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PWDA E-Bulletin
Edition #84 May 2013
ISSN 2202-0705
Craig Wallace being interviewed at Parliament House 14 May 2013
People with Disability Australia on Facebook People with Disability Australia on Twitter People with Disability Australia on Pinterest
Stay up-to-date about the latest Australian disability human rights news, views and developments
Dear ,
Welcome to PWDA’s E-Bulletin.
Our E-Bulletin goes out to subscribers regularly by email.
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.  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.
  • Australian Civil Society Parallel Report Group Delegation
  • NSW Disability Network Forum (DNF)
  • Pacific DPOs come together in New Caledonia
  • PossABLE IDEAS Expo in Newcastle
  • Prime Minister acknowledges PWDA President Craig Wallace
  • PWDA Mount Isa and Lower Gulf Communities Individual Advocacy Service
  • Submission to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
  • Stop the Violence Project (STVP)
  • Women with Intellectual Disability Domestic Violence Training
  • Callout: Disabled People's Organisations (DPOs)
Disability in the Media
Photograph of PWDA President, Craig Wallace
From the President
This has been a historic fortnight for PWDA with agreement reached to introduce a levy for the National Disability Insurance Scheme following a debate sparked by the Board decision to call for an NDIS levy. On 24 April 2013, the Australian Financial Review (paywalled) printed an article I wrote "Time to think about a levy to fund NDIS " which was reprinted in ABC RampUp.

This generated a period of unprecedented public debate which culminated in an announcement by the Prime Minister that she would be supporting a levy.  Following that statement I fronted a lengthy press conference with a large part of the Parliamentary Press Gallery where PWDA laid out the case for a levy and called for continuing bipartisan support.  Over the next few days I was involved in dozens of TV, press and radio interviews selling the idea up and down the country as well as discussions with stakeholders.  The next day we were very pleased that the Opposition Leader announced conditional support for a levy and since then Victoria, Tasmania, Northern Territory and Queensland have all signed up to the levy.

A considerable community debate emerged when Myer CEO Bernie Brookes, suggested an increase to the Medicare levy to support people with disability could damage profits. PWDA was highly engaged in this discussion which has now carried into a broader debate about business and employment

In the midst of some heady events, our advocacy work continues in Far North Queensland to Queanbeyan as well as our busy team in the Redfern, Sydney office.  PWDA continues to play a positive role encouraging collaboration between DPO’s including attending a meeting with the First Peoples Disability Network (Australia) on Disabilitycare. 

On the day of break-through on the NDIS Levy, we realised the name People with Disability Australia was ten years old, a fitting moment to reflect on the power of strong advocacy and the hard work of all those who got us here. 

Craig Wallace
PWDA President
Therese Sands in Geneva, Switerland 2013Australian Civil Society Parallel Report Group Delegation
Last month, from 15–19 April, Therese Sands (People with Disability Australia) and Damian Griffis (First Peoples Disability Network Australia) attended the 9th Session of the Committee to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in Geneva as representatives from the Australian Civil Society Parallel Report Group.
Therese and Damian attended Committee sessions and held a side event on the List of Issues for Australia’s report to the Committee due in September 2013. They also attended a half-day of Discussion on Women and Girls with Disability and met with a number of representatives of international governmental and non-governmental organisations.
Therese sent daily reports from Geneva and these provide an inside view of the week's events and activities
For more information contact Co-Chief Executive Officer Therese Sands on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
NSW Disability Network Forum (DNF)
During April,  PWDA contributed to the NDF submission in response to the consultation on the Draft Service Charter for Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC).  We also provided feedback on the Sydney Local Health District ‘s Draft Disability Action Plan 2013-2018, which will be incorporated into a joint DNF submission.

The DNF continues its advocacy around the roles of Local Area Coordination (LAC) and Ability Links within the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The DNF maintains concerns that there could be some conflict of interest at times for those workers who have responsibility simultaneously to the NDIS system and the Agency (for LAC), as well as priorities for the individual. The NDF believes people with disability will require external but related expert advice and information in order to fully exercise their choice and control within the NDIS.

The April 2013 DNF Update is here on the NCOSS website   

For more information contact Advocacy Projects Manager Sam French on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
Pacific Disability ForumPacific DPOs come together in New Caledonia
From 8-12 April 2013, the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) conducted its Pacific Regional Conference on Disability.  The theme of the Conference was Promoting Disability Perspectives in the Post 2015 Development Agenda.

The main Conference sessions were preceded by a full-day Pacific Regional Forum on Youth with Disabilities and a full-day Pacific Regional Forum on Women with Disabilities. The final day of the five day event was for PDF members to conduct the business of the PDF as an organisation. Both the PDF Women with Disabilities Regional Forum Outcome Statement (session 3) and the PDF Youth with Disabilities Regional Forum Outcome Statement (session 4) are on the PDF website

PWDA has been a member of the PDF since its inception in 2002, and we actively participated in the conference proceedings, providing presentations and assisting in drafting the outcomes statement from the women's forum.  We were formally acknowledged for our role in supporting applications for funding and support from AusAid in 2012. These successful applications enabled delegates from Pacific DPOs to travel to Korea for the Planning for the New Decade at the New Asia-Pacific Decade of Person's with Disabilities 2012-2022. At this high-level intergovernmental meeting, PWDA had direct input into the development of the Incheon Strategy to “Make the Right Real” for Persons with Disability in Asia and the Pacific.

