PWD E-Bulletin

Issue Number 60 April 2010 - ISSN 2202-0705

Welcome to PWD’s E-Bulletin! This bulletin goes out regularly to our members and supporters and covers PWD news and events as well as other news from the disability sector. For people who do not have access to email, a printed version of the E-bulletin can be sent by post.

To be added to or removed from our mailing list, or to change your email address, please email pwd@pwd.org.au or contact PWD on one of the numbers listed at the end of this bulletin. If you would like to become a member of PWD or learn more about our membership options, contact PWD on pwd@pwd.org.au

Contents

New South Wales News

Other State and Territory News

National News

International News

The Inside Story

PWD's Training Services

Social Media

Conferences and Workshops

About PWD

Privacy Statement

Contact Us

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New South Wales News

From Institutions to Community Living Forum – 21 June

The NSW Ombudsman and the Disability Council of NSW invite you to attend
the ‘From Institutions to Community Living’ forum on 21 June 2010 facilitated by Julie McCrossin.

This free forum will examine the plans for working with people with disability and their families to move from large residential centres to community-based accommodation. We will hear from individuals with first-hand experience in making this move and explore the challenges and opportunities ahead.


When:   Monday 21 June 2010
Time:    9:30am – 4:15pm
Where: The Banquet Hall – Sydney Masonic Centre,
             66 Goulburn Street, Sydney. This venue is accessible.
Cost:     Free
RSVP:   Places are limited so please respond by Friday 4 June to:
              forums@ombo.nsw.gov.au or

              ph: (02) 9286 0900 or 1800 451 524


Questions?
Contact forums@ombo.nsw.gov.au or
telephone Eva on (02) 9286 0900 or 1800 451 524

 

In Control NSW

The In Control group continues to meet at PWD on a bi-monthly basis to discuss the goal of achieving individualised funding and self-directed supports for people with disability.  The core group has grown recently to include Christine Regan from NCOSS and Professor Patricia O’Brien from the Centre for Disability Studies.  The group is moving toward having a more formal structure in preparation for upcoming elections and our capacity to be involved in important national events, such as the Productivity Commission’s enquiry into disability care and support, to which the group is planning to make submission.  In Control NSW will meet with Kirsten Deane from the National Disability Insurance Scheme campaign, when she visits Sydney on 21 May. 

 

For more information contact Michael Bleasdale, Executive Director, Leadership Team at michaelb@pwd.org.au

 

NSW Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Issues – report on substitute decision-making

On 25 February 2010, the NSW Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Issues handed down its final report on its Inquiry into Substitute decision-making for people lacking capacity.  

 

PWD provided a joint submission to the Inquiry with the NSW Mental Health Coordinating Council and provided evidence at the Public Hearing associated with the Inquiry.  PWD has been raising issues in this area for over 10 years, and most recently in late 2008 and 2009 when plans for the merger of the Office of the Protective Commissioner and the Public Trustee were announced (see E-bulletin 51 March 2009).

 

Our submission argued strongly that in legislation, institutional arrangements and practice in relation to supported decision making, NSW is in the situation where it either positively breaches, is substantially inconsistent with, or fails to fulfil, Australia’s international human rights obligations with respect to persons with disability and their right to equality before the law.

 

We called for fundamental reforms in this area rather than tinkering at the edges of our existing laws and institutions, as the issues that should be considered are very much broader in scope than the NSW Trustee and Guardian Act 2009.  We argued that the key driver of this reform process ought to be the human rights of persons with disability to equality before the law, and to equal recognition as a person before the law. 

We proposed that the Committee recommend a thorough review of the area by the NSW Law Reform Commission.  A longer and more detailed review by the NSW Law Reform Commission would provide the opportunity for the Government to properly consult with and engage persons with disability in the law reform process. 

 

PWD accepts that the Committee used its best endeavours to address the terms of reference, and it was always difficult to see how justice could be done to this area given the limited timeframe and resources available to the Committee to undertake the Inquiry.  Consequently, the recommendations contained in the final report are not as broad in their scope as PWD argued was required. 

 

Nevertheless, PWD is pleased that many of the Committee’s recommendations substantially or partially adopt some of PWD’s key recommendations.  In particular, PWD is pleased that the Committee endorsed the principles contained in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and was guided by them.  This is demonstrated in some of the key recommendations for legislative reform including:

Ÿ         NSW legislation, in which the issue of capacity in relation to decision-making is raised should explicitly require a presumption of capacity as the starting point; make explicit that such legislation supports the principle of assisted decision-making; and include statements that p person is not be presumed to lack capacity simply because they make a decision that others view as unwise.

Ÿ         The Guardianship Act 1987 should be amended to remove the phrase ‘because of disability’ from the definition of a ‘person in need of a guardian.

Ÿ         Legislation should be pursued to establish a single definition of ‘capacity’.

Ÿ         Transferring administration of the Guardianship Act 1987 from the Minister for Disability Services to the Attorney General should be considered by the NSW Government.

 

Other key recommendations for legislative reform are aimed at:

Ÿ         supporting existing informal guardian arrangements rather than appointing guardians;

Ÿ         ensuring regular review periods and triggers are established for guardianship and financial management orders;

Ÿ         allowing financial management orders to be made for the whole or part of the estate of a person;

Ÿ         ensuring that the Mental Health Review Tribunal is not required to automatically consider a person’s need for a financial management order.

