PWD E-Bulletin



Issue 63 August 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 or contact PWD on one of the numbers listed at the end of this bulletin.

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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

Inquiry into services provided or funded by the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC)

PWD recently made a submission to the Standing Committee on Social Issues Inquiry into services provided or funded by ADHC.

The Inquiry sought submissions from a range of stakeholders including people with a disability, their families and carers, disability and community organisations, health and allied health professionals service providers and suppliers. It is designed to provide all stakeholders with the opportunity to reflect and comment on the first five years of Stronger Together, the NSW Government’s 10 year plan for disability services, and raise issues and recommendations, which will hopefully influence planning and strengthen funding arguments to be made to NSW Treasury.

PWD’s submission made reference to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in its responses to the Terms of Reference and provided broad recommendations that reflect the rights contained in CRPD.

Some of the key recommendations made by PWD in our submission include that:

Ÿ  CRPD be the overarching framework for Stronger Together 2;

Ÿ  Stronger Together 2 focus on providing funding directly to people with disability who are currently deemed ‘higher functioning’, low priority or who have complex needs, so they can obtain, control and direct the supports they need without going into crisis;

Ÿ  Stronger Together 2 includes an appropriate strategy for residents of licensed boarding house for ensuring their human rights are respected, protected and fulfilled along with their peers in the disability service system;

Ÿ  People with disability decide which supports and service locations are suitable for their individual circumstances;

Ÿ  Stronger Together 2 focus on providing funding directly to people with disability, so they can obtain, control and direct the supports they need without going into crisis;

Ÿ  ADHC focus on developing individualised funding and self-directed support options in partnership with people with disability, and their families to respond to the needs of people with disability who currently fall through the gaps in the service systems.

Ÿ  The NSW Government fulfil its CRPD obligations by ensuring that Stronger Together 2 reverses the shift to institutional accommodation options, and take the lead in developing housing and support options that enable genuine community living that protects and preserves human dignity.

Ÿ  ADHC take the lead in developing a NSW Government abuse and neglect prevention framework to address abuse and neglect of people with disability.

Ÿ  Specific NSW legislation be enacted to regulate the use of restrictive practices.  This legislation should apply in all situations (that is, in situations of informal support (such as a family context), in the specialist mental health, brain injury and disability service systems (including acute mental health services), and in the commercial disability service sector (in particular, licensed residential centres or boarding houses);

Ÿ  Stronger Together 2 and a revised Better Together must ensure there are mechanisms for enabling people with disability and their representative organisations can actively and equally participate in development, monitoring and review of laws, policies and programs and any other initiative that affects their lives.

For the full submission with all its recommendations, click here to visit the Committee Submission website.

Proposed Guardianship Regulation 2010

PWD recently endorsed the Disability Discrimination Legal Centre (DDLC)’s submission to the Guardianship Tribunal regarding the proposed making of the Guardianship Regulation 2010.

The submission included two responses with respect to the scope and content of the regulation, looking at concerns around Clause 9, Protection from abusive behaviour management practices and Clause 10, Experimental medical treatment.

The letter was also highly critical of the regulation making process that is associated with the proposed regulation and the manner in which the consultation materials and processes failed to be truly inclusive of people with disability.

For more information contact Therese Sands, Executive Director, Leadership Team at or one of the contacts listed at the end of this e-bulletin.


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Other States and Territory News

South Australia: ‘Inclusion Matters: Gender and Disability in Local and Global Contexts’ Symposium

PWD encourages members and associates to attend this symposium, in which policy makers, service providers, researchers, consumers and interested individuals can share knowledge and experiences in promoting the inclusion of gender and disability.

It will take place from 9am – 4:30pm, Friday 15 October at the Flinders Campus in the City, 182 Tarndanyangga / Victoria Square, Adelaide.