For more information contact Advocacy Projects Manager Sam French on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
Prime Minister acknowledges PWDA President Craig Wallace
People with disability, their families and friends have a lot to celebrate this week with the introduction of a levy to support the NDIS (DisabilityCare). PWDA was pleased to be able to play a substantial role in achieving this outcome.

The past few weeks here at PWDA have been particularly busy for PWDA President Craig Wallace who advocated for a levy to fund the NDIS (DisabilityCare). He engaged extensively in the debates and discussions in the press and with politicians to secure ongoing funding to advance this important investment fund.

On Wednesday 15 May during the Second Reading Speech - Medicare Levy Amendment (DisabilityCare Australia) Bill 2013 in the House Of Representatives, Prime Minister Julia Gillard noted that the words of Craig Wallace summarised the argument well in favour of a levy.

To view this speech by the Prime Minister, please click the image below. Her comments are at 10.40 minutes.
Prime Minister Gillard delivering Second Reading Speech - Medicare Levy Amendment (DisabilityCare Australia) Bill 2013 in the House Of Representatives
click the image to watch video
PWDA's stall and staff members at the PossABLE IDEAS Expo in NewcastlePossABLE IDEAS Expo in Newcastle
A team from PWDA participated recently in the 2013 PossABLE IDEAS EXPO in Newcastle between Friday 10 to Saturday 11 May. This multifaceted event attracted not only service providers, support groups, industry professionals and local and national suppliers alike but also people with disability, both employees, employers and volunteer presenters. A key theme of the Expo was the forthcoming National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), now renamed Disability Care. The Hunter region is a launch site for the scheme and thus the Expo generated a lot of interest from potential participants.

PWDA Advocacy Manager Sue Barnes and Individual Advocate Mel Harrison operated a PWDA information stall for the two days and met with prospective clients and other people with disability who are interested in membership of the organisation. The event also provided an excellent opportunity for networking within the disability sector. Co-Chief Executive Officer Therese Sands was also invited by IDEAS to provide two public presentations on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and individual choice.

Overall the two days were very successful and staff engaged with over 300 people interested in our work and the services that are available to assist them.

For more information contact Advocacy Projects Manager Sue Barnes on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
PWDA Mount Isa and Lower Gulf Communities Individual Advocacy Service
Between Monday 13 May until Thursday 16 May, the Mount Isa office is continuing regular visits to Burketown and Doomadgee where they will meet with clients and services, provide PWDA information and welcome new clients that need advocacy. Most new clients prefer to wait until PWDA advocates visit in person given the lack of phone access in these remote communities.

PWDA Advocates continue to meet with clients to discuss ongoing housing issues as well as the lack of clean water. The Dajarra community is particularly affected by the lack of clean water and this has also become an issue for services visiting the community.

On Thursday 9 May PWDA Manager Val Brown visited Cloncurry where she met with Bluecare, Central and North West Queensland Medicare Local (CNWQML) and Centacare to discuss community issues and meet with clients requiring an advocate.

For more information contact Individual and Groups Advocacy Manager (Mount Isa and Lower Gulf Communities) Valerie Brown on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
Submission to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
People with Disability Australia made submission to the ABS as a member of and on behalf of the National Disability Strategy Implementation Reference Group (NDSIRG).

The submission covered topics for the 2016 Census and the review of a number of questions in the Census. It outlined some of the problematic areas in the current Census, outlined some of the missing information about the Australian population in relation to disability that the Census should investigate and proposed questions which provide for good whole of nation information about the extent of the disability market. The submission also provided feedback on the current set of criteria used in determining question suitability for the Census.

PWDA provided lead agency work on a submission for the NDSIRG.  The views of The National Disability and Carers Advisory Council, the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations, National Disability Services, Carers Australia, Children with Disability Australia, First Peoples Disability Network were incorporated into the submission which was also supported by Vision Australia. This submission is available to read from the PWDA website Submission page.

For more information contact Co-Chief Executive Officer Therese Sands on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
Logo for Stop the Violence ProjectStop the Violence Project (STVP)
The Stop the Violence Project (STVP), led by Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA), is about improving violence prevention and response in the service system for women and girls with disability.

As part of this project, Women With Disabilities Victoria (WDV) and Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) hosted consultative forums to assist PWDA to gather the views of women with disability.  Held on 11 April in Melbourne and on 12 April in Brisbane, the forums were facilitated by Emmie Hallett with assistance from PWDA Advocacy Projects Manager Wendi Wicks.

Both forums asked about how to ensure women with disability can engage in policy making and service provision to make violence prevention and response better for women with disability.

For more information contact Advocacy Projects Manger Wendi Wicks on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
STVP National Survey
The Stop the Violence Project (STVP) is conducting a national survey to examine the issues associated with violence and abuse against women with disabilities. STVP is seeking participation from disability service providers, policy makers and representative organisations. Interested parties are asked to please complete the survey by Friday 31 May 2013.
Women with Intellectual Disability Domestic Violence Training
On 8 May, PWDA Facilitator Emmie Hallett of the Women with Intellectual Disability Domestic Violence Training project was interviewed by ABC South East SA.  She was asked about the upcoming training to be held at South East Disability Advocacy Service (SEDAS) 15-18 May 2013 in Mount Gambier South Australia.
Funded by FaHCSIA, this project is being delivered by PWDA with assistance from the NSW Council for Intellectual Disability (CID NSW) and Dr Sally Robinson from Griffith University.

