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PWDA E-Bulletin
Edition #88 JANUARY 2014
ISSN 2202-0705
PWDA member, Lesley holding an NDIS Every Australian Counts sign with 'I Count' written on it. She is holding a mug of tea.
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Stay up-to-date with the latest Australian disability human rights news, views and developments
Dear ,
Welcome to PWDA’s January 2014 E-Bulletin.
Our E-Bulletin goes out to subscribers regularly by email. Please share this ebulletin with anyone you might think would like to receive it.
PWDA member Lesley pictured above, holds an Every Australian Counts "I Count" card highlighting the revolutionary effects the NDIS will have on everyone - people with a disability, their families and carers in Australia.
To be added or removed from our E-Bulletin mailing list or to change your details, please email us, click on the "Unsubscribe / Change Profile" link at the very end of this E-Bulletin or contact PWDA on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin. 
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If you would like to become a member of PWDA please visit or contact us for a membership form. 
PWDA Disability Rights Defenders
Disability Rights Defenders can change lives through regular, monthly, tax-deductible donations. These regular donations support:
  • systemic and legal advocacy projects,
  • members’ and stakeholders consultations,
  • other essential projects like the Boarding House project,
  • work with Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) in the Pacific,
  • information and training to people with disability and their associates.
Learn more about the Disability Rights Defenders and sign up online.
  • Update on the BSWAT Issues
  • Real Wages for Real Work Campaign
  • Mardi Gras Parade
  • Senate Inquiry into Communication Disorders and Speech Pathology Services
  • Welfare Review - what we know so far
  • Love and Kisses Launch
  • NSW Disability Inclusion Bill
  • Equal Recognition Before the Law
  • PWDA Training Services
  • Affordable Housing
From the President
Welcome to this short E-Bulletin which covers a busy period for PWDA.   
Since shortly before Christmas the Board has been active responding to reports that the Australian Government is considering changes to the DSP in the coming Budget. 
This has included frenetic media work for PWDA over the Christmas period. 
Our Secretary Kristy Trajcevski appeared in a great article in the Newcastle Herald on 23 December 2013.  A story on Public Sector employment was the front page of the Canberra Times on 27 December 2013.  It also got a good run in the Sydney Morning Herald.
 Photograph of Craig Wallace
Craig Wallace
President of People with Disability Australia
An editorial also appeared in the Canberra Times as well as a follow up opinion feature with Christina Ryan who is the Chair of the Disability Advocacy Network of Australia (DANA).  We also appeared on Sydney Radio 2UE with Tim Webster and Radio 2SM along with an interview with ABC Radio National
Another story ran the next day 28 December in the Canberra Times where Fiona Given and I called for targets in the Public Sector.  We worked with ACOSS and the Welfare Rights on a piece which appeared in Fairfax publications on 31 December 2013.
This week I wrote an opinion piece for The Australian (paywalled) (accessible version here on our website) and for ABC Ramp Up.
We are heading into interesting times as indications are that the Australian Government is contemplating a broad review. This holds opportunities and threats for us. It is important that our voices are heard and I am looking forward to PWDA being consulted as part of that review by Patrick McClure, who also chaired a Reference Group on Welfare Reform which reported in July 2000. 
I would also encourage PWDA members to get involved by commenting on articles and joining a PWDA Social Media Forum on Income Support to be held on our Facebook page on Saturday 8 February 2014. 
A key moment was the announcements by the Federal Government recognising that people with intellectual and cognitive disability who have been paid according to the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) in Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) have experienced economic loss.  While we supported this recognition we expressed grave concerns that this scheme will require individuals to waive their legal right to join in a class action for full compensation. 
I am pleased that the Federal Government has agreed to hold off from initiating further contact with underpaid intellectually disabled workers who are part of a Maurice Blackburn class action over unfair pay and I also commend Michael Nojin and Gordon Prior who initiated the original court action.  
The barriers that people with disability face in accessing work were brought into sharp relief by the actions of a single new PWDA member, Pauline David, who told the story of her daily commuter nightmare on State Rail in the Daily Telegraph. 