Speakers include Kelly Vincent (Dignity for Disability, Member of the SA Legislative Council); Dr Lorna Hallahan (Senior Lecturer, School of Social and Policy Studies, Flinders University; Member, SA Social Inclusion Board; Chair, SA Minister's Disability Advisory Council; and Deputy Chair, National People with Disability and Carer Council); Sue Salthouse (President, Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA); Keran Howe (Executive Officer, Victorian Women with Disabilities Network); Margie Charlesworth (Vice President Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) Inc; and AusAID Australian Leadership Fellows, including leadership fellows from the Vietnam Women’s Union, China Disabled Persons’ Federation and Indonesia Disabled People’s Association.

Participants must register by Friday 24 September 2010.  If anyone requires the flyer or registration form in an alternative format please contact Genevieve Chaffey at

For more information about this event click here to visit the Flinders University website.

Tasmania: A State Human Rights Charter

PWD is pleased by the announcement by the Hon. Lara Giddings MP of a project to examine models for a Human Rights Charter for Tasmania. The project includes a requirement to consult with the Tasmanian community in relation to the model and subsequently in relation to a draft Bill. Following community input a Bill will be introduced to the Tasmanian Parliament.

The Tasmanian Law Reform Institute also conducted a community consultation project in relation to human rights protection in 2006 and 2007. That consultation found strong support amongst respondents for stronger human rights protection in Tasmania. More particularly it found there was strong support for a charter of rights approach.

A charter will act as a statement about the values and principles of the community, and introduce standards to ensure that human rights are a priority for the government when making laws and decisions.

Key Project Dates:

Ÿ  September 2010 - Release of Directions Paper

Ÿ  October/November 2010     - Consultation with the Tasmanian community

Ÿ  March 2011 - Release of Draft Human Rights Charter Bill

Ÿ  March/April 2011 - Consultation with the Tasmanian community

Ÿ  Mid 2011 - Introduction of Final Human Rights Charter Bill to Tasmanian Parliament

PWD encourages all members in Tasmania to participate in the consultation process and provide comment on a model for a Human Rights Charter for Tasmania. It will be important to have a strong voice about the rights of people with disability and the inclusion of CRPD rights in any Charter.  A Bill will be developed following that consultation and will also be released for further comment.

The starting point for the project will include the work undertaken by the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute (TLRI) in 2007. The TLRI report, Paper Number 10 - A charter of rights for Tasmania, followed lengthy consultations and was based on over 350 submissions.
To read the TLRI report on the Institute's website click here.

The project team can be contacted with issues or enquiries at any stage during the project by emailing Dale Webster, Project Manager at:

South Australia: Social Inclusion Initiative

PWD encourages all members and supporters in South Australia to participate in the South Australian Social Inclusion Initiative – Activating Citizenship Disability Survey.

The South Australian Social Inclusion Initiative aims to assist in the creation of a society where all people feel valued, their differences are respected and their basic needs - both physical and emotional - are met.

This survey aims to help the Social Inclusion Board to understand the views of people with disability, their families and carers.

The feedback from the survey will help the Social Inclusion Board to make recommendations to the Government of South Australia on ways to improve the lives of South Australians with disability.

If you wish to take part, PWD encourages you to access the survey and download the discussion paper from 

Submissions close on Monday, September 25.

Queensland: Draft 10-Year Plan for Supporting Queenslanders with a Disability

The draft 10-year plan for supporting Queenslanders with a disability has been developed in response to what people with a disability and those who advocate for them have been saying for a long time. It incorporates a vision about what Queensland could be like - what the Queensland Government wants to achieve by 2020.

People with a disability, families and carers, service providers, businesses, the community, government and corporate partners are encouraged to get involved by providing feedback on the draft 10-Year Plan for Supporting Queenslanders with a Disability now.

The draft 10-Year Plan sets out strategies and ideas for creating communities where everyone has equitable access to public spaces, transport, services, employment, education and sport as well as artistic and cultural activities.

The Queensland Government is asking for any input to help create a state that welcomes and includes people with a disability in all aspects of the community.

Click here if you would like to provide feedback on the Queensland 10 Year Draft Plan.
The closing date for feedback is 10 October 2010.

