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PWDA E-Bulletin
Edition #99 October 2015
 
ISSN 2202-0705
Image: Australian Cross Disability Alliance members Carolyn Frohmader, Jess Cadwallader, Damien Griffis, Therese Sands and Jane Flanagan appearing before a Senate Committee inquiring into violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability in institutional and residential settings.
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Dear ,
Welcome to PWDA’s October 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.

Australian Cross Disability Alliance representatives called for a Royal Commission into violence against people with disability at a recent public hearing as part of the Senate Inquiry into violence against people with disability in institutional and residential settings. Pictured above are Carolyn Frohmader, Jess Cadwallader, Damien Griffis, Therese Sands and Jane Flanagan. You can find out more about our campaign to End the Violence later in this E-Bulletin.
 
Show your support for the human rights and equality of all people with disability and become a member of People with Disability Australia. You’ll join one of the fastest growing disability rights movements in Australia. There is strength in numbers for all of us, so taking membership (free) is an easy way to ensure disability retains the profile and presence we deserve.
 
To be added or removed from our E-Bulletin mailing list or to change your details, please email pwd@pwd.org.au, 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.
Contents
 

  • Marissa learns to advocate for herself
  • Landmark NDIS commitment in NSW and Victoria welcomed
  • Universal Periodical Review
PREVENTING VIOLENCE AND ABUSE 
  • Update: PWDA Royal Commission Disability Support Project
  • Child Sexual Assault, Disability and the Justice System
  • Submissions to the Royal Commission
  • End the Violence - urge your member of parliament to act
  • Preventing violence against women and children
ECONOMIC SECURITY AND EMPLOYMENT 
  • Disability Employment Framework - consultation paper released
  • Advocating for a truly inclusive education system
  • Vocational Education and Training in NSW
 
 
 
 
From the President
 
Following a report in the Australian Financial Review that the Australian Government’s Expenditure Review Committee was discussing delaying the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) we responded very clearly in the media that delays would never be acceptable and would be a breach of the Coalition Government’s promise to deliver the NDIS on time and in full.

I welcomed former Assistant Minister for Social Services Minister Mitch Fifield’s renewed commitment on the ABC’s World Today program that the Government was still committed to the rollout timetable.  
 
 Photograph of Craig Wallace
Craig Wallace
President of People with Disability Australia
 

While officials may need reminding of the reason that we signed onto the NDIS I can assure them that we don’t and that people with disability, carers, families and allies would form a united front if the NDIS was ever to be delayed.  As I mentioned in Pro-Bono News, following the recent quarterly report the NDIS continues to be on time, on budget and on track in key areas and no case has been made for a delay.  People with disability, especially those of us who have been ageing, have been waiting all of our lives for an NDIS and we would use every means in our power to advocate on this issue. This was a point I emphasised during the National Reform Summit and in my piece for Open Forum
 
Last month I presented as part of a panel chaired by Jenny Brockie, Journalist and Presenter, Insight, SBS at the National Disability Employment Australia conference, discussing how we can lift workforce participation rates of people with disability in Australia. 
 
One of the key elements to getting a job is obtaining the right skills and I am pleased that our Secretary, Bonnie Millen is maintaining a watching brief over education issues on the Board. 
 
A worrying trend in the United States is the move to push students with disability back into “special” secluded schools, sometimes the very same schools left over from racial segregation, as part of a cost cutting ideological push against inclusive education.  There is no evidence that these schools are effective or produce better outcomes for people with disability – in many cases they even dodge rudimentary testing as this piece in The Conversation makes clear.  Sometimes the cages of segregation are literal as the case of a student caged in a Canberra school shows. As I said in the Canberra Times, this is an iconic image that should remind us of the many cages and restraints placed on students with disability. 
 
As ever, past and current students with disability are almost the last people to be consulted in these discussions which is why your voice is important as this debate rolls on.
 
Recently in Canberra I was pleased to chair a policy forum at Parliament House on legal responses to the many issues raised for people with disability through the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The forum heard about failures in the police and justice system to respond to abuse and possible remedies, such as redress schemes. 
 
