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PWDA E-Bulletin
Edition #89 February 2014
ISSN 2202-0705
PWDA staff and supporters putting final touches to the Mardi Gras Parade banner
People with Disability Australia on Facebook People with Disability Australia on Twitter People with Disability Australia on Pinterest People with Disability Australia on Youtube
Stay up-to-date with the latest Australian disability human rights news, views and developments
Dear ,
Welcome to PWDA’s February 2014 E-Bulletin.
Our E-Bulletin goes out to subscribers regularly by email. Please share this ebulletin with anyone you think would like to receive it.
February's banner image is of PWDA staff putting the final touches to our blue, sparkly letters spelling out pwda.
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 want to receive these emails as text-only with no graphics or images at all, please email or call on one of the numbers listed below and speak to the Communications Manager.
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.
  • PWDA advocates for sisters to remain together  
Economic Security and Employment
  • Income Support and You! Facebook Forum
  • Welfare Review and the DSP Roundtable
  • Real Wages for Real Work Campaign
  • PWDA 2014 Priorities for the Federal Budget 
  • NSW Disability Inclusion Bill 2014
  • NSW Civil and Adminstrative Tribunal (NCAT)
  • Access to Justice
  • City of Sydney Draft Inclusion (Disability) Action Plan 2014 – 2017
  • NSW Affordable Housing Submission
  • National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children
  • PWDA Responding to Sexual Assault Training
  • White Ribbon Campaign
  • International News
  • National News
  • Australia Capital Territory News
  • New South Wales News
  • Northern Territory News
  • Queensland News
  • South Australia News
  • Tasmania News
  • Victoria News
  • Western Australia News
On Tuesday 11 February, Therese Sands, PWDA Co-Chief Executive Officer, and I met with the Welfare Review Panel chaired by Patrick McClure in Canberra.  At that meeting we presented a strong package of feedback from the highly successful social media forum held only a few days before which gathered more than 800 comments. 

PWDA is strongly advocating for jobs and economic security for people with disability, while acknowledging there will always need to be a safety net for some people with complex circumstances in their lives, a lack of supports and community barriers which make work difficult.  We also believe that we need a better understanding of the forces that keep us out of work and that an integrated package of disability employment reforms is needed. 
 Photograph of Craig Wallace
Craig Wallace
President of People with Disability Australia
PWDA has also presented a pre-Budget submission which highlights these priorities, the need for full funding of the NDIS, employment and the National Disability Strategy. 

PWDA has never shied away from “pushing out” on rights issues, hence our strong campaigns on abuse like Shut-In, our work on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse and Neglect, and our campaign for real wages for real work for the over 20,000 people with disability in Australia employed by Australian Disability Enterprises.

From time to time the Board is called to revisit issues where there is gathering legislative activity, advocacy, media and commentary amongst advocates.  One of these is euthanasia, given attempts to introduce legislation in multiple jurisdictions over the last 12 months.

The Board knows there is no settled view in our community, but we need to express concern about the introduction of state sanctioned euthanasia for people with disability until we have been fully consulted and possess the same rights, supports and community access as other Australians.

State sanctioned euthanasia is dangerous while people with disability are denied access to communication supports, advocacy and other supports or are unaware that they are available.  We believe that euthanasia of children with disability and other people unable to give consent is always unacceptable. 

You can read an account of the Board discussion in January and where we arrived here in our Board Communiqué - above all, we think it’s high time that legislators consulted with us before making laws which affect us in the most profound way imaginable.

I also hope that this sparks further conversations among members. YOUR engaged membership is at the heart of PWDA so spread the word, sign up to PWDA and become part of the conversation via Social Media. 
I would also like to extend the best wishes of the Board to the bumper contingent taking part in this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday night, 1 March 2014. I would encourage Sydney based members to get along and see the parade this Saturday to cheer our float on.  It’s great that this year’s parade will host five accessible viewing sites along streets which service the parade route.  Well done to Pete Darby, PWDA’s Projects Liaison Officer and his project team.  Our strong work around disability, sexuality and relationships is one of the things that makes me proudest about PWDA.  Happy Mardi Gras!

