PWD E-Bulletin

 

Number 61 June 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 Media Releases

Job/Volunteer Opportunities

Upcoming Events

About PWD

Privacy Statement

Contact Us

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New South Wales News

Public consultation on proposed Youth and Community Services Regulation 2010

 

Ageing, Disability and Home Care, Department of Human Services (ADHC), has prepared a Regulatory Impact Statement in relation to the proposed Youth and Community Services Regulation 2010.  This proposed Regulation includes many of the requirements relating to residents accommodation, care, safety, welfare and well-being that were previously subject to some uncertainty as to the scope of the Minister for Ageing and Disability’s power to enforce. These proposed changes aim to clarify the conditions that licensed boarding house operators will be legally required to provide.  The proposed Regulation will be made under the authority of the Youth and Community Services Act 1973 and will replace the Youth and Community Services Regulation 2005, which will expire on 1 September 2010.

 

The Regulatory Impact Statement outlines four options to making the 2010 Regulation and outlines the costs and benefits to each.

 

Comments and submissions on the proposed Regulation are invited from the public. This is a very important opportunity for the disability sector, others involved in supporting residents of licensed boarding houses and those interested in Boarding House Sector reform to have input into this process with the aim to improve standards and quality of life of people with disability living in licensed boarding houses.

 

Some of PWD’s key concerns regarding the proposed Regulation and the process are as follows:

 

·        The proposed Regulation is based on minimum standards which were established some 30 years ago when the Youth and Community Services Act 1973 and subsequent licensing regime was introduced in 1979. What was considered a minimum standard in disability residential care practices then falls far short of minimum standards in disability best practice today;

·        The proposed Regulation doesn’t in anyway reflect the NSW Government’s obligations for the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). This includes the NSW Government’s obligation to develop laws, policies and programs which promote, protect and fulfil all human rights and fundamental freedoms of people with disability and that these are recognised without any limitations or exceptions.

·        Nor does it reflect best practice standards expected from other disability service providers. The absurd situation of people with disability living in licensed boarding houses being afforded one set of standards or benchmarks for their care, welfare, safety and wellbeing under the Regulation whilst receiving care and supervision from the licensed boarding house, and another when receiving support from ADHC provided or funded services has not been addressed or alleviated in any way;

·        The proposed Regulation fails to introduce criminal record checks or probity checks on staff of licensed boarding houses or extend the existing requirement of one off criminal record checks which only occur for the Licensee when the licence is first issued or for the Licensed Manager when they are appointed.

 

Improving background checking and screening procedures for staff and caregivers coming into contact with vulnerable adults has been well documented.  As has the relative ease with which perpetrators can move from one place of employment to another when they are discovered or dismissed. Movement of perpetrators from services for children (which do now have background police checks in a number of jurisdictions) to services for vulnerable adults, including those for persons with cognitive impairment is also well acknowledged. Concerns relating to criminal record check processes have been highlighted by the NSW Ombudsman in its June 2006 Special Report to Parliament on DADHC’s Monitoring Standards in Licensed Boarding Houses. PWD has been advocating for the introduction of a Working with Vulnerable Persons Check, similar to that in place for persons working with children, for some time.

 

·        The proposed Regulation fails to provide any tenancy protections such as Licensee’s and Licensed Managers being prevented from evicting residents without notice and/or held to account for unfair evictions; scrutiny of fees and rent charges and how these link to the provision of goods and services, as well as the requirement for reasonable notices of rental increases; and access to the Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal for disputes.

·        The consultation process only allows for the minimum timeframe afforded under the provisions of the Subordinate Legislation Act 1989 which is 28 days. PWD believes this does not provide sufficient time for all stakeholders to express their views on the matters addressed in the RIS.

Of particular concern is how this consultation process will incorporate the views of residents of licensed boarding houses as one of the key stakeholder groups affected by the matters outlined in the RIS. Whilst copies of this statement have been forwarded to all licensees, organisations and government agencies involved in boarding houses, we do not believe copies have been provided to each resident. There is no version of the RIS available in plain English or alternative accessible formats which could be used by others to facilitate residents understanding or input into this process. Nor are we aware of any alternative or separate consultation processes being undertaken to ensure the people with disability living in licensed boarding houses have a say within this 28 day timeframe; and

 

·        The RIS provides insufficient consideration to the human rights and best interests of people with disability.  It mentions the proposed Regulation being essential as ‘many people with disability are vulnerable to abuse’ but the Regulation itself fails to go far enough to ensure the human rights of people with disability, as residents of boarding houses, are given paramount consideration and therefore respected, protected and fulfilled.

PWD will be making a submission and would be happy to discuss these issues as well as other detailed comments with anyone else interested in making a submission. If you have any questions or wish to share ideas for submissions, please contact Sonya Price-Kelly, Advocacy Projects Manager on email sonyapk@pwd.org.au

 

Submissions and comments should be delivered or posted no later than close of business on 13 July 2010 to:

 

The Boarding House Regulation Team
Sector Development
Ageing, Disability and Home Care
Department of Human Services
Level 5, 83 Clarence Street
Sydney 2000

 

Public Consultation on proposed Youth and Community Services Regulation 2010

Regulatory Impact Statement

YACS Regulation

 

 

Talking about Devolution: PWD welcomes valuable new resource

 

People with Disability Australia (PWD) joined representatives from all sides of the disability sector to welcome the launch of a new DVD A Place to Call Home: talking about devolution” by Disability Enterprises Leura on 24 May 2010.

