PWD E-Bulletin

 

Issue 70 July 2011 - ISSN 2202-0705

Welcome to PWD’s E-Bulletin. The e-bulletin goes out to members and interested others regularly by email. For members who do not have access to email, a printed version of the e-bulletin will 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

Are you a Member of PWD?

Do you believe that everyone is born equal and has the right to fully participate in community life, gain employment, get an education, receive health services, be free from violence and abuse and participate in political, cultural, social and recreational activities? Would you like to join a global movement of people fighting for the rights of the world’s most marginalised community?

If you’re not yet a member of PWD then check out the Membership section of our website. Membership doesn’t cost much, can be done via mail or email, and will ensure that your voice is heard in the processes that affect your life. Join Today!

Disability Rights Defenders

Whether you are a member of not, another significant way to support PWD is to become a Disability Rights Defender. Disability Rights Defenders help change lives by making a significant financial contribution to support the work of PWD through regular, monthly, tax-deductible donations. Regular donations help us pursue essential projects, such as systemic and legal advocacy projects, assist with conducting members’ and stakeholders consultations, enable us to work with Disabled People’s Organisations in the Pacific and in providing information and training to people with disability and their associates. If you’d like to know more about the Disability Rights Defender Program, click here.

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

PWD Advocacy and Grand Western Lodge

PWD has been advocating for boarding house reform for many years, and more recently we have been specifically seeking action to address serious human rights violations at Grand Western Lodge.

Over the course of July 2011, PWD worked with journalist Adele Horin to get four powerful stories published in the Sydney Morning Herald which shed light on allegations of violence, abuse and exploitation against residents of a licensed boarding house, known as Grand Western Lodge, located in Millthorpe, NSW. 

These stories can be accessed via these links:

Saturday 23 July 2011
Victim's sister relives pain of boarding house case - Sydney Morning Herald
www.smh.com.au/nsw/victims-sister-relives-pain-of-boarding-house-case-20110722-1hszm.html

Saturday 23 July 2011
Sad truth behind closed doors - Sydney Morning Herald
www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/sad-truth-behind-closed-doors-20110722-1hsoo.html

Monday 18 July 2011
$15m bid for damages in boarding house case - Sydney Morning Herald
www.smh.com.au/nsw/15m-bid-for-damages-in-boarding-house-case-20110717-1hk8l.html

Saturday 16 July 2011
Disturbing tales from behind closed doors - Sydney Morning Herald
www.smh.com.au/nsw/disturbing-tales-from-behind-closed-doors-20110715-1hhwp.html

PWD also published its own article on the issue on the ABC’s Ramp Up site

22nd July 2011
Breaking the silence; boarding houses and abuse - Ramp Up (ABC) www.abc.net.au/rampup/articles/2011/07/22/3275799.htm  

And the Tenant’s Union of NSW posted on its blog 'The Brown Couch' commentary on Licensed Boarding Houses issues in support of PWD’s activity.
http://tunswblog.blogspot.com/2011/07/licensed-residential-centres-for-people.html

Click here to download PWD’s Background Briefing Paper on Grand Western Lodge Word 87kb

These articles raised serious questions on the effectiveness of multiple government agencies in addressing allegations of violence and abuse. PWD, as an organisation funded to provide advocacy services to people with disability living in licensed boarding houses in NSW, has been extremely active in advocacy on these issues and for the rights of the residents to live free from abuse and exploitation.

PWD is seeking your support on this issue. We urge you to help us raise the awareness of our politicians to the rights of people with disability to:

  • be free from exploitation, violence and abuse,
  • have equal recognition before the law,
  • gain access to justice and
  • receive housing and support which promotes their wellbeing, independence and inclusion.

Please email or write to your local Member or the NSW Minister for Disability Services to tell then that we expect more to be done on the issues highlighted by the Grand Western Lodge case. 

The Minister’s contact details are:

Mr Andrew Constance, MP
Minister for Disability Services
Level 34 Governor Macquarie Tower
1 Farrer Place SYDNEY NSW 2000
P (02) 9228 5263
F (02) 9228 5500
E office@constance.minister.nsw.gov.au

For more information on how to effectively support PWD in our campaign to end the rights abuses happening at Grand Western Lodge, please visit the special section on our website www.pwd.org.au/gwl.html or contact us at pwd@pwd.org.au

Inquiry into transition support for students with additional or complex needs

The NSW Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Issues is currently conducting an inquiry into transition support for students with additional or complex need and their families.