 

PWD was pleased that the Committee recommended the need for legislation in relation to the use of restrictive practices within the context of guardianship, although PWD had also recommended the establishment of an independent, statutory office of Senior Practitioner to regulate the use of restrictive practices, as well amendments to criminal law to create specific offences related to unlawful or abusive use of restrictive practices.

 

PWD was also pleased that a key recommendation from the Committee was the development of a proposal for the establishment of an Office of the Public Advocate that could, among other activities, investigate service providers and government bodies and instigate legal action on behalf of people with disability and undertake systemic and individual advocacy. 

 

In addition, the Committee recommended that consideration be given to the Public Guardian’s proposals for a community guardianship program and the authority to proactively investigate the need for guardianship where it has received a complaint.  It also recommended legislative amendments to enable the Public Guardian to assist people lacking decision-making capacity without a guardianship order.

 

PWD’s submission is available on our website at www.pwd.org.au/submissions.html

Click here to read the final report from the Committee on the NSW Parliament website

For more information contact Therese Sands, Executive Director Leadership Team at thereses@pwd.org.au

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Disability and Domestic Violence in Licensed Boarding Houses Project Update

As previously reported in E-Bulletin, with funding from the NSW Office for Women under the Domestic and Family Violence Grants Program, PWD commenced a 12 month project in July 2009, referred to as the Disability and Domestic Violence Project.

 

The key objectives of this project include increasing the knowledge of women with disability living in licensed boarding houses about how they can be safe from domestic violence and the types of service and supports available to them should they require support. To achieve this, PWD has established a partnership with the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, providing input and arranging guess speakers to present once a month for one of their groups supporting residents of licensed boarding houses. This month’s speaker will be an Official Community Visitor (OCV) who will provide information to the group about the OCV Scheme and how it can assist them to raise and resolve issues of concern within their licensed boarding house.

 

A second key objective is to equip the disability and domestic and family violence sector with skills and knowledge about prevention and best practice responses to domestic and family violence in licensed boarding houses. The most recent activities aimed at meeting this objective were two stakeholder forums were held during April. These forums sought direct input from disability service providers and domestic violence services involved in supporting residents of licensed boarding houses as to their understanding of indicators of domestic violence, how they respond to allegations and observations of domestic violence in these settings, what approaches work well and what are the challenges and barriers.

 

A final day for sector input is being planned for the 3 June where the preliminary findings of the project will be presented and sector stakeholders invited to participate in developing a plan of action to address key issues identified. For further information please contact Maria Attard or Sonya Price-Kelly, Advocacy Project Managers at PWD at sonypk@pwd.org.au or mariaa@pwd.org.au.

 

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Other States and Territory News

Pilot UNIFEM Gender Analysis Workshops with Women with disabilities

Come along and join other women with disabilities to learn about gender and
gender analysis and discuss women’s and disability related issues that
impact on our lives in Melbourne: 21-22 June 2010. Registration is free and will include a light morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.

 

Workshop places are limited so it is recommended that you register early.  Past UNIFEM Australia gender analysis workshops have had up to 65 people on the wait list.

 

Registrations will close on Friday 21st May 2010.

More information please contact UNIFEM Australia on (02) 6285-8254 or
www.unifem.org.au/Gender_Analysis_Workshops

 

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National News

Height Adjustable GP Examination Beds

People with Disability Australia has been working for a number of years with Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA), the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) and more recently with the Physical Disability Council NSW (PDCN) and Council on the Ageing NSW (COTA) to have height adjustable examination beds made a mandatory requirement for accreditation under the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Standards for general practices.

 

In 2004, research undertaken by Sheila King, from (former) Access for All Alliance, showed that less than 5% of GP surgeries had height adjustable examination beds. The research formed the basis of our campaign led by WWDA.

 

Our campaign achieved partial success in ensuring that height adjustable examination beds were included in the 3rd edition of the Standards, it was not made a mandatory requirement for accreditation of GPs. 

 

However, we continued to campaign for height adjustable examination beds to be mandatory in the recent revision of the Standards and we are pleased to announce the RACGP has just released its draft 4th edition of the Standards which propose height adjustable examination beds do become mandatory. The draft is now subject to a three month period of consideration and feedback from the general practice profession and other stakeholders.

 

PWD congratulates all our partners and supporters in this campaign and welcomes this positive step for people with disability made by the RACGP.

 

For more information, contact Therese Sands, Executive Director, Leadership Team at thereses@pwd.org.au

 

Australia to Host Sixty-Third United Nations DPI/NGO Conference

United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, Kiyo Akasaka and Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stephen Smith, have jointly announced that the sixty-third United Nations Department of Public Information/Non-Governmental Organisation (DPI/NGO) Conference will be held in Melbourne, Australia from 30 August to 1 September 2010.

 

The United Nations DPI/NGO Conference is the premier non-governmental organisation event at the United Nations.  It will be the first time Australia hosts a United Nations event of this size and only the third time that the DPI/NGO Conference has been held outside of United Nations Headquarters.

 

The Conference will be organised in partnership between the United Nations Department of Public Information, the NGO/DPI Executive Committee and the Government of Australia.  A major aim of this year’s Conference is to attract participation from non-governmental organisations from the Pacific island States and other countries in Asia.

