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PWDA E-Bulletin
Edition #90 May 2014
ISSN 2202-0705
Craig Wallace describing the effects of the 2014 Budget on people with disability — at Parliament House, Canberra, 14 May 2014

IMAGE: Craig Wallace describing the effects of the 2014 Budget on people with disability — at Parliament House, Canberra
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Stay up-to-date with the latest Australian disability human rights news, views and developments
Dear ,
Welcome to PWDA’s May 2014 E-Bulletin.
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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.
  • Membership and benefits
  • Media Releases and Alerts
Advocacy Action: Phillip finds a new lease on life
Economic Security and Employment
Disability Employment Services (DES) Engagement Project
DES Outcome Rates by Disability Type Report
Evaluation of Disability Employment Services (DES) 2010-2013
Wage Justice Campaign
Human Rights and the CRPD
CRPD Draft General Comment on Article 12
Emerging Leaders with Disability represent Australia at the UN
National Disability Strategy
Inquiry into speech pathology services in Australia
Australian Network on Disability ‘Leading the Way Conference’
Housing and Living in the Community
Affordable Housing
Stockton Centre Closure
Housing Appeals Committee (HAC)
Royal Commission Disability Support Project
Brisbane Royal Commission Information Session
Disability News
From the President
This has been an intense period of advocacy and project work for PWDA. 
A focal point was the lead up to the Federal Budget which included widespread speculation about changes to the NDIS and to income support arrangements following the release of the National Commission of Audit Report.  PWDA was on the front foot throughout this period with a media release on Thursday 1 May and extensive media on the proposals in the commission report to delay the phasing in of the NDIS and to change the Governance of the NDIS by making the agency a body that reports to a Minister under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA). 
 Photograph of Craig Wallace
Craig Wallace
President of People with Disability Australia
Following reports that the Premiers at COAG would be considering a delay in the rollout, a small but effective action was held at a Canberra hotel as the Premiers left for COAG.  There was media interest and PWDA appeared on the ABC AM program and SBS World News.  I thank PWDA members and staff for strong advocacy on these issues. 
Our approach to the NDIS has required PWDA to be balanced, front footed and strategic.  While this was a mixed Budget for disability, the continuation of the NDIS rollout on time and in full during the most difficult Budget in modern times points to the effectiveness of strategic advocacy on this issue. 
We worked over several fronts on the Budget.  Over Easter PWDA was involved in media around the Federal Budget and worked with ACOSS to manage media and messaging.  I held a doorstop at the National Press Gallery boxes on the Sunday and undertook a series of print, radio, news and television interviews. Op Ed pieces were published in The Guardian Australia and ABC Ramp Up.  
PWDA Vice President Fiona Given represented us at a meeting with Minister Andrews on 1 May and I spoke to ABC AM and various news outlets on the week prior to the Budget.
Following a story in the Sydney Daily Telegraph on Saturday 10 May 2014, I held a second doorstop Press Conference which was carried live by ABC News and Sky. 
PWDA called for a jobs guarantee from the Government and business following confirmation by the Government they would be reassessing people on the Disability Support Pension (DSP) under 35 years of age.
In the Budget on Wednesday 14 May the Government announced that people on DSP under 35 years of age will be reassessed by an independent doctor except for people who are "severe and manifest."  People found eligible will have to undertake a program of activities to build their work capacity. The pathway for people who are not eligible is unclear but may involve those people going onto Newstart or even the much lower Youth Allowance.  A group of older people with disability over 50 could be supported through wage subsidies of $10,000 which increase over time.  Co-Chief Executive Officer, Therese Sands and I attended the Budget lock-up and issued a press release followed by a press conference with ACOSS the following day. 
PWDA has also been speaking out loudly about the importance of retaining our voice at high levels both through a dedicated Disability Discrimination Commissioner and the ABC Ramp Up website both of which are under threat.  PWDA has operated two lines of campaigning, encouraging people to tell stories about discrimination and arguing the value of the AHRC position through articles and starting an online petition through asking the ABC and the Government to continue support for ABC Ramp Up. 
