PWD E-Bulletin


Issue 77 April 2012 - ISSN 2202-0705

Welcome to PWD’s E-Bulletin. This 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.

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Disability Rights Defenders

There is now a NEW way to support PWD – Disability Rights Defenders can now sign up online! Click here to set up a regular donation to PWD and automatically become a DRD.


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.


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New South Wales News

Disability Inclusive Research Collaboration Conference – Research Rights: Disability Inclusion Change

In June 2012, a number of leading organisations representing people with disability, including PWD, will be holding a conference on inclusive research practices.


The conference Research Rights: Disability Inclusion Change aims to bring people with disability, researchers, policy makers, activists, and people working in the broader disability sector together to discuss and promote inclusive and participatory research methods and practice. In doing so, it aims to demonstrate how research designs, practices and methodologies can be inclusive and driven by people with disability, for the benefit of people with disability and how research findings can be made accessible to all. It will also provide an opportunity to learn about, discuss and workshop best practice in designing and implementing inclusive research in Australia and around the world.


The event is being organised by a Steering Committee that includes organisations, Disabled People’s Organisations (DPO’s), and universities and their research centres. These include PWD, the NSW Council on Intellectual Disability, Women with Disabilities Australia, the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations, the University of Sydney through the Centre for Disability Studies, the Social Policy Research Centre, the University of NSW, and Griffith University. 


Keynote speakers include Associate Lecturer Dr Sally French of the Open University, UK; Associate Professor Christine Bigby of La Trobe University; and Dr. Edurne Garcia, Director of the M.Sc in Disability Studies, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. The conference will also feature a series of workshops on inclusive research designs and practices from a wide range of perspectives with first-hand demonstration of how research can be inclusive and participatory.


The conference Research Rights: Disability Inclusion Change will be held at The University of Sydney on 13 -14 June. The conference program and registration is currently being finalised and will be available soon.


If you are interested in receiving the conference prospectus or have any questions please contact Gyongyi Horvath, Information & Liaison officer on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email

Announcement of new members of NSW Disability Council

In March 2012 the NSW Disability Council announced eight new Council members who will join six current members, previously appointed in July 2011.


The NSW Disability Council is the official advisory body to the NSW State Government on disability matters. The NSW Disability Council also provides advice to the Commonwealth on the effect of national policy at a State level.


The new Council members are Sally Robinson, Carmel Flavell, Chris Sparks, Laura O'Reilly, Maria Katrivesis, Paul Raciborski, Steve Widders and Ya'el Frisch. They now join current members Michele Nealon, Robert Strike, Ros Sackley, Simon Darcy and Unis Goh. The new appointment brings the full complement of Council to 14 members, of which 10 members have a disability and four have family connections to people with disability.


PWD congratulates the eight new members to the NSW Disability Council on their appointment and welcomes them in their new role in the NSW disability sector.


To learn more about the NSW Disability Council, please click here.

Council of Australian Governments (COAG) announces reform to ADHC

At the recent Council of Australian Governments (COAG), it was announced that under a National Health Reform Agreement and associated National Partnership Agreement on Transitioning Responsibilities for Aged Care and Disability Services, NSW has agreed to a split of responsibilities at age 65 (50 for Indigenous Australians) from 1 July 2012, for aged care and disability programs, including the Home and Community Care (HACC) Program.


The Commonwealth will assume full funding and operational responsibility for aged care services from 1 July 2012 and has committed to not substantially altering service delivery mechanisms before 1 July 2015. The NSW Government states it is working with the Commonwealth to ensure minimal disruption to clients and existing providers and real improvements for clients and carers across the state.


In 2010 ADHC engaged Aged and Community Services Association of NSW and ACT Inc. (ACS) to lead a state-wide consultation strategy with HACC stakeholders around the COAG reforms. ACS has prepared a report that provides details about the issues and opportunities raised by the sector around the aged care and disability reforms. Electronic copies of this report are available upon request from


To learn more about the changes, please click here.

Minister for Disability Services seeks input on Person Centred Approaches

In the second half of 2011, a series of consultations were held around NSW for people with a disability, their families and carers to have their say about how the NSW Government could create a person centred service system that puts them at the centre of decision making.