Emmie spoke about the fact that women with intellectual disability are more vulnerable to domestic violence and how training can provide skills in understanding what domestic violence is, what your rights are and how to develop safety plans to help keep safe and free from violence.

Click on part 1 and part 2 to listen to this interview from ABC South East SA radio.

For more information contact Advocacy Projects Manger Wendi Wicks on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
Callout: Disabled People's Organisations (DPOs)
Are you on the Board, a staff member or a member of an organisation that is a DPO? 
"A DPO is an organisation controlled by a majority of people with disability (51%) at the board and membership levels. In addition, DPOs have an understanding of disability in accordance with the social model rather than the medical or charity models."
If your organisation fits the definition above and you would like to participate as a DPO, please get in touch soon. We want to feature a DPO in each edition of this EBulletin and share some of your challenges and successes as well as information about your DPO.

To participate, we ask you to briefly share three things:
  1. what your organisation is, briefly what it is you do;
  2. briefly describe the challenges your organisation or members currently face and
  3. share some positive 'wins' your organisation or members have recently experienced.
Your logo or a photo illustrating your organisation is very welcome along with contact details, website etc. If you want to participate or need any assistance, please get in touch.

For more information contact Communications Manager Craig Andrews on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
PWDA Media Releases and Alerts
Subcribe and receive PWDA Media Releases as they become available!
Subscribe here
International News
Abused Iowa workers with mental disability awarded US$240m payout
BBC UK 1 May 2013
A US jury has awarded US$240m to 32 men with mental disability who suffered decades of abuse while working at a turkey processing company in Iowa.
Asian NGO network reviews NHRI performance
Asia Pacific Forum 3 April 2013
A group of NGO representatives from across the Asia Pacific met recently to discuss the performance of national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in the region and to explore potential areas for collaborating with the APF and individual NHRIs.

Australia helps children with hearing disabilities in India with cochlear implants
Times of India 7 May 2013
The government of New South Wales, Australia, recently announced a grant of $110,000 AUS for a centre in Mahalaxmi, Mumbai. The voluntary organisation raises resources to provide costly cochlear implants to deaf children and runs rehabilitation programmes for them as well. 

Australia wins Voices of Courage award for helping refugees with disability
AusAID 3 May 2013
The Australian aid program AusAID was recognised for its global leadership on disability-inclusive approaches in humanitarian settings at an event in New York on 2 May 2013. Australia’s Humanitarian Action Policy specifically highlights the rights and needs of people with disability—in particular those of women and girls. In implementing the policy, AusAID is committed to advocating for the protection and inclusion of people with disability.  

DESA - Call for submissions to the UN Database of Experts on Disability
DESA is currently expanding its database of experts with knowledge and experience on disability-inclusive development.  The list will be used as a reference tool to help identify participants who may contribute to on-going efforts to mainstream disability in the development agenda, toward 2015 and beyond, including upcoming experts meetings, regional conferences and other events on this issue. The Secretariat is currently accepting submissions until 15 May 2013 via an online survey. Further information will be requested after a primary review of all applications received.  

Disability Rights Fund (DRF) report expands the definition of human rights
The DRF released its “One in Seven” which charts the progress of Disabled Persons’ Organisations (DPOs) around the world, in making their voices heard. The report profiles DPO's from countries such as Bangladesh, Fiji, Indonesia, Uganda, and Peru and disability rights activists who are overcoming attitudinal, environmental, institutional and political barriers to participate fully in society.  

Federal Budget 2013 and Disability Support Provisions
Disability & Aged Information Service Inc Elert - Federal Budget 2013 complied with the assistance of NCOSS and NDS.
  • The Australian Government outlined a 10-year funding plan for the national disability insurance scheme - DisabilityCare Australia.
  • The Australian Government will provide $11.7 billion for the scheme (of which $8.4 billion will be new funding) in 2019-20, expected to be the first year in which the NDIS is fully operating across Australia.
  • From July 2014, the Medicare levy will increase by half a percentage point, to 2.0 per cent of taxable income.
  • Over the first year this will raise $3.3 billion, increasing over subsequent years. This money will be placed into a dedicated fund, the DisabilityCare Australia Fund, for 10 years. The Fund will only be drawn on to cover the additional costs of delivering the scheme.
  • Legislation to increase the Medicare levy and establish the DisabilityCare Australia Fund will be introduced into Parliament 15 May 2013.
  • The amount a person can earn before their income support payment is reduced will increase from $62 to $100 per fortnight from March 2014.
  • The More Support for Students with Disabilities program will be extended with $100 million provided for the 2014 school year. From 2015, the Government anticipates that new funding arrangements for schooling - as outlined in the Gonski report - will be in place for students with disability.
  • The Moderate Intellectual Disability Loading in the Disability Employment Services (DES) program is to be continued but retargeted. Over the next four years, $5.5 million will be provided to fund an increase from 70 per cent to 88 per cent for job placement fees and for 13 week and 26 week outcome fees. The higher loading on employment outcomes will be funded by removing the loading on service fees.
  • The only outstanding question now is how will “the Government of the Day’ find and fund the shortfall between the Medicare levy and the full cost of the NDIS.
International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPwD) 3 December 2013
The theme of this year's IDPwD is: “Break barriers, open doors: for an inclusive society for all”. A major focus of the day is practical and concrete action to include disability in all aspects of development, as well as to further the participation of persons with disability in social life and development on the basis of equality.  