This Inquiry was established on 21 June 2011 to inquire into and report on programs and services for children with additional and/or complex needs and their families during transitions between stages of education. The terms of reference for the inquiry were referred by the Minister for Education, the Hon Adrian Piccoli MP

PWD encourages people to make their voice heard on this issue by making a submission or attending a hearing for the inquiry. 

The closing date for submissions is Friday 12 August 2011.

The committee intends to hold public hearings following the closing date for submissions.  Hearing details will be published in the website as they become available.

Full details of the Inquiry are outlined on the NSW Parliament website: http://bit.ly/r8s6D8

NSW Minister for Disability Services publicly supports a National Disability Insurance Scheme

In a letter to PWD and other disability representative and advocacy organisations, Minister for Disability Services, the Hon. Andrew Constance MP welcomed the findings of the Productivity Commission Draft Report on Disability Care and Support.  In the letter he stated that he will work with the NSW Government on a campaign to have the proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) introduced.

This announcement is a win for the NDIS campaign ‘Every Australian Counts’ and we congratulate the Minister on publically stating his support.  PWD has already signed up to and supports this campaign.

The Minister has called on the NSW Parliament and the community to support the scheme and for all people living in NSW to join the Every Australian Counts campaign.

He said that people with disability deserved the best opportunity to stay in their own homes, participate in the community and have certainty about their future, and that an NDIS was essential to meet long term demand and ensure a sustainable disability support system.

To learn more about the Every Australian Counts campaign, and see which MPs have signed up to it, please visit the campaign website at www.everyaustraliancounts.com.au  

Applications to DELINEATE now open

Accessible Arts, in partnership with Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC), is inviting applications for DELINEATE, a program designed to boost and foster arts and disability practice within NSW.

Six successful recipients will receive $3000 towards an arts project to be developed throughout the Don't DISmyABILITY campaign run by ADHC to celebrate International Day of People With Disability in December.  Art forms include Dance, Music, Theatre, Visual Arts, Literature, Hybrid/Interdisciplinary Arts and Community Arts.

There are three categories of which two recipients will be chosen from each.

1.    Independent Artists

2.    Western Sydney

3.    Regional NSW

The DELINEATE program also offers a one-day, professional development  forum led by Accessible Arts at Walsh Bay, alongside additional funds allocated to a project partner to advise and assist areas of need. These new developments enable projects to engage with professional artists within their local communities and to deepen the overall artistic process.

Applications close: Friday 26 August 2011

Click here for further information and to download an application form, overview and guidelines. To discuss your application contact Sarah-Vyne Vassallo, Arts Development Officer on Thursdays and Fridays on 9251 6499, ext 105, or email artsdevelopment@aarts.net.au

Person centred approaches – “Living life my way” consultations across NSW

The Government is seeking a greater understanding of the needs of people with a disability in the community. This will help to build a disability service system in NSW that puts decision making control, choice and flexibility for people with a disability at the centre of their support plan.

Consultations with people with a disability, their families and carers, as well as workshops with service providers, will be held from 1 August to 2 September 2011 at a range of locations around the state.

The consultation sessions will involve small focus group discussions with people with a disability, their families and carers so that every participant has an opportunity to have their say.

Phone and online registrations now open.  To register go to www.nswpcaconsult.net  or call 1300 550 913

If you require assistance to make a submission or would like further information about other opportunities to participate in the consultation process, please contact the Person Centred Approaches Team on (02) 8270 2132.

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Other State and Territory News

Queensland: Fraser Coast Regional Council to install beach access ramps

PWD joins Australia For All Alliance in welcoming the decision by the Fraser Coast Regional Council to install access ramps to the firm sand at Torquay, Scarness and Pialba, ensuring people with mobility aids are able to access the water.

Ramps will enable not only people with mobility aids, but families with small children in prams and older people to access the firm sand along the 16 kms of the Esplanade.

In 2000, PWD Board Member and Australia For All Alliance member, Sheila King personally brought to the attention of the Council the fact that there were 32 accesses to the beach, none of them accessible to people with mobility aids. At that time both the Mayor and the CEO were signatories to an agreement made under the Queensland Disability Discrimination Act that accessible ramps to the firm sand would be installed at Torquay, Scarness, Pialba and Urangan by July 2003.  This never happened and the matter eventually ended up in the Supreme Court in 2005.

Eight years since this signing and six years since the Court action, the Council have finally decided to install these access ramps at Torquay, Scarness and Pialba.

PWD congratulates Sheila and the Australia For All Alliance for their successful advocacy around this issue.
www.australiaforall.com

Queensland: Response to Government submission on the Productivity Commission’s Disability Care and Support Draft Report

PWD joins Queensland Advocacy Incorporated (QAI) in expressing concerns about the Queensland Government’s recommendation to use the Growing Stronger assessment process in a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).  This recommendation was made in the Government’s submission to the Productivity Commission’s Disability Care and Support Draft Report.