It is entirely possible that we will lose our voice within the national broadcaster and within Government come July and for that reason PWDA believes it is vital that we develop a coherent sustainable cross disability presence for disability at the national level.  PWDA is now having discussions with Disabled Peoples Organisations (DPOs) about ways that we can ensure a strong national presence for people with disability as Government moves to reshape national peak arrangements. 
We will be inviting your input, especially new online members, as we mark an important membership milestone in the coming months. We need a credible voice to safeguard the progress our movement has made over the last few years and PWDA has shown we can step up and deliver when it counts. 
Craig Wallace
PWDA President
PWDA Membership
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Membership for Organisations
If you represent an organisation incorporated in Australia with a governing body of at least 75% of people with disability, your organisation is eligible for 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
1 May: NDIS delay: unacceptable Media Release
Subscribe to receive PWDA Alerts and PWDA Media Releases as they become available – subscribe here
Phillip finds a new lease on life
Phillip, a 40 year old man, contacted PWDA because he was not receiving the care services he needed. His stroke and brain injury left him with high care needs related to both physical and vision impairment. The lack of services and supports meant Phillip was unable to participate in his community. As a result he was physically and socially isolated and very depressed.
A PWDA Advocate quickly identified services in Phillip's local area that would meet a variety of his needs. His Advocate also stressed the gravity of Philip's situation to the state government department responsible for providing Phillip with home care services. Phillip had also been waiting for several years to be assessed for self-directed funding.
PWDA Banner
PWDA Banner
Over the next few weeks, Phillip received more services which provided him with emotional support, social activities and other recreation. Case management was secured for him and temporary measures were put in place for his physical care needs. Now Phillip has a packed schedule in terms of community engagement.
His application for self-directed funding was escalated and made a priority after discussion between the PWDA Advocate and the government department. With the support of his Advocate and Case Manager, Phillip it was recommended that he receive the maximum level of hours of care. The Department accepted the recommendation and Phillip is receiving ongoing care that will provide him with further independence, choice and control in his life.
For more 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
Disability Employment Services (DES) Engagement Project
PWDA is partnering with the Department of Social Services to provide information about Disability Employment Services (DES) and to engage with our members and networks of people with disability to help improve the delivery of these services to increase employment outcomes for people with disability.
The aims of PWDA’s DES Engagement Project are:
  • Increase knowledge of the availability and supports available through the DES program;
  • Facilitate provision of feedback and advice to the Government about the needs of people with disability in the context of the DES, and;
  • Look at ways to improve future disability employment services.
IMAGE: Hand holding money against a blue sky.
IMAGE: Hand holding money against a blue sky.
The DES Engagement Project provides an opportunity for people with disability to have a say about the types of barriers they face in accessing DES and make suggestions for improvements to the delivery of employment services.
PWDA will be presenting a final report to the Department of Social Services with recommendations for:
  • Improving access to specialist employment assistance for jobseekers with disability;
  • Providing people with disability with greater choice and control over the employment services they choose.
The PWDA DES Engagement Project includes:
Information on DES and other Government funded employment programs can be found at JobAccess or call JobAccess on 1800 464 800.  To find your local Disability Employment Services provider, visit Australian Job Search website.
For more information contact Samantha French, Advocacy Projects Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
DES Outcome Rates by Disability Type Report
The Department of Employment has recently upgraded the ‘Disability Employment Services (DES) Outcome Rates by Disability Type Report’.
This Report provides information about the performance of DES providers in each Employment Services Area by primary disability groupings. The Report aims to help people with disability, family, carers or others choose the most appropriate DES provider. There are a number of factors that should be taken into account when choosing a DES provider, such as the location of their office in relation to public transport and the jobseekers home, their Star Ratings or what they say about the services they offer.
PWDA would like to hear from people with disability about what you think of the report, including accessibility of the report; how useful is the information in the report; and if you think there is other types of information that would be useful to include.
IMAGE: Job advertisement with a red circle around it
IMAGE: Job advertisement circled in red
Feedback can be forwarded to Samantha French, Advocacy Projects Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
Evaluation of Disability Employment Services (DES) 2010-2013
The former Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations undertook an evaluation of Disability Employment Services covering the period from the start of the program in 2010 to June 2013.