 

Each year this Conference brings together hundreds of non-governmental organisation representatives from around the world to focus on a topic of interest related to the work of civil society and non-governmental organisations in collaboration with the United Nations. The 2009 Conference took place in Mexico City and focused on disarmament.

 

The 2010 Conference will focus on global health as it relates to the Millennium Development Goals, an issue of importance to both the Government of Australia and the non-governmental community.

 

Health issues are central to the Millennium Development Goals, which have been internationally accepted as the road map for development.  Some of the key issues addressed by the Millennium Development Goals include Goal 4, reducing child mortality; Goal 5, improving maternal health; and Goal 6, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.

 

In December, an initial planning mission led by Eric Falt, Director of the Outreach Division, United Nations Department of Public Information and Mary Norton, Chair of the Conference, visited Australia and held consultations with both Government representatives and leading members of the non-governmental community.  The team also visited and identified the venue for the Conference.

 

In January, an Australian Convenor was selected to coordinate non-governmental community efforts in the country in cooperation with the New York-based Co-Chairs of the Conference.  He will soon visit New York as the planning process begins in earnest for the late August Conference.

 

The United Nations DPI/NGO Conference will be a major event in the 2010 United Nations calendar and will occur only weeks prior to the start of the sixty-fifth United Nations General Assembly and an Millennium Development Goals Summit called for the occasion.

 

For additional information, please contact Maria-Luisa Chavez, Chief of NGO Relations in the Department of Public Information, at +1 917 367 7022, or see the United Nations website at www.un.org.au

 

Campaign for National Disability Insurance Scheme gathers momentum

The campaign for a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) for people with disability, which aims to deliver a guarantee of funding for the assistance and services required to support a person’s disability, is attracting the attention of the mainstream media and gaining support.  The idea for a no-fault insurance scheme was initiated by a collaboration between the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO), National Disability Services (NDS) and the National People with Disabilities and Carer Council, and is proposing a levy, similar to the Medicare levy, is applied to taxpayers to effectively pay insurance against the risk of acquiring disability and the costs associated with providing the necessary support services.  Press articles in national and local papers and websites have highlighted the crisis in the current disability services system and the ABC’s Four Corners program on 15 February headlined the issue with a focus on carers.

 

PWD is supportive of the creation of a pool of funding which will guarantee support to people with disability who require it.  It has concerns, however, about the nature of the rhetoric that has been used to date to put the issue in the mainstream media.  A growing number of disability and community organisations are joining the groundswell of support for the campaign and on an issue as important as this the sector is aiming to remain united to achieve a significant outcome.  But some of the more vocal proponents of the NDIS are actively seeking to sideline the voices of people with disability, such that commentary to date has not included the perspective of the people who stand to benefit from an entitlement to support.  The wording of the supporting documentation is very negative, characterising disability as “risk” with “potentially catastrophic consequences” and as such runs counter to the strong messages of capability, diversity and contribution of people with disability that PWD and others in the disability sector have been cultivating in society for the past 30 years.  The NDIS campaign does, though, articulate a requirement that the supports that are funded from the contributions are to be individualised and that mechanisms of individualised funding are to be available to those who wish it.

 

The campaign material is available at www.ndis.org.auPWD is arranging for the Executive Director of the National People with Disabilities and Carers Alliance and the official spokesperson for the campaign, Kirsten Deane, to visit Sydney and speak to the PWD Board and members and also other invited guests from other peaks and advocacy groups, so that we can put our concerns to her directly.  We will be holding an event in the early evening on Friday 21 May at a venue yet to be decided.  Members will receive a separate notification of this event, and details will also be available on our website.

 

Please contact Stephanie Wright on 02 9370 3100 or email stephaniew@pwd.org.au if you would like to attend the event, providing details of any access or other requirements.

 

Productivity Commission Inquiry into disability care and support underway

The Productivity Commission has been asked to enquire into the long-term care and support needs of adults with disability (under the age of 65). 

 

According to the Productivity Commission website, amongst other things this inquiry will examine:

  • how a scheme should be designed and funded to better meet the long-term needs of people with disability, their families and carers;
  • how to determine the people most in need of support, the services that should be available to them and service delivery arrangements;
  • the costs, benefits, feasibility and funding options of alternative schemes;
  • how the scheme will interact with the health, aged care, informal care, income support and injury insurance systems;
  • its impacts on the workforce;
  • how any scheme should be introduced and governed;
  • what protections and safeguards should be part of the scheme.

 

The enquiry’s terms of reference can be found at www.pc.gov.au/projects/inquiry/disability-support/terms-of-reference 

Its purpose is to examine a range of options and approaches for the long-term provision of support to people with “severe and profound” disability.  It will look at a no-fault social insurance model which replaces the current provision of funds for services; look at how supports can be provided in individualised ways and how support can be provided to people with disability to enable them to make decisions about their support; and look at issues of governance and administration, financing and implementation, including sector capacity issues.

 

The process has begun and organisations and individuals are encouraged to provide an initial submission to the Inquiry.  PWD will be working toward this, and the members’ event with Kirsten Deane (mentioned above) will allow us to canvas a wide range of views to will contribute to our submission.