Craig Wallace
PWDA President
Happy Mardi Gras
Rainbow colour flag with the wheelchair symbol over it in white.Plans for this year’s Mardi Gras float entry, ‘A Kaleidoscope of Disability’ are proceeding apace. Together with our partner organisations, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Touching Base, Family Planning NSW and Northcott, we have held a costume workshop on Saturday 1 February and a float design workshop on Saturday 15 February. Glitter is becoming a pervasive presence in the PWDA offices. If you would like to watch our float – with a record number of participants! – please check the Mardi Gras access information below.
Accessible Viewing Areas:  On Saturday 1 March, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade organisers will host five accessible viewing sites along both Oxford and Flinders streets which service the parade route. Access guests are treated to spectacular views of the parade including the Taylor Square and Flinders seats areas.
These sites allow guests with disability or mobility support requirements a clear line of view to the parade floats and participants. Each site is securely managed which prevents overcrowding. Access guests may also have the opportunity to interact with parade participants.
If you would like to register for any of the sites please contact:
Paul Nunnari
Manager, Event Access and Inclusion
NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet
Phone: (02) 9228 5667
Mobile: 0477 318 481
Please register early as places are limited.
Registrations close 2pm, Friday 28 February 2014.
PWDA Participation
Membership of People with Disability Australia
Do you believe in the equality and dignity of all people living with disability? Do you believe everyone has the right to fully participate in our society? 
Then show your support for equality and dignity and become part of a growing national disability rights movement in Australia!
It’s easy, online and it’s free.
Membership for Individuals
Membership for Organisations
If you represent an organisation incorporated in Australia with a governing body and a membership base of at least 75% of people with disability, your organisation can take Full Organisational Membership.
If you represent an organisation interested in supporting the disability rights movement and the aims and objectives of PWDA, your organisation can take Associate Organisational Membership.
PWDA Media Releases and Alerts
20 Feb 2014 : World Day of Social Justice 2014
14 Feb 2014 : Wage Justice for Workers with Disability
12 Feb 2014 : Summary from Income Support and YOU! Forum
To receive PWDA Alerts as they become available
– subscribe here:
To receive PWDA Media Releases as they become available
– subscribe here:
PWDA advocates for sisters to remain together
An ageing parent of two daughters with disability requested support for the daughters to live together in supported accommodation. The QLD government service provider said this could not be possible as only single vacancies were available in their area. They suggested the women move to another region.
PWDA’s Fraser Coast Advocate encouraged a plan to be developed where the sisters would both be able to live together and remain in the same town where they enjoyed familiarity and much support and contact from their large family.
PWDA's advocate encouraged and supported the parent and clients to express what they would need to sustain living with the ageing parent and additional supports were secured. Now both women are entering trial supported accommodation.
PWDA Logo: White PWD letters on a blue background
Image: PWDA Logo
For individual advocacy support contact the Disability Rights Information Service (DRIS) between 9:30 am and 4:30 pm (AEST) Monday to Friday on (02) 9370 3100 or Toll Free on 1800 422 015 or TTY Toll Free on 1800 422 016 or email
Income Support and You! Facebook Forum
On Saturday 8 February 2014 from noon to 4pm (AEDST) PWDA held an online forum to discuss the recent announcements about the review of the welfare system, and potential changes to income support payments such as the Disability Support Pension (DSP).
Craig Wallace, Stuart Mawbey, Fiona Given and other members of the PWDA Board joined other members and supporters online for the conversation. There was a simultaneous discussion over on Twitter, and you can still view these tweets using the hashtag #pwdadsp
Both the Snapshot Summary of the responses and a more Comprehensive Document of responses can be downloaded here. PWDA has also provided both documents to the Welfare Review Panel convened by Patrick McClure in Canberra.
Hand holds up money against a blue sky with white clouds