I was also privileged to sit in on one of our recent information sessions for the Royal Commission project and have nothing but admiration for the wonderful team of advocates working on the project, especially Jane Rosengrave, a self-advocate and survivor, who has been presenting at these sessions.
 
I appreciate the continued support PWDA receives from the Australian Government Department of Social Services for this important work as well as the work of Women with Disability Australia and our other partners in the Australian Cross Disability Alliance. 
 
The White Flower Memorial
 
In light of the work we have done on the Royal Commission and in the course of the Senate Inquiry, the Board have been thinking about ways that we might remember people with disability who have died in institutions over many decades. We know some of these stories as The Uncounted.  Others we will never know.
 
We do know that untold numbers of our disabled forebears rest in unknown places with no graves to mark them, no words said over their bodies and no stories told.  Some lived unmarked lives of pain, indignity and turmoil we can only guess at. 
 
We know their voices were silenced during their lives and their footprint on the earth was erased in the passing of days by denying them a funeral. 
 
In over 200 years of asylums, institutions, orphanages and all the sealed terrible places, too many disabled people have been cast aside without remembrance. 
 
We can, at least, make a start at bringing them into memory.
 
November 25 marks White Ribbon Day – Australia’s campaign to stop violence against women, and the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
 
In the wake of the Senate Inquiry into Violence, Abuse and Neglect against People with Disability in Institutional Settings and ongoing revelations about the numbers of people with disability who are daily abused, neglected and in some cases murdered in Australia, the Australian Cross Disability Alliance will mark White Ribbon Day with an event for and by people with disability – The White Flower Memorial.
 
The PWDA Board, people with disability, families and supporters will come together to lay white flowers at a central location in Sydney in a national moment of remembrance and mourning for those who have lost their lives in institutional settings, those who have experienced violence, abuse and neglect and for those who have never been publicly mourned.
 
The event aims to challenge the culture of discrimination that allows violence and abuse to continue, and promotes people with disability as equal citizens who have the right to be safe from physical and sexual violence, neglect and abuse.   
 
People with disability and allies from around Australia will be able to participate via a social media campaign and by placing their white flower at a location of their choice and photographing it with the hashtag #whiteflowers. 
 
I will always make a strong stand against those who would see the lives of people with disability of lesser value.  While I know that there are a range of views on euthanasia in our community, few of us would endorse the way that Peter Singer devalues the lives of people with disability and I was pleased to have an opportunity to rebut these in a piece on the Crikey website
 
Membership is what makes PWDA strong and I hope you will continue to spread the word about joining PWDA. Joining us remains online, easy and free.
 
Craig Wallace
PWDA President
 
Follow Craig on Twitter via @CraigWtweets
 
Election and Annual General Meeting
 
Important information
On 4 September eligible PWDA full individual, organisational and life members were invited to nominate to become a PWDA Board Director.
 
The PWDA Board currently consists of 11 elected Directors, each serving terms of 2 years.
 
There are 6 Directors who were elected in 2014 and whose terms will continue.  These are President Craig Wallace, Kevin Boyce, Suresh Rajan, Joel Wilson, Bonnie Millen and Stuart Mawbey.
 
There are 4 Directors who have served one term on the board and may nominate for re-election. These are Samantha Connor, Thomas Banks, Justin Ray and Mark Tonga. There is 1 Director, Faye Druett, who has served two consecutive terms on the board and may not nominate for re-election. The ending of these 5 terms created the vacancies which nominated were called for to fill.
 
There are 3 additional Directors who were co-opted by the Board in 2014 and whose terms will end in 2015.  These are Alex Jones, Suzy Keene and Kristy Trajcevski. They were all eligible to nominate to be elected to the Board.
 
Following the 14 day nomination period for Board of Directors positions, PWDA received 10 nominations for 5 positions available. Therefore in accordance with clause 40 of the PWDA Constitution an election was required to determine these positions.
 
Thomas Banks, Samantha Connor, Tom Ferguson, Shane Hryhorec, Alex Jones, Suzanne Keene, Gary Kerridge, Justin Ray, Mark Tonga and Kristy Trajcevski are contesting the election.
 