The DES Evaluation Report is now available on the Department of Social Services website.  This report presents the findings, including the quality of services, employment outcomes and the effectiveness of DES compared to the previous employment services model.
For more information contact Samantha French, Advocacy Projects Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
IMAGE: Pile of books with an opened book on top
IMAGE: Pile of books with an opened book on top.
Wage Justice Campaign
Advocacy work is increasing around the campaign for fair wages for workers in Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs), specifically in regards to the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT), used in many ADEs to reduce the wages of thousands of workers with disability. PWDA is working closely with the Association of Employees with Disability (AED) Legal Centre on the Campaign through a grant from the Reichstein Foundation. PWDA will be supporting the work of AED Legal Centre and conducting policy, research and educational activities.
Some recent developments in this Campaign include:
The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) supports continued discrimination of employees with disability
As reported previously, PWDA provided its own submission and contributed to several joint disability sector submissions to the AHRC for its assessment of an Exemption Application by the Department of Social Services (DSS) to continue using the BSWAT for employees with disability working in ADEs.
In April, the AHRC granted a temporary (12 month) exemption under the Disability Discrimination Act, which provides the Commonwealth an exemption to continue paying wages to employees assessed under the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) for a further year. As a result, these employees will continue to be paid discriminatory and appalling wages, with no guarantee of when or even if they will be paid lawful wages in the future.
PWDA views this as a major abuse of the human rights of people with disability as the BSWAT severely discounts the wages of employees with disability, with some employees being paid as little as $0.33 per hour. PWDA along with a number of national peak disability and advocacy groups condemned the decision by AHRC, in a joint media statement ‘Australian Human Rights Commission supports continued discrimination of employees with disability’.
PWDA will continue to monitor the implementation of this decision and work with other disability groups to support the movement to fairer wages for employees with disability working in ADEs.
Fair Work Commission to consider variation to Award
Following the AHRC decision, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has proceeded with its consideration of an Application to the FWC  by United Voice (UV) and the Health Services Union (HSU) for a Variation to the Supported Employment Services Award 2010 to address wage discrimination for workers in ADEs.
This application specifically calls for the removal of the BSWAT from the Award on the grounds that the Federal Court found this to be a discriminatory wage assessment tool, and to provide for a fair and relevant minimum safety net of terms and conditions for these workers. The application also calls for the Supported Wage System (SWS) to replace the BSWAT as the only legitimate wage assessment tool for the assessment of wages of workers under this Award. Any employer wishing to use an alternate wage assessment tool must first convince the FWC that it doesn’t contain discriminatory provisions.
PWDA is actively involved in the conciliation discussions that are currently underway and is pleased to see injustice for these workers being tackled collaboratively across the disability and union sectors. Further information about the FWC hearings and relevant documents can be accessed via the Fair Work Commission website.
For more information contact Samantha French, Advocacy Projects Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
CRPD Draft General Comment on Article 12
In 2013 the Committee to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities published a draft General Comment on Article 12: equal recognition before the law. The purpose of a General Comment is to set out how a particular human rights treaty body interprets the content of a human rights provision.  Therefore, the content of the General Comment has a significant bearing on the way that Australia chooses to implement Article 12 of the CRPD. 
Publication of this is timely considering that the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) is currently inquiring into the matter of equality before the law and legal capacity for people with disability.  PWDA is represented on the ALRC Advisory Committee for this inquiry by Co-Chief Executive Officer, Therese Sands.
IMAGE: Flags in front of the UN Headquarters
IMAGE: Flags in front of the UN Headquarters
PWDA has written a joint submission (with the Australian Centre for Disability Law and the Australian Human Rights Centre) to the Committee outlining our views on how the General Comment could be strengthened.
For more information contact Ngila Bevan, Manager Advocacy and Communications, on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
Emerging Leaders with Disability represent Australia at the UN
PWDA and the Australian Centre for Disability Law (ACDL) are assisting the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) to send a delegation of young people with disability to the 7th Session of the Conference of States Parties (COSP) taking place at the UN in New York from 10-12 June 2014.
The COSP meeting is for countries that have ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and gives delegates the chance to discuss progress on implementation. The thematic discussions for this session are: Incorporating the CRPD provisions into the post-2015 development agenda; Youth with disabilities; and National implementation and monitoring.   During the 7th session, elections for new members of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will be also conducted.