PWD have endorsed QAI’s submission to the Productivity Commission, which refutes the Queensland Government’s claim that their current assessment tool should be used as a framework for NDIS assessment.

The QAI submission notes that the carer assessment tool used for Growing Stronger is universally condemned by carers, people with disability and advocates alike for its callous reduction of the carer role to degrees of burden. 

The QAI submission also argues that the Inventory for Client and Agency Planning (ICAP) disability assessment tool, which is proposed in the Queensland Government’s submission, is not appropriate for a national scheme. This is because the ICAP questionnaire reduces a person with various physical, emotional and social needs and desires to a set of adaptive behaviours and its model is inappropriate, out-dated and contrary to the intent of Article 26 of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD). 

CRPD calls for effective measures to enable people with disability to participate in all aspects of life through the ‘multidisciplinary assessment of individual needs and strengths’. 

PWD joins with QAI to reaffirm our recommendation for an assessment tool to be based on the International Classification of Functioning (ICF), which is an internationally recognised assessment tool.
www.qai.org.au

Tasmania: Ethnicity and Disability = Human Diversity

The National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) is facilitating a workshop on human rights of people from non-English speaking background (NESB) with disability in Glenorchy.

NEDA wants people who are born in a non-English speaking country with disability or people born in Australia but who identify as culturally, ethnically or linguistically diverse and who live with disability, to attend the workshop.

If you are the primary advocate of a person from NESB with disability and you are interested to attend, please contact NEDA on details below.

The aim of the workshop is:

  • To inform on human rights for people from NESB with disability
  • To learn from you how human rights can be achieved in everyday life

The workshops will take place on Friday 5 August 2011 - 10.30am to 3.10pm, at Glenorchy Civic Centre - Terry Martin Room, Cooper Street, Glenorchy Tasmania.

NEDA can arrange interpreters, translated documents, support workers, transport assistance, dietary requirements – all you need to do is to talk with or email them and tell them what assistance you require.

You can contact NEDA on 1300 486 038, 0407 878 933 (for phone or text) www.neda.org.au or office@neda.org.au

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National news

National Human Rights Action Plan – Baseline study

The Australian Government has commenced its civil society consultation process, as part of the development of a National Human Rights Action Plan. The consultation process has been initiated by the release of the human rights Baseline Study.

PWD is working with other non-government organisations to raise awareness and contribute to the process for the development of a National Human Rights Action Plan.   On 29 June, PWD worked with the Human Rights Law Centre (HRLC) to conduct a Sydney workshop for national and NSW disability peak and advocacy organisations on the National Human Rights Action Plan.  Similar workshops have been held in other States and Territories.  The National Human Rights Action Plan is part of the Australian Government’s commitments under the National Human Rights Framework. 

The Government is  now receiving comments on the Baseline Study, which presents a picture of the status of human rights in Australia by:

  • outlining relevant statistics and other research on key human rights issues
  • noting relevant recommendations from Australia’s recent Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the United Nations
  • highlighting major government initiatives already in place, and
  • proposing issues that a National Action Plan could address.

 

In doing so it identifies potential gaps in human rights protections for Governments to consider acting upon in the National Human Rights Action Plan.

The Government states that the Baseline Study is not intended to cover every issue and initiative, but rather provide a meaningful snapshot to guide the development of an Action Plan.

Comments can be received on the Baseline Study by 31 August.  Click here for more information

The consultation period on the Baseline Study has now commenced and PWD is preparing a response.  The consultation process closes on 31 August 2011. 

For more information contact Sonya Price Kelly, Systemic Advocacy Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email sonyapk@pwd.org.au

Centrelink spy videos used to demonise people with disabilities: Greens

Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens Spokesperson for Disability Services, issued a Media Release on Wednesday 27 July which accused the Federal Government and Centrelink of deliberately setting out to demonise people with disability.

This Media Release followed a story in The Australian (Centrelink spy videos fed to media, 27 July) which revealed that Centrelink has used private investigators to take covert surveillance of possible welfare abuses and then supply this material to the media.

 

Earlier this year, Centrelink released videos of people on disability support who had been charged with fraud, which appeared on national television. This release coincided with legislation making punitive changes to the Disability Support Pension (DSP) and the release of the latest data on the DSP.

 

At the time, PWD appeared on the Channel 7 current affairs show Today Tonight, defending media allegations of pension fraud and ‘bludging’ by pension recipients. PWD covered this issue and the subsequent sector outrage in our June 2011 E-Bulletin.