“Never Again”: Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Committee Denounces Sterilisation as Human Rights Violation
TGEU 25 April 2013
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Committee denounced coerced, non-reversible sterilisations and castrations as grave violations of human rights and human dignity. It called for clear safeguards against future abuses of the main victims, Roma women, convicted sex offenders, transgender persons and persons with disability and the marginalised, stigmatised or those considered to be unable to cope.  

Program helps mentally disabled get jobs
Yang Yao China Daily 6 May 2013
Li Chao, a noodle cook at a small restaurant in Beijing's Fengtai district, has a simple job. He slices beef brisket, boils it with noodles, adds vegetables and spices and serves it in a bowl. Many people could learn to do it within a few weeks, but it took Li years.  

UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children Report 2013 focused on children with disabilities
United States International Council on Disabilities 30 May 2013
On 30 May, UNICEF will launch this year’s edition of its flagship publication, State of the World’s Children. The focus is Children with Disabilities.
National News
Arts Access Australia reports Minister apologised for language
AAA 12 April 2013
AAA Deputy Chair, Gaelle Mellis and Emma Bennison, CEO Arts Access Australia welcomed the apology from the newly appointed arts Minister Tony Burke MP for the unfortunate language in the original new National Cultural Policy, Creative Australia. He acknowledged that, though unintentional, the language implied that people with disability are a burden on society rather than recognising people with disability as social, cultural and economic contributors.   

Australians with a disability want to work
Martin Cuddihy ABC News 2 May 2013
While the politics is being played out in Canberra, across the country hundreds of thousands of Australians with a disability would be at work today - if an employer gave them a chance.  

Commonwealth discriminates against people with intellectual disability
NCID Media Release 10 May 2013
Today, the High Court of Australia dismissed the Commonwealth’s application to appeal the Federal Court decision which ruled that the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) discriminated against people with intellectual disability. Today’s decision is a triumph for the human rights of people with intellectual disability in Australia.  

Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) appeal
Disability ENews #202 13 May 2013
The Government accepts the High Court’s decision, and is working to develop a strategy that will address the concerns of the court and ensure that supported employees continue to receive the help and support they need to remain in employment. FaHCSIA will continue to keep you informed about its work to resolve the issues raised by the court decision about the BSWAT.   

Deaf advocate takes discrimination claim to the United Nations
Media Access Australia 30 April 2013
Michael Lockrey, a prominent figure in Australian disability advocacy, has petitioned the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities after he and the New South Wales Government failed to reach conciliation over a discrimination complaint.
End of Australian apartheid
Peter Hartcher SMH 4 May 2013
It's been a long battle to secure a national disability insurance scheme - and politically at least, largely led by one minister.
Feelings, not facts, base of forced sterilisation
Clementine Ford The Age 8 April 2013
When Stella Young was four years old, she broke her leg while on a family holiday in Adelaide…''As he was preparing to set my leg, the doctor turned to my parents and said, 'We may as well go ahead and do the hysterectomy while she's here,''' reveals Young. ''It was just assumed that, for a girl like me, sterilisation was a logical choice.''
First Peoples Disability Network (FPDN) Ten Point Plan to implement the NDIS in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands Communities
FPDN website 1 October 2012
The First Peoples Disability Network Australia has released a 10 point plan for implementing the National Disability Insurance Scheme in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities. The plan makes suggestions about how the NDIS can be best implemented to assist in overcoming the multiple barriers to community living faced by indigenous Australians.