The young Australians will form part of the non-government organisation delegation led by Therese Sands, Co-Executive Director, PWDA and Rosemary Kayess, Chairperson, ACDL.  The delegation consists of:
  • Ms. Ace Boncato, National Ethnic Disability Alliance
  • Ms. Cashelle Dunn, Women With Disabilities Australia
  • Ms. Lauren Henley, Blind Citizens Australia
  • Ms. Desiree Johnston, Speak Out Tasmania / National Council on Intellectual Disability
  • Ms. Bonnie Millen, People with Disability Australia
  • Mr. Joel Wilson, Autistic Self Advocacy Network of Australia & New Zealand / People with Disabilities Western Australia
  • Mr. Brendan Pearce, Deafness Forum of Australia
As well as attending the COSP, the NGO delegation will participate in the Civil Society Forum on 9 June and will conduct a side-event on 12 June.  The side-event, Strengthening Emerging Leaders with Disability – Barriers and Opportunities will enable the NGO delegation to present information and views directly to representatives participating in the UN meetings.
The delegation is being supported by funding from an Australian Government grants program and the generous contributions made by Benevolent organisations, disability organisations and individuals. 
The AHRC website contains information including video interviews with the youth delegation.
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
National Disability Strategy
The Department of Social Services (DSS) is preparing a progress report on implementation of the National Disability Strategy (NDS) for the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).  PWDA and national peak disability organisations were asked to inform the progress report by providing the views of people with disability on the impact of the NDS.
The NDS is a ten year plan to achieve access and equality for people with disability.  It is the Government’s plan to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
PWDA prepared a submission based on our research activities, feedback from our individual advocacy work and our membership engagement forums conducted through Facebook over the past two years.  These forums have provided invaluable information about what people with disability experience in their daily lives in relation to employment, income support, housing, access to justice and many other issues. 
IMAGE: Cover of the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 Report
IMAGE: Cover of the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 Report
PWDA also participated in a focus group conducted by DSS for national peak disability organisations, which enabled further information to be shared and provided to DSS.
Our overall view is that there are major gaps in achieving the six NDS key areas of action and more resources and focus should be given to address this.  The six key areas of action in the NDS are:
  1. Inclusive and accessible communities – taking part in the community;
  2. Rights protection, justice and legislation – fair treatment;
  3. Economic security – work, income and housing;
  4. Personal and community support – to live as independently as possible;
  5. Learning and skills – education and training; and
  6. Health and wellbeing – health services meet the needs of people with disability.
For more information, contact Therese Sands, Co-Chief Executive Officer on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
Inquiry into speech pathology services in Australia
In March People with Disability Australia wrote a submission to the Senate Community Affairs Committee Inquiry into the prevalence of different types of speech, language and communication disorders and speech pathology services in Australia. 
PWDA advocated for speech pathology services and augmentative and assistive communication devices to be regarded as ‘reasonable and necessary’ supports in NDIS funding packages, especially as regards early intervention; that increased funding of speech pathology services and augmentative and assistive communication devices is provided; and that augmentative and alternative communication  is recognised in all official communications. 
PWDA thanks all of our members who input into this submission, and to Policy and Advocacy Intern Jemima MacDonald for preparing the submission.
For more information about the Inquiry visit the Committee website.  The PWDA submission is also published here at no.269.
Australian Network on Disability ‘Leading the Way Conference’
PWDA recently participated in the Australian Network on Disability (AND) Annual National Conference, ‘Leading the Way 2014’, which was attended by 135 delegates from across both private and public sectors.
The Conference provided the opportunity to for participants to share knowledge and best practices of employment of people with disability. Topic areas discussed included: ‘Building a Disability Confident Workforce’; Training for a Large Distributed Workforce’; ‘Access to All Areas’ and ‘Engaging Your Organisation – Customers with Disability’.
IMAGE: Australian Network on Disability Logo
IMAGE: Australian Network on Disability Logo
For more information about the Australian Network on Disability and the conference visit their website at The conference was live captioned by Ai-Media. If you’ve ever wondered what goes into live captioning, Ai-Media has provided an insight into what it takes to be a ‘respeaker’.