 

On July 28, The Australia published a second story (Disability Commissioner says disability cheat video not on, 28 July) in which Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes says releasing covert video footage of disability pension cheats to the media will undermine attempts to get them off welfare and into work. He also said would raise the matter with Carolyn Hogg, Centrelink CEO.

 

PWD will monitor this issue closely to ensure further vilification of DSP recipients by the media is challenged.

Disability Employment Services Reference Group

PWD recently participated in the fourth meeting of the Disability Employment Services Reference Group, held in Sydney on 13 May 2011.

Feedback and outcomes from this meeting have just been released. The main discussion points arising from the meeting included:

  • future arrangements for Disability Employment Services 2012-2015 announced in the 2011 Budget
  • the introduction of Building Australia’s Future Workforce Package, which provides additional incentives to enhance employer participation and assist Disability Support Pension recipients to engage in the workforce
  • increasing employment participation of people with mental illness through the National Mental Health Reforms package
  • on the job training for people with intellectual disability and the role of disability employment services and
  • a presentation on the evaluation of the Disability Employment Services Interim Report.

Background

As part of the launch of the new Disability Employment Services on 1 March 2010, the Senator the Hon Mark Arbib, then Minister for Employment Participation, announced the formation of the Disability Employment Services Reference Group (DESRG).

The DESRG was established to provide strategic advice to the Minister on the future of Disability Employment Services, particularly future service, performance and contracting arrangements and industry development. The advice of the Reference Group will be a key part of forming sound, evidence-based policy for the future of Disability Employment Services.

Membership of the DESRG consists of organisations both from within and outside of the Disability Employment Services sector. Representation by Disability Employment Services providers and their peak organisations is balanced with members representing disability services consumers, employers, unions and academia.

If you have any comments or suggestions for discussion at the next DESRG, please do not hesitate to contact Michael Bleasdale Executive Director on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email michaelb@pwd.org.au

Launch of the Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness

As part of the Australian Disability and Development Consortium (ADDC), PWD congratulates the government on its acceptance of the Review Panel’s recommendation to include ‘disability’ as a core development objective in the aid program.  This is a significant change to Australia’s approach to aid, as it is the first time ‘disability’ has been acknowledged as central to development issues.

The Independent Review was launched by The Hon Kevin Rudd, Minister for Foreign Affairs, in Canberra on 6 July. Click here to read this Review online.

In his speech at the launch, Minister Rudd made specific reference to people with disability and the importance of making foreign aid efforts inclusive and representative of all people. To read the speech, with the references to disability highlighted, click here to visit the ADDC website.

PWD looks forward to continuing its work with the ADDC, Government, development agencies and other partners to ensure the plans and recommendations outlined in this Review are effectively implemented.

2011 Child Rights NGO Report “Listen to Children”

The 2011 Child Rights NGO Report ‘Listen to Children’ has been submitted to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child to assist in their review of Australia’s progress in implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

 

PWD was part of the Child’s Rights Taskforce which collected information and consulted with organisations and individuals. PWD also worked in collaboration with Children with Disability Australia (CDA) and Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) to make a substantial contribution to this Report by ensuring that issues and concerns for children with disability were included, such as:

  • non-therapeutic sterilisation
  • over-representation in juvenile justice
  • discrimination in education
  • inclusion of children with disability in consultative processes.

 

The Report is now available on the Child Rights website www.childrights.org.au. The Report will be presented to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva in October 2011.

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

Carbon Tax and people with disability

As many readers will be aware, the Federal Government recently announced a price on carbon, in order to reduce the amount of carbon emissions produced by Australia.

Following on from this announcement, the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities, the Hon. Jan McLucas, provided information on how people with disability would be assisted in order to cope with the increases in living costs which will arise from this tax.

Australians receiving Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment will receive assistance equivalent to a 1.7 per cent increase in the maximum rate of the pension.

This means:

  • Disability Support Pensioners and people receiving Carer Payment will receive a new Clean Energy Supplement from March 2013 of up to $338 for singles and $510 for couples combined.
  • Pensioners will also receive a lump sum advance payment from May-June 2012 of up to $250 for a single pensioner before the carbon price begins, to make sure they have extra money in their pockets to help meet price impacts. This payment will cover pensioners until the new supplement begins in March 2013 and gives households choices about how to adjust to the increase in the cost of living resulting from the carbon price for example, putting the advance towards a more energy efficient appliance.
  • These payments will be automatic and people won’t need to lodge a special application.