Image: From the Income Support and You!
social media forum - Hand holds up money
against a blue sky with white clouds
PWDA thanks all participants for sharing so many of your experiences and stories with us.  PWDA is lobbying hard for a focus on meaningful employment, the alleviation of poverty, and the retention of a fair and just social security safety net for all people with disability . 
Be part of the disability rights movement and join PWDA! - supporting a socially just and inclusive society!
For more information, contact Craig Andrews, Communications Manager and Membership Development on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
Welfare Review and the DSP Roundtable
On Wednesday 12 February, representatives of a range of NGOs, peaks and other organisations attended a three-hour roundtable to discuss the current Welfare Review and the DSP.
The discussion will support PWDA’s ongoing research and policy work in this area and considered the following issues:
  • the effect of the unemployment rate on the employment opportunities of people with disability,
  • the need to ensure access to jobs,
  • the importance of recognising that there are significant numbers of people with disability denied access to the DSP, and
  • the different kinds of contributions that people with disability make to their communities.
For more information contact Jess Cadwallader, Advocacy Projects Officer on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
Image: illustration of people sitting around a table talking together

Image: People sitting around a table in discussion
Real Wages for Real Work 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 National Council on Intellectual Disability (NCID) and the Association of Employees with Disability (AED) Legal Centre. AED has been at the centre of the legal cases around the BSWAT, both in the 2012 case that found the BSWAT in breach of the DDA in the case of Gordon Prior and Michael Nojin, and in the current class action with Maurice Blackburn Lawyers.
PWDA will be supporting the work of AED Legal Centre and conducting policy, research and educational activities through support from a grant from the Reichstein Foundation.
Image: Successful litigants after the Federal Court case
Image: photograph of successful litigants outside Federal Court of Australia
Some recent developments in this Campaign include:
Joint Response to Exemption Application by Department of Social Services (DSS): As reported previously, PWDA has provided its own submission and contributed to a joint disability sector submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) for its assessment of an Exemption Application by the Department of Social Security (DSS) to continue to use the BSWAT for employees with disability working in ADEs.  More recently, peak disability and advocacy organisations provided a Joint Response Submission to a set of questions posed by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) to assist in its assessment of an Exemption Application by DSS.Due to the submission of new information by the Commonwealth, we were permitted to provide additional comment in a Supplementary Submission. The Joint Submissions include a comprehensive examination of the range of wage assessment tools currently being used by ADEs to assess the wages of workers with disability. A key recommendation is to replace the BSWAT and other assessment tools with the well-established, transparent, and fair Supported Wage System (SWS) as the single national award-based wage assessment tool across all ADEs. The Joint Submissions also call on the AHRC to refuse the Exemption, and to ensure that immediate steps are taken by the Commonwealth to cease use of the BSWAT given that it has unlawfully and systematically discriminated against people with disability, particularly people with intellectual disability, for many years.
Class Action Over Unfair Pay: On Monday 17 February 2014, hearings began in the Federal Court of Australia as part of the class action over unfair pay for workers in ADEs. The key matter dealt with by the Court was the issue of a letter that DSS sent to workers in ADEs, which the court found was confusing and could mislead workers with disability and their families into signing away their legal rights.  This was the argument by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, who are representing approximately 10,000 underpaid workers in ADEs. Disability peak and advocacy groups are pleased with the Federal Court ruling that prevents the Commonwealth from directly contacting workers in ADEs and ensures that it must go through Maurice Blackburn Lawyers to ensure that future communication doesn’t disadvantage some of
Image: photograph of eight people standing facing the camera and smiling. They stand insider under a sign which says Federal Court of Australia.
Image: photograph of eight people standing facing the camera and smiling. They stand insider under a sign which says Federal Court of Australia
the most vulnerable and low paid workers in the country. The next stage of the class action will be begin on Friday 2 May with a court case in the Federal Court, which will decide whether the BSWAT is discriminatory for all workers in ADEs. This case is likely to run for many months and PWDA will continue to be actively involved and provide regular updates on progress with the case.
Unions Take Action to Support Fair Wages for Workers with Disability: In December 2013, the Health Services Union (HSU) and United Voice (UV) lodged an Application to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) for a Variation to the Supported Employment Services Award 2010 to address wage discrimination for workers in ADEs. The 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 pleased to see injustice for these workers being tackled collaboratively across the disability and union sectors.  This ensures the same access to mainstream industrial protections for workers with disability as are afforded all other workers in this country. Further information about the FWC hearings and relevant documents can be accessed via the Fair Work Commission website.