I hope PWDA members will sign her petition on calling for the NSW Transport Minister to spend just one day on her Rail Network using a wheelchair.  What an eye opener this would be. 
The 2014 Board of PWDA has met since Christmas and I am really pleased to welcome coopted members Suzy Keene, Thomas Banks and Nigel Webb to our Board. This year I am joined on our new Board Executive by – Vice President Fiona Given; Treasurer, Faye Druett; and our Secretary Kristy Trajcevski.
The beginning of the year is a timely moment to reflect on the fact that PWDA only works through the strength of our members.  PWDA is not about me, the Board or even our wonderful staff who have worked very hard, especially as we head towards an office move at Redfern. 
People like Michael Nojin, Gordon Prior and Pauline David show us the power of individual people acting for change, as does Australian Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes from a position of influence. 
If you haven’t already, please spread the word about joining PWDA online so we can continue to tap into the energy we need from our members.
Craig Wallace
PWDA President
PWDA Participation
Expression of Interest for 2014 Board Advisory Groups
The People with Disability Australia Board is calling for expressions of interest for a number of Advisory Groups to be convened this year.
The purpose of these Advisory Groups is to ensure that the Board consults members on specific issues.
All Full Members are eligible and strongly encouraged to download and fill in an Expression of Interest (EOI) Form to express your interest in joining one of the Advisory Groups listed below. Please forward completed form to or fax to (02) 9318 1372 before Friday 31 January 2014.
Positions on the PWDA Advisory Groups are filled on a voluntary basis. Meetings are usually monthly, both face to face (held at our Redfern Sydney Office) and by teleconference. Please also download the Terms of Reference document.
EOI forms will be considered by the Convenors of the Advisory Groups and they will invite you to join the group. Other categories of members may submit an Expression of Interest form, and these will be considered if you have a specific skillset that may be required by that group.
The Convenors are now calling for expressions of interest from members for the following groups:
  • Finance Audit & Advisory Group – Convenor: Faye Druett, Co-Convenor: Mark Tonga
  • Devolution – Convenor: Samantha Connor, Co-Convenor: Faye Druett
  • Membership, Events, Fundraising – Convenor: Fiona Given, Co-Convenor: Irene McMinn
For more information, see the Board Communiqué for further information.
Membership of People with Disability Australia
Do you believe in the equality and dignity of all people living with disability? Do you believe everyone has the right to fully participate in our society? 
Then show your support for equality and dignity and become part of a growing national disability rights movement in Australia!
It’s easy, online and it’s free.
Membership for Individuals
Membership for Organisations
If you represent an organisation incorporated in Australia with a governing body and a membership base of at least 75% of people with disability, your organisation can take Full Organisational Membership.
If you represent an organisation interested in supporting the disability rights movement and the aims and objectives of PWDA, your organisation can take Associate Organisational Membership.
PWDA Media Releases and Alerts
20 Jan 2014 : ALERT
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers announced today that they will lodge an application for court orders to prevent the Federal Government from "misleading intellectually disabled employees into signing away their legal rights."
15 Jan 2014 : Economic loss acknowledged but discrimination continues
People with Disability Australia (PWDA) welcomes the recognition by the Commonwealth that people with intellectual disability who have been paid according to the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) in Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) have experienced economic loss.
18 Dec 2013 : Commitment to deliver the NDIS
People with Disability Australia (PWDA) welcomes the Coalition Government’s commitment to delivering the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in full, reconfirmed today by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield. 
Update on BSWAT Issues
PWDA has maintained a strong focus on the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) issue. This tool is used in Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) (previously 'sheltered workshops') to assess wage rates based on competency and productivity.
In 2012, the outcome of the legal case bought by two men with intellectual disability, Michael Noijn and Gordon Prior, against the Federal Government found that assessment of workers with intellectual disability using the BSWAT was discriminatory under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).
Image of litigants after successful Federal Court case in 2013

Image: Successful litigants after the
Federal Court case in 2014
In mid-2013, the Department of Social Services (DSS) applied for a three-year exemption from the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC); PWDA’s submission argued against an exemption, to allow ADEs to continue using the BSWAT, and thereby delay payment of fair wages using the Supported Wage System, which is already used in open (non-segregated) employment and some ADEs.