The 110,000 people with disability and health conditions, who rely on electricity intensive medical equipment, such as those using a dialysis machine or other life-support equipment at home, will also receive the Essential Medical Equipment Payment (EMEP) of $140 a year, in addition to their other assistance. 

Click here for more information at the Australian Government’s website on Clean Energy Future www.cleanenergyfuture.gov.au/helping-households/household-assistance-estimator/

Interpreting Services and people with disability

PWD supports the National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) in its call for the Federal Government to make translation and interpreting services available for all people with disability from non-English speaking backgrounds.

This follows an announcement by the Federal Government to make interpreting services available to help older people from non-English speaking backgrounds communicate on health and aged care matters.

In a Media Release issued by NEDA on 12 July, Sibylle Kaczorek, Executive Officer of NEDA said, ‘the fact that the Government recognises that communication barriers can mean that Australians from NESB may not receive timely care and support which can lead to poorer health outcomes and increased isolation surely applies equally to people with disability.’ 

‘The timing of this announcement could not be better, given the Government’s new commitment to Multiculturalism and the work currently conducted by the Productivity Commission on Disability Care and Support, now offers the opportunity to ensure that people from NESB with disability are included through interpreting services,’ says Ms Kaczorek.

To read the full NEDA Media Release, please visit: www.neda.org.au/page/neda_news.html

New $4M National Mental Health Consumer Body launched

In a press release issued on July 1, the Federal Government announced up to $4 million in funding to establish a new National Mental Health Consumer Organisation.

PWD welcomes this announcement as a step towards a stronger voice for people with psychosocial disability in decision making processes.  However, we strongly urge that the new consumer-led organisation be assisted to develop and strengthen its grassroots membership to ensure that the expertise of people with psychosocial is strongly included in all areas affecting their lives.

In the press release, Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler said the new body will also provide the Government with advice and direction in formulating mental health policy and programs and will work with the new National Mental Health Commission.

He also said that the new organisation would be hosted by the Consumers Health Forum with a view to transitioning to a completely independent organisation after two years.

Click here to read the full media release

PWD rejects Migration Amendment Regulation

PWD has endorsed a letter from Community Legal Centres NSW calling for the Migration Amendment Regulation 2011 (No 4) to be disallowed. The letter was sent on 8 July to the Attorney General, the Hon. Robert McClelland and the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, the Hon. Chris Bowen MP.

 

The regulation, made on 30 June 2011 and taking effect on 1 July 2011, introduces a serious financial barrier to access to justice for people who are experiencing financial hardship. In particular, it reduces access to merits review of Department of Immigration & Citizenship (DIAC) decisions to refuse or cancel a visa.

 

This will affect people trying to use the domestic violence provisions in the migration legislation, as well as Australian citizens and permanent residents trying to sponsor family members to come to Australia, including people with disability who wish to sponsor a family member as their carer.

 

The National Ethnic Disability Alliance also endorsed the recommendations made in this letter, calling on the Attorney General, responsible for access to justice, to move a motion in Parliament to disallow Migration Amendment Regulation 2011 (No. 4). 

The Tellus Survey

Tellus is the name of a survey developed by Purple Orange - Julia Farr Association to gather information from people with disability about their lives.

 

Findings from the previous survey has informed a number of policy submissions including; National Human  Rights Consultation, National Disability Strategy and Disability Care and Support, as well as three Tellus reports; Having Choice and Control, Accessibility, and Disability Funding – Where should it go?

 

With the recent release of the final Productivity Commission report on the merits of a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and leading up to a government announcement in November, the findings of this survey will help Purple Orange and you, to amplify the issues and challenges people living with disability experience and why a NDIS would enable people to have authentic choices and personalised support arrangements.

 

PWD encourages readers to take the time to complete the survey. The more people living with disability who complete the survey, the richer and more useful the data will be.

 

Every person that completes the survey (or has already completed the survey) will go into the draw to win an iPad 2.

 

How you can complete the survey

There are several ways to be involved:

 

The survey closes on Monday 15 August 2011.

Online support for victims of violence and abuse

PWD would like to draw readers’ attention to a new 24 hour service website, www.1800RESPECT.org.au, through which Australians can now access free counselling and confidential professional advice online, if they have suffered or are at risk of a sexual assault or domestic and family violence.

The service was launched on 7 July by the Hon Kate Ellis MP, Minister for the Status of Women.

In a media release issued on the day, Minister Ellis said “The online service offers an important access portal for victims of violence, who are seeking help, and further complements the 1800RESPECT National telephone counselling service launched in October last year.”

The service is staffed by tertiary qualified counsellors and social workers, who are able respond in a professional and sensitive manner to victims’ needs and further provide them referrals to relevant services.