Looking for Your Stories: To support the Real Wages for Real Work Campaign, we are seeking the stories of workers who are currently, or have in the past, been assessed under the BSWAT. If you or anyone you know have been assessed by the BSWAT, we would like to hear from you.
For more information visit our 'Real Wages for Real Work Campaign' or contact Samantha French, Advocacy Projects Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
PWDA 2014 Priorities for the Federal Budget
PWDA has provided the Australian Government with our priorities for the 2014 Commonwealth Budget to be handed down in May. 
  1. The National Disability Insurance Scheme
  2. Employment and income support
  3. National Disability Strategy
These priorities are based on the policy priorities we delivered to Members of in the lead up to the 2013 Federal Election.
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
NSW Disability Inclusion Bill 2014
In December 2013 the NSW Government introduced a consultation draft of the Disability Inclusion Bill. The Bills aims to update the current NSW Disability Services Act in light of the transition to the NDIS, and to highlight inclusion as a guiding principle in the provision of supports and services for people with disability.  PWDA has provided a submission on the the Bill and argues for stronger, across government steps to realise greater inclusion and participation outcomes for people with disability in NSW.  You can read our submission here.    
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
NSW Civil and Adminstrative Tribunal (NCAT)
On 29 January 2014, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) was officially opened by The Honourable Greg Smith SC MP, Attorney General and Minister for Justice.  NCAT is the new one-stop shop for specialist tribunals in NSW.  NCAT consolidates the work of 22 separate Tribunals to provide a single point of access to specialist Tribunal services.  Within the new Tribunal, four Divisions and a Principle Registry deal with a diverse range of matters – from disputes about residential tenancies to decisions on guardianship. 
PWDA has been involved in the process of Tribunal consolidation to ensure that the issues and concerns of people with disability are addressed.
 Image: Illustration of people sitting around a table. A woman is standing and speaking.
Image: Illustration of people sitting around a table.
A woman is standing and speaking.
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
Access to Justice
On 5 February 2014, the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) published a new report on access to justice for people with disability: Equal before the law: Towards disability justice strategies.
The Report focuses on people with disability who need communication supports or who have complex and multiple support needs and who have come in contact with the criminal justice system. Negative assumptions and attitudes, coupled with  a lack of support services and minimal provision of adjustments, often means that people with disability are viewed as not credible, not capable of giving evidence, or unable to participate in legal proceedings.  As a result many are left without effective access to justice.
Image: Image: Bronze statute of blindfolded Lady of Justice. She is positioned against a blue sky and is holding a pair of scales.
 Image: Bronze statute of blindfolded Lady of Justice. She is positioned against a blue sky and is holding a pair of scales
The Report proposes that in light of the substantial challenges that exist, each jurisdiction in Australia should develop a holistic, over-arching response to these issues through a Disability Justice Strategy. The Disability Justice Strategy should address a core set of principles and include fundamental actions that are concerned with appropriate communications, early intervention and diversion, increased service capacity, effective training, enhanced accountability and monitoring, and better policies and frameworks.
Last year, PWDA held an online forum about access which fed into the Commission's research into these issues. We commend the Commission for its detailed work in this area, and we hope that the publication of this report can be a catalyst for Governments to make radical improvements to the experience of people with disability who come into contact with the criminal justice system.
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 
City of Sydney Draft Inclusion (Disability) Action Plan 2014 – 2017
The City of Sydney has drafted a new Inclusion (Disability) Action Plan and they would like to know what you think about it.
The new plan has been developed in consultation with the City’s Inclusion (Disability) Advisory Panel, and aims to build on the progress made from previous plans to improve inclusion and access across the City of Sydney. The draft Inclusion (Disability) Action Plan 2014 -2017 sets out six key directions as well as priority actions to help people with a disability to get around, access City information, participate in cultural and recreational activities and have a say on shaping the City’s future.
The City of Sydney is inviting the community to view and provide feedback on the draft Inclusion (Disability) Action Plan 2014 -2017.
If you would like to provide your feedback or need more information please contact Christine McBride, Social Policy and Programs Manager at the City of Sydney on or ph: (02) 9246 9333. 
Image: Ruler, protractor and circles drawn on a sheet of paper. The bottom right corner of the paper is curled upwards.