Western Australia: Review of Disability Access and Inclusion Plan (DIAP)

The City of Perth is currently reviewing its DAIP and invites people with disabilities, families, carers and other interested members of the community to have a say in the community consultation.

People can take part in a number of ways including written and online surveys, and by phone, fax or email. There is also the opportunity for focus groups if a few people would like to get together and speak to the consultant.

 Written surveys are available at:

Ÿ  Council House (Customer Service Desk) 27 St Georges Terrace, Perth

Ÿ  Forrest Place Information Kiosk, Murray Street Mall

Ÿ  Citiplace Community Centre, Upper Level Concourse, Perth Central Railway Station

Ÿ  Citiplace Rest Centre, Upper Level Concourse, Perth Central Railway Station

Ÿ  Citiplace Child Care, corner Wellington and Barrack Streets, Perth

Ÿ  The City of Perth Library, Hay Street, Perth

To have your say or for more information call 1800 648 021 for a telephone survey or email

An on-line survey is also available on the City of Perth website under Universal Access section.

Consultation closing date: 15 September 2010

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National News

Productivity Commission Inquiry into disability care and support

Previous editions of E-Bulletin have highlighted the work PWD is doing, along with other disability peaks, to inform this inquiry into how a new disability support system in Australia should be organised and implemented.

PWD’s final submission to the Productivity Commission has now been completed and is available on the Commission’s websiteMichael Bleasdale, Executive Director, as part of the Leadership Team has been coordinating the writing of this submission and remains the contact person at PWD for anyone who has any comments or questions about its content.  Michael can be contacted at

In addition PWD has taken a leading role in the coordination and writing of the submission made by In Control Australia, which focuses predominantly on the mechanism of individualised funding to ensure that the new system is implemented utilising self-directed supports.  This too has been submitted to the Productivity Commission.

The process now moves into the phase wherein the Productivity Commission considers the very many submissions it has received, as well as the transcripts from the Hearings it has conducted, and formulates a draft report, which is due in February 2011.  During this phase PWD will continue to consult with its members about the detail of how a new scheme will be funded and delivered, with a view to providing detailed commentary back to the Commission following distribution of the draft report.

Click here to read transcripts from the Hearings

PWD, Disability and Federal Election 2010

PWD was very active in the lead-up to the 2010 Federal Election, sending a special Election E-Bulletin out to members and supporters and running a targeted and successful media campaign.

In the election E-Bulletin we provided links to the PWD election platform, links to all the major parties and their policies relating to disability; information on how to vote; and recent coverage on disability and the election in the media.

If you missed our special E-Bulletin, click here to read a copy on our website.  

As this election was so close, it won’t be clear for some time what will now happen in Federal Government.  With a number of seats yet to be decided, the final result will be probably be determined by the unusually high number of postal and pre-poll votes recorded in this election. 

The counting of postal votes also cannot be finalised until 13 days after Election Day or 3 September 2010.

The current situation is that the election has resulted in a hung House of Representatives. This is the first time this has happened since 1940.

In order to form a minority government there needs to be a majority in the 150-seat House of Representatives to guarantee survival of a non-confidence motion (i.e. 76 votes). A minority government can continue as long as it can maintain the confidence of the House.

At the moment, both Labor and the Coalition parties are in discussions with the four Independents to see if either can form Government.

If you would like to know more about these processes, click here to read more detailed information on hung parliaments at the Hawker Britton website. Hawker Britton is an organisation which provides campaigning and communications support to the Labor Party. They also provide government relations advice to all sorts of organisations and business.

National Disability Advocacy Framework

PWD recently made a submission to the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) on their National Disability Advocacy Framework. 

In the submission, PWD welcomed FaHCSIA’s use of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as a guiding document for developing a Framework that aims to strengthen advocacy. 

However, PWD also highlighted that specific details of strategies are not contained in the draft National Disability Strategy and in some areas there are no comprehensive actions that address key concerns of people with disability. 