If I were Attorney-General: Justice Edwin Cameron
Human Rights Legal Centre 12 May 2013
The following is an edited version of the interview Justice Cameron did with Damien Carrick for Radio National’s Law Report in which he discusses living with HIV, the political nature of coming out and the power of civic and legal action to create social change.
Locking in a Fairer Future for Australians With Disability
Prime Minister Gillard Media Release 1 May 2013
The Gillard Government today announces changes to the Medicare levy to build a better life for Australians with significant and permanent disability.
Mental Illness at top of list granting the disability support pension
Gemma Jones The Daily Telegraph 25 April 2013
Psychological problems have overtaken muscle and bone injuries as the leading reason for the granting of the disability support pension.
The NDIS levy – a new era for tax, trust and open government?
Craig Wallace Open Forum 7 May 2013
After the government announcement to increase the Medicare levy to help fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Craig Wallace, President of People with Disability Australia, focusses on what this means for broader debates around taxation and accountability.
Australian Capital Territory News
ACT agrees to full roll out of Disability Care Australia by 2016
Gillard/ Gallagher Media Release 19 April 2013
The Gillard Government and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government have reached a significant agreement today for the full roll out of DisabilityCare Australia, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, in the ACT.
All Abilities Fashion Parade
Melissa O'Donovan, executive assistant to the Directors of Disability ACT is calling for motivated and committed people interested in being; models, or volunteers /helpers at Australia's first ever all abilities fashion parade. For more information contact Melissa on phone (02) 6207 5907 or by email on Melissa.O’ 
Having Their Say on the NDIS – 12 Powerful Stories
Disability ACT supported the ACT Disability, Aged and Carer Advocacy Service (ADACAS) to bring the voices of 12 people with disability to the National Disability Insurance Scheme’s development process.  They were able to tell their story and explain what they wanted the NDIS to do for them.  Their responses and stories were submitted to the NDIS Your Say website and can be viewed here:
New South Wales News
Deaf Society of NSW Community Survey Feedback 2012
A summary of these results are available on their website at
Down Syndrome NSW has moved offices
The Down Syndrome NSW office is now open in new premises in Northmead at 7 Deed Place, Northmead 2152. The new postal address is PO Box 107 Northmead NSW 2152. Phone number and email addresses remain the same.
Independents and Greens to sponsor voluntary euthanasia bill in the NSW Lower House
Alex Greenwich Media Release 15 April 2013
Greens MP Cate Faehrmann’s Rights of the Terminally Ill Bill will be jointly sponsored in the Lower House by Greens Member for Balmain Jamie Parker, Independent Member for Sydney Alex Greenwich and Independent Member for Lake Macquarie Greg Piper.
My Choice Matters - Getting Started Workshops
In a My Choice Matters workshop, you will hear from people who have been managing their supports themselves about how they have taken on more control and exercised more choice.
Goulburn, 16 May; Hornsby 6 June and Newcastle 27 June
NSW Disability Industry Innovation Awards
NDS is calling for nominations for the 2013 NSW Disability Industry Innovation Awards program. The Awards formally recognise and reward excellence in innovation demonstrated by the people and organisations that make a difference in the lives of people with disability. The purpose of these awards is to acknowledge outstanding achievements made by non-government, community based organisations or individuals working in the industry. Nominations close 5pm on 31 May 2013. Contact Jacquelyn Johnson on email or phone (02) 9256 3161 or visit the website 
Regional conference for support workers heads to NDIS launch site
NDS is pleased to announce that the Regional Support Worker Conference series ‘The Rights Stuff’ is visiting the Hunter Region in May. The conference is a quality, relevant and well-priced event. It is aimed at facilitating positive cultural and practical changes at all levels of service provision. For more information contact Susan Geria on email or phone (02) 9256 3137 or visit the website
Short and Sweet Photographic Exhibition
One of Australia’s best-known and most influential disability and diversity consultants, Margherita Coppolino, will have a photographic exhibition in Paddington Sydney. “My own experiences of being short statured have been an emotional roller coaster,” says Coppolino, who is a recipient of a Centenary Medal for her contribution to women’s and disability rights. After being mentored by photographer Belinda Mason, “I feel empowered taking photos,” she says on the eve of her first exhibition. Short and Sweet opens at Paddington’s Global Gallery on 6-9pm Wednesday12 June. It will run from June 12 to 23 as part of the 2013 Head On Photo Festival. Media enquiries: Margherita Coppolino mobile 0412 854 639 or email
Northern Territory News
DisabilityCare Australia to be rolled out in Northern Territory
Gillard/Giels Joint Media Release 11 May 2013
The Gillard Government and the Northern Territory Government have reached an historic agreement today that will see DisabilityCare Australia, the national disability insurance scheme, rolled out across the Northern Territory by July 2019..
Queensland News
PM must focus on NDIS positives
QAI Media Release 30 April 2013
‘We welcome the PM’s announcement of partial funding of the NDIS through an increase of the Medicare Levy’ said Mr. Ken Wade, Director at Queensland Advocacy Incorporated, ‘but the PM’s Disability ‘crackdown’ plan is soft-targeting the most disadvantaged’.
Queensland signs up to NDIS
ABC News 8 May 2013
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has signed onto the National Disability Insurance Scheme, leaving Western Australia and the Northern Territory as the only jurisdictions yet to join.
South Australia News
South Australia agrees to full roll out of Disability Care Australia by 2018
Gillard/ Weatherill Media Release 18 April 2013
The Gillard Government and South Australian Government have reached a significant agreement today that will allow for the full roll out of DisabilityCare Australia, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, in South Australia by July 2018.
Tasmania News
Access to justice for people with disability in the criminal justice system
Australian Human Rights Commission 26 April 2013
Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes will be holding public meetings around Australia to hear directly from people with disability who need communication supports or who have complex and multiple support needs, about their experiences with the criminal justice system.
Venue: Glenorchy Civic Centre, Terry N Martin Snr Room, Cooper Street, Glenorchy HOBART
Date: Monday 20 May, 2013
Time: 2pm - 4pm
RSVP to Si Qi Wen by Friday 17 May on 02 8231 4208 or email   
DisabilityCare Australia to be rolled out in Tasmania
Gillard/Giddings Joint Media Release 2 May 2013
The Gillard Government and Tasmanian Government have reached a significant agreement on Thursday 2 May that will allow for the full roll out of DisabilityCare Australia, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, in Tasmania by July 2019.