 

The DVD, launched by the new Minister for Disability Services the Hon. Peter Primrose MLC, explores the issue of ‘devolution’ – the process of closing institutions to enable people with disability to enjoy lives in ordinary homes in the community. The DVD follows the story of the devolution of Greystanes Children’s Home in Leura, NSW, a large residential centre for children and young adults with disability and complex health care needs. Greystanes was devolved in 2006 following a PWD initiative which challenged the home’s compliance to the Disability Services Act 1993.

 

The DVD features PWD President Jan Daisley in a prominent role, speaking about her experiences both living in an institution and in the community.

 

For more information on the DVD or obtaining a copy, please contact Daphnee at daphneec@pwd.org.au

 

NSW 2010-2011 State Budget Announced

PWD was disappointed to see the budget announcement by the NSW State Government offering very little to improve the way in which services are funded and delivered to people with disability. Real reform is urgently required to ensure they are afforded their human rights in the same way as everyone else in our community.

 

While PWD is satisfied that the NSW Government has met its commitment to increase funding in the sector in line with the Stronger Together plan, we were disappointed this opportunity for reforming the way the current, inadequate service system is delivered has been missed. Until the old model and old ideas, which direct the model of service delivery are changed, we will continue to see people with disability disempowered and sidelined – not ‘Stronger’, as the NSW Government would have us believe.

 

Of particular concern is the Government’s continued commitment to funding institutions and licensed boarding houses, rather than channelling this money into alternative supported accommodation options which are in line with the legal obligations set out in the Disability Services Act 1993 NSW (DSA).

 

A key initiative in the NSW Health Budget was the allocation of $0.5 million to improve health care for people with intellectual disability.  This allocation is recurrent funding to pilot a small team to establish a Centre for Developmental Disability Medicine.

 

Click here to read the PWD Media Release

 

Media Release: An Additional $28 Million to help NSW Residents remain Independent, in their Homes and in their Communities

 

31 May 2010

The Hon Justine Elliot MP - Minister for Ageing

Peter Primrose - NSW Minister for Ageing and Disability Services

 

Minister for Ageing Justine Elliot and New South Wales Minister for Ageing and Disability Services Peter Primrose today announced more than $28 million for Home and Community Care (HACC) services in New South Wales.

HACC is a joint Australian and NSW Government initiative that delivers affordable and accessible community care to help meet the individual needs of older people, people with a disability and their carers. It includes help with household chores, home maintenance and modification, transport, meals, personal care, allied health and nursing care.

 

For the complete Press Release click here

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Other State and Territory News

Victoria – PWD and Disability Studies and Research Centre win tender to look at disability advocacy education

 

The Disability Advocacy Resource Unit (DARU) has recently contracted PWD and the Disability Studies and Research Centre of the University of NSW (DSRC) to deliver an options appraisal paper about the development of an advocacy course, and education pathways that may be available into higher education.  The aim is to eventually develop a course that is available to advocacy workers across Victoria.

 

The project is due to begin in late June 2010 and the first stage will involve conducting a critical review of existing curricula and training options for staff of disability advocacy agencies, both in Australia and internationally.

 

The next stage will involve widespread consultation with the advocacy sector in Victoria and more broadly across Australia, to determine:

 

·        best practice in skills training and development in advocacy;

·        gaps in training and development, and barriers to access;

·        modes of learning and assessment that will fit in with the work and other demands of advocacy workers;

·        the values and key aspects of advocacy practice that need to be included in teaching and assessment;

·        how people with disability can access this education.

 

If you are a peak body or an organisation that provides individual or systemic disability advocacy, we are interested to hear from you and would be happy to undertake an interview with you.  The expression of interest form for participation in this project is located at the PWD website at www.pwd.org.au.

 

Michael Bleasdale is leading the project, and can be contacted at michaelb@pwd.org.au, or by telephone on 02 9370 3100.

 

Related Links

www.daru.org.au

www.dsrc.arts.unsw.edu.au

 

Western Australia – Call for Nominations for the Ministerial Advisory Council on Disability

 

The WA Minister for Disability Services invites interested people to nominate for membership of the Ministerial Advisory Council on Disability.  The 14 member Council provides independent advice directly to the Minister for Disability Services on a range of issues affecting Western Australians with disability, their families and carers.

 

The Council is made up of people with disability, family members / carers, advocates, service providers and others with knowledge and expertise of disability.

 

If you have skills, knowledge or experience of disability you are invited to

nominate for membership of the Council.  For an application package and further information about Council please contact Gail Ambrose on:

Email: gail.ambrose@dsc.wa.gov.au

Telephone: (08) 9426 9269 (voicemail 24 hour service)

Freecall: 1800 629 269 (for country callers)

TTY: (08) 9426 9321

Website: www.macd.wa.gov.au

 

The application package can be provided in alternative formats upon request.