Image: Ruler, protractor and circles drawn on a sheet of paper. The bottom right corner of the
paper is curled upwards
If you would like to provide feedback directly to PWDA, please contact Samantha French, Advocacy Projects Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
NSW Affordable Housing Submission
In March 2014, PWDA will be making a submission to the NSW Legislative Council Inquiry into Social, public and affordable housing  and the Senate Inquiry into Affordable Housing.  In February, PWDA attended a number of housing briefing sessions, including the Disability Network Forum’s Housing Workshop, and the Inner Sydney Regional Council’s Consultation day.
Our advocacy on housing emphasises that people with disability have a right to live in the community. The arrival of the NDIS is an opportunity to realise this right, but we must make sure that there is enough appropriate housing available, so that people with disability can make a genuine choice about where they want to live and with whom.
In all of these conversations, we have emphasised that the NDIS is likely to change the face of housing for people with disability.
Image: View from inside a darkened home. A figure stands to the right hand side silhouetted in the window

Image: View from inside a darkened home. A figure stands to the right hand side silhouetted in the window
Please be in touch by Friday 7 March 2014 if you would like to tell us your stories or experiences about housing issues where you live.
For more information contact Jess Cadwallader, Advocacy Projects Officer on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children
On 6 February, PWDA participated in a consultation roundtable to consider the effectiveness of the First Action Plan under the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children 2010-2022 (the National Plan), and to identify critical strategies for the development of the Second Action Plan.
The roundtable was a key opportunity to highlight the evidence base and findings from the Stop the Violence Project (STVP) that was funded under the First Action Plan.  The STVP has been undertaken by Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) in conjunction with People with Disability Australia (PWDA) and the University of New South Wales (UNSW). 
The STVP is the first step in addressing violence prevention and response for women and girls with disability, and the areas for action identified through the project provide the future actions that need to be included in the Second Action Plan. 
PWDA will also be making a written submission to ensure that the voice of women and girls with disability is at the forefront of discussion as the new plan is developed.
Image: Close up photograph of a woman and a child. Both look intently at the viewer.