In December 2013, the AHRC submitted questions to DSS, asking them to provide more detail on their proposal of what they would do if an exemption were granted. AED Legal also filed in the court for a class action which will represent all workers assessed under the discriminatory  BSWAT – around 20,000 people, some of whom are paid $1.77 per hour. United Voice and the Health Services Union have also joined forces to submit an Application to Vary the Award to the Fair Work Commission. This application seeks to remove from the Award the possibility of wage assessment on the basis of competency, ensuring that everyone working in ADEs is assessed according to the Supported Wage System.
In January 2014, DSS released news of a scheme designed to address the economic loss of people with intellectual disability assessed under the BSWAT.  It avoided referring to these payments as compensation or reparation, which would acknowledge legal responsibility for discrimination. There were few details – such as any sense of how much this money might be, or how it might affect other government payments. It also didn’t address workers with other forms of disability working in ADEs.
One point was very clear: all workers who participated in the class action court case would not be eligible to receive any payment . A few days later, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers (now working with AED Legal) submitted papers to the Federal Court seeking to block the Government contacting ADE employees regarding the scheme, “to ensure these underpaid workers are not duped into signing away their legal rights by the Government's offer to part pay them their entitlements.” The Federal Government then agreed to hold off from initiating further contact with the underpaid workers with  intellectually disability.
The Fair Work Commission will hold a hearing in the next few months to consider the Application to Vary the Award by United Voice and the Health Services Union, and PWDA is preparing for this. PWDA believes that this is a case where human rights and workers’ rights must both be fulfilled, so our systemic advocacy will remain engaged with the AHRC, the Union movement and people with disability pushing for a solution to this injustice.
For more information about the Real Wages for Real Work Campaign contact Samantha French, Advocacy Projects Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
Real Wages for Real Work Campaign
Thanks to a grant from the Reichstein Foundation in 2014 PWDA will be working alongside the AED Legal Centre to undertake systemic advocacy work on issues of wage discrimination and inequality experienced by workers with disability employed by Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs).
AED Legal and Maurice Blackburn Lawyers are pursuing a class action in the Federal Court for wage justice on behalf of 10,000 workers with disability who have experienced discrimination in the assessment of their wages.
PWDA will be supporting this action with an education, research, and policy advocacy program focused on reducing the level of inequality and economic disadvantage experienced by workers with  disability; promoting alternatives to segregated employment; and advocating for policy reforms to implement genuine supported employment options.
For more information about the Real Wages for Real Work Campaign contact Samantha French, Advocacy Projects Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
Mardi Gras Parade 2014
In 2014, People With Disability Australia will march in the Mardi Gras Parade along with the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Touching Base & Family Planning NSW to bring you the brightest, most colourful presence of people with disability in the parade yet!

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade is one of the world’s largest and best-loved Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer, Intersex celebrations, a chance for all of the colours of the kaleidoscope to come together, to commemorate, celebrate, and communicate the universal message of diversity, equality, and infinite love. 
If you want to join in the fun, sign up to get more information please contact Pete Darby as soon as possible on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-bulletin or email
 Rainbow coloured flag with white wheelchair
Senate Inquiry into Communication Disorders and Speech Pathology Services
The Senate Committee on Community Affairs is conducting an Inquiry into ‘the prevalence of different types of speech, language and communication disorders and speech pathology services in Australia’. The terms of reference can be found here, and the deadline for submissions is 21 February 2014.
PWDA will be making a submission to this Inquiry and we are very interested in the views of our members on this topic.  
If you are interested in telling us your view please contact Ngila Bevan as soon as possible on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email  
Child dressed in a pink shirt holding a mobile phone out towards the viewer
Image: Child dressed in pink top holding a phone out towards the viewer.
Welfare Review - what we know so far 
There has been substantial media comment regarding the current welfare review being undertaken by the Department of Social Services (DSS). Minister Kevin Andrews has suggested that this review will target both Newstart and the Disability Support Pension (DSP). Patrick McClure, who is the consultant on this review, has consulted with some non-government organisations and some peak bodies.