 

For more information contact Michael Bleasdale, Executive Director, Leadership Team at michaelb@pwd.org.au

 

Review of Disability Services Standards kicks off across Australia

The Disability Services Standards, which came into effect in 1993 to facilitate the implementation of reforms associated with disability services legislation in Australia, are under review.  It was agreed by State, Territory and Australian Government Disability Ministers to review the Standards at the signing of the National Disability Agreement in 2009, to address perceived gaps in the current versions of the standards across the country and also to support the process of moving toward greater consistency of service quality under a National Quality Framework (NQF).

 

There will now be national consultation on the draft standards, which you can find on the FaHCSIA website at:

www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/disability/standards/Pages/policy-nsds1993.aspx

Each State and Territory is conducting its consultation separately, but using the same consultation tools which have been developed by the Disability Studies and Research Centre of the University of NSW.  This means that the Ageing Disability and Home Care Office of the NSW Department of Human Services is responsible for widespread consultation in NSW. Updates on the progress of the review can be found on their website on:

www.dadhc.nsw.gov.au/NR/rdonlyres/CD3588A6-5D12-4B2E-A189-B28C648038FC/5170/Marchbulletin.pdf

 

Consultations are beginning now and the contact person for details of focus groups and workshops is Sonia Davda on (02) 8270 2093 or sonia.davda@dadhc.nsw.gov.au

 

Online surveys can be completed by going to the following web page: www.dhs.vic.gov.au/disability/improving_supports/national-quality-framework/online-survey-for-the-national-standards

 

PWD has been involved as part of the NSW Industry Reference Group regarding the development of quality assurance mechanisms for disability services in NSW and has been involved in prior consultations about the NQF.  PWD will look at making a submission and other contributions to the review of the Standards.

 

National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline launches its brochure for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services, the Hon. Bill Shorten, launched the National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline’s (Hotline) new brochure, aimed at raising awareness of abuse and neglect, and the Hotline’s services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people.  The launch took place at a breakfast held at the end of the National Gathering of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island People with Disability, on Thursday 22 April.

 

The new brochure marks a concerted effort on the part of the Hotline to make its service more culturally appropriate and accessible to people from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background by making people aware of abuse and neglect and encouraging people to access the service.

 

Despite the high rates of disability amongst the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, very few people from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background have ever contacted the Hotline. The Hotline relies on awareness of what it does and of its free 1800 telephone number, to receive allegations of abuse and neglect from or concerning people with disability all across Australia.  Not having culturally appropriate and specifically targeted information has contributed to a lack of engagement by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability with the service. 

 

The brochure, designed by renowned artist Bronwyn Bancroft, uses striking and powerful images to display the different forms of abuse people with disability from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background might experience. Through the medium of paintings and colour, the brochure will engage its new audience to take action and encourage them to speak out against abuses in their community.

 

Mr Shorten’s office distributed a media release about the launch, in which the Parliamentary Secretary urged people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background to use the Hotline service:

 

“If more Indigenous people use the hotline, we can collect information about the difficulties that many people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders background face as well as the appropriateness of services that they receive,” Mr Shorten said.

 

The Hotline can be contacted from 8am to 8pm (nationally) every day of the year, on 1800 880 052.

 

ACOSS News

PWD members and readers of E-Bulletin will be aware that PWD is a member of the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) and has representation on its Board of Directors.  The recent ACOSS Conference, held in Canberra on 25 and 26 March, had the theme of “A Vote for Equity” and featured, among other things, a session that discussed the prospect of individualised funding as a means of delivering supports to people with disability.  Bill Shorten spoke at the session, as did Professor Christine Bigby from La Trobe University and Robbi Williams from the Julia Farr Association in South Australia. It was a lively session and encouraging to see a disability-specific issue so prominent at an ACOSS conference.

 

During March ACOSS staff consulted with PWD staff about the proposals it is making regarding pensions and allowances, anticipating the release of the Henry Review of Taxation, expected in May.  The Henry Review is likely to recommend some significant changes to the tax and social security systems, which will have an impact upon people with disability.  PWD will aim to keep members informed of its impact, and the briefings we receive from the ACOSS staff will be invaluable.

 

The current CEO of ACOSS, Clare Martin, has recently announced her resignation to take up a position closer to her home in the Northern Territory .  The Board is currently in the process of recruiting her replacement.  PWD is sorry to see her go, and wishes her the very best in her future endeavours.

 

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International News

Universal Periodic Review of Australia in February 2011
PWD is participating on the NGO working group that is preparing the NGO report to the United Nations (UN) for its review of Australia under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in February 2011. The UPR is a mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council which reviews the human rights records of all 192 United Nations Member States.

NGOs can provide information to the UN Human Rights Council on Australia’s human rights record.  NGOs must limit their submission to 5 pages.  Experience in the review of other States has shown that the most effective way for NGOs to influence the UPR is to develop a single 5‑page report that is developed and endorsed by a large coalition of NGOs. 

The working group has been established to coordinate the preparation of a joint 5‑page NGO Report.  It is currently canvassing key issues for inclusion in the report.  Please email us (see contact details below) if you are interested in being part of the NGO working group or would like to provide information on key issues.  The working group is open to all civil society groups.  

Government’s Report

The Australian Government recently invited NGOs to submit initial views on information that they would like to see included in the Australian Government’s report by 16 April 2010. Click here for further information.

Further Information

Click here for an overview of the UPR process and opportunities for NGO involvement.