Applications close 5pm on Monday 26 July 2010

 

South AustraliaSoundWaves

 

SoundWaves is a new music project designed to create opportunities for people with disability. Events feature an integrated line-up of disability & mainstream performances and are a great opportunity to enjoy free live music, participate and find out more about the project.

 

They are held on the last Thursday of each month 11am – 2pm
at the SA Folk Centre, Corner of South Road & George Street, Thebarton.

Plenty of free, accessible parking, and low cost food & bar facilities. All workshops & events are FREE.

 

Additionally, two workshops a month provide opportunities for people with disability to develop skills in music performance, MC-ing, DJ-ing, production, event staging & promotion, by working with some of Adelaide’s top performers and musicians.

 

To book a workshop place or find out more contact
Project Director Tony Doyle on (08) 8212 0390
www.folk-sa.asn.au/PDFs/Soundwaves%20flier.pdf

 

Media Release: Tasmania – the road to a Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities

 

22 June 2010

Lara Giddings, MP
Attorney-General

 

The Attorney-General, Lara Giddings, has today outlined a progressive law reform agenda for the coming year.

 

In her Budget Reply speech, Ms Giddings said her priorities included:

 

·        progressing a Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities;

·        developing voluntary euthanasia laws;

·        introducing surrogacy laws; and

·        reforming Tasmania’s sex industry laws.

 

“I am announcing my reform agenda early in order to be as open and transparent as possible with Tasmanians as to the issues I believe need further consideration and reform over the coming year.”

 

Ms Giddings said a Charter of Rights and Responsibilities was a key reform which would protect human rights in Tasmania.

 

Click here to read the full Media Release

 

Northern Territory News – Lawyer Jude Lee sues Jetstar

 

10 May 2010

Emily Watkins

 

A Darwin lawyer who uses a wheelchair is suing Jetstar for discriminating against him.  The Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Commissioner has determined that Jude Lee has a case against the airline for making him feel like "troublesome baggage" on two separate occasions.

 

For more on this story, please click here.

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National news

PWD hosts Member Event on NDIS

 

On Friday 21 May PWD hosted a successful information evening at Redfern Town Hall. PWD staff, board and members were joined by guest speaker Kirsten Deane, Executive Director of National People with Disabilities and Carers Alliance, who gave a presentation on the campaign for a National Disability Insurance Scheme and the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into disability care and support.

 

A number of representatives from national and state-based peak disability organisations also attended the event. 

 

Guests were encouraged to provide feedback and ask questions of Ms Deane, which they did with thought and enthusiasm. Members also had the chance to network and enjoy refreshments.

Productivity Commission Inquiry into disability care and support

At the Members Event held on 21 May 2010, PWD expressed its intention to get behind the campaign for a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and to make a significant submission to the Productivity Commission’s (PC) Inquiry into disability care and support.  Work is progressing slowly with this, and PWD members and associate members are invited to provide input to the Inquiry, either individually, or by way of contribution to PWD’s submission.

 

An issues paper was released by the PC on 17 May, and is available on the Commission’s website at: www.pc.gov.au/projects/inquiry/disability-support/issues. 

 

PWD’s submission will address the points raised in the issues paper, and add to and amend some of the issues to ensure that key principles of user control of supports and governance of services by people with disability are emphasised in a new disability services system. 

 

The key questions/issues raised by the PC through the issues paper are:

·        who should be the key focus of a new scheme and how may they be practically and reliably identified

·        which groups are most in need of additional support and help

·        the kinds of services that particularly need to be increased or created

·        ways of achieving early intervention

·        how a new scheme could encourage the full participation by people with disability and their carers in the community and work

·        how to give people with disabilities or their carers more power to make their own decisions (and how they could appeal against decisions by others that they think are wrong)

·        how to improve service delivery – including coordination, costs, timeliness and innovation

·        the factors that affect how much support people get and who decides this

·        how to ensure that any good aspects of current approaches are preserved

·        what to do in rural and remote areas where it is harder to get services

·        reducing unfairness, so that people with similar levels of need get similar support

·        getting rid of wasteful paper burdens, overlapping assessments (the ‘run around’) and reducing duplication in the system

·        how to finance a new scheme so that there is enough money to deliver the services that are needed and provide greater certainty about adequate care in the future

·        the practical aspects of a scheme that will make it work, such as how existing arrangements would fit into a new scheme, how to manage risks and costs, and ideas for attracting people to work in disability services

·        how long would be needed to start a new scheme, and what should happen in the interim.

The deadline for submissions has been extended from 30 June to Monday 16 August 2010.  Details on how to make your own submission can be found at: www.pc.gov.au/projects/inquiry/disability-support/make-submission

 

If you wish to make a contribution to PWD’s submission, please contact Michael Bleasdale, preferably by email on michaelb@pwd.org.au.  Otherwise, contact the PWD office on (02) 9370 3100.  You may be able to contribute to any or all of the questions and issues raised above.

 

While submissions are usually the main way people tell the Productivity Commission their views, there are also a number of formal public hearings, in which people are encouraged to give the Commissioners their views in person.