PWDA will be writing to Kevin Andrews MP to request inclusion in these consultations. PWDA President Craig Wallace has published a number of opinion pieces, one co-authored with Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) CEO, Dr Cassandra Goldie and Maree O'Halloran of the National Welfare Rights Network.
PWDA is also participating in consultation with other non-government organisations, peaks and Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) in developing a broad and comprehensive strategy to ensure that people with disability receive the support they need.
For more information contact Jess Cadwallader, Advocacy Projects Officer on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
Love and Kisses Launch
PWDA attended the launch of Love and Kisses: Taking Action on the Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights of People with Disability in December 2013.
Held at Family Planning NSW, this report and plan was launched by Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes. A number of speakers, including Robert Strike and Steve, presented their experiences of sex, sexuality, love and identity.
Robert spoke about his and his wife's struggle against the belief that people with intellectual disability ought not to have families, and the experience of raising their children together. Steve recounted his personal history of being a trans man with intellectual disability, and the slow but joyous process of his own and others' recognition of his gender.
Family Planning NSW Logo 
Family Planning NSW Logo
Commissioner Innes mentioned the findings of the Stop the Violence Project, which was a collaboration between Women With Disability Australia, People with Disability Australia and the University of New South Wales, which demonstrated the massively increased rates of violence, including sexual and domestic violence, experienced by women with disability.
For more information about Love and Kisses and to download a copy of the report (available in a range of formats), please see
For more information about the Stop the Violence Project, see the website at
For more information contact Jess Cadwallader, Advocacy Projects Officer on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
NSW Disability Inclusion Bill
In December 2013, the NSW Government released the draft Disabilty Inclusion Bill 2014 for consultation. The introduction of this Bill follows the recent launch of Ready Together and acknowledges the unfolding transition of disability services in NSW to the NDIS.  
Visit this website for more information and to read the Bill.  PWDA will be making a submission, the deadline is 14 February 2014.
For more information contact Ngila Bevan, Manager Advocacy Communications on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
Equal Recognition Before the Law 
In January PWDA, in collaboration with the Australian Centre for Disability Law (ACDL) and the Australian Human Rights Centre, made a submission in response to the Australian Law Reform Commission Issue Paper ‘Equality, Capacity and Disability in Commonwealth Law’.  This Issue Paper was released for consultation as part of a Review of equal recognition before the law and legal capacity for people with disability.
The terms of the Review include an examination of laws and legal frameworks within the Commonwealth jurisdiction that deny or diminish the equal recognition of people with disability as persons before the law and their ability to exercise legal capacity, and what if any changes could be made to Commonwealth laws and legal frameworks to address these matters. The ALRC plans to release a Discussion Paper based on the findings from this consultation process in April 2014, and will provide its final report to the Attorney-General by August 2014.
For more information contact Ngila Bevan, Manager Advocacy Communications on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
PWDA Training Services
  • Are your staff confident in communicating and dealing effectively with people with a range of disability?
  • Do they know how to identify and address barriers that people with disability may have in accessing your organisation?
PWDA has extensive experience in the development and delivery of training across a wide range of disability areas including disability awareness and customer service. 
Our training packages are flexible and are tailor-made to meet the needs of the particular organisation. They are highly interactive and participants work together to develop strategies and procedures, with guidance from experienced trainers who have direct experience with of disability.
People with Disability Logo.
Our training packages provide practical skills that will enhance both the workforce and customer service capacity of your organisation.
For more information contact Pete Darby, Training Liaison on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
Affordable Housing
PWDA is preparing a submission for this inquiry, and we are very interested in the views of our members on this topic.The NSW Legislative Council has called for an Inquiry into Social, Public and Affordable Housing. The Terms of Reference can be found here and the deadline for submissions is Friday 28 February 2014. 

If you are interested in telling us your view, please contact Jess Cadwallader as soon as possible on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-bulletin or email
Image of a house with figures around it picking the home up
International News
Ban Ki-Moon appoints former vice-president of Ecuador as envoy on disability, accessibility
19 December 2013
UN News Centre
In his new post, Mr. Moreno will help promote the rights of people with disabilities, who number more than one billion, and also advocate on behalf of accessibility for all people. “In spite of the remarkable advances toward accessible and disability-inclusive societies an enormous gap remains between the commitments made and the daily experiences of persons with disabilities,” the appointment announcement noted.