At the start of the election voting period in late September, statements from these candidates that outline why they are contesting the election were circulated to eligible PWDA voting members, along with information on how to vote either online or by post.
 
Corp Vote is an independent organisation conducting the election process on behalf of PWDA. The election voting period ends on Friday 16 October and results of the election will be circulated to all members in the week beginning Monday 19 October.
 
Members who are elected to the five PWDA Director positions will take office at the PWDA Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Friday 27 November at the Mercure Hotel, 818-820 George Street, in Ultimo NSW.

The AGM will commence at 6pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time, and run until around 9:30pm. Members wishing to attend are asked to arrive from 5:30pm and please be advised the venue is accessible but there is limited parking available.

This event will be webcast live in accessible formats and if you wish to attend, please RSVP by Friday 13 November by emailing pwd@pwd.org.au or calling 1800 422 015.

Please also advise of any access, Auslan interpreter or dietary requirements.
PWDA News
 
INDIVIDUAL ADVOCACY
 
Marissa learns to advocate for herself
Marissa* has mild intellectual disability and for six years she suffered family violence at the hands of her husband.
 
“He kicked me, pulled my hair and almost choked the life out of me,” Marissa told PWDA. “He stopped me seeing my mum for four years, I had to sneak out to see her. I used to go hungry, it was a living nightmare.”

Marissa said she felt obliged to stay in the relationship because she had two young children, so she continued her relationship with her husband while more violence occurred.  
 
 
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
“I witnessed violence as a child when my father would come home drunk and smash everything up so for me I think I was used to it,” she said.
 
Marissa was put in touch with PWDA and provided with support from a PWDA Individual Advocate. “Advocacy helped me realise I needed to think for myself and put the safety of me and my children first,” Marissa said.
 
Our Individual Advocate helped Marissa access housing and deal with a range of government agencies and services after she decided to leave her husband.
 
“I had lots of services in my life and advocacy has helped me shrink that down to one. I’m now learning from my advocate, how to advocate for myself.”
 
* Not this person’s real name
 
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
 
DISABILITY SUPPORT AND THE NDIS

Landmark NDIS commitment in NSW and Victoria welcomed
The Commonwealth, Victorian and New South Wales (NSW) governments have signed agreements for the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in NSW and Victoria.
 
From 1 July 2016 eligible people with disability in NSW and Victoria will start entering the NDIS.  In NSW, the NDIS is expected to be operating state-wide by July 2018. In Victoria, the NDIS is expected to be operating state-wide by July 2019.
 
 
 
 
IMAGE: The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) logoIMAGE: NDIS logo

In the first year of the NDIS rollout in NSW, seven districts will transition to the NDIS including Central Coast, Northern Sydney, South Western Sydney, Southern NSW, Western Sydney, and the remaining populations of Hunter New England and Nepean-Blue Mountains. From 1 July 2017 the NDIS will be begin to be available in the districts of Illawarra Shoalhaven, Mid North Coast, Murrumbidgee, Northern NSW, South Eastern Sydney, Sydney, Western NSW, and Far West NSW.

In the first year of the NDIS rollout in Victoria, three areas will transition to the NDIS including North East Melbourne, Central Highlands and Loddon. In the second year, seven areas will transition including Inner Gippsland, Ovens Murray, Western District, Inner East Melbourne, Outer East Melbourne, Hume Moreland and Bayside Peninsula. In the third year, six areas will transition to the NDIS including Southern Melbourne, Brimbank Melton, Western Melbourne, Goulburn, Mallee and Outer Gippsland.
 
The specific details on when and how you will be able to access the NDIS will be made available in the coming months. Existing Commonwealth and state-based services and supports will continue until all eligible people with disability start their plans with the NDIS.
 
Details about the roll out of the NDIS in NSW are available on this section of NDIS website - www.ndis.gov.au/nsw and details about the transition to the NDIS in Victoria are available on this section of NDIS website - www.ndis.gov.au/vic
 
Click this link to view our media release welcoming these landmark agreements and urging other states and territories to follow the lead of NSW and Victoria.
 
