 2015
Clare Colley, Canberra Times 
Stigma and a fear of the unknown are making Canberra's sex workers reluctant to offer services for people with disability creating an added barrier for an area already challenged by taboos, a former sex worker has said.


Inquiry announced into school that caged student with autism 
7 April 2015
Emma McDonald, Canberra Times
International special education expert and University of Canberra academic Tony Shaddock will chair the ACT government's review of special education in the wake of a primary school erecting a cage to contain a student with autism.
 
New South Wales News
 
Going up: Is Sydney’s 100-year-wait for lifts at rail stations finally ending?
26 May 2015
Marie Sanson, Government News
People With Disability Advocacy Projects Manager Samantha French praised efforts to make Redfern Station accessible but said the process of ensuring accessible public transport for people with disabilities needed to be hurried up.


NDIS to be rolled out in NSW starting with Sydney's west, one year ahead of schedule
19 May 2015
Mazoe Ford, ABC News
Children with disability in the Nepean and Blue Mountains areas in New South Wales will soon have access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), after an agreement between the state and federal governments was signed
.

Housing shortage flagged as biggest hurdle to NDIS
9 April 2015
Rachel Browne, Sydney Morning Herald
A shortage of appropriate housing for people with disabilities could become the biggest obstacle to the successful implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, according to a new study.
 
Northern Territory News
 
9 June 2015
Joanna Crothers, ABC News
A holographic exhibition that has been shown at human rights conventions in Geneva and New York is shedding light on the challenges faced by Indigenous Australians with disability.

25 May 2015
Gail Liston and Steven Schubert, ABC News
The National Disability Insurance Scheme is costing the NT Government more money to deliver services to fewer disabled people, according the Disability Services Minister John Elferink.

NT Minister appears to mock person with disability
25 March 2015
ABC News
The Deputy Leader of the Northern Territory Opposition Gerry McCarthy has called on the Disability Services Minister John Elferink to apologise after appearing to mock his hearing disability by pretending to use sign language.
 
Queensland News
 
Police fingerprint pain wins man $8000 compensation
15 June 2015
Emmaline Stigwood, Gold Coast Bulletin
A disability advocate humiliated by the way Southport police repeatedly tried to uncurl his paralysed hand to fingerprint him has been awarded $8000 compensation.


Digger and assistance dog ordered to leave
10 June 2015
Brian Bennion, The Queensland Times
After being refused entry to Riverlink shopping centre four times in 14 months for having an assistance dog with him, former soldier Ricky Lawson has taken on the shopping centre for discrimination.

Dump worker with disability paid $20-a-day on contract
10 June 2015
Chris Calcino, Sunshine Coast Daily
Toowoomba Regional Council will have to dig into its pocket after underpaying a dump worker with disability who was oblivious to his unfair treatment.
 
South Australia News
 
4 June 2015
James Hancock,ABC News
A cognitively impaired South Australian man has been forced to spend almost a year in jail, despite being eligible for release, because of a lack of disability housing.
 
30 April 2015
ABC News
Drivers who use disabled parking spaces illegally should lose demerit points as well as face a fine, South Australia's Dignity for Disability Party says.
17 February 2015
Natalie Whiting, ABC News PM
Buses provided by the South Australian Education Department and used by more than 2,000 children with disability will be fitted with CCTV and GPS technology from this year.
 
 
Tasmania News
 
Tourism industry should cater for people with disability to build access
2 June 2015
Sallese Gibson, ABC News 
Tasmania's Tourism Industry Council sees huge potential for the state to better cater for travellers with disability. 


22 March 2015
Lauren Day, ABC News
There are claims some Tasmanian schools could be breaching the Anti-Discrimination Act by failing to adequately support students with disability.
 
28 January 2015
Ellen Coulter, ABC News
A coronial inquest in Hobart into the suicides of six teenagers has heard Tasmania's Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service is the most poorly resourced in the country.
 
 
Victoria News
 
Yooralla manager caught on camera in sex activity with client, court told
22 May 2015
Adam Cooper, The Age
A secret camera caught a manager at disability services provider Yooralla engaging in sexual activity with a cognitively impaired woman in his office, a court has heard.
 