PWD made a number of recommendations about how to improve and strengthen the Framework, including:

Ÿ  The need for the Framework to include specific provisions related to women with disability and children with disability.  CRPD articles 6 and 7 outline the rights of women with disability and children with disability and they are two of the general obligations that must be considered with respect to every other CRPD article.  By including specific outcomes, principles and outputs relating to women and children with disability this would ensure the National Disability Advocacy Program recognises these general obligations.

Ÿ  The need for the Framework to include specific provisions related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability and people with disability form culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. While CRPD does not contain specific articles in relation to these population groups, it does recognise them in its Preamble ie:

“the difficult conditions faced by persons with disabilities who are subject to multiple or aggravated forms of discrimination on the basis of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic, indigenous or social origin, property, birth, age or other status”.

Ÿ  The need for the Framework to articulate advocacy practice will need to be fearless when confronted by conflicts of interest.  Currently, the Framework talks positively about the relationship between advocacy and governments (9 g); and about positive contributions to legislation, policy and practice (10 e).  This suggests advocacy will always align with government views and directions, which is clearly not the case.  PWD certainly supports positive contributions to government work and positive relationships with government, but this is not always possible when government policy and directions may not be in accord with human rights principles, such as those articulated in CRPD.

Ÿ  The need for the Framework to ensure the term ‘services’ is not be linked with the word ‘advocacy’, such as is the case in the Introduction at point 2.  Linking these terms together – ‘advocacy services’ – confuses discussion relating to the need for advocacy to be independent of service provision. 

For more information contact Therese Sands, Executive Director, Leadership Team at or one of the contacts listed at the end of this e-bulletin.

Discrimination and Transport – Murray’s bus company sued

PWD supports the move by PWD member Julie Haraskin to take a bus company - Murrays Coaches, Buses & Limousines - to court after it refused to take her from Sydney to Canberra. This is a violation of the Disability Discrimination Act.

The story hit the media on20 August 2010, for which PWD was interviewed by the Sydney Morning Herald -

Bus firm sued over refusal of wheelchair – Sydney Morning Herald, 20 August 2010 by Andrew West

A LANDMARK case that could broaden the rights of commuters with disabilities across Australia has begun in the Federal Court.

Julie Haraksin, who uses a wheelchair, has taken a bus company - Murrays Coaches, Buses & Limousines - to court after it refused to take her from Sydney to Canberra.

Murrays told Ms Haraksin, a senior manager in the NSW public sector, none of their buses was equipped for wheelchairs. The Public Interest Advocacy Centre, representing Ms Haraksin, argues that Murrays has violated the Disability Discrimination Act, which gives the Attorney-General the power to set a mandatory standard for accessible public transport.

The standard required 25 per cent of bus fleets to be wheelchair accessible by the end of 2007. It now requires all new buses to be wheelchair accessible.

Click here to read the full story on the Sydney Morning Herald website.

Australian Disability and Indigenous Peoples' Education Fund

The Australian Disability and Indigenous Peoples’ Education Fund (ADIPEF) is looking to distribute small six monthly grants of up to $2,500 to assist people with disabilities to continue their learning.

For many people with disabilities from both indigenous and non-indigenous backgrounds, education can go a long way to not only developing their skills but also their self esteem and the pride of their family, friends and community.

The ADIPEF knows that a small financial grant will enable many people to undertake a course. This education fund is about helping people complete or undertake courses and programs through providing small grants.

Grant applications for education & learning assistance from the Australian Disability and Indigenous Peoples' Education Fund are now open. Visit the website at and download application form.

Applications are open until 30 September 2010.

All Abilities 'e-Playground' For Children with Disability

The All Abilities ePlayground is an initiative of the Gold Coast City Council supported by the Department of Communities (Disability Services) and created by Sonokids Australia, an international non-profit organisation developing technology for people with disability.

The All Abilities ePlayground reflects the values and aims of 17 outdoor all abilities playgrounds funded by the Queensland Government across the state, including 16 created as part of the ground-breaking Queensland All Abilities Playground Project - enabling participation in play.