INTERNATIONAL ADVOCACY
IMAGE: Pictured from left to right are Les Malezer (National Congress of Australia's First Peoples), Lucy Morgan (Refugee Council of Australia ), Therese Sands (PWDA), Roland Chauville (UPR Info - event organiser), Amanda Alford (National Association of Community Legal Centres), Anna Brown (Human Rights
Law Centre), Darren Dick (Australian Human Rights Commission) and Peter Hyndal (LGBTIQ community).
 
Universal Periodical Review
Australia’s human rights record was placed under the microscope in Geneva earlier this month at a series of meetings between a delegation of non-government organisations (NGO) and members of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). 
 
The meetings were held ahead of Australia’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) to be conducted by the UNHRC. The UPR is a four yearly review of the human rights record of UNHRC member countries, and in November, Australia is being reviewed along with Micronesia, Lebanon, Mauritania, Nauru, Rwanda, Nepal, Saint Lucia, Oman, Myanmar, Austria, Georgia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe. 
 
People with Disability Australia’s (PWDA) Co-Chief Executive Officer, Therese Sands is part of the NGO UPR delegation that is representing the views of a UPR Coalition of over 200 human rights organisations in Australia. 
 
The NGO UPR delegation is made up of:
 
The NGO delegation is working collaboratively with the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) in its lobbying of UNHRC member countries, with Darren Dick from AHRC partnering with us in our meetings. (A photo of NGO delegation members with Mr Dick and Roland Chauville from the UPR info event organisers is above). 
 
As part of the UPR Coalition, a UPR disability coordination group has been drafting materials and factsheets, lobbying with UNHRC member countries in Australia and meeting with the Australian Government representatives.  PWDA is representing the UPR disability coordination group - Australian Cross Disability AllianceAustralian Centre for Disability Law and Advocacy for Inclusion – on the NGO UPR delegation. 
 
The key human rights issues that are being discussed with over 30 member countries of the UNHRC include democratic rights and freedoms, administration of justice, poverty, housing and homelessness, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights, gender equality, refugees and asylum seekers, sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex rights, disability rights, rights of older persons and prisoner rights.  For a full list of factsheets on all issues click here.
 
You can read more about the UPR process on our 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
 
ECONOMIC SECURITY AND EMPLOYMENT

Disability Employment Framework – consultation report released

The Disability Employment Taskforce responsible for developing a new National Disability Employment Framework to boost employment rates for people with disability has released its first report.

Earlier this year the taskforce travelled across Australia to find out people’s views on the strengths and weaknesses of the current disability employment support system, and what a successful future system might look like. 
 
 
 
IMAGE: A sign on the road that says 'UPDATE'.
IMAGE: A sign on the road that says 'UPDATE'.
PWDA’s Advocacy Project Manager Samantha French attended a consultation forum to put forward our views and we also made a submission to the taskforce’s first issues paper.

The taskforce’s report highlights the main issues that were expressed at the consultation forums and in written submissions. You can visit the Taskforce website to read the report.

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
 
PREVENTING VIOLENCE AND ABUSE
 
UPDATE: PWDA Royal Commission Disability Support Project

PWDA is continuing to travel across Australia to provide information about the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to people with disability and their supporters. 
 
 
 
IMAGE: Logo for the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse

IMAGE: Logo for The Royal Commission
into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse

We recently ran information sessions about our Disability Support for the Royal Commission project in Devonport, Launceston and Hobart. During our visit to Tasmania we also engaged with local advocacy groups, community-based support services, key government and non-government agencies Public Trustees, Public Guardians and Advocates, and heads of government disability services agencies.
 
In Tasmania we also held the first focus group session with people with disability, as part of our 'What makes organisations safe for children with disability?' consultative research project.
From 19-23 October we will be in South Australia to run our next round of information sessions and a focus group. For full details please visit our Royal Commission website – rcsupport.pwd.org.au
 
For further information contact Jess Cadwallader, Advocacy Projects Officer on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email jessc@pwd.org.au 
 
Follow Jess on Twitter @JessPWDA

Child Sexual Assault, Disability and the Justice System

PWDA held a forum focussed on Child Sexual Assault, Disability and the Justice System at Parliament House in Canberra on 7 September. Speakers from across Australia came together to explore the barriers people with disability, who have experienced sexual assault as children, face when trying to access the justice system.
 
Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission representative Wendy Sanderson spoke about Police responses to people with disability reporting crimes. Leona Berrie and Kobie Hicks, from the WWILD Sexual Violence Prevention Association, provided an on-the-ground account of attempts to report child sexual assault, and what the response was. South Australian Member of Parliament Kelly Vincent discussed the recent implementation of the Disability Justice Plan, which she has been heavily involved in. Phillip French, from the Australian Centre for Disability Law, provided a thorough overview of the hurdles people with disability have to overcome when they are seeking compensation through the civil system. Professor Kathleen Daly provided an account of how ‘redress’ might help in thinking about justice, and of the make-up of redress schemes internationally.
 
This Forum was particularly relevant and timely, given that the Royal Commission’s final recommendations regarding Civil Litigation and Redress were released later that week.
 
Submissions to the Royal Commission

PWDA’s submission to the Royal Commission’s issue paper on Police and Prosecutorial Responses
has now been released to the public. Our submission highlights the numerous impediments children and adults with disability face when they seek to report child sexual abuse to the Police.
 
We have also made a submission to the Royal Commission’s issue paper on Schools. This should be made public soon, and will be placed on our website when it is.

End the Violence – urge your member of parliament to act

The Australian Cross Disability Alliance (ACDA) recently launched a campaign called End the Violence, which is designed to raise awareness of the appalling levels of violence that people with disability in Australia experience.
 
Our campaign was launched to coincide with the ACDA’s appearance before the Senate committee inquiring into Violence, Abuse and Neglect against people with disability in institutional and residential settings. You can view the ACDA’s submission to the inquiry on the PWDA website.
 
As part of the End the Violence campaign we are using social media to regularly share stories of people with disability who have experienced violence, abuse or neglect. When these stories are shared, we are then encouraging people to visit a special website that has been set up, so they can urge their local member of parliament to support our calls for:
 
- A Royal Commission into violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability in Australia.
- An overhaul of the criminal justice system
- The establishment of an independent national statutory watchdog to protect, investigate and enforce findings regarding violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability
 

Preventing violence against women and children

PWDA recently attended a national consultation run by OurWatch, ANROWS and VicHealth, for the development of the National Framework for Prevention of Violence against Women and their Children, and provided supplementary feedback. 
 
This Framework is designed to support a coordinated and collaborative approach to the prevention of violence against women, involving action across the board from addressing structural inequality through to individual attitudes. 

PWDA supports the Framework's commitment to an intersectional approach to these issues, and looks forward to seeing the final framework when it is released later this year.

For further information contact Jess Cadwallader, Advocacy Project 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
 
ACCESSIBILITY AND SOCIAL INCLUSION
 
A
dvocating for a truly inclusive education system

PWDA made a
submission to the Senate Inquiry into the current levels of access and attainment for students with disability in the school system, and the impact on students and families associated with inadequate levels of supports. In addition to the submission, PWDA’s Advocacy Projects and Communications Manager Ngila Bevan joined PWDA’s Co-Ceo Therese Sands at a public hearing before the Senate committee inquiring into this issue. 
 
IMAGE: IMAGE: Road sign with the word 'learning' repeated on it three times. There are arrows pointing from the words.
IMAGE: Road sign with the word 'learning' repeated on it three times. There are arrows pointing from the words.
In our submission, and when we appeared before the Senate committee, we argued that while there is currently a lot of rhetoric around inclusive education within the education system, this is not realised to any real extent in practice. There is a lack of understanding of what inclusive education means, and this is not necessarily just within schools but also at the government level.
 
Inclusive education is not embedded as a framework in our education system at the macro level and therefore it is very difficult to implement inclusive education within secondary schools and primary schools and to create inclusive attitudes in our communities. The education system is failing children with disability, creating a daily struggle for these children to receive a quality education.
 