Victoria News
DisabilityCare Australia to be rolled out in Victoria
Gillard/Macklin Media Release 4 May 2013
The Gillard Government and Victorian Coalition Government have reached a historic agreement Saturday 4 May 2013 that will allow for the full roll out of DisabilityCare Australia, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, in Victoria by July 2019.
Supporting victims of crime with a disability
The Melbourne Victims Support Agency would like to invite those who work directly (paid or unpaid) with someone with a disability to a forum aimed at raising awareness about the range of services available for victims of crime.
A panel consisting of speakers from a range of information, support and compensation services for victims and witnesses of crime will provide a brief overview of their service and will be available to answer questions. The morning will be facilitated by Keran Howe, Executive Officer, Women with Disabilities Victoria.
Date: Thursday 30 May 2013
Time: 9.00am sharp to 12 noon (Registration 8.30am - 9.00am)
Venue: Level 27, 121 Exhibition Street, Melbourne (Morning tea provided) 
RSVP by Wednesday 22 May to Marg Camilleri on (03) 8684 6716 or email
Western Australia News
WA will sign up to NDIS on its own terms: Morton
ABC News 8 May 2013
The Premier Colin Barnett has reaffirmed WA will eventually sign up to the National Disability Insurance Scheme but on its own terms.
Wheels 2go: Keeping you mobile 24/7
At the Royal Automobile Club of (RAC) of WA we understand that mobility devices, such as electric and manual wheelchairs, can breakdown too. Wheels2go provides members who have a mobility device, such as a manual or electric wheelchair, access to 24/7 roadside assistance.
If the RAC is unable to get you mobile again, they will assist by arranging a taxi or calling a friend or carer on your behalf. Your Wheels2go membership entitles you to five (5) taxi trips a year valued at up to $55 per trip, to a total of no more than $275 for the membership year.
For more information call the RAC WA on 13 17 03 or visit
A call to action: Younger People in Residential Aged Care in NSW
With over 2300 young people with disability living in aged care facilities in NSW, people living in hospital beds waiting for a permanent home, hundreds facing entry into a nursing home because of no alternatives and over a quarter of a million people with high needs are being cared for by their family with little or no support from the community or the government – a commitment to change is needed now. Download a petition from Brain Injury Association of NSW (BIA NSW) website or phone BIA NSW on 1800 802 840 or 98685261 to find out how you can take action on this issue.
Email Ministers: Help get audio description back on the ABC
We are at a crucial point where the future of audio description on Australian TV is being decided. Take action now to get audio description back on the ABC. See the website below for more details.
EOI: Living Life My Way Ambassadors and Champions Program Round 2 Expressions of Interest
The Government is looking for enthusiastic people who are passionate about person centred approaches, have experience in self-managing their supports and are willing to share their experiences and inspire others as part of Living Life My Way Ambassadors and Champions Program. Up to 50 community representatives from a range of backgrounds will each be appointed for 12 months as Ambassadors and Champions. Expressions of Interest are now open for Round 2 Ambassadors and Champions. Entries close at 5pm on Monday 27 May 2013. Phone 1800 605 489 or download an information pack and Expression of Interest (EOI) form here
Nominate: Don't DIS my ABILITY ambassador
The NSW Department of Family and Community Services, Ageing, Disability and Home Care are seeking nominations for Don’t DIS my ABILITY Ambassadors to support and strengthen the Don’t DIS my ABILITY campaign. Ambassadors serve as the voice of the campaign to the community and with help from campaign staff, they communicate key campaign messages, share personal stories and ultimately raise awareness of the abilities and achievements of people with disability. Nominate by the 10 June 2013 at
Petition: Victorian Government: Stop sexual assault of women in psychiatric care
Like any patient, women with mental illness expect the hospital to be a safe place for healing. The experiences of women in Victoria's psychiatric institutions paint a distinctly darker picture. Instead of being sanctuaries, psychiatric hospitals across Victoria are rife with sexual abuse, harassment, and neglect.
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.
Are mobile phone companies meeting the needs of customers with disability?
Barriers and Facilitators to Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening for Women with Physical Disability
Dr Kath Peters and Dr Antoinette Cotton from the University of Western Sydney are researching the difficulties women with physical disability encounter and provide strategies to enhance their uptake of breast and cervical cancer screening in NSW.
Epilepsy Management - Individual & Family Survey – closing 31 July
If you live in Australia, are over the age of 18 years with a disability and epilepsy, or you are a family member with a person with a disability and epilepsy of any age, please complete this short 20 minute online survey. Paid support staff may also complete the survey on behalf of clients over the age of 18 years with their consent. Questions will relate to your knowledge of epilepsy, and your Epilepsy Management Plan (if you have one).
LGBTI Older People in New South Wales - Outrageous Ageing
If you identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or intersex (LGBTI) AND you are aged 50 years or over AND you live in New South Wales, then you are invited to complete this survey.
Living options for younger people with disability under the NDIS
YDAS has been funded through the NDIS to carry out an independent living options research project to look at practical housing and support options that make it possible for young people with disability to move to more independent living situations. If you have a disability, click here: If you are the parent or guardian of someone with a disability, click here:
My World: The United Nations global survey
Make the voices of persons with disabilities heard... LOUD! MY World is a United Nations global survey asking you to choose your priorities for a better world. There are 16 priority areas in the survey, plus one more for you to decide, which can be made disability-specific. Results will be shared with world leaders in setting the next global development agenda.
NSW Transport Minister: Increase the Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme for people living with disability
Parent perspectives on inclusion and disability
Dr Kathy Cologon from Macquarie University in Sydney is currently conducting a study looking at family experiences of inclusion and exclusion in early childhood. Families are invited to participate in an initial online survey for parents/caregivers.
Researching how online information about the NDIS is best presented for families
University of Western Sydney researching how the internet can best be used to provide information to families/carers so they can best support their child.