It was developed to create a way for children to visit an all abilities playground from anywhere - making them more accessible than ever. After a visit to an outdoor all abilities playground, children can also enjoy playing a game that reminds them of their “real world” experience.

It has memory-improvement games and an activity allowing children to create their own music are two of the games in a new free online play environment for children with disability.

Tax Time 2010

PWD wishes to alert all members about the need to lodge their tax during tax time, to avoid receiving a fine.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) offers a range of free products in alternative formats to assist Australians with disability during tax time.

E-tax – the ATO’s free tax preparation and lodgement service - is compatible with screen reader software and is available to download from  

Australians can also lodge their tax returns in paper by picking up TaxPack and TaxPack 2010 supplement from ATO shopfronts and newsagents. TaxPack is also available on CD in audio format, on disk in DAISY and e-text suitable for use with screen reader softwares.

Tax Help is available to assist low income earners in completing their tax returns. It is a free and confidential.

Tax Help is available from July to October, in all capital cities and several country towns across Australia.

More information is available at or call the ATO on 13 28 61. For TTY users, phone 13 36 77 and ask for 13 28 61. For speak and listen (speech-to-speech) relay users, phone 1300 555 727 and ask for 13 28 61. Internet relay users can connect to and ask for 13 28 61.

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International News

United Nations (UN) NGO Conference – Advancing Global Health

PWD is participating in the United Nations Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) Conference on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), with specific focus on ‘Advancing Global Health’.  The Conference is being coordinated by the UN’s Department of Public Information and is being held in Melbourne from 30 August to 1 September 2010.  This is only the second time that the UN has held an event outside a UN location.

The MDGs are an internationally agreed set of goals for countries to achieve in order to eliminate poverty.  It is now recognised that the MDGs cannot be achieved without the inclusion of people with disability within actions and programs.  PWD will be raising a number of issues during the Conference in relation to the inclusion of people with disability, capacity building of Disabled Peoples Organisations (DPOs) and the importance of focusing on realising rights for people with disability as key to social and economic development.

The Aboriginal Disability Network is participating as part of the PWD delegation to ensure that the issues and concerns of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability are also represented.

For more information contact Therese Sands, Executive Director, Leadership Team at or one of the contacts listed at the end of this e-bulletin.

Third session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD

The third session of the Conference of States Parties (COSP3) to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) will be held from 1-3 September 2010 in New York. Prior to the Conference, a Civil Society Forum will be held on 31 August 2010 from 3 to 6 pm and coordinated by the International Disability Alliance (IDA).

The COSP3 information note is available on the United Nations Enable website This note provides the official documentation of the meeting, including information on the provisional agenda and the elections of the members Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  Australian Professor Ron McCallum, the current Chair of the Committee has been re-nominated by the Australian Government for this election.

Information on the theme of COSP3, official and informal meetings, as well as NGO pre-registration, accreditation and the participation of National Human Rights Institutions is also available from the UN Enable website.

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

PWD is extremely pleased with the Concluding Comments issued by the UN CEDAW Committee to the Australian Government following its review of Australia’s progress in CEDAW implementation.

Enshrined within CEDAW are the key principles of equality and an agenda for national action to end discrimination against women. It is based on the belief that basic human rights include true equality of men and women.

As a signatory to the Convention, Australia regularly reports to the Committee on both the measures the Government has taken to comply with its obligations under the Convention and on ongoing challenges. The Australian Government appeared before the Committee today in July 2010.

An Australian NGO delegation also participated in the review process by making a statement to the Committee and lobbying Committee members on key issues for women in Australia.  PWD congratulates the NGO delegation for its lobbying efforts that have resulted in significant recommendations being made by the Committee to the Australian Government.  In particular, we congratulate Christina Ryan, member of Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA), who ensured that the issues of women with disability were strongly emphasised to the Committee.

PWD has been involved in the CEDAW NGO Shadow Reporting process since 2003, providing comprehensive drafting of Shadow Reports and participating on the NGO delegation in 2006.  For this review process, WWDA contributed a separate submission on the situation of women with disability along with the NGO Shadow Report.  As a result, issues facing people with disability, and women with disability in particular, were well covered in these reports.