As a result of these consultations ADHC has, this week, released a  discussion paper outlining a vision for a person centred system, an outline of what changes need to be made to achieve it and a series of practical options for changing the system to deliver person centred planning, funding, services and decision supports. It is envisages that this discussion paper will inform the next round of consultations which will occur across NSW throughout May and June 2012. The discussion paper can be found here (PDF Download only).


PWD encourages people with disability to participate in these latest consultations to ensure that their voice is heard in the planning and development of this new vision for disability services.


The list of consultations session locations and times are listed on ADHC’s website and can be accessed here.


Written submissions can also be made to ADHC on this discussion paper, these must be received by ADHC by 1 June 2012. PWD intends to make a written submission on these initiatives, if you wish to have input into our written submission please contact Sonya Price-Kelly, A/G Executive Director, Leadership Team on one of the numbers listed at the end of E-Bulletin or via email

 ADHC makes progress on updates to Standards in Action

The Department of Family & Community Services - Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) is in the process of updating its Standards in Action manual which was first developed in 1998 to assist service providers (ADHC funded and provided) to fulfil their obligations under the Disability Services Act 1993 and implement the NSW Disability Service Standards (NSW Standards).

ADHC is updating the manual to support service providers to make the changes required under Stronger Together 2 such as person centred and life span approaches. This work forms the basis of ADHC's Quality Framework for Disability Services and they state that ‘by updating the manual, service providers will be assisted to effectively implement the Standards and provide the best possible outcomes for people with a disability, their families and carers’.  ADHC is aligning the update of the manual with work occurring at the national level with the revised National Standards for Disability Services.


Click here to download the third fact sheet, which has been updated to date (PDF Download only)


Click here to access a full outline of ADHC’s progress on updating this manual.

Screening of Director’s Cut of Scarlet Road at NSW Parliament

Paradigm Pictures and Touching Base Inc. are inviting people to a special fundraising screening of The Director’s Cut of Scarlet Road at the NSW Parliament on Wednesday 2 May 2012.


This special FREE event, hosted by Cate Faehrmann MLC, NSW Greens, will be a fantastic chance to watch this ground-breaking documentary and meet those involved in the production of Scarlet Road as well as those from behind the scenes.


Scarlet Road follows the work of an Australian sex worker Rachel Wotton, who specialises in working with people with disability. It is the latest documentary from award-winning director Catherine Scott and producer Pat Fiske and follows Rachel in her relationship with John, diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 26 years ago and Mark, a client with cerebral palsy. Revealing the therapeutic aspects of human touch and sexual intimacy, this unique film gives voice to two men generously sharing moments of sexual self-discovery.

The film features interviews with PWD staff, as well as footage from our participation in the 2009 Mardi Gras Parade.


The screening will take place at the NSW Parliament Theatrette, Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW, at 6.00pm for a 6.30pm start.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with special panel speakers:

  • Rachel Wotton, Australian sex worker and star of Scarlet Road
  • Denise Beckwith from People with Disability Australia (PWD)
  • Saul Isbister, Touching Base Inc
  • And special Guest Speaker Janelle Fawkes - CEO Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association.


Pre-booking of free tickets is essential, so if you’d like to attend, please go to: or phone 0424 591 409

For more information on the event, please click here.


Please note that unfortunately the NSW Parliament Theatrette is not accessible, with only a couple of spaces available for people who use wheelchairs. If you do use a wheelchair and would like to attend, please contact Touching Base on 0424 591 409 to reserve your place.


PWD has supported Touching Base since its establishment ten years ago and for the majority of its history PWD has had a representative on the Touching Base Management Committee. See our link to Touching Base under the ‘Supported Projects’ section on our home page

New Obligations for Social Housing Residents & Information for non-government organisations working directly with social housing applicants

As reported in March E-Bulletin, changes are being introduced to the way Housing NSW manages the Housing NSW Register.  In this edition we have provided links to information that has been developed by Housing NSW to assist in communicating these changes to non-government organisations working directly with social housing applicants.