Image: Close up photograph of a woman and a child.
If you would like to make a written submission to inform the Second Action Plan, please email by 14 March 2014. Submissions will not be made publicly available. Visit this website for more information.
For more information about the STVP and PWDA’s work on violence against women and girls with disability contact Therese Sands, Co-Chief Executive Officer on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
PWDA Responding to Sexual Assault Training
Are your staff confident when responding to sexual assault matters regarding people with disability?
PWDA offers a two-day Responding to Sexual Assault Training which aims to challenge the myths surrounding sexual assault and builds understanding of how people with intellectual disability experience sexual assault and abuse. It takes participants through their obligations and equips them with a toolkit of strategies they can use to support victims of sexual assault.  This training also builds the capacity of staff to support victims of sexual assault as well as decrease the vulnerability of people with intellectual disability to this crime.
The training explores guidelines around Good Practice when providing personal care, impact of sexual assault, 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 with direct experience of disability.
For information on Responding to Sexual Assault training or to discuss your training needs contact Pete Darby, Projects Liaison Officer on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email
White Ribbon Campaign
PWDA has renewed its commitment to White Ribbon as an Official Supporter of the White Ribbon campaign. White Ribbon Australia is a non-profit organisation and Australia's only national, male-led primary prevention campaign to end men’s violence against women. 
PWDA is proud to be a supporter of this campaign, and encourages you to visit the White Ribbon website to find out more and to take action!
For more information on White Ribbon - Australia's campaign to stop violence against women see the White Ribbon Foundation website at or contact White Ribbon on Phone: (02) 9045 8444 or email 
Image: White Ribbon logo - white ribbon on a black background. White text reads - In support of Australia's campaign to stop violence against women - White Ribbon

Image: White Ribbon logo - white ribbon on a black background. White text reads - In support of Australia's campaign to stop violence against women - White Ribbon
International News
International Disability Alliance (IDA) Rights Bulletin
The International Disability Alliance (IDA) was established in 1999 as a network of global and, since 2007, regional disabled people’s organisations (DPOs). The aim of IDA is to promote the effective and full implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) worldwide, as well as compliance with the CRPD within the UN system, through the active and coordinated involvement of representative organisations of people with disability at the national, regional and international levels.
Disability doesn’t have to be a barrier to starting your own business
Just four days until our event in London for disabled people who are thinking about setting up their own business, as well as entrepreneurs who have already taken the plunge.
8 February 2014
9 News
A US restaurant owner has found himself under fire for allegedly refusing to serve African-American, Hispanic, gay or disabled customers, as well as those who are unemployed.
21 February 2014
Huffington Post
"We are pushed into the margins of society. People won't give us jobs, even our own families consider us a burden--and this is especially so in rural areas."
National News
AUDIO: Human Rights Commission Justice Report finds disabled not equal before the law
4 February 2014
Nance Haxton, ABC PM
The Human Rights Commission is preparing to hand down a damning report finding that disabled people are unequal before the law. 

New report shows big gaps in justice system for people with disability
7 February 2014
El Gibbs, RampUp
El Gibbs reports on the Human Rights Commission's latest findings on the problems people with disability face when dealing with Australia's criminal justice system.  

Federal Government planning change to law governing Human Rights Commission
9 February 2014
ABC News
Federal Attorney-General George Brandis is planning to legislate reforms for the Human Rights Commission amid concerns it focuses too heavily on anti-discrimination issues.
Australian Capital Territory News
ACT government introduces no-fault insurance scheme for crash victims
24 February 2014
Lisa Cox, Canberra Times
The ACT government will introduce a no-fault insurance scheme to pay for lifetime care for Canberrans catastrophically injured in motor vehicle accidents.

Fulfilling a vision of soccer as a sport for everyone
2 February 2014
Fleta page, Canberra Times
HE is most powerful person in Australian soccer - FIFA executive committee member Moya Dodd - is among the high-profile supporters of an initiative developed by a local 11-year-old.  

Why protecting the pension is a political con job
26 January 2014
Chris Berg, Canberra Times
You'll only make it in politics if you are willing to be completely shameless.
New South Wales News
Mental illness and crime: all NSW police to get mental health training
24 February 2014
Emma Partridge, SMH
All NSW police on the beat will undergo training in mental health intervention as the latest figures show a rise of 15 per cent in the number of police incidents involving mentally ill people last year. 

Blind genius building apps for Google
7 February 2014
Meet the blind young Aussie who is living the dream after landing an internship at Google. 