We congratulate the CEDAW Committee for taking note of the input provided by PWD and WWDA, and for making very strong recommendations, contained in the Concluding Comments regarding the need for urgent action by the Australian Government in relation to women with disability. The Concluding Comments include:

Ÿ  The Committee is concerned that women with disability are almost entirely absent from key leadership and decision-making positions and continue to be disadvantaged with regard to educational and employment opportunities.

Ÿ  It is concerned about the high levels of violence experienced by women, particularly those living in institutions or supported accommodation.

Ÿ  It is concerned that non-therapeutic sterilizations of women and girls with disability continue to be practiced in some states in Australia and notes that the Commonwealth Government considers this to be a matter for state governments to regulate.

In light of the Australian Government’s ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Committee recommends :

Ÿ  the Australian Government undertakes a comprehensive assessment of the situation of women with disability in Australia;

Ÿ  addresses, as a matter of priority, the abuse and violence experienced by women with disability living in institutions or supported accommodation;

Ÿ  adopts urgent measures to ensure that women with disability are better represented in decision-making and leadership positions, including through the adoption of temporary special measures such as quotas and targets, in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1 of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation No. 25;

Ÿ  enacts national legislation prohibiting, except where there is a serious threat to life or health, the use of sterilisation of girls, regardless of whether they have a disability, and of adult women with disability in the absence of their fully informed and free consent.

For more information contact Therese Sands, Executive Director, Leadership Team at or one of the contacts listed at the end of this e-bulletin.

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat works on implementation of the Pacific Regional Strategy on Disability

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and other stakeholders have begun work towards the implementation of the Pacific Regional Strategy on Disability after it was endorsed at the 41st Pacific Islands Forum held in Port Vila, Vanuatu 3 – 6 August

At the 40th Pacific Islands Forum held in Cairns, Australia last year, Forum Leaders reaffirmed the need for more attention to be directed to the region’s most disadvantaged group – persons with disabilities – who are among the poorest and most vulnerable in the world.

In October 2009, the Forum Secretariat organised the meeting of Ministers with responsibility for persons with disabilities in the Cook Islands during which the Pacific Regional Strategy on Disability was endorsed.

A report of this meeting was submitted to the Forum Leaders at their meeting in Port Vila and was well supported as reflected in the 41st Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ Communiqué issued on 5th August which states:

“Leaders reaffirmed their strong support for the Pacific Regional Strategy on Disability endorsed at the Forum Disability Ministers: to support Pacific Island Forum member countries to protect and promote the rights of  persons with disabilities; to provide a framework for the coordination of development partners, governments and civil society in building a disability inclusive Pacific; and strengthen commitment of all stakeholders towards implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and other human rights instruments relating to disability.”

UN Forum acknowledges persons with disabilities can play a vital role in Asia-Pacific economy

A United Nations meeting which wrapped up on 10 August 2010 in Bangkok has encouraged businesses to embrace the rights and concerns of persons with disabilities, highlighting the untapped consumer power represented by an estimated 400 million people in the Asia-Pacific region.

Over 60 participants at the two-day regional meeting on South-to-South Cooperation on Disability, including Government officials and representatives of businesses and disabled persons’ organisations, explored ways in which business development plans and employment practices could become more inclusive.

The meeting, held at the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, adopted a statement urging leadership development of persons with disability and the promotion of socially inclusive business development as priorities for the next regional decade on disability.

The Second Asia-Pacific Decade for Disabled Persons will conclude in 2012, and the Bangkok meeting recommended that governments in the region proclaim a new regional decade on disability starting from 2013.

“Many of the 400 million or so persons with disabilities in the region live in rural and isolated areas in conditions of abject poverty, encountering deep and persistent barriers,” noted Nanda Krairiksh, Director of the Social Development Division of ESCAP.

“Viewing them as contributors to our region’s economic dynamism, as entrepreneurs, employees or an emerging market segment enhances everyone’s prospects for prosperity,” she said.