 

PWD encourages all members and people with disability to attend a hearing to express their views and hear what others have to contribute. The hearings are taking place all over Australia throughout July. For dates, time and location, as well as further info rmation on the hearings, click here to read please visit the PC’s webpage

 

The hearings usually run from 9am to 5pm, but that may change. To make sure you are able to attend the most convenient hearing for you, please visit the PC website and complete the public hearing registration form.

If you go to a hearing you will make a real difference to the PC inquiry, so we hope you will get involved!

 

National Disability Services Standards Review

 

The Disability Service Standards were established in 1992 to ensure people with disability received the services they wanted and needed. The Standards state services should be accessible to those who need them on an equal basis and should be tailored to the needs of each individual. They require people receiving disability services to have a say in the way services are designed and demand service providers respect the privacy of their clients.

 

Importantly, the Standards call on service providers to ensure people with disability are supported to participate in the life of their communities by developing skills and taking part in ways that are valued by others. The Standards call on services to accept and act on any complaints made by their clients or associates and to manage services to maximise outcomes for people with disability.

 

Given that the Standards are there to put into practice the principles of the Disability Services Act, it's important these goals are not dropped just because they're hard to achieve. At the moment, the Standards remain the basis for all funded disability services provided across Australia and PWD thinks that they should be made clearer and at least as strong, so that people with disability get the services they want, not what others are prepared to provide.

 

Recently, the Australian Government and all the States and Territories told us they wanted to review the Standards. They said they wanted to change the Standards so:

·        people with disability get better results from disability services

·        the language used reflects up-to-date ideas of service quality and helps measure how each service meets the standards

·        anything that should be in the Standards is added; and

·        "red tape" is reduced for disability services – which should allow more effort to be applied to improving services instead of writing reports and complying with lots of different rules and regulations.

PWD Australia is writing a submission about the Standards review and is interested in your views about the Disability Service Standards.

 

We've attached a link to the discussion paper about the Standards to get you going: National Quality Framework Discussion paper

 

 We're also interested in anything else you have to tell us about the Disability Service Standards that is not covered in the discussion paper. Damien Anderson is coordinating the PWD response to the review and can be contacted at 1800 880 052 or by email at damiena@pwd.org.au.  Please contact Damien as soon as possible with any comments.

 

You can also write your own submission to the standards review or click here to fill out an online survey.

 

Senate Community Affairs Reference Committee: Inquiry into planning options and services for people ageing with a disability

 

PWD recently made a submission to the Senate Community Affairs Reference Committee’s inquiry into planning options and services for people ageing with disability. This submission reflects the lived experience of people with disability. Using a range of case studies compiled from our individual advocacy work, we identified current systemic issues that inhibit the rights of people with disability to access planning and funding options and services, which ensure their continued quality of life as they age.

 

Our submission was provided from the perspectives of people with disability and aims to reflect their unique experiences of the disability services system. We provided this information with the view to informing the Australian Government’s Senate Inquiry of gaps and barriers in planning and funding options, and services for all people with disability, not just those living at home with ageing parents or carers.

 

Our key messages to this Inquiry included our view that people with disability must be afforded the opportunity to make choices about the services and supports they require and not limited to being prioritised once they reach a crisis point. Nor should these opportunities be limited to the one time a person with disability leaves their family home, but rather provided on an ongoing basis as their needs, circumstances and lives change over time.  

 

As well, we stressed the importance of ongoing planning processes to ensure people with disability and their families are not left in a situation of being forced or obliged to accept a service simply on account of there being no other choice available. The continuing unmet need for appropriate housing and support and the lack of alternative options available can often be masked by the equally strong need of people with disability and their families to resolve a crisis situation. An effective planning and service system is one which is not crisis driven but respects, protects and fulfils the human rights of people with disability.

 

For more information please contact: Sonya Price-Kelly, Advocacy Projects Manager at sonyapk@pwd.org.au

 

No Human Rights Act, but a Human Rights Framework

 

PWD is extremely disappointed in the Australian Government’s response to the report prepared from the Australian Human Rights Consultation, which was conducted in 2009. 

 

The Australian Human Rights Consultation provided an historic opportunity for people to have their say about the protection and promotion of human rights in Australia.  PWD participated in the Consultation by conducting a joint disability sector forum with the NSW Disability Discrimination Legal Centre (DDLC), holding a members’ consultation event and preparing a comprehensive submission to the Committee set up to undertake the Australia-wide consultation. A copy of our submission is available here on our website.

 

Over 40,000 people put in a written submission or came to one of the 66 community roundtables at 52 locations around Australia, making this the largest public response to any government consultation in Australia’s history. 

The Committee’s report was released on 8 October 2009 and contained 31 recommendations, including the introduction of a Human Rights Act to improve the promotion and protection of human rights in Australia.  According to the report 84.7% of submissions that referred to a Human Rights Act support the introduction of such an Act.  A copy of the report from the National Human Rights Consultation Committee is available at: www.humanrightsconsultation.gov.au

 

On 21 April 2010, the Australian Government released a new Human Rights Framework for Australia in response to the report of the National Human Rights Consultation Committee.  The response ruled out a Human Rights Act in favour of the Human Rights Framework.  Despite the evidence in support of an Act, the Government indicated that it believed the introduction of a Human Rights Act would be divisive.