This survey is for Parents and Carers who have a young child with additional needs:
This survey is for professionals who work with families who have a young child with additional needs:
Siblings, disability and young adulthood
This PhD study from the Social Policy Research Centre (UNSW) asks both young people with disability and their siblings without disability about their experiences of disability during young adulthood and what these mean for their sibling relationship. If both you and your sibling are aged 15 to 25 and one of you has a disability, you can take part by sending in a response to four key questions. People who send in a response go in the draw to win one of two $150 gift vouchers.
Spinal Injury Network Survey
This survey is to examine the extent to which individuals with spinal injuries experience motion sickness, particularly in comparison to their experience prior to injury.
STVP National Survey
The Stop the Violence Project (STVP) is conducting a national survey to examine the issues associated with violence and abuse against women with disabilities. STVP is seeking participation from disability service providers, policy makers and representative organisations. Interested parties are asked to please complete the survey by Friday 31 May 2013.
Successful Ageing in Intellectual Disability
University of New South Wales invites individuals, families and service providers to register their interest in this study. People with intellectual disability, over the age of 40 and in or near one of the listed Sydney areas are especially invited to participate in the study. For more information contact Beth Turner, ph: (02) 9385 3994 or email
What will make the NDIS work best in rural and remote areas?
As part of the NDIS engagement project being conducted by the National Disability and Carer Alliance a partnership has been established with the National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA) to collaborate on a process to establish key policy positions that respond to the question: What will make NDIS work best in rural and remote areas?
Inquiries, Reviews and Commissions
Review of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 (Transport Standards)
Have your say about public transport accessibility for people with disability. The review looks at how well the public transport sector meets the needs of travellers with disability and is measuring progress against the targets laid out in the Transport Standards.
Melbourne Public Consultation Session on 31 May 2013
Commencing 9.30am at FaHCSIA, Level 3 Meeting Rooms, Casselden Place, 2 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne.
Darwin Public Consultation Session on 24 May 2013
Commencing 9am at FaHCSIA, Jacana House, 39-41 Wood Street, Darwin
If you wish to participate please register your interest by Friday 24 May 2013 by post: Disabilities Transport Access Secretariat, Department of Infrastructure and Transport, GPO Box 594, Canberra ACT 2601, phone 1800 044 938 or email  
New Resources
Access to justice in the criminal justice system for people with disability: Australian Human Rights Commission
The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has released an issues paper Access to Justice in the Criminal Justice System.  The Issues Paper outlines five key barriers to justice experienced by people with disability who need communication supports or who have complex and multiple support needs. It summarises the main issues under each barrier and includes some real stories as examples.
Ageing with Disability
Practical handbook, developed with the assistance of Council on the Ageing (COTA), provides information, strategies and tools to support the inclusion of older people with disability in mainstream, community-based activities.
Aurora Domestic Violence App
Developed by the NSW Government in consultation with the NSW Police Force and input from experts from the domestic and family violence sector, including the NSW Women’s Refuge Movement, the Aurora Domestic Violence App assists people who are experiencing abuse make informed, empowered choices. The Aurora domestic violence app is easy to use, free and can be obtained anonymously containing useful and potentially life-saving information. A unique messaging tool allows the user to privately and safely call for help if under duress.
The Aurora Domestic Violence App are now available for free download from the iTunes App Store or Google Play Store.
Communicating with People with Disability: National Guidelines for Emergency Managers
These guidelines have been designed to support emergency managers to better understand the varied communication needs of people with disability.
Film: 'The Court of Shards'
A film about two friends, Nora and Isabel, both women with disability, who want to lead normal lives. It is their family, well-meaning friends and care workers who appear not to want normality at all. When Nora decides to marry her African lover Amadou, her family does everything to stop her. Trailer and synopsis  More information contact Jan Eilhardt on email
Link Disability Magazine
Thanks to a new partnership with Telstra, Link Disability Magazine will now be available for free online for a year.
One in Seven – Disability Rights Fund Report
This report charts the progress made by Disabled Persons Organisations around the world in making their voices heard since 2008 when the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) entered into force. The report briefly profiles disability rights activists who are overcoming attitudinal, environmental, institutional and political barriers to participate fully in society and represent organisations from Bangladesh, Fiji, Indonesia, Uganda to Peru.
OurHealth website is your source for reliable health services information and enables you to share views and ideas on how to improve healthcare in Australia.
Paraquad NSW App
ParaQuad NSW in conjunction with Lifetime Care and Support Authority have collated a series of fact sheets to help you understand spinal cord injury and placed these on an app
Patient Opinion
Established in 2012 and, similar to its UK counterpart, Patient Opinion is registered as an independent not-for-profit charitable institution. An independent site about your experiences of Australian health services, good or bad.
Resourcing Families
Provides information and ideas for families, friends and allies of people with disability so that they can have knowledge, skills, confidence and networks to plan a good life for and with a person with disability.
Zero Project
The Zero Project, initiated by the Essl Foundation and organised in partnership with the World Future Council, advocates the rights of persons with disability internationally. Its mission is: working for a world with zero barriers. The Zero Project report 2013 is out now
Conferences and Events
Below are details of conferences and events to the end of July 2013.