The meeting, organised by ESCAP and the Asia-Pacific Development Centre on Disability (APCD), in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), also reviewed the implementation of the Biwako Millennium Framework for Action – a regional plan for a barrier-free and rights-based society for persons with disabilities.

France threatens EasyJet over disabled passenger ban – Sydney Morning Herald

16 August 2010 – AFP

French authorities may sanction budget airline EasyJet "with the greatest severity" for barring unaccompanied disabled passengers from flights, the transport ministry warned on Friday.

The announcement came after three passengers complained that the carrier refused them access to flights they had bought tickets for on safety grounds because they were unaccompanied.

"EasyJet cannot hide behind safety regulations for refusing to board passengers who have difficulty moving around," the French transport ministry said in a statement.

“It must implement solutions adapted to each case, as most companies do. Otherwise it must be sanctioned with the greatest severity."

A spokeswoman from EasyJet said that she was "already in discussion with the French government to find a solution that is suitable for our passengers without compromising their security."

Transport Minister Dominique Bussereau ordered the civil aviation authority DGAC to investigate the passenger complaints, "so procedures can be brought against the company if failings are found, with a view to possible sanctions."

Click here to read the full story on the Sydney Morning Herald website


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The Inside Story

Vale - Robert Ferguson Wood
1937 - 2010

Robert was born in Colwyn Bay, North Wales. He was a person of small stature, but a giant in Disability Activism.

In the 1980's Robert became President of Little Peoples Association of Australia and featured in two 60 Minutes programmes on the topic.

Robert's work with the Advisory Committee of the Lord Mayor of Sydney in the early 1980's was absolutely crucial to the changes and ease of access that we see in Sydney today. Robert will be remembered for his wonderful public service.

Robert was heavily involved with the Handicapped Persons' Alliance and deputy chairman of Disabled Persons International (DPI), which led him into becoming a member of PWD in 1981, the International Year of Disabled Persons (IYDP). Robert worked tirelessly advocating for the rights of people with disability without any regard for his own well-being. He also wrote his autobiography called 'In Over My Head', which unfortunately was never published.   

In December 2007 Robert suffered a severe stroke, which paralysed him on his right side and took away his ability to speak.

In late July 2010 Robert contracted an infection which developed to pneumonia and led to his passing in the early hours of 3rd August 2010.

Robert was a crusader for Disability Rights, and we at PWD salute his endurance, tenacity, and his resilience and input to the Disability Sector as a whole.

 - Jan Daisley, President PWD

Upcoming PWD Members’ Event

PWD will be hosting a Members’ Event in Sydney on Friday 10 September 2010 to introduce our new regional advocacy staff to the membership.  If you have read the recent LinkUp you will know that PWD now has three regional individual advocacy offices in NSW and four in QLD.  This event will enable members to find out more about the regional network.

The Event will also launch a new “Disability Rights Defender” membership strategy that will provide another opportunity for members to assist the work of PWD.

It will be a great opportunity for members to learn about PWD’s current directions and see how the organisation is expanding to include people from all over the country.

Our MC (Master of Ceremonies) for this event will be the popular presenter, disability rights activist and PWD Associate Member, Julie McCrossin.

Invitations will be shortly going out to all members, encouraging them to attend this event.

National Disability Hotline Services

The first year of the Complaints Resolution and Referral Service (CRRS) and National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline contract recently came to a close. PWD was contracted to provide the services for a two-year period, with the possibility of a one year extension.

Future events are now being planned to strengthen connections in communities in which PWD provides services. In late September, Hotline staff will travel to our new Mt Isa service to forge relationships with local services and Aboriginal communities and to inform the locals about the role of the Hotline and how it can help reduce the incidence of abuse and neglect of people with disability.

The Hotline is also developing a strategy to provide better services to Aboriginal people. Last month, CRRS/Hotline Director, Michael Bleasdale made an extended visit of the Northern Territory. Another trip, to the Kimberley region of north-western Australia is also planned for October.