PWDA argues that it is imperative that article 24 on the right to education in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is embedded within our education reforms. Currently, there is no national framework which is able to achieve this, but there are numerous ad hoc methods which attempt to create disability inclusion within our school systems, but these are not working. Overall, the system does not embed disability, diversity, or difference and fails to create an environment where children with disability can reach their potential, contribute to society, and participate in their communities as children and also as adults.

Vocational Education and Training in NSW

PWDA made a
submission to the NSW Legislative Council Inquiry into Vocational Education and Training (VET). PWDA staff Ngila Bevan and Therese Sands also appeared before the committee inquiring into this issue.
 
PWDA argues the Smart and Skilled reforms introduced by the NSW Government earlier this year do not encourage people with disability to participate in the VET sector. Drawing on feedback from our members, we explained that the impact of the reforms has been to create uncertainty, reduce accessibility, and limit social and economic opportunities for students with disability.

Our primary recommendations were for the Committee to strongly support the role and resourcing of TAFE as a provider of VET, to recommend regulatory mechanisms for course fees and course quality, and to advocate for a flexible, NDIS-style disability support funding model based on person centred approaches to learning as opposed to the provision of generic supports.

Failures by the government and VET providers to address these recommendations will result in uncertain and unsustainable learning environments for students with disability and their continued segregation from our economy.

For further information on these issues please 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

 
DISABILITY NEWS
 
International News

21 govt depts found inaccessible to people with disability
15 September
The Times of India
The directorate of social welfare on Monday in a reply before the Goa Human Rights Commission (GHRC) stated that 45 public buildings in the state are inaccessible to persons with physical disability.

Legal Settlement for People with Intellectual Disability Opens Door for Real Jobs
10 September 2015
The Lund report
The state conceded its fight against disability rights advocates and agreed in a settlement to offer integrated job opportunities for thousands of people with intellectual disability, whom advocates argued had been unnecessarily cloistered in closed workshops doing menial work for terrible pay.
 
National News
 
17 September 2015
Pro Bono News
The first National Disability Insurance Scheme agreements have been signed between the Turnbull Government and the New South Wales and Victorian State Governments.
 
Disability Abuse Royal Commission Calls Get Louder
17 September 2015
Xavier Smerdon, Pro Bono News
The Turnbull Government has said that the state governments should “take the lead” on investigating incidences of abuse against people with disability rather than a Royal Commission into the issue be set up. 
 
 
Australian Capital Territory News
 
Image of cage in Canberra school a 'wake-up call', says disability advocate
22 September 2015
Katie Burgess and Tom McIlroy, The Canberra Times
A disability rights advocate has commended the publication of an image of a cage used to confine an autistic child in a Canberra school.
 
Autism group passes no confidence motion against Joy Burch over boy in cage
22 September 2015
Emma Kelly and Henry Belot, The Canberra Times
A disability support group has passed a no confidence motion against Education Minister Joy Burch over her handling of the case of a boy with autism being put in a cage in a Canberra primary school. 
 
New South Wales News
 
How the NDIS is changing the lives of Hunter residents
23 September
Jenny Marchant, ABC Newcastle
Families in the Hunter who were among the first in Australia to use the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) have reflected on how it's affected them, as Federal and State governments prepare to roll out the scheme throughout New South Wales.

Disability care: NSW and Victoria sign off on care package
17 September
Sue Dunlevy, The Daily Telegraph
More than half of people with disability in Australia will be covered by the $22 billion National Disability Insurance Scheme after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull signed off on the rollout in NSW and Victoria as one of his first acts in the top job. 
 
Northern Territory News
 
Man with disability leaves home for first time in two years, discovers love of cupcakes
10 September
Emilia Terzon, ABC News
When John Joshua developed neurological paralysis in his early sixties, it turned a sandy front yard into a barrier and a television set into daily company.
 
Queensland News
 
Qld govt seeks quick release of NDIS funds
16 September
9 News
Queensland's government wants Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to release NDIS funding to the state more quickly.