For more information on the service, please visit the website at www.1800RESPECT.org.au

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International News

Sydney man elected President of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD)

PWD warmly congratulates Colin Allen who recently made history as the first Australian to be elected as President of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD). The election was held at the WFD General Assembly in Durban, South Africa, on Sunday 17 July.

"My overall aspiration is to achieve equality for all deaf people around the world," said Mr Allen on his website. "We must work together in order to achieve our vision of equal rights for Deaf people. WFD represents 70 million deaf people around the world to the United nations (UN), its agencies under the UN, the International Disability Alliance and other international peak bodies."

Mr Allen, currently the Director of Services at the Deaf Society of NSW, will lead the WFD in working to achieve human rights for Deaf people in the areas of Sign Language, education, interpreting and access, as well as looking at the effects of emerging technologies on Deaf people.

Other national and international organisations were quick to congratulate Mr Allen, including the Fiji Association of the Deaf, who passed on its delight at the election of Mr Allen to this prestigious position, “congratulating him with a big Deaf clap for this milestone achievement”. DAO-Afghanistan also extended their support to Mr Allen in order to achieve the common goals to improve the lives of persons with disability all over the world.

Click here to read the full media release from Deaf Australia

Announcement by Philippines Government to court tourists with disability

The Filipino Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim has announced the country will deliberately work towards attracting tourists with disability by offering discounts on fares, hotels, and leisure establishments to a potentially huge and under-served market segment.

 

The government has called on tourism businesses to apply a 20 per cent discount, already guaranteed by law to Filipinos with disability, to all foreign visitors with disability. Markdowns would cover accommodation, admission to amusement centres, medical services and transportation for all persons with disability.

 

"The trend is not to have separate services for PWDs, but for full integration in our hospitality industry," Lim said.This entails making our products suitable for persons with particular needs so that they may enjoy travel equally with everyone else."

 

Click here to read the full story

“Give development a human face”, Pacific Civil Society leaders say

A Pacific regional meeting on Aid and Development effectiveness has reinforced an international call for people to be brought to the centre of development and that development co-operation and aid effectiveness processes are people centered, respect human rights and achieve social justice as cornerstones of aid and development effectiveness.

 

A media release issued by the Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (PIANGO) on 11 July has stated that in recent years, the Pacific region has experienced structural adjustments, political instability and policy changes in its development assistance landscape. Threats to human rights, peace and security being experienced in some Pacific countries have impacted on the enabling environment for civil society and affected the way in which civil society works. 

 

An emerging issue in the Pacific region and one that is also a part of the larger development agenda issue concerns the rights of people living with disability in the region who continue to be marginalised and excluded from development processes.

 

Mr Katabwena Tawaka, of the Pacific Disability Forum told the meeting that present statistics (June 2011) illustrate that over 800,000 people are living with disabilities in the Pacific.

 

“There is a need for governments and development partners to recognise disability as a development issue. Disability may increase the risk of poverty. In the Pacific, people with disabilities rely on their families for support, assistance and medical care and this must be acknowledged by stakeholders. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) also do not make specific reference to people with disabilities,” he said.

 

Civil society leaders called on Pacific Island governments to revisit their commitments to Pacific people and CSOs at regional and international levels within the context of the Pacific Plan and Cairns Compact.

 

Click here to read the full story.

Proposed law gives people with disability right to fertility and prohibits forcible abortions

A law has been proposed in India to give women with disability the right to retain their fertility on an equal basis with others. This law breaks free of the traditional practice of sterilising people with disability, particularly women with psychosocial disability.

 

Recognising the legal capacity of people with disability and making provision for support where required to exercise such legal capacity as under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the proposed new law — Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2011 — also prohibits forcible abortions or any medical intervention that could result in a woman losing her fertility.

 

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2011, the final draft of which has been submitted to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, wants governments to ensure that people with disability have access to information regarding family and reproductive planning on an equal basis with others, while prohibiting subjecting any person with disability to any medical procedure, which leads to or could lead to infertility without their free and informed consent.

 

Click here to read the full story in The Hindu

US State considers compensating victims of forced sterilisation

On 8 March 2011, the US State of North Carolina’s Governor, Beverly Perdue established a five member ‘Governor’s Task Force to Determine the Method of Compensation for Victims of North Carolina’s Eugenics Board’. The North Carolina Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation (as a Division of the North Carolina Department of Administration), will provide the necessary professional, administrative and staff support services to the Task Force.