 

While disappointed in the Government’s response, PWD recognises there are many opportunities to achieve enhanced human rights outcomes through the National Human Rights Framework.  The Framework commits the Government to a number of actions, including:

·        Enhancing human rights education across the community;

·        Establishing a new Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights;

·        Introducing a requirement that each new Bill and disallowable legislative instruments introduced into Parliament is accompanied by a statement of compatibility with Australia’s international human rights obligations;

·        Consolidating federal anti-discrimination laws to remove unnecessary regulatory overlap;

·        Developing a new National Action Plan on Human Rights; and

·        Creating an annual NGO Human Rights Forum.

PWD is engaging in the implementation of the Framework to ensure that it is robust in protecting and promoting the rights of people with disability.  We have participated in the inaugural NGO Human Rights Forum held on 23 June 2010 and raised a number of issues and concerns in relation to the Framework.

 

The Framework will be reviewed in 2014 and many in the human rights sector see this as the next opportunity to restate views in support of a Human Rights Act.

 

More information on the Human Rights Framework is available on the Attorney-General’s website here The Australian Human rights Framework   

 

For more information about PWD’s work in this area, contact Therese Sands on email thereses@pwd.org.au or on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-bulletin.

 

Enhancing Parliamentary Scrutiny of Human Rights

 

On 2 June 2010, the Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, introduced the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Bill 2010 and the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2010 into Parliament.

 

These Bills give effect to key legislative commitments contained in Australia’s Human Rights Framework (discussed in the previous section of this E-bulletin). The Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Bill 2010 establishes a new Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights and the requirement for Statements of Compatibility for new Bills and legislative instruments. The aim of the Bill is to ensure that Australian legislation is compatible with Australia’s international human rights obligations.

 

The Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2010 amends the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 to include the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission as an ex officio member of the Administrative Review Council (ARC).  It also amends the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 to require explanatory statements for disallowable legislative instruments (guidelines which must underpin decision-making) to contain a statement of compatibility.

 

Both Bills are now the subject of Inquiry by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee.  The Committee is accepting submissions and will report to Parliament on its findings by 17 August 2010.

 

PWD welcomes the introduction of these Bills and is currently assessing the Bills to provide our views to the Committee.

 

For more information about the Inquiry go the Committee website here www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/legcon_ctte/human_rights_bills/info.htm

 

For more information about PWD’s views contact Therese Sands by email thereses@pwd.org.au or on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-bulletin.

 

Government reports on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

 

On 29 June, the Australian Government released its draft initial report under the CRPD, which is due to be submitted to the UN CRPD Committee by 16 August 2010.  The draft report has been prepared by the Attorney-General’s Department in consultation with Commonwealth agencies, and State and Territory Governments. 

 

The Australia Government is required to report regularly to the UN on its progress in implementing CRPD and achieving rights for people with disability.  This first Government report, called a Baseline Report is required two years following ratification of CRPD.  It provides an opportunity to identify actions taken to harmonise national law and policy with CRPD; to monitor progress regarding the rights of people with disability; to identify problems in implementing CRPD; and to plan and develop appropriate policies to achieve CRPD.

 

The Attorney‑General’s Department (AGD) is now seeking public comment on the draft report.  To view the Report, or to find out about making comments go to the AGD website here www.ag.gov.au/humanrights

 

PWD will be working with other members of the CRPD Shadow Report Working Group in developing its response.  The Working Group is preparing the draft NGO Shadow Report to be submitted to the UN CRPD Committee.  The Shadow Report provides an NGO view of the Australian Government’s measures in achieving human rights for people with disability (more information on this project can be found in E-bulletin #57 September/October 2009 or on the Project website www.disabilityrightsnow.org.au

 

For more information contact Therese Sands by email thereses@pwd.org.au or on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-bulletin.

 

Migration Treatment of People with Disability

 

On Monday 21 June 2010, the Joint Standing Committee on Migration tabled its report on the Inquiry into the Migration Treatment of Disability entitled Enabling Australia: Inquiry into the Migration Treatment of Disability.

 

PWD has advocated for many years to remove the discrimination inherent in the Migration Act 1958 and throughout the Inquiry process we have joined with a number of disability, ethnic and refugee organisations to coordinate views and responses.  For more information go to the joint group website here www.disabilityrightsnow.org.au/node/13

 

The Committee Report, Migration treatment of disability: Enabling Australia makes recommendations to address an out-dated migration health assessment and one that counters the prejudice contained in the current assessment.  The Committee report makes 18 recommendations to Government to ensure migration assessment across the visa streams is fairer for people with disability.

 

These recommendations support changes so that:

·        the theoretical cost of migration, known as ‘significant cost threshold’ is modernised to reflect likely actual costs associated with disability;

·        a waiver can be applied where a person does not meet the new updated Health Requirement, to allow for the assessment of the social and economic contributions made by a prospective immigrant or their families;

·        families including skilled immigrants are not unfairly disadvantaged under the Health Requirement as a result of a family member having a disability—the ‘one fails, all fail’ rule;

·        offshore refugee applicants who have a disability or other health condition, can have visa waivers applied for compelling and compassionate considerations, including those applying on a family reunion basis;

·        migration legislation distinguishes between conditions which may impose a public health risk versus those linked to disability.