Contacts

For further information on the NGO working group, please contact:

Anna Cody, Kingsford Legal Centre,
email acody@unsw.edu.au phone (02) 9385 9566 or
Louise Edwards, National Association of CLCs,
email louise_edwards@clc.net.au phone (02) 9264 9595 or
Ben Schokman, Human Rights Law Resource Centre,
email ben.schokman@hrlrc.org.au phone (03) 8636 4451

 

For information on PWD’s involvement in the Working Group please contact Therese Sands, Executive Director, Leadership Team on the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or by email at thereses@pwd.org.au

 

Governance Support Program to Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs)

In E-bulletin 57 and 58, we provided information on the Governance Support Program being delivered by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) and the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) to nine countries in the Pacific.  The training aims to build the capacity of Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) to work with Government to progress the rights of people with disability in their countries.

 

PWD Australia plays a role in delivering key aspects of the training alongside representatives from Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), Pacific Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).

 

The training thus far has been delivered to the following PDF members Disability Promotion Association (Vanuatu), People with Disabilities Solomon Islands, Nuanua O Le Alofa (Samoa) and Te Toa Matoa (Kiribati). In April, this training was delivered to Cook Islands National Disability Council. This program commenced September 2009 and will be completed August 2010.

 

The following quotes are from participants who have attended the training;

 

‘This training has been great. I didn’t understand what human rights were before but now I do. I have learnt so many things. I can now take back all the things I have learnt and apply it to my work’. – Government representative

 

‘Personally, I believe the most important thing is the personal values we place on people with disability and willingness to see them progress and respected in our communities as everyone else which enables us to strive on with little resources we have and be strategic and have great leadership in championing our program activities’. – Government representative

 

‘I haven’t spoken up before because I didn’t understand the concepts so I didn’t know how to join in the discussions. This is the same problem a lot of women with disability have as to why they don’t speak up. I appreciated the information that was shared because it helped me to understand a lot of things that before I didn’t understand. I am very happy. Thank you. Thank you’. – DPO representative

 

‘I now feel confident and comfortable in sharing my ideas and thoughts on issues that affect or may affect me. I now know that I have the same rights as any other person’. – DPO representative

 

For more information contact Maria Attard, Advocacy Projects Manager on the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or by email at mariaa@pwd.org.au

 

New Small Grants Scheme Initiative for Pacific Disabled Persons’ Organisations – from PDF Press Release

The Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) recently announced the successful organisations from Pacific Island countries for the first round of its contestable small grants scheme, the Pacific Disabled Persons’ Organisations (DPO) Fund.

 

The Pacific DPO Fund was established by the PDF in 2009 with funding from the New Zealand Government through NZAID. The purpose of the Pacific DPO Fund is to improve the lives of persons with disabilities by supporting the organisational development and project work of Pacific disabled persons’ organisations from the following Pacific Island countries: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

 

The Pacific DPO Fund has two separate funding streams; the first for DPO Organisational Development Activities and the second for Projects that seek to achieve DPO plans to support persons with disabilities in their countries.  All applications must meet relevant criteria specified for each funding stream clearly articulated in the Pacific DPO Fund Guidelines.

 

The Pacific DPO Fund is managed by a five member fund committee comprising of the disability coordination officer at the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat, Mr. Frederick Miller who is also the chairperson of the Committee, and three members elected on a biannual basis from the PDF membership at the annual general meeting. Ms. Nelly Caleb from Disability Promotion and Advocacy Association Vanuatu, Ms. Samantha French from PWD Australia and Mr. Nofovaleane Mapusua from Nuanua O Le Alofa Samoa were the three Committee members for the period 2008-2010. The PDF DPO Development Officer, Ms. Angeline Chand is an ex-officio member. 

 

Grant applications from the following organisations were approved by the Fund Committee and the big announcement made by the Chairperson of the Fund Committee at the 2010 PDF Council Meeting held in March. 

 

Fiji Association of the Deaf – Organisational Development – FJ$9,994.50

Fiji Disabled People’s Association – Organisational Development – FJ$10,000.00

Naunau o’e Alamaite Tonga Association – Project – FJ$8,704.00

United Blind Persons of Fiji – Project – FJ$9,450.00

 

The following organisations had their grant applications approved in principle by the Fund Committee pending receipt of further information.

 

Cook Islands National Disability Council

Te Vaerua Community Rehabilitation Service (Cook Islands)

 

Interested organisations are urged to review the full guidelines and application details about the Pacific DPO Fund posted on the PDF website www.pacificdisability.org and click on the DPO Development page.

 

For further information, contact Ms. Angeline Chand on telephone 3312008 (Fiji) or email program@pacificdisability.org

 

Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) 2010 Series of Meetings and Training

The Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) promotes and facilitates Pacific regional cooperation on disability rights and disability-related concerns for the benefit of people with disability across the Pacific region. PWD has been involved with the establishment and development of the PDF and continues to be an active member of the organisation at a regional level.  It also continues to work in direct partnership with other Pacific ‘Disabled Peoples Organisations’ (DPOs) that are PDF members.