11 April 2015
Richard Baker & Nick McKenzie, Sydney Morning Herald
Some of Victoria's most profoundly disabled people were subject to six years of abuse in a state-run home, including a suspected rape, assault, unlawful restraint, denial of medical care and regular soap suppositories.


Speaker who uses wheelchair 'carried onto stage' at Melbourne disability summit
26 March 2015
774 ABC Melbourne
Organisers of a national disability conference in Melbourne have come under fire after a speaker had to be carried onto the stage because it was not wheelchair accessible.
 
Western Australia News
 
14 June 2015
Hayley Roman, ABC News
Reports of "padded cells" at two Perth schools were among calls to a confidential "dob-in" hotline set up to address abuse and neglect of people with disability.

WA has weakest safeguards to protect people with disability from abuse, former commissioner says
14 April 2015
Nicolas Perpitch, ABC News
Western Australia has the country's weakest safeguards to protect people with a disability from abuse and there should be mandatory screening of support workers, former federal disability discrimination commissioner Graeme Innes says. 

10 April 2015
Steve Holland, WA Today
Horrific examples of sexual abuse and torture of disabled people are "rampant in institutions and homes in Australia", a senate inquiry has heard. 
 
 
Consultations, Surveys, Petitions and Resources
 
Below are consultations, surveys, petitions and resources 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

National Disability Employment Framework
Review of the Standards for Disability Education

Willing to Work National Inquiry into employment discrimination against older Australians and Australians with disability
 
 

SURVEYS

Improving wellbeing and social connectedness online
PETITIONS

 
 
If you would like to promote your consultation, survey or petition
in the PWDA EBulletin please email pwd@pwd.org.au
New Resources
 
Women with Disability and Domestic and Family Violence: Policy and Practice Guide
PWDA has partnered with Domestic Violence NSW, the peak body for domestic and family violence services in NSW, to produce these resources. They are designed to increase the accessibility of domestic and family violence services. The resources are all available on our website - http://pwd.org.au/issues/policy-and-practice-guide.html
 
My Learning Matters website
This is an online tool made by My Choice Matters to help people get the most out of the changing disability support system. When you register and login you will have access to an innovative tool designed from over 60 user - tested resources! It's fun and interactive with lots of opportunities to write, choose pictures, tick boxes and have a think about making your life the best it can be.
www.mychoicematters.org.au/my-learning-matters.html
 
Disability Loop website
Through Disability Loop you can find a selection of resources relating to the NDIS, find out how the NDIS is working for other people, have your say about the NDIS and keep up to date with news and events about the NDIS.
www.disabilityloop.org.au
 
Home safety videos in Auslan
The information in the videos has come from the Home Safe brochure which is a partnership project between the NSW Police Force and NRMA Insurance. The Deaf Society created the videos and made the information in the brochure more accessible for deaf people. 
 
 
Conferences and Events
 
30 June: Sydney NSW End of Life and people with intellectual disability  is a seminar that will be hosted by the University of Sydney and feature Australian and UK researchers and practitioners who are currently working on end-of-life issues with people with intellectual disability. These are universal concerns that apply regardless of disability, so several other speakers will discuss end of life as experienced by members of the broader community. 
 
16-17 July: Sydney Olympic Park NSW  Hear from people with intellectual disability, advocates, the NDIA, services, academics, politicians and policy makers about how the NDIS is working so far and what should happen next at the NSW Council for Intellectual Disability annual conference.
 
July-November: Various locations across Australia The Independent Living Centre NSW, in collaboration with the Telstra Foundation, will be running workshops for people with complex communication needs, carers, and professionals in 2015 all around Australia.
 
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.

You can have your email address removed from the mailing list for the PWDA E-Bulletin by sending an email to pwd@pwd.org.au or by clicking on the "Unsubscribe / Change Profile" link at the very end of this E-Bulletin.  This E-Bulletin contains links to websites. We cannot be held responsible for the privacy practices (or lack thereof) or the content of other websites.
 
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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