PWDA is a member of the Australian Network on Disability and we actively participate in AND member events to continue to build our confidence in being a barrier-free workplace for people with disability.
For more information contact Samantha French, Advocacy Projects Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email 
Affordable Housing
PWDA recently completed submissions for two housing-related inquiries: the NSW Legislative Council Inquiry into Social, Public and Affordable Housing (Word 141kb) and the Senate Standing Committees on Economics Inquiry into Affordable Housing (Word 212kb), which was endorsed by a number of organisations, including peak bodies such as the National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) and Women With Disabilities Australia, housing-related organisations and other disability advocacy organisations.
Both submissions emphasised that one of the greatest threats to the success of the NDIS is the lack of well-located accessible and affordable housing. In addition, people with disability frequently live in or near poverty, so the dramatic rise in the cost of housing has a disproportionate effect, often resulting in what is called ‘multiple deprivations’. This is reflected in the decrease in home ownership amongst those on the Disability Support Pension (DSP). Both submissions also made extensive use of our Facebook Forum from last year, entitled ‘Housing, Disability and YOU!’. Feedback from members has been very useful.
At the end of March, Advocacy Projects Manager, Jess Cadwallader, also presented at the Community Housing Federation Australia forum entitled ‘Housing, Disability and the NDIS’. This resulted in a Communique which outlines ongoing issues that need to be addressed.  Jess was also briefly interviewed for the ACT 7.30 Report about the forum, and represented PWDA at the Roundtable the next day.
For more information contact Jess Cadwallader, Advocacy Projects Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
Stockton Centre Closure
PWDA is working with a number of organisations to support the closure of the Stockton Centre, in line with our contribution to the Shut In campaign. The closure of Large Residential Centres (LRCs) has been NSW Government policy for over 20 years, but there has been extensive controversy around this closure. This is primarily because the closure of Stockton is coinciding with the Hunter trial site, and with the eventual roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
As a result, we have sought to engage constructively with a broad range of stakeholders, including other disability advocacy and peak organisations, Ageing Disability and Home Care (ADHC) of the NSW Department of Family and Community Services, the NSW Ombudsman, the Office of the Public Guardian, the NSW Trustee and Guardian, representatives of the NSW ALP, representatives of the NSW Greens and with the NSW Minister for Disability Services, the Hon. John Ajaka.
 IMAGE: Dark image of an institutional building
 IMAGE: Dark image of an institutional building
A welcome development initiated by the NSW Ombudsman has been the establishment of a Stockton Centre closure consultation group.  This group brings together a range of government agencies and disability representative and advocacy organisations to discuss the closure process. PWDA is represented on this group.
In addition, PWDA Secretary, Kristy Trajcevski represented PWDA at the public hearings on the Hunter NDIS Trial site conducted by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the NDIS.  Kristy emphasised that the rights and choices of people with disability must be at the forefront of the Stockton closure, and that independent advocacy is essential to this. 
PWDA, along with representatives from the NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS) and Coalition on Appropriate Supported Accommodation (CASA), recently met with key representatives of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) Hunter. We discussed a range of issues concerning NDIA planning process in the Hunter, including at the Stockton Centre.  PWDA was pleased to receive assurances from the NDIA that independent advocates can be included in NDIA planning meetings. 
If people with disability have received information that independent advocates are not able to support you in the NDIA planning process, then please advise PWDA so that we can alert NDIA at our regular meetings. 
If you would like an advocate to support you, then our individual advocacy services can be accessed by calling 1800 422 015, TTY 1800 422 016 or by emailing
For more information contact Jess Cadwallader, Advocacy Projects Officer on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
Housing Appeals Committee (HAC)
The Housing Appeals Committee (HAC) held a forum in Newcastle on 19 March 2014, aimed at assisting advocates assist people with disability who have housing issues.  A representative of PWDA attended along with a number of people from Newcastle and Hunter area community sector organisations.
HAC looks into problems concerning social housing after the issue has not been resolved by the housing provider in the first instance.  In other words, HAC is a housing appeals body and is available to tenants of Housing NSW and community housing providers who are unhappy with the original decision concerning their housing problem. Issues that HAC deals with may include:
  • Rejection for priority housing.