National News
Australian Government changes web access targets
7 January 2014
Media Access Australia
In 2010, the National Transition Strategy (NTS) stated that all government websites must comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 level A by the end of 2012 and level AA by the end of 2014. Recently, the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) has said that this timeframe was unrealistic. Members of the web industry have expressed concern, including Chairperson of the Australian Web Industry Association Bret Treasure. Media Access invites readers to share their responses to Marc Vickers, Assistant Secretary, Government and Policy Branch at AGIMO, who has posted a response  to this article on Access iQ.
Fifield cuts red tape for Disability Employment Services (DES)
6 January 2014
ProBono News
The Federal Government says it has made its first changes to lessen the administrative burden on Disability Employment Services providers.
Jobs not Newstart the key to disability pension reform
2 January 2014
Cassandra Goldie, Maree O’Halloran and Craig Wallace, The Sydney Morning Herald
The Abbott government's proposed overhaul of the Disability Support Pension has caused significant anxiety for many who live with a disability and at the worst time of the year.
Surveys and Consultations
Below are listed surveys and consultations for your information by a range of different organisations and researchers. Please consult with the specific survey/consultation if you require more information.
1 in 4 Poll
Attitudes to sexuality, relationships and child-rearing: A study about people with genetic neurodevelopmental disorders
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Barriers and Facilitators to Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening for Women with Physical Disability
Disability Advocacy and Legal Services
Disability and Parenthood
Epilepsy Management - Individual & Family Survey
Inclusion of children with disability in mainstream classes - how far have we come in 10 years?
Physical Activity following Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)
Safeguarding People with Disability
Survey : Disability and Mental Health
Young people 13-18 attending school with a hearing loss/Deaf
If you would like to promote your survey or consultation
in the PWDA EBulletin please email 
New Resources
Active Support Video
Leura Day Options, a service of Greystanes Disability Services, launched an exciting new DVD which focuses on the person centred approaches that are used to actively support people with disability at Greystanes.
NSW Elder Abuse Helpline & Resource Unit
World first-online Prisoners and Mental Health Consumers
Inquiries, Reviews and Commissions
Draft NSW Disability Inclusion Bill 2014
The NSW Government is asking for feedback on a new disability law to be introduced in Parliament next year. The draft Disability Inclusion Bill 2014 can be viewed here.
Deadline: 14 February 2014
Senate Inquiry into Communication Disorders and Speech Pathology Services
An inquiry into the prevalence of different types of speech, language and communication disorders and speech pathology services in Australia.
Deadline: 21 February 2014

Social, public and affordable housing (Inquiry)
Inquiry into and report on demand for social, public and affordable housing.
Deadline: 28 February 2014
Conferences and Events
Below are details of conferences and events for 2014.
5-7 February 2014 Geelong, VIC Having a Say Conference
10-11 Feb 2014 Sydney NSW NDS NSW State Conference 2014
23 Feb 2014 Adelaide SA NDS South Australia Conference
17-18 Mar 2014 Melbourne VIC 5th Annual National Disability Summit
23-24 Mar 2014 Melbourne VIC Positive Women Conference [pdf]
31 Mar–3 Apr 2014 Melbourne VIC International Conference on Low Vision
5 April 2014 Sydney NSW SCIA Independence Expo
5-7 May 2014 Gold Coast QLD Australian & New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management
17-20 May 2014 Brisbane QLD Round Table Conference
19-20 May 2014 Honolulu, Hawaii Pacific Rim International Conference
9-10 April 2014 Hamilton, New Zealand ASID NZ Annual Conference
14-15 April 2014 Adelaide SA Youth Conference – Having a Voice
22 May 2014 Canberra ACT Control & Choice Expo
6-8 June 2014 Sydney NSW 9th National Deafblind Conference
20-25 July 2014  Melbourne VIC AIDS 2014 
25-27 Jul 2014  Melbourne VIC Disability Studies in Education
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
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 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 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.