The PDF 2010 series of meetings and training took place in Nadi , Fiji from 18-26 March 2010, with support of AusAID and NZAID to review progress in the region, discuss challenges, identify possible solutions, agree on the way forward and negotiate with partners on mutually agreed processes. Despite Hurricane Tomas forcing the postponement of the start of the meetings, the overall schedule of meetings and training went smoothly and were well attended by representatives of DPOs from across the Pacific. PWD was represented at the meetings by Advocacy Projects Manager, Sonya Price-Kelly and Board Member and representative to the PDF, Samantha French.

Highlights of the meetings included:

 

  • PDF Governance meeting on 18 March focused on reviewing and improving the governance structure and operation of the PDF. This was supported by AusAID and attended by the PDF Executive Committee members and Secretariat staff. PWD was invited to attend the meeting having been involved with the formation and governance of the PDF and as one of the former foundation Executive Committee Members.

 

  • Pacific DPO Fund Committee met on 21 March to finalise the assessment of applications from Pacific Island countries for the first round of its contestable small grants scheme. The Pacific DPO Fund was established by the PDF with funding from the New Zealand Government through NZAID, with the purpose of the Fund being to improve the lives of persons with disabilities by supporting organisational development and project work of Pacific DPOs.

 

PWD has been involved with the establishment and administration of the program as one of three elected Committee members. At the 2010 PDF Council Meeting, Sam French from PWDA was re-elected as a Committee member for another two year term 2010-2012, along with Ms. Nelly Caleb from Vanuatu and Mr Vai'uli Kohinoa from Tonga. During the next two year term, PWD will be working with other Committee members and PDF in monitoring the first round of funding allocated in 2010 and assessing further funds allocation through this program. As Australian DPOs are ineligible to apply for funds under this program, PWDA has a significant contribution to make to this Committee as an independent Committee member, as well as supporting applications by other partner DPOs across the region.

 

  • On 22 March the Pacific Women’s Network, working with the Fiji Disabled People's Association, organised a one-day National Forum for Women with Disabilities, attended by women with disabilities from Fiji and their sisters with disabilities from across the Pacific. This was an opportunity for women with disabilities to share good practices and have input to the development of the next PDF Strategic Plan, 2012-2016, particularly the objective relating to women and girls with disabilities. 

 

PWD has been an active member of the PDF Women’s Committee since it was first established and provided technical and administrative support to women participants throughout this meeting.

 

  • On 23 March approximately 50 participants representing 14 Pacific Island countries and territories attended workshop sessions on the Pacific DPO Fund, Monitoring and Evaluation Project as well as PDF Strategic Planning process.

 

  • A Donor/Development Partners Forum was held on 24 March where the participants engaged with representatives from a range of development partners, including AusAID, NZAID, Disability Rights Fund, UNESCAP, PIFS, ADDC and APIDS. Issues addressed included how Pacific DPOs could access financial, technical and other support from these donor and development partners, and how such assistance targeting disability development in the Pacific could be better coordinated. The participants also received first-hand information on the capacity development initiative by PDF on targeted DPOs in the Pacific utilising funds made available by AusAID for this project.

 

  • The actual 2010 PDF Council Meeting was held on the afternoon of 24 March, which was attended by 21 out of 22 Full Members from all 13 member countries and 1 territory (New Caledonia ). The members approved the 2008-09 audited financial report, received annual reports from the Executive Committee and CEO, as well as endorsed the 2010-2011 annual Work Plan and Budget. Three new organisations were received as Associate Members of PDF - Fusi Alofa Association Tuvalu, National Disability Resource and Advocacy Centre (PNG) and the Tonga Red Cross Society which now brings the total membership of PDF to 22 Full Members and 16 Associate Members.

 

The annual PDF meetings provide many opportunities for networking outside of the formal meetings and PWD will continue to work with fellow members of the PDF at the regional level to promote rights of people with disability across the Pacific as well as to work in partnership with individual DPOs to support advocacy and build the capacity of DPOs in the Pacific region. PWD will also continue to participate in the PDF Women’s Committee and work of the DPO Funds Committee in assessing and monitoring funds for organisational development and capacity building over the next two year term.

 

Further information on the PDF is available at www.pacificdisability.org or by contacting Sonya Price-Kelly on the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or by email at sonyapk@pwd.org.au.

 

PWD Member receives award for accessibility website

PWD member and former Board Director, Sheila King, received an award at a Conference in Guangzhou , China at the beginning of April.  Sheila’s organisation, Australia For All’s presentation on their website: www.australiaforall.com received an award for the best website dealing with accessibility for people with disability.  Sheila was also very pleased with the positive feedback she received from conference attendees, including this email from a representative of the China Disability Institute at Renmin University of China:  “You have made it so great and very convenient for people with disabilities to use the internet to find accommodation. I hope we can keep in contact to each other after the conference.”

 

Korean Society for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities announces its 2010 study program

PWD plays a significant role in assisting particularly disadvantaged population groups of people with disability develop the capacity for self-representation, with a particular focus on disabled peoples organisations in Pacific nations. This includes the development of systemic advocacy skills, that enable these groups to more effectively ‘work the system’ to ensure that their needs are met. As part of our capacity building strategy we provide the following information about this unique opportunity for young adults with disabilities in Pacific Island Countries to build their capacity to deal with disability issues both at a national and international level, so that they contribute to promoting a better society for persons with disabilities in the future.