Spinal Cord Injuries Australia Independence Expo
You are invited to attend the Spinal Cord Injuries Australia Independence Expo on Saturday 5 April at Australian Technology Park in Sydney.
The Independence Expo is a unique one day event unlike any other, and it’s designed especially for you.  A range of dedicated disability industry professionals, government departments, health organisations and respected companies will be there to provide useful information, services, products and technology for you and your family.  The Independence Expo will also feature practical and informative workshops on topics such as the NDIS and exercise rehabilitation.  Regardless of how long you have been living with a disability, you will discover something new at the Expo to assist you in your journey towards independence.
Entry is free – Register today for your chance to win an iPad mini!
Northern Territory News
New NT Minister for Disability
5 February 2014
NDS Website
NDS has hailed as "proactive and positive" the appointment of the Hon Robyn Lambley, MLA, who was sworn into the new ministerial portfolio of Disability Services at Government House on 3 February 2014. 

Chronic ear health improving among NT kids
31 January 2014
Tom Nightingale, ABC News
It's now a decade since the World Health Organisation found Australia's Indigenous people were the most likely in the world to have chronic otitis media.
Queensland News
Lawrence Springborg’s plan to shift public hospital patients into five star hotels
24 February 2014
Kelmeny Fraser, The Courier-Mail
PUBLIC hospital patients would recuperate in five-star hotels built on health campuses across the state under plans to free-up expensive acute care beds and save taxpayer dollars.

Man going blind says can't afford three-day monthly trips
22 February 2014
Pam McKay, Central Telegraph
RON Alterator says that if he can't get to Brisbane for his specialist appointments he will eventually go blind. 

Walking to beat social isolation and chronic disease
4 February 2014
Emma Sykes and Terri Begley, ABC Brisbane
For Kathy Price, walking and talking with Janelle Rees for 30 minutes is one of the highlights of her week.
South Australia News
Adelaide abuse inquiry hearing to go ahead
21 Feburary 2014
CONCERN that a public hearing into an Adelaide special school where disabled children were sexually abused could prejudice civil proceedings is no reason to postpone the hearing, the royal commission into child sex abuse has said. 

Thousands sign Catholic abuse petition
17 February 2014
Annette Blackwell, West Australian
An online petition calling on the Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide to settle a 12-year legal battle with parents of profoundly disabled children who were abused at a church school has attracted more than 60,000 signatures in five days.

Tasmania News
Tasmania’s Disability Housing Demands Under the Spotlight
31 January 2014
ProBono News
The housing needs and aspirations of people living with disability will be the focus of new research undertaken in Tasmania. - See more at:
Victoria News
The $420,000 question: how to put a price on taking care of Hayden?
23 February 2014
John Elder, The Age
On a bad day, when he's frightened or when there is no one to help him make the day meaningful, Hayden McLean puts on a pair of incontinence pants, binds them tight with sticky tape to make himself feel secure, fixes on a couple of balloons for extra insulation and heads to the local shopping centre. 

Vic Govt defends Sandhurst closure process
21 February 2014
ABC News
The Victorian Government says it has consulted extensively about the closure of a disability care facility in Bendigo. 

Blind mother forced to live in squalid conditions
21 February 2014
Beau Donelly, The Age
The squalid condition of a rental house in Melbourne's west was not fit for a dog, but a blind mother and her two children still had to fight for months to get out of the lease.   

Boroondara councillor calls for action as taxis bypass the blind
18 February 2014
Greg Gliddon, Herald Sun
A NATIONAL disability support group wants Victorian law regarding taxis and guide dogs brought into line with other states.
Western Australia News
More seek exam concessions
23 February 2014
Bethany Hiatt, The West Australian
A record number of WA students applied for special concessions in their WA Certificate of Education exams last year. 

How one woman created a lifeline for families
18 February 2014
Angela Priestley, Women's Agenda
As the mother of two children with a disability, Anita Peiris knows the value of social media in connecting with parents across regional Australia who are experiencing similar challenges to her own.
Surveys, Petitions and Consultations
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.