  • Rejection for a transfer.
  • Rental subsidy issues.
This list is not exhaustive but it should be noted that priority housing rejections at 44 percent is by far the most frequent issue with which HAC is presented. 
In the 2012-13 period, there were over 60,000 applications for social housing. Just over 20,000 applications were accepted.  Out of those less than 9,000 new tenancies were created.  Accessing social housing remains a huge problem.
HAC makes recommendations rather than directions to social housing providers.  However, 92 percent of those recommendations are accepted by the housing provider.  In this regard, advocacy can play an important role in putting across the tenant’s side of the matter and potentially a more favourable outcome.
For more information contact HAC on (02) 8741 2555 or 1800 629 794 or
Royal Commission Disability Support Project
Earlier this year, the Department of Social Services (DSS) announced that PWDA had been contracted to provide support to the work of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. This provides a very exciting new development in PWDA’s work to address violence and abuse against people with disability.
In early May, PWDA held a very successful whole-of-organisation professional development training week for PWDA staff.  The training explored the processes and function of the Royal Commission, techniques for negotiating Vicarious Trauma, and Trauma-Informed Support provision.
The Royal Commission Disability Support Team within PWDA is now scoping and planning the project and preliminary work is underway. There are three key elements to the project:
 IMAGE: Screenshot of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse website
IMAGE: Screenshot of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse website
  1. Individual advocacy:  PWDA individual advocates are supporting people with disability who may wish to share their story with the Royal Commission.

  2. Training: PWDA will be offering a suite of relevant training packages for service providers and support agencies on disability awareness, responding to violence and abuse and the Royal Commission Disability Support project.  A key focus of this training will be aimed at equipping people with disability with an understanding of their sexual and human rights, and an awareness of what constitutes violence, abuse or assault.

  3. Policy development and stakeholder engagement:  PWDA will be engaging with a range of stakeholders relevant to the project and exploring the various ways that children with disability are made vulnerable to abuse by the institutions they encounter, to provide policy feedback to the Royal Commission’s ongoing work. 
More information will be available in the next few months, as we launch a website, brochures and an Advocates’ toolkit. These will be widely announced, so stay tuned!
If you have a story you think you might want to share with the Royal Commission and would like support, please contact our Individual Advocacy team. Call 1800 422 015, TTY 1800 422 016, or email
For more information contact Jess Cadwallader, Advocacy Projects Officer on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
Brisbane Royal Commission Information Session
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, together with the Queenslanders with Disability Network, are hosting an information session in Brisbane on the work of the Royal Commission.
The session will be an opportunity for people with disability, families, organisations and advocates to discuss the work of the Royal Commission. The Hon Justice Peter McClellan AM, Chair of the Royal Commission will explain what the Royal Commission does and how people can share their experiences. This will be followed by a question and answer session. 
Date:              Thursday 12 June 2014
Time:             11:00am–1:00pm
Location:        Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. Arbour Level – A1 room (Closest entry via Grey St)
Please RSVP by Monday 9 June to
For more information please contact Davina Dressler in the Community Engagement Team on the above email or by calling (02) 8282 3885
PWDA is actively involved in supporting the development of a strong voice of DPOs in the Asia Pacific region and one of the ways we do this is through promotion of Australian volunteers to work with DPOs.  Current roles available include
PWDA Training
Are your staff confident when responding to sexual assault matters regarding people with disability?
In response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse to assist victims and to support the prevention of further abuse, PWDA is placing greater emphasis on the delivery of training to service providers nationally specific to Disability Awareness and Responding to Sexual Assault.  
PWDA has extensive experience in the development and delivery of training across a wide range of disability areas including Responding to Sexual Assault, Disability Awareness and Responding to Abuse and Neglect of People with a Disability. Our two-day Responding to Sexual Assault training aims to challenge myths surrounding sexual assault and people with intellectual disability, build capacity of staff to support victims of sexual assault, as well as decrease the vulnerability of people with intellectual disability to this crime. We will also explore guidelines around Good Practice when providing personal care, Impact of Sexual Assault and Responding to Sexual Assault and Creating Safe Environments.