PWD welcomes these recommendations, and the recognition made by the Committee that the Health Requirement discriminates against people with disability. 

 

We have also joined with a number of organisations in preparing a joint statement in response to the Committee’s Report.  Our response welcomes the recommendations but states our disappointment that the Report recommendations do not go beyond administrative reforms.  We argue that the discriminatory nature of the current legislation and practices demand a full application of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 to the Migration Act 1958. 

 

We also commend and endorse Committee members Senators Sue Boyce and Sarah Hanson-Young on their additional recommendations to the Report, which argue for the application of the DDA to the Migration Act 1958. We also commend their views that the social model of disability should replace the outdated medical model that is inherent in the Health Requirement.

 

Click here to read the Joint Statement

 

For more information contact Therese Sands by email, thereses@pwd.org.au or on one of the numbers listed below.

 

National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee

 

The National Abuse and Neglect Hotline (the Hotline) has embarked upon a strategy to better communicate awareness of abuse and neglect amongst people with disability in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, as well as awareness of the Hotline.  There is chronic under-reporting of abuse and neglect amongst people with disability across Australia (and currently no mechanism for collating national data about abuse and neglect) and this is especially the case amongst people with disability from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.

 

On April 22, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services Bill Shorten launched the Hotline’s new brochure at the second National Gathering of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability in Redfern.  The production and distribution of this Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brochure is the first step in addressing the issue of abuse and neglect and to working out how people who experience abuse and neglect can recognise it, ideally prevent it, but also are able to report it and stop it from occurring again.

 

A committee of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability has been established to advise the Hotline on how best to consult with communities across Australia and on concrete strategies for encouraging people to report abuse and neglect safely.  The committee convened in early June, and will meet every two months or so. 

 

For more information about the National Abuse and Neglect Hotline visit its website at www.disabilityhotline.org

 

The contact person for information about this is Michael Bleasdale on michaelb@pwd.org.au

 

New National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline Website

 

PWD is proud to announce the launch of a brand new website to support the National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline. The site was created as a new way for people to contact the Hotline and report cases of abuse and neglect against people with disability. It aims to be an effective tool to empower people with disability, their families and carers to report abuse and neglect in the community as well as in specialist disability services.

 

It is designed to comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines to AA standard. You can visit the site at: www.disabilityhotline.org

 

The National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline is an Australia-wide telephone hotline for reporting abuse and neglect of people with disability using government funded services. Allegations are referred to the appropriate authority for investigation.

 

If you have any feedback on the site or how it could be improved, please contact Sharon on sharonl@pwd.org.au

 

New PWD Training Calendar

 

PWD has released its new Training Calendar for July 2010-June 2011

 

PDF version: www.pwd.org.au/archive/10/July2010-June2011.pdf
Accessible version: www.pwd.org.au/archive/10/July2010-June2011.doc

 

Inside you’ll find information on the following courses taking in place in Sydney, Wollongong, Logan, Bowral, Dubbo, Fraser Coast, Lismore, Sunshine Coast, Queanbeyan, Newcastle, Bundaberg, Sutherland and Mount Isa:

 

Introduction to Disability Awareness / 1.5 hours

Disability Awareness / 1 day

Responding to Abuse and Neglect / 1 day

Responding to Sexual Assault / 2 days

In-house training sessions

 

If you would like further information please email training@pwd.org.au or call us on 02 9370 3100.

 

Queen's Birthday Honours

 

PWD is pleased to announce that life member and former Vice President of PWD, Faye Druett, has received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM). She received the honour for her service to the community, particularly through executive and advocacy roles with organisations assisting people with a disability, including PWD.

 

We also congratulate PWD Member Patricia Byrne who received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) and John Morgan who was also recognised with an OAM. Both Patricia and John sit on the Management Committee of the Physical Disability Council of NSW. Congratulations to both from PWD.

 

PWD also congratulates Executive Officer of Queensland Advocacy Incorporated, Kevin Cocks, who received an AM (Member in the General Division) for his service to people with disability, as an advocate for the promotion and protection of individual human rights and as a contributor to the reform and development of disability services.

 

We recognise the work of all recipients who have worked tirelessly for the rights of people with disability over many years and are well-deserved recipients of these Honours.

 

National Disability Awards

Nominations for the 2010 National Disability Awards are now open. The awards, coordinated by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) celebrate and acknowledge the achievements and contributions that individuals with a disability make to our community, as well as recognise individuals within our community who have contributed to the disability sector.  The awards are announced each year on 3 December, International Day of People with Disability.

This year the organisers are calling for nominations in six Award categories:

·        Minister's Lifelong Achievement Award for people over 25 years of age who have advanced the rights of people with disability.

·        Young Disability Challenge Award for young people aged 12-25 years who have advanced the rights of people with disability.

·        Business Award -
- Large Business focus
- Small Business focus (Privately owned and operated with fewer than 15 employees)
The Business Award will be awarded to businesses who have improved opportunities for people with disability such as greater inclusion, participation or employment.