 

The five member panel is to recommend possible methods or forms of compensation to those persons forcibly sterilised under the North Carolina Eugenics Board program. On Wednesday June 22nd, dozens of victims and their relatives addressed the Task Force, sharing how their lives had been impacted emotionally, in terms of mental breakdowns and depression, and physically from bleeding from the coerced surgeries.

 

Video testimonies from victims of forced sterilisation in North Carolina are available on the CBS Evening News website at www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/06/22/eveningnews/main20073457.shtml

 

The Task Force is due to report its preliminary recommendations to the Governor by 1 August 2011 and a final report by 1 February 2012.

 

See the following links for more information on this story

www.healthland.time.com/2011/06/23/north-carolina-mulls-paying-victims-offorced-sterilization/ www.sterilizationvictims.nc.gov/taskforce.aspx

Second round of Disability Rights Fund Grants now open

The Disability Rights Fund (DRF) — a grant making collaborative between donors and the global disability community which supports the human rights of persons with disability — announced on 7 July its second 2011 grants round, ‘Securing Our Rights’. Grant making in this round will be targeted to disabled persons’ organisations (DPOs) in Bangladesh, 14 Pacific Island countries, Ghana, Uganda, Nicaragua and Peru.

 

PWD is pleased to see the DRF continuing its focus on the needs of DPOs in the Pacific Region, which are often bypassed by major grant making bodies.

 

In this grant making round, applicant organisations from 14 Pacific Island countries (Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu) may apply as single organisations or partnerships for 12-month small grants.

 

Interested organisations are urged to review the full eligibility criteria and application details posted at the Fund’s website www.disabilityrightsfund.org/grantmaking

 

Any questions on the proposal process should be directed to info@disabilityrightsfund.org
The deadline for applications is 18 August 2011.

Experiences and perspectives of HIV-positive women report launched

In a media release issued by the Pacific Islands AIDS Foundation (PIAF) on 22 July, PIAF announced the newly launched Report 'Experiences and Perspectives of Women living with HIV in Fiji and Papua New Guinea’, which aims to empower the voice of women with HIV in the Pacific. 

 

According to this Report, gender inequality, gender-based violence, sexual violence and other factors such as limited education and unequal land rights and economic choices, all increase women's vulnerability to HIV. These factors also affect the experiences of HIV-positive women.

 

The Pacific Islands AIDS Foundation (PIAF) saw the need to raise these issues by first and foremost, encouraging and educating women to take ownership of the HIV response. 

 

"The purpose of the study is to give voice to women living with HIV and to allow their stories and views to inform an improved HIV response where the dignity of each and every woman and man is respected and protected," said PIAF's Chief Executive Officer Maire Bopp during the launching in Nadi, Fiji.

 

Click here to read the full PIAF media release.

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The Inside Story

PWD 30 Year Anniversary: From the President

“So here we are after the event and what a good night was had by all. It was nice to see old members and new members mingling together and hearing from the founding members and their experiences with PWD.

I would like to thank our keynote speakers, the Honourable Senator Jan McLucas, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities; the Australian Disability Discrimination Commissioner and Race Discrimination Commissioner, Mr Graeme Innes; Prof. Ron McCallum, Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Senior Australian of the Year 2011; and our Founding Member and Life Member Joan Hume. Thank you all.

A great big thank you also goes to our MC Joe Mannix, PWD’s Treasurer and Events PAG Convenor and all staff members who worked so very hard to pull everything together and make it all go smoothly.

Thank you to everyone who came on the night to celebrate the wonderful achievements of this excellent organisation.”

Jan Daisley, President PWD

PWD 30 Year Anniversary: A Grand Event!

In recognition of the 30th Anniversary of the founding of People with Disability Australia, PWD hosted over 80 members and friends of PWD in a celebration of the achievements of our organisation and the advancement of the rights of people with disability.

 

The event took place at the Mercure Hotel, Sydney, on 16 July 2011.

 

Guests were treated to excellent speeches, food, drinks and musical entertainment. It was an evening to remember, reflect and rejoice our achievements.

 

Photos from the event and speeches from the guest speakers, will soon be available on the PWD website at www.pwd.org.au

 

The event was generously supported by Gilbert + Tobin, DLA Piper, Media Access and Crumbs Cakes, who supplied the delicious birthday cake.

PWD 30 Year Anniversary: New Life Members

Three new PWD Life Memberships were awarded on the night, to acknowledge the dedication and passion of these members.

 

A Life Membership went to Robert Farley, a long term member of PWD and former PWD President.

 

Another Life Membership went to Therese Sands, one of PWD’s current Executive Directors, who has been a member and volunteer for us since 1998 and an employee in our systemic advocacy area since 2002.