Training sessions are highly interactive and participants work together to develop strategies and procedures, with guidance from experienced trainers who have direct experience of disability.
For information on Responding to Sexual Assault training or to discuss your training needs contact Greg Robertson, Training Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
International News
Upcoming world conference dominates 2014 session of UN Forum on Indigenous issue
22 May 2014
UN News Centre
Calls for the full, equal and effective participation by the world’s 370 million indigenous peoples in the upcoming, first-ever World Conference devoted to the realization of their rights gained momentum during a two-week annual forum at United Nations Headquarters.
Southern Africa: Disabled Women Claim Their Space at Summit
29 May 2014
Zinhle Mkhari and Wezzie Nengu, All Africa
Although gender equality has received more limelight in Southern Africa, the plight of women with disabilities poses challenges to the gains made.
Forget self-driving cars: I want to be a cyborg
2 June 2014
Noah Smith, SMH
Barely a day goes by when I don't read about some advance in cyborg technology. There's the Stanford engineer who's just invented a way to safely transfer energy to biomechanical implants.
National News
Disability Discrimination to end on June 30?
21 May 2014
Craig Wallace, President of PWDA, for Ramp Up - ABC
Does the axing of the dedicated Disability Discrimination Commissioner role mean that discrimination against people with disability will go with it? Craig Wallace is doubtful.
Graeme Innes, the Disability Discrimination Commissioner, says sector will suffer without dedicated representative
29 May 2014
Anna Henderson, ABC News
Australia's top disability advocate Graeme Innes has warned the Federal Government that the sector will suffer without a dedicated representative.
Deaf Australia responds to Court decision discriminating against deaf people
30 May 2014
Deaf Australia
The deaf community is outraged by today’s Queensland Supreme Court ruling that deaf people are to be banned from sitting on a jury for criminal cases.
Australian Capital Territory News
Disabled want to make decisions for themselves
22 May 2014
Ross Peake, Canberra Times
The Control and Choice Expo was organised by Canberra group Advocacy for Inclusion to show people with a disability what type of services they might buy when the National Disability Insurance Scheme begins in the ACT on July 1.
ACT grants preparing people for the NDIS
30 April 2014
Maureen Sheehan, Ramp Up - ABC
The ACT will be one of the next regions to trial the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) from July, 2014. In fact, they will be the first jurisdiction in Australia to accept all eligible residents into the scheme by July 2016.
New South Wales News
Delineate Grant Applications Now Open
1 May 2014
Accessible Arts – AArtsNews
Small grants of $3,000 will be given to support art project celebrating International Day of People with Disability in NSW.
Northern Territory News
Camping made easier for disabled
20 May 2014
Jessica Brown, NT News
EXPLORING the natural wonders of Central Australia and participating in camping safaris is now possible for people with disabilities.
Queensland News
Brothel breaks new ground for disabled
7 May 2014
Jon Coghill and Bruce Atkinson, ABC Sunshine Coast
A Queensland brothel is challenging the myths about disabled people and sex and has won an award for its efforts.
Deaf woman barred from sitting on a Queensland jury
30 May 2014
Nance Haxton, World Today
A Queensland judge has ruled that a deaf woman cannot serve on a jury because of her disability.
South Australia News
230 jobs expected to be created at disability service provider
28 May 2014
DISABILITY services provider Leveda plans to expand its workforce by 230 people within two years, to cover a windfall in extra demand.
Bike rally against helmet laws causes a stir
29 May 2014
Tim Noonan, 7 News
A bike ride in Adelaide rallying against compulsory helmets has hit a raw nerve with brain injury victims.
Tasmania News
Students with disability to be hardest hit
28 May 2014
Rosita Gallasch, The Examiner
Tasmania is in a unique situation in that it does not recognise, so does not fund to the same level, many students with disability compared with other states.
Making Ends Meet. A Community Conversation on 936 ABC Hobart
20 May 2014
Louise Saunders, Drive, ABC
Listen as people share their stories in a Community Conversation about making ends meet: Nathan Colman has brain cancer and is sole carer of his young son. He's also studying at university and living on the Disability Support Pension.