 

Six years ago the Korean Society for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities (KSRPD) began an international study program to empower young people with disability, in recognition of the lack of positive role models for young people with disability.  Initially the program was made only for Koreans to undertake a short-term field visit abroad and it was only last year that ‘Team Korea’ was added to the program, in order for young people with disability from Asian developing countries to study about the rights of people with disability in Korea. The objectives of the program are as follows,

 

  • To provide opportunities to youth with disabilities to build their capacity, with a view that they fulfil their lives, and contribute to the national and global community in the future
  • To create a more inclusive society for people with disabilities through mutual understanding between people with and without disabilities from all parts of the world

 

The program aims to assist young people with or without disability to raise their awareness of disability and strengthen their capacity to work as professionals in any fields they want to work in the future. Ultimately, the program aims at mainstreaming a disability perspective in all areas of life, with a view to building a more inclusive society.

 

This year there will be four tours, one of which will be in Korea itself, which will involve 52 participants in 7 teams.  One tour will take place in Oceania, with the theme of sport and leisure, one in North America, with the theme of families and the support of children with disability and the other in South America, where media awareness and housing and support and other disability issues will be the topic of study.  The “Dream Together” event in Korea will be available to 10 Koreans and 10-12 people from other Asian countries (non-developed), all aged between 18 and 30 years and will offer rich insights into Korea’s culture, as well as provide opportunities for meaningful cultural exchange amongst the participants.

 

All the events take place between 18 and 29 August 2010 and all places are funded by KSRPD.

 

For more information contact Reena Lee at kSRPD on 82-2-3472-3709 (Direct line) or 82-2-3472-3556. The website address is: www.rikorea.freeget.net

 

 

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The Inside Story

PWD President Election

Hi All,         

I would like to thank you for your support in the recent Presidential election, I was a little surprised to hear I was the successful candidate. I was also very grateful for the trust you have had in me and I will endeavor to work hard and steer the ship through smooth and rough waters throughout 2010.

 

I believe we can all work together as a team for the benefit of PWDA.  We have a host of talent to tap into among the Staff, Board members and Members, all with expertise in different areas. By working together and pooling our knowledge I am certain we can forge ahead and install PWDA as the Pick of the Peaks. I know realistically this will take much determination, dedication and a great deal of hard work, but I will give it my best shot and with your help we will achieve our objectives.

 

As we expand our services far and wide both interstate and regionally, we must be prepared for the challenges ahead and demonstrate to the disability sector that we are a capable and forward thinking professional organisation.

 

Yours sincerely

Jan Daisley - President PWDA

 

PWD’s position on the sterilisation of girls and women with disability

Following a decision of the Queensland Family Court in March to sterilise a young girl with disability for therapeutic reasons, there was a flurry of media attention on the subject and a misquote in the local media on PWD’s position, which was taken up overseas, briefly attracting some international press interest in PWD.  In response, PWD issued a press release (available on our website at www.pwd.org.au/archive/10/MR0312ForcedSterilisation.doc)

 

Our President, Jan Daisley quickly got together a response to an opinion piece written in the Sydney Morning Herald by George Williams, but it was not printed. We have, however, posted it on the PWD website (at www.pwd.org.au) and below are some of the key passages which help to explain the position that PWD adopts on this issue:

 

“The court decision, which received media attention both in Australia and overseas, has been rightfully portrayed as a difficult moral dilemma, with the interests of a child pitted against the rights of parents to make decisions on their behalf.

 

Yet the position of disability advocates is wrongly characterised in William’s piece, as it generally is elsewhere, as staunchly against sterilisation as a point of principle, where upholding human rights is given precedent over the pressing need of the child to experience the “best quality of life”.

 

As a disability advocate, I disagree with this simplified view which argues advocacy is all about rights and conventions as a matter of principle, without consideration of the struggles and dilemmas of real people. There are clear reasons why we feel so passionately about human rights and believe them to be the strongest vehicle for achieving a quality of life for people with disability equal to that enjoyed by other members of Australian society.

 

After acquiring my disability, I was put under extreme pressure to undergo complete sterilisation. My parents and I fought against the ‘experts’ and won; however, I know many other people who did not have the support I had, who gave into the heavy societal pressure and agreed to undergo the procedure. Sadly in some cases the procedure created more problems, such as depression, challenging behaviour and even death.

 

PWD supports national, uniform legislation for the prohibition of non-therapeutic sterilisation of children, regardless of whether they have disability, and judicial authorisation of therapeutic sterilisation only where the procedure is necessary and appropriate in order to save the child’s life or to prevent serious damage to the child’s health.

 

Once legislation encompassing prohibition is passed, we believe that the judicial mechanism used to authorise therapeutic sterilisation will be able to provide the necessary safeguards against procedures being carried out for non-therapeutic purposes, such as menstrual management and contraception.” 

 

 

Introducing Daphnée Cook – Communications and Membership Development Manager

PWD is pleased to welcome to its staff Daphnée Cook.  Daphnée’s role includes managing external communications to PWD (including media) and to advise the PWD Board and Management on communicating the organisation’s key messages to members, the disability sector, governments, and the general public. She is also working to consolidate internal communications and provide the linkages between the different areas of PWD, so that knowledge of the organisation’s work is shared by all staff. Her role includes developing and expanding PWD’s membership program, developing and expanding PWD’s donor database and increasing PWD’s media presence.