22 May 2013 Chatswood Sydney NSW Discover the Pathway that's right for the Post School Options Expo for Students with a Disability. The Concourse - Pavilion Room, 409 Victoria Ave Chatswood. Contact Katrina Jackson (02) 9496 8704 or for more information.  
22 May 2013 Melbourne VIC Disability and Digital Inclusion Forum. RMIT Design Hub, Cnr. Victoria Street and Swanston Street Melbourne, VIC, 9am- 5:00 For more information
24 May 2013 Auckland NZ Universal Design Conference - Creating inclusive and liveable environments for all. Aotea Centre, Auckland. Contact or visit
25-28 May 2013 Sydney NSW Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities Inc. 2013 Conference 'Digital Literacy: Making the World Accessible'. Novotel Sydney Central (formerly Citigate Central Sydney)
27-29 May 2013 Preston, Victoria Citizen Centred Leadership Learning Journey, Bell City Conference Centre Preston
27-28 May 2013 Melbourne VIC Communities in Control Conference. I’m alright Jack: Reclaiming community in a selfish world.
28 May 2013 Sydney NSW Negotiation Skills for Advocates Sydney CBD 9am – 4.30pm. Contact PIAC Senior Training Officer, Sarah Ludowici 02 8898 6506
28 May 2013 Melbourne VIC Workshop for Applying Victorian Human Rights Charter in Disability Advocacy Work. Ross House, 247-251 Flinders Lane, Melbourne 2-5pm. Contact the Disability Discrimination Legal Service on 03 9654 8644 or email
30-31 May 2013 Merewether NSW 'The Rights Stuff' Regional Support Worker Conference in Hunter Region. South Newcastle Rugby League Club, 46 Llewellyn Street, Merewether.
30-31 May 2013 Hyde Park Sydney Transition Care Conference 2013 focused solely on the implementation and delivery of the Australian government transition care program. More information at
31 May 2013 Ryde NSW Pathways to Employment by NOVA Employment and Aspergers Services Australia. Keynote Speaker: Temple Grandin – Friday 31 May 2013 1pm-8.30pm. 45 Rawson Street, Epping NSW
1 June 2013 Burwood NSW ASPIA's 10th anniversary. Noon – 5.30pm Level 3 (Baxter Room) College of Nursing, 14 Railway Parade, Burwood Sydney. RSVP 25 May 2013 – email
2 June 2013 Five Dock Sydney Down Syndrome NSW Family Picnic Day 10am - 2pm. A traditional picnic in the park for people with DS and their friends and family. All ages welcome.
6 June 2013 Hornsby NSW Getting Started Workshops by My Choice Matters. Contact 1800 144 653 for more information or register online 
11 June 2013 Sydney NSW NCOSS Seminar on how to get the most from the Budget papers. 2pm-4pm, Upstairs meeting room, NCOSS, 66 Albion Street, Surry Hills. RSVP to or ph: 9211 2599, ext 118 - by 4 June 2013.
12 June 2013 Sydney NSW Short and Sweet photographic exhibition by Margherita Coppolino opens at Paddington’s Global Gallery on June 12 as part of the 2013 Head On Photo Festival.
14 June 2013 Sydney NSW Disability and Retirement: Inclusive and Active Ageing. Seminar on retirement for older workers with a disability will be hosted by the University of Sydney 1-5pm New Law Lecture Theatre 101 New Law Annexe (F10), Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney. Registration closes on Friday 31 May 2013. For more information phone 02 9351 9721 or email
15 June 2013 Ashfield NSW Sexuality and Relationships Forum for parents and carers of people with intellectual disability of all ages. 1.00pm - 5.00pm. $15 includes afternoon tea. For more information call Danielle Fehir Health Promotion  on (02) 8752 4388 or email
17-18 June 2013 Melbourne VIC Younger people with very high and complex care needs: A conference for organisations looking to provide alternative options to residential aged care. Novotel Melbourne on Collins.
19 June 2013 Hobart TAS ‘Arts and Disability’ Meeting Place, The Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel, 1 Macquarie Street Hobart, Tasmania. Contact Arts Access Australia on
19 June 2013 Sydney NSW NCOSS analysis of the 2013-14 NSW State Budget. 2pm-4pm, Club Room, Ground Floor, NSW Teachers Federation, 23-33 Mary Street, Surry Hills. RSVP to Wendy on ph: 9211 2599, ext 118 or by email by 12 June 2013
23-24 June 2013 Melbourne VIC My Choice, My Control, My Future: DisabilityCare Australia. Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. To register your interest in attending email
25 June 2013 Melbourne VIC Advocacy in NDIS Launch Sites – Forum. Multicultural Hub, 506 Elizabeth Street Melbourne 10am–4pm. DANA-led Forum for Advocacy Agencies to consider together information coming from the NDIS Launch Sites and develop strategies.  RSVP before 20 June 2013 to   
27 June 2013 Newcastle NSW Getting Started Workshops by My Choice Matters. Contact 1800 144 653 for more information or register online 
27-28 June 2013 Washington USA Symposium on Disability, Technology and Rehabilitation in Low and Middle Income Countries. University of Washington, Seattle Washington USA.  Contact Becky Matter or Mark Harniss
28 June 2013 Brisbane QLD Supported Decision-Making Forum by Queensland Advocacy Incorporated Gardens Theatre, George St Brisbane CBD (on the grounds of QUT). RSVP due by 7 June 2013
22-23 July 2013 Camperdown Sydney NSW Direct Support Professional Conference 2013. University of Sydney Law Building, Camperdown. Contact (02) 9036 3600 or
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.

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