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PWD Media Releases

26 August: People with Disability say close institutions but NSW Government continues its regressive policy


19 August: People with disability call for self-determination and individualised funding


17 August: New Government must end violence against people with disability


13 August: PWD calls on the next Federal Government to close all institutions housing people with disability


12 August: Making Rights Real - Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)


10 August: People with disability want a fair go – not "goodies"


10 August: Mental Health - Recognising the rights of people with Psychosocial Disability


4 August: Disability and Decision 2010 - The Coalition Needs to Get it Right! 



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Job/Volunteer Opportunities

Research Officer

Ÿ  Based in Madang, Papua New Guinea

Ÿ  12 month fixed term contract

Divine Word University seeks a part time Research Officer to support the implementation of a research project funded by the Australian Government Aid Program. This research project is coordinated by the Nossal Institute for Global Health (University of Melbourne), in partnership with Divine Word University, CBM Australia and Cardno.

The Research Officer will support the coordinated planning, implementation and dissemination of research on disability inclusive road infrastructure in PNG. We are seeking expressions of interest from applicants with the following experience:

Ÿ  Postgraduate qualifications in development, disability or a relevant field, with a strong research component.

Ÿ  Background in a disability or social research related fields.

Ÿ  Demonstrated experience in planning and implementing research activities, including planning community consultations, training data collectors, and knowledge of participatory qualitative and quantitative methodologies (e.g. surveys and group discussions).

Ÿ  Experience in working in collaborative partnerships with organisations, universities
and government.

Ÿ  Experience conducting participatory research with people with disabilities and Disabled People’s Organisations is highly desirable.

Ÿ  Ability to work as a member of a team, as well as the ability to work in a self-directed manner.

Ÿ  Excellent writing, computer skills including MS Office and fluency in English.

The position will be situated at the Divine Word University in Madang and will require some travel to field research sites and Port Moresby.

To apply for this position please email your current CV with a brief statement about your ability to meet the key skills required to Dr.P.R.Karthikeyan at  Please do not send copies of certificates, these will be requested from the successful applicant.

People with disabilities are encouraged to apply. CLOSING DATE: Thursday 2nd September 2010

AYAD Programs

Would you like to volunteer overseas?

You are invited to apply for a Disability international volunteering assignment through the Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development Program (AYAD). The AYAD Program is currently advertising 19 Disability assignments which give people like you the chance to share your skills and experiences with communities in developing countries.

Each year the AYAD Program sends 400 young Australians (18-30) on short term volunteer assignments (3 to 12 month) in Asia, the Pacific and Africa. The assignments are fully funded by the Australian Government through AusAID and are an important part of Australia’s work with developing countries.

Click here to view the volunteering assignments. Search within that page by selecting the ‘sub-section’ of Disability.

Applications close Friday 10th September.

Upcoming Events

7 September (Melbourne) ): Expert Group Meeting on Using the Optional Protocol to CEDAW to Address Violations of Women’s Rights in Australia

14 September (Sydney): Expert Group Meeting on Using the Optional Protocol to CEDAW to Address Violations of Women’s Rights in Australia

14th March-17th March 2011 (Auckland, New Zealand): Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) Regional Conference on Disability 2011. Theme – “Promoting actions on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in the Pacific Region.”

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

9-11 February, Geelong (VIC): The Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability Inc (VALID) Having a Say Conference 2011, Deakin Uni, Geelong.  

13-15 November, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia): Asia Pacific CBR Convention 2010   

The theme of the 2010 CBR Convention in Kuala Lumpur is Promoting Inclusive and Sustainable Development: Introduction of ‘The New CBR Guideline’. It is designed to give all participants the opportunity to use the new guideline, set by WHO, ILO and UNICEF, to further enhance our work on the ground. The Convention will continue the discussion about how we – as individuals and as members of an interconnected world – can be involved in ensuring that everyone plays a leading role in creating an inclusive and sustainable development for CBR.

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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

For information about membership, contact PWD on email or one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin.

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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 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 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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