·        Local Government Award for local government authorities who have succeeded in implementing substantial changes to improve physical, social, economic and cultural access and inclusion for people with disability and their families.

·        Social Inclusion Award -
- School focus
- Community group focus
These Awards are for schools and community groups who have actively built in inclusion and full participation of people with disability alongside other students or members of community groups.

·        Accessible Housing Award for property developers, builders and others in the building sector that have developed innovative and accessible private dwellings for people with disability.

If you have made or know someone who has made, a significant contribution to their community either at a local, regional, state or national level, let people know about it by nominating for the 2010 National Disability Awards

 

Nomination forms and nomination guidelines are available at the International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) website www.idpwd.com.au
or can be ordered by phoning 1800 440 385.

 

Media Release: Disability Ministers endorse Australian Disability Parking Scheme

 

4 June 2010

Bill Shorten, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services & Jenny Macklin, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

 

Disability Ministers today endorsed the eligibility criteria, concession provisions, and proposed timeline for the roll out of the Australian Disability Parking Scheme.

 

The Scheme has now been referred to the Australian Transport Council for its endorsement.

 

The Scheme will unify the almost 100 individual schemes that exist across Australia and deliver a national permit, eligibility criteria and minimum concessions – making it easier for people with disability to use the system.

This new national Scheme will operate more efficiently and give greater independence and dignity to many Australians with limited mobility who rely on existing disability parking schemes.

 

To read the full Media Release, click here

 

Media Release: Blind people finally receive a secret ballot

 

17 June 2010

Human Rights Commission

 

Graeme Innes, Australia's Disability Discrimination Commissioner today thanked the government and Opposition for working together to pass an amendment to the Electoral Act, which will ensure the 300,000 Australians who are blind or have low vision finally have a secret ballot in Federal Elections.

 

“I voted in secret for the first time in my life at the last election”, said Commissioner Innes who is blind. “I can now look forward to being able to exercise the same rights as other voters in elections to come.”

 

“A trial of electronic voting took place at the last Federal Election, but this amendment ensures an ongoing commitment to developing mechanisms to allow for secret ballots”, said Commissioner Innes.

To read the full Media Release, click here

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International News

Toward the new Decade of Persons with Disability

 

From 18–22 June, PWD participated in three regional events held in Bangkok, Thailand.  The three events were:

  • Seminar for Establishment of Personal Assistance Service Systems in Asia-Pacific: toward article 19-Living independently and being included in the community.
    This event was held on 18 and 19 June and organised by Disabled Peoples International Asia Pacific (DPIAP).  The objectives of the seminar were to build leadership capacity in the Asia-Pacific to increase advocacy for the establishment of personal assistance service systems in Asian and Pacific countries. 

 

  • DPI AP Regional Assembly
    The objective of this seminar was to strengthen networking and collaboration among DPIAP National Members Assembly and other DPOs and to review short and long term plans for the new Asia Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities.  The Assembly was held on 20 June.

 

  • Asian and the Pacific Disabled People's Organizations United: Towards the Establishment of the Regional Decade on the Effective Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
    This event was held on 21 and 22 June and organised by DPIAP in collaboration with United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).  A Statement from this meeting, the Bangkok Recommendation included a number of calls to action for a third Asia Pacific decade of people with disability to be proclaimed.

 

All the documents from the three meetings, including the Bangkok Recommendation are available on the DPIAP website here www.dpiap.org

 

Judith Heumann to Join U.S. State Department in Fulfilment of Obama-Clinton Pledge

 

Judith Heumann, an international leader in the disability rights movement and a governmental representative to the USICD Board of Directors, will be joining the U.S. Department of State as their Special Advisor for International Disability Rights.

 

This position was announced last summer, when President Obama and Secretary Clinton declared that the United States would sign the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

 

"This is a significant step forward to the U.S. government's capacity to include disability in our foreign policy.  The knowledge Judy will bring to the State Department will be invaluable to international development programs, U.S. ratification of the CRPD and our country's approach to international engagement," says USICD President Marca Bristo.  "As long time colleagues and friends of Judy, the USICD Board of Directors is elated with her appointment and we wish her all the best in her new role."

 

Click here to read the full article

 

Protest in Delhi against the non-inclusion of disabled people in the Committee formed to draft the New Disability Act

 

New Delhi, 7 June 2010: After eight months of consistent advocacy led by Disabled Rights Group (DRG), the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE) finally conceded to the disability sector’s demand for a brand new law on disability reflecting the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). On April 30, MSJE formed a Committee to draft a new legislation to replace the Disability Act of 1995. However, while doing so, they overlooked the basic tenet of UNCRPD and the bedrock of the disability rights movement - ‘Nothing about Us, Without Us.’ The 27 odd members Committee has only 3 people with disabilities!

 

Read the Full Article here:

www.rollingrains.com/2010/06/india-indefinite-hunger-strike-by-disability-community-leaders.html

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The Inside Story

PWD President Jan Daisley on her recent participation in a DVD on Devolution by Disability Enterprises Leura:

 

"As a staunch advocate for devolution, I was very honoured to be approached by John Le Breton, CEO of Disability Enterprises, to participate in the production of something as important as a Devolution information and awareness DVD.