 

Daphnee previously worked in a media and communications role with the Indonesian Business Coalition on AIDS, a Jakarta-based HIV awareness, advocacy and education organisation. She has also worked or volunteered with several prominent human rights organisations, including Amnesty International Belgium, Oxfam Australia, and the Australian Human Rights Commission. She holds a combined degree in Communications, majoring in Journalism, and International Studies.

 

In her current role she encourages both staff and members to contact her if they require further information on any PWD services, wish to provide feedback or have any other question regarding membership or communications. 

 

Daphnée can be contacted by email at daphneec@pwd.org.au or at the office on (02) 9370 3100.

PWD Training Services

PWD has an extensive experience in the development and delivery of professional training across a wide range of disability areas, PWD is able to develop specific in-house training sessions for your organisation. We are constantly adding to and improving the training we have on offer and so have a wide range of courses available to suit everyone’s needs.

To find out more about PWD's training services or to discuss your specific training needs, by email or by one of the numbers listed at the end of this bulletin. For more information contact Fiona Godfrey , Training Manager on email fionag@pwd.org.au or one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin.

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Social Media

Twitter is a fast paced but easy to use social media site where people communicate information, messages and links through ‘Tweets’ similar to Facebook status updates.  Through these Tweets you can link to other websites and documents, or start discussions with other users. PWD currently has around 370 followers including other disability and social services organisations in Australia and overseas.  Twitter is effective in creating awareness of PWD as an organisation as well as being a tool for spreading news, media releases and information about our work.  Since we began using Twitter and Facebook at the end of March we have been able to track clicks to our website as a result of regular updates.  Furthermore, PWD was responsible for setting the trend on the topic of human rights on Twitter last week following the Attorney General’s announcement on Australia’s human rights framework (as reported by Twitter’s trend tracking). You can follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/pwdaustralia.  If you have any questions or feedback on Twitter please email stephaniew@pwd.org.au

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal is conducting its annual review into taxi fares where taxi drivers have argued passengers should be charged $8 before their journey even begins.  With access to public transport still a problem for many people with disability, what do you think about this suggestion to increase the cost of taxi fares? Share your thoughts: www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=370395603656&topic=12919

Does a 'Disability Community' exist? -- what do you think?
www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=370395603656&topic=12895

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Conferences and Workshops

4 May – Creating the life you want: People with disability, families and services working together, The Epping Club, 45-47 Rawson Street, Epping, 9am (registration) to 2.30pm.  For more information go to the Family Advocacy website: www.family-advocacy.com

6-7 May – NDS Accommodation and Social Participation Conference at Conrad Jupiters, Gold Coast Queensland
www.nds.org.au/conferences/ASP2010/ASP2010.htm

12 May – Disability Awareness, PWD Redfern NSW – 9-4.30pm www.pwd.org.au/training/courses.html

17 May – Introduction to Disability Awareness, PWD Redfern NSW – 10-11.30am www.pwd.org.au/training/courses.html

19-20 May 2010 National Indigenous Family Violence Prevention Forum – Safe Homes, solid families – Registration and a draft program, together with accommodation options are available at the following link: www.noviolence.com.au/forum2010/registration.html 

31 May -1 June – Communities in Control Conference 2010: Power Up! Who has it, how to get it & how communities can use it. – More information www.ourcommunity.com.au/cic2010

15 June – 16 June – “Strengthening Disability Advocacy: Becoming a National Force”, 3rd National Disability Advocacy Conference, Disability Advocacy Network of Australia, Hotel Realm,Canberra. For further information about the Conference or nearby accommodation options please contact the DANA Conference Secretariat on info@dana.org.au or phone 02 62425060.

 

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About PWD

People with Disability Australia Incorporated (PWD) is a national disability rights and advocacy organisation. Our membership is people with disability and organisations made up of people with disability. Individuals and organisations committed to the disability rights movement can join PWD as associate members.

PWD 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 increasingly depends on membership fees, public donations, bequests and fundraising activities to maintain our commitment to improving the lives of people with disability. PWD is a deductible gift recipient so donations of $2 or more are fully tax deductible.

Your tax deductible donation will mean we can continue to maintain our services. If you are interested and would like to support PWD please visit www.pwd.org.au/donate.html

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Privacy Statement

We are committed to protecting your privacy. In doing so, we commit ourselves to conforming to the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Bill 2000, which came into effect in December 2001 and the National Privacy Principles issued by the Australian Privacy Commissioner.

This newsletter is distributed by email. You have provided us with an email address. This email address will be used only for the purpose for which you have provided it and you will not be added to any other mailing lists unless you specifically request that this be done. Your email address will not be disclosed without your consent. You can have your email address removed from the mailing list for this newsletter by sending an email to pwd@pwd.org.au. This newsletter contains links to websites. We cannot be held responsible for the privacy practices (or lack thereof) or the content of such websites.

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Contact Us

Please note that PWD publishes items contributed by other organisations at our discretion. While we will assist where possible in the dissemination of information, we do not take responsibility for the promotion or advertisement of events organised by other organisations.

If you would like to receive PWD E-Bulletin in an alternative format or have an enquiry, contact PWD by email pwd@pwd.org.au or on one of the numbers listed below.

People with Disability Australia Incorporated
PO Box 66 Strawberry Hills NSW 2012
Phone 02 9370 3100, toll-free 1800 422 015
TTY 02 9318 2138, toll-free 1800 422 016

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