Victoria News
New sex abuse scandal rocks Yooralla as senior employee charged
23 May 2014
Richard Baker and Nick McKenzie, The Age
A fresh sexual abuse scandal has rocked Victoria's largest non-government disability service, Yooralla.
Mother wants answers after teenage daughter's armpits were shaved by teacher
29 May 2014
Steve Lillebuen, The Age
A Victorian mother is demanding answers after her teenage daughter’s armpits were shaved by her teacher as part of the school’s curriculum.
Western Australia News
Quadriplegic man claims discrimination against Air Asia after wheelchair was banned on flight
19 May 2014
Phil Hickey, Perth Now
A quadraplegic man, named WA Young Person of the Year in 2011, was forced to leave his wheelchair behind at Perth Airport after an airline refused to stow it.
Consultations, Surveys and Petitions
Below are listed consultations, surveys and petitions for your information by a range of different organisations, researchers and individuals. Please consult with the specific survey/consultation/petition if you require more information.
Consultation into Equality, Capacity and Disability in Commonwealth Laws
The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) has released the final consultation paper in its inquiry into disability and Commonwealth laws, Equality, Capacity and Disability in Commonwealth Laws (DP 81).
The ALRC invites individuals and organisations to make submissions in response to the ALRC’s proposals contained in the Discussion Paper. Submissions are due to the ALRC on Monday 30 June 2014.
What is important for children and young people in the ACT
The ACT Government is developing a commitment for children and young people and wants to hear what is important to you.
Attitudes to sexuality, relationships and child-rearing: A study about people with genetic neurodevelopmental disorders – University of Newcastle
Autism Spectrum Disorders – University of Sydney
Disability and Mental Health – PDA
Disability discrimination in employment in Australia – ANU  
Do-It-Yourself Home Modifications – UNSW
Impact of Ageing on Needs of People with Mobility Limitations – PDCN
Private vehicle access, modification and trip planning by people with a disability – UTS
Save ABC Ramp Up! The only consistent voice for people with disability in the mainstream media
Archbishop Wilson: stop avoiding responsibility for abuse of our children & help pay for counselling
Federal, State & Local Government, employers in business & the third sector: Work together to create 20,000 jobs a year for people with disability
Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, eBay, Twitter, Yelp, Facebook: It's time to finally kill CAPTCHA
NSW Transport Minister: Increase the Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme for people living with disabilities
Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian: Do my commute for a day - try to use Sydney trains in a wheelchair
If you would like to promote your consultation, survey or petition
in the PWDA EBulletin please email
Apps for all challenge 2014
Nominate your favourite disability-friendly app
Manual on Disability and Elections
Equal Access: How to Include Persons with Disabilities in Elections and Political Processes 
Vision Loss
New online information portal for the eye health sector and people with impaired vision
Youth Disability Rights Hub
Inquiries, Reviews and Commissions
Royal Commission : Victims of crime compensation schemes
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released an issues paper on statutory victims of crime compensation schemes and their effectiveness for those who experience child sexual abuse while in the care of an institution. Organisations and individuals are invited to respond to Issues Paper 7. Deadline for submissions is by close of business on Monday 30 June 2014.
Conferences and Events
Below are details of conferences and events to the end of September 2014.
6-9 June 2014: Sydney NSW 9th National Deafblind Conference, Mercure Hotel, Haymarket
18 July 2014: Logan, Brisbane QLD Breaking Barriers Opening Doors Disability Expo, Logan Entertainment Centre, 170 Wembley Road, Logan Central. Phone (07) 3412 3412 or visit
20-25 July 2014: Melbourne VIC AIDS 2014, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
25-27 July 2014: Melbourne VIC Disability Studies in Education Conference, Victoria University Melbourne
6-8 August 2014: Gold Coast QLD Australia's Disability Employment Conference, Mercure Gold Coast Resort Queensland
25-27 August 2014: Gold Coast QLD 15th International Mental Health Conference - Mental Health: Innovation I Integration I Early Intervention, QT Hotel, Surfers Paradise
28-29 August 2014: Sydney NSW 9th Australasian Nursing & Allied Health Stroke Conference Risk, Recovery and Reorganisation
12-13 September 2014: Nepean NSW Nepean Disability Expo. Penrith Panthers Pavilion
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.

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