 

My own experiences have made me very passionate about devolution for all people with disability, whether it be physical, intellectual or psychological. I believe in equality and have been advocating for equal rights for people with disability since I acquired my disability almost five decades ago.

 

While we in Australia have come a long way in disability reform we are still lagging well behind other countries such as the UK, Sweden, and Ireland when it comes to human rights, social acceptance and equality, I would like to see all governments, Federal, State and Local raise the bar when it comes to human rights and equality for people with disabilities of all persuasions.

 

I have hope that the introduction of a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will make a difference to peoples' quality of life by abolishing the Medical and Bio-physical models of disability once and for all, in favour of the more acceptable Social Model of disability. Devolution has a key role to play in this reform and it is up to all disability organisations and individuals with disability to make sure the voices of the people who require such a scheme be heard and taken seriously. Gone are the days when people with disabilities can be brushed off with token input and consideration in important reforms which affect their lives!

 

The Disability Standards and Acts have made some difference, but unfortunately there is still much work to be done. It is disheartening to see how the Occupational Health and Safety Act and it's subsequent regulations have eroded  aspects of  Disability Legislation and Human Rights, which we fought for before and since the International Year of Disabled Persons 1981 (IYDP).

 

Twelve years ago the then State government promised the disability sector all institutions would be devolved in twelve years, yet now we see it them dismantling large institutions to build mini institutions with exactly the same problems. While devolution can only do so much, it will go a long way towards the integration of people with disability into community living arrangements, which in turn should deliver many of the reforms we are lobbying for. 

 

I urge all disability organisations, people with disability, their families, parents, guardians, advocates and carers to get behind our ongoing crusade for Disability Reform no matter what it takes".

 

Jan Daisley, President – PWD

 

Vale Franz Weber

 

PWD pays tribute to Franz Weber, who died suddenly on 14 June 2010.  Franz was a loyal member of PWD since 1981, and contributed greatly to our organisational development.

 

Franz was a loving friend to many PWD members, and a celebration of his life was held on 21 June at Northern Suburbs Crematorium.

 

Members and friends can share their memories, and celebrate the life of Franz via an online Tribute page available at www.onlinetributes.com.au/Franz_Weber/

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PWD Media Releases

12 May 2010: Changes to disability supports cannot leave the vulnerable behind

21 May 2010: Rights for Boarding House residents – Time to Act!

9 June 2010: PWD challenges decision by NSW Government to redevelop institutions

 

9 June 2010: NSW Budget is simply Old money for Old ideas

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Job/Volunteer Opportunities

Australian Volunteers International & Thailand Disabled People’s International (DPI)

Position Description: Regional Network Advisor – Disability

Duration: 24 Months

Country: Thailand

Program: Volunteer Program

Organisation – Thailand Disabled People’s International (DPI)

 

Thailand Disabled People´s International (DPI) is a world cross-disability, self-help, human rights organisation of persons with disabilities established in 1981. DPI promotes full-participation and equalisation of opportunity of persons with disabilities by delivering "A voice of our own." Disabled People´s International Asia-Pacific Region has been playing an important role in the disability movement of Asia-Pacific Region.

 

For more information, and to apply, please visit the website;

www.australianvolunteers.com/10530745-regional-network-advisor---asean.aspx

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Upcoming Events

15-16th July, Melbourne: Australian Council for International Development, Training: Disability Inclusion within International Development Programs www.acfid.asn.au/get-involved/events

 

29-30 July, Melbourne: International Mental Health Youth Conference www.iymhconference.com.au 

 

3-4 August, Bowral (NSW): PWD Training - Responding to Sexual Assault www.pwd.org.au/training

 

17 August, Wollongong (NSW): PWD Training - Responding to Abuse and Neglect www.pwd.org.au/training

 

18 August, Wollongong (NSW): PWD Training  - Disability Awareness www.pwd.org.au/training 

 

31 Aug-1 Sept, Wollongong (NSW): PWD Training - Responding to Sexual Assault www.pwd.org.au/training

 

4-6 November, Parramatta (NSW): International Human Rights Education Conference "Educating for Human Rights, Peace and Intercultural Dialogue" www.humanrightseducationconference2010.com.au

 

If you are human rights education expert, practitioner or simply wish to learn more and establish networks, join the Equity and Diversity unit at UWS for the  International Human Rights Education Conference "Educating for Human Rights, Peace and Intercultural Dialogue".

 

World class speakers and the conference program will focus on the contribution of human rights culture to the good functioning of the civil society; highlight key trends and achievements in human rights education and in particular, aim to secure greater commitment for future human rights education. It will have a strong development and Indigenous component. Check out the website for more information.

 

9-11 February, Geelong (VIC): Having a Say Conference 2011

www.valid.org.au

The Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability Inc (VALID) have announced the first notice for the Having a Say Conference, 9-11 Feb 2011, Deakin Uni, Geelong.

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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/donations

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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 666 Strawberry Hills NSW 2012
Phone 02 9319 6622, toll-free 1800 422 015
TTY 02 9318 2138, toll-free 1800 422 016

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