 

The final Life Membership went to Damian Griffis, a PWD employee from 2002 to 2007, who on behalf of PWD contributed significantly to the establishment of the Aboriginal Disability Network NSW and remains a close colleague in his role as Executive Officer of the First Peoples Disability Network and the Aboriginal Disability Network.

 

Congratulations to all our new Life Members!

Support PWD in the 2011 City2Surf

The countdown has begun towards the City2Surf and PWD is proud to announce that to date we have raised just under $3000, which is a wonderful achievement for the team.

 

However, there are still a few weeks to go, so if you haven’t given a donation yet there is still time!

 

If you would like to donate to the team, please visit www.fundraise.city2surf.com.au/pwdaustralia or contact Daphnee Cook, Communications and Membership Development Manager at daphneec@pwd.org.au

 

Every dollar you can give will help us to reach our goals. Thank you for your support!

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PWD Media Releases

July 18: PWD demands $15 million compensation for residents of Grand Western Lodge.

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Job/Volunteer Opportunities

Australian Volunteers International - Community Education & Advocacy Officer – DPO, Kiribati

Start date 20 November 2011 - End date: 19 November 2012
Application closing date: 1 August 2011
Must be Australian to apply

In order to continue its development, TTM require a suitably experienced person to work with the staff and Executive Committee on matters of organisational development.

To be considered for this assignment, you will have a background in community development, demonstrable experience in organisational development and a strong understanding of the disability sector. You will be willing and able to train and mentor colleagues and to work in a small team.

Applicants with a disability are encouraged to apply, noting the caveats mentioned above.

Apply now: View assignment on Australian Volunteers International website

Handicap International – Rehabilitation Project Manager, Kulob, Tajikistan

Start: as soon as possible
Length: 30 months
Closing date: 15 August 2011

 

As Project Manager of the ‘’Children Access to social services’’ project, you will work under the supervision of the Regional Program Director and you will manage six persons.

 

You will be in charge of all project’s dimensions: strategy, planning, management, implementation and sustainability with the following overall objective of the project: “to improve the quality of life of the people of Tajikistan, in particular Children with Disabilities (CwD) and their families living in the Khatlon region”

 

Click here for more information.

 

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Upcoming Events

9 August 2011: Canberra I’m not Racist, But… Zero Tolerance or Zero Acknowledgement? Speech by Graeme Innes, Disability Discrimination Commissioner. www.npc.org.au/speakers/graeme-inness-am.html

17-19 August 2011: Kellyville/West Ryde, NSW Australian & Canadian families collective leadership and action — reflection & renewal. A series of events coinciding with the arrival of a delegation of people with disability and their families from Canada. For more information contact familyadvocacy@family-advocacy.com

 

18 August 2011: Melbourne ADDC Practitioner Interest Group Meeting Topic: Aid Effectiveness Review. For more information www.addc.org.au

 

22 August: Surry Hills, NSW Uncloseting Discrimination: Disability” Discussion on disability rights and intersection of discrimination, vilification and human rights violations on the basis of having disability and being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or intersex.  For more information contact Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre or www.pwd.org.au/documents/temp/2011-AD-GLBTQI-flyer.doc

 

7-8 September 2011: Sydney “Our Broadband Future” 2011 ACCAN National Conference. Click here for more information

 

5 October – 15 November 2011: Online Australia Wide Human Rights Education Associates (HREA): E-learning Course: The Rights of Persons with Disabilities. To learn more visit www.awid.org/eng/Library/E-learning-Course3

 

26-28 October 2011: Stanwell Tops, NSW SPARK Festival 2011 Creative Arts Festival for people with disability run by JunctionWorks. Early bird bookings now open. Click here for the early bird flyer

 

17-18 November 2011: Adelaide FECCA Conference 2011 – Advancing Multiculturalism Australia’s Pre-eminent Multicultural Conference. Visit www.fecca.org.au for more information

 

25-28 November 2011: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia “Accessible Tourism Promotes National Development”  Click here for more information

 

7-9 December 2011: Hunter Valley, NSW “Accessing the Future: Instruct, Inspire, Include” Inclusive Technologies and Learning Disability in Education and Employment Conference. Now open for abstracts.
Click here for more information

 

12–14 March 2012: Bangkok, Thailand Conference on Disability-Inclusive MDGs and Aid Effectiveness. UN Conference Centre. Click here for more information

 

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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.html

For information about membership, contact PWD on email pwd@pwd.org.au 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 pwd@pwd.org.auThis 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-Bulletins in an alternative format or have an enquiry, contact PWD by email pwd@pwd.org.au or on one of the numbers listed below.

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

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