Attitudes to sexuality, relationships and child-rearing: A study about people with genetic neurodevelopmental disorders 

Autism Spectrum Disorders 

Disability and Mental Health 

Disability and Parenthood 

Disability discrimination in employment in Australia 

Google is seeking feedback from mobile users who are blind and vision impaired 

Impact of Ageing on Needs of People with Mobility Limitations 

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
New Resources
Active Support Video
Leura Day Options, a service of Greystanes Disability Services, launched an exciting new DVD which focuses on the person centred approaches that are used to actively support people with disability at Greystanes.
Belonging and Connection of School Students with Disability issues paper 

Emergency + Smartphone App
Provides users with their GPS reference which they can report to an emergency call taker to pinpoint physical location. It also provides information about when to call Triple Zero, and who to call in various non-emergency situations. 

Companion Card NSW
The Companion Card NSW is launching a new website and handbook this week. This is a new look website that will allow a search of current events and affiliates. It also features stories that some Companion Card holders have experienced. The website features two new movies that help inform people about the program, eligibility and also help guide people with the application for a companion card if you do not have one. 

How to caption a YouTube Video 

ICE (In Case of Emergency) Campaign
ICE is a method of contact during emergency situations. 

Stop the Violence Against People with Disabilities! 
This resource provides an international perspective on violence against children and adults with disability and approaches to risk reduction, intervention and access to justice when violence does occur. Chapter five titled Ending the Violence: Perspectives from Australia was written by PWDA Director Fiona Given.
Inquiries, Reviews and Commissions
Conferences and Events
Below are details of conferences and events to the end of September 2014.
3-4 Mar 2014: Grafton, NSW 'Getting Ready': Living the life I want to live
8 Mar 2014: International Women’s Day
10-11 Mar 2014: Blacktown, Sydney 'Getting Ready': Living the life I want to live
17–18 Mar 2014: Melbourne VIC 5th Annual National Disability Summit 2014. Rydges, Melbourne
21 March 2014 Harmony Day – Dept of Immigration & Citizenship
21 March 2014 World Down Syndrome Day
23-24 March 2014: Melbourne VIC National conference for women with HIV - Advancing the Agenda 2014
24-25 Mar 2014: Brisbane QLD Queensland Disability Conference 2014. Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
24-25 Mar 2014: Wagga NSW 'Getting Ready': Living the life I want to live
31 Mar – 3 Apr 2014: Melbourne VIC International Conference on Low Vision. Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
2 Apr 2014 World Autism Awareness Day
5 Apr 2014: Sydney NSW Spinal Cord Injuries Australia Independence Expo
14-15 Apr 2014: Adelaide SA Julia Farr Youth Conference – Having a Voice.
3 May 2014: Sydney NSW Spinal Cord Injuries Australia 2014 Independence Expo
3 May 2014: Brisbane QLD 8th National Deafness Sector Summit
6-8 May 2014: Lisbon, Portugal 1st Global Conference: Sexuality and Disability.
17-20 May 2014: Brisbane QLD Round Table for Information Access for People with Print Disabilities.
19-20 May 2014: Hawaii Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity.
21 May 2014: Sydney NSW Australian Network on Disability National Conference
6-9 June 2014: Sydney NSW 9th National Deafblind Conference, Mercure Hotel, Haymarket
20-25 July 2014: Melbourne VIC AIDS 2014
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 Sept 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.

PWDA was founded in 1981, the International Year of Disabled People, to provide people with disability with a voice of our own. We have a cross-disability focus and represent the interests of people with all kinds of disability.

As a non-profit, non-government organisation we depend on public donations, bequests and fundraising activities to maintain our commitment to improving the lives of people with disability. As a deductible gift recipient, all donations of $2 or more are fully tax deductible. Your tax deductible donations support the work of PWDA. If you are able to support us, please visit
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