Disability Action Week: Living in a world without sight
17 September
Blythe Moore, ABC North West Queensland
Tristan Bowen is aware he has blue eyes and is quite tall but those are the only things he knows for sure about his appearance. He has no idea what his friends and family look like, and has no way to tell the difference between colours. This is how life has always been for Tristan, who was born blind.
 
South Australia News
 
Legal aid lawyer who lost her sight as child awarded posthumously by Law Society
6 September
Isabel Dayman, ABC News
A lawyer who lost her sight as a young child has been honoured with a posthumous "Access to Justice" award from the Law Society of South Australia.
 
Tasmania News
 
Vulnerable children to be most disadvantaged from cuts to Tasmania’s eSchool, lobby group says
24 September
Michelle Paine, The Daily Telegraph
Tasmania’s  most vulnerable children will be hurt by staffing cuts to Tasmania’s eSchool, says a group representing parents of students with disability.
 
Victoria News
 
Education Department investigates poor treatment of children with disability at Bendigo Special Development School
23 September
Debleena Sarkar, International Business Times
Following reports of children with disability being locked in cages described as “cattle pens” by a school, the Victorian education department has launched an investigation into the matter.

NDIS to be rolled fully out in NSW, Victoria
23 September
Rick Wallace, Rick Morton, The Australian
The $22 billion National Dis­ability Insurance Scheme will be given the first guarantee it will move to full rollout in NSW and Victoria when agreements for the transition are announced on Wednesday, providing a blueprint for a massive escalation in support.
 
Western Australia News
 
WA’s My Way may work within NDIS
17 September
Andrew Probyn, 7 News
The Turnbull Government has indicated it may allow WA to operate its own disability services within a national framework.

WA: NDIS is ‘being left on the shelf’

22 September
Rick Morton, The Australian
A senior West Australian government employee has ­spoken out about internal manoeuvring in the administration that is pre-­emptively favouring the full rollout of the state’s disability system in preference to the $22 billion ­National Disability ­Insurance Scheme.
 
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 & 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
 
 
SURVEYS
 
The way people with disability are represented in Australian newspapers
http://pwd.org.au/what-s-on-surveys-and-research/survey.html
 
 
 
PETITIONS
 
 
New Resources
 
NDIS Resources for people preparing for the NSW rollout
Download fact sheets, read blog posts or the latest news and more on this NSW Government website designed to support people with disability who are preparing for the rollout of the NDIS in NSW.
http://ndis.nsw.gov.au/ndis-resources/

Making complaints about services used through the NDIS
This is a list of who organisations you can contact if you want to complain about a service you have used through the NDIS.
http://www.disabilityloop.org.au/resources/contacts_complaints.html

Clickability: Australian disability service reviews
Clickability is an Australian disability service directory which features ratings and reviews from the people who actually use the services
 
 
Conferences and Events
Below are details of upcoming conferences and events.
 
16 October: Designing Universities for Everyone by Doing Disability Differently
This is a free workshop on disability, design and university spaces.
 
22 October: Forums for the disability advocacy sector
Advocacy Sector Conversations is a series of Forums for the disability advocacy sector and people with disability. The Forums aim to support disability advocates to regularly get together and discuss matters which directly impact on their work, as well as to provide informal time to network.

23 October: NDIS Information Session for ACT people with disability
Women with Disabilities ACT in collaboration with the National Disability Insurance Agency invites all women with disability in the ACT to attend an information session and discussion on the NDIS.
 
23 October: Access Forum and Q&A
People with Disabilities ACT will be holding a Q&A style forum with various panellists to discuss how Canberra can be an access city of the future.
http://pwd.org.au/what-s-on-conferences-and-events/23-october-2015-event-access-forum-and-q-a.html

11-13 November: Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability conference
This conference will bring together a range of stakeholders including people with intellectual disability and their families and support persons, coordinators, disability support workers, researchers from universities, health professionals and policy makers, to share and prompt new ideas around the idea of collaboration and inclusion.
http://pwd.org.au/what-s-on-conferences-and-events/11-13-november-2015-conference-for-intellectual-disability.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

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