For a fact sheet explaining the changes as well as potential newsletter or website copy for organisations to adapt for their staff, please click here (PDF Download only)


It is important that non-government organisations working with social housing applicants are aware that there are some exemptions to the policy that applications will be closed when applicants do not stay in touch within 28 days of the contact from Housing NSW or a community housing provider. These cover situations where:

  1. The applicant was in hospital, respite care, a disability support facility or rehabilitation facility or other institution.
  2. The applicant is homeless and was unable to access their mail during the 28 day period.
  3. The applicant was unable to access their mail during the 28 day period due to escaping domestic or family violence and family break up.
  4. The applicant was away for 28 days or more due to family bereavement or family care.
  5. The applicant was in custody at the time contact was attempted.


If you have further questions about the changes, please contact Housing NSW at 

PWD has participated in Housing NSW workshops with Housing Pathways stakeholders to provide input to the development of criteria for documenting applications for exemption.


PWD is also a member of the Housing NSW NGO Partners Reference Group, and for further information about PWD’s role, contact Samantha French, Advocacy Projects Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email

Transport for NSW Long Term Master Plan

As reported in March E-Bulletin, Transport for NSW is currently undertaking community consultations in the development of NSW Transport Long Term Master Plan. The date for the remaining regional transport forum is as follows:









Trappers Motel and Function Room

Trappers Motor Inn

2 Lockyer Street



PWD encourages people with disability to provide input to the Master Plan Team on the development of a Transport NSW Long Term Master Plan. This can be done in three ways:


For more information about PWD’s participation in the NSW Transport Access Advisory Committee, contact Samantha French, Advocacy Projects Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email

New Legal Aid NSW website – Best for Kids

Legal Aid NSW has launched a new website called Best for Kids which provides family law information for parents and children and aims to ensure the interests of children are a high priority when families separate.

You can visit the site at


The Best for Kids website is for families experiencing separation. On the site you can watch videos for both children and adults, find out more information about your legal rights as a child, parent or grandparent and where to get legal help.


Best for Kids is a community legal education initiative of Legal Aid NSW. Legal Aid NSW provides legal services to disadvantaged clients across NSW in most areas of family, civil and criminal law. The family law practice helps adults and children resolve their family disputes and achieve safe and workable care arrangements for children.


You can provide feedback and suggestions for the Best for Kids site by emailing

Call for assistance: Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services

The Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services (TAAS) are calling for assistance from the public to secure new government funds to enable them to continue their essential work helping tenants exercise their rights.


TAAS are funded under the Tenants Advice and Advocacy Program (TAAP), which uses monies from the Rental Bond Board (RBB), the Property Services Statutory Interest Account and NSW Fair Trading.


In recent years, NSW Fair Trading commissioned two independent reviews of TAAP, both of which recommended substantial increases in funding to the program. To date, Fair Trading has failed to implement the recommendations of the reviews.


To learn more about TAAS and how you can send a letter of support for increased TAAP funding, please click here.

Arts funding to improve access to the Arts

On 3 April 2012, the NSW Government announced an investment of $1.5 million to strengthen access to the Arts and cultural initiatives for people with disability across metropolitan and regional NSW.


The Minister for Disability Services, Andrew Constance and Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Hospitality, Racing and the Arts, George Souris, announced the new partnership between the Department of Family & Community Services - Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) and Arts NSW, saying that it will increase access to arts and cultural activities for people with disability and includes individually tailored development opportunities for artists with a disability.


The partnership will focus on programs that will:

  • Increase participation by people with disability in arts programs;
  • Provide more support for the professional development of artists with disability; and
  • Support employment and volunteering opportunities for people with disability in the arts and cultural sector.


To read the full media release issued by Accessible Arts, please click here


For more information on arts programs funded under the NSW Arts and Disability Partnership contact Kim Spinks, Manager, Capacity and Development, Arts NSW on 02 9228 5426 or

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Other State and Territory News

Queensland: Changes to the Department of Communities

PWD would like to inform members and supporters of a significant restructuring of the QLD Department of Communities following the recent state election.


The Department of Communities, which previously housed multiple human service divisions within it, has now been renamed Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services. The Minister responsible for the department is Tracy Davis MP.  As Minister she is responsible for child protection services, adoption, carers, community recovery and services, disability services, home and community care, homelessness, seniors, social inclusion, women’s policy, youth affairs, incorporation of associations and co-operatives, and registration of charitable and community purpose organisations.


Ms Margaret Allison has been appointed the Director General of the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.


For more information on the new Ministers and their portfolio responsibilities, please click here.


For more information on the new Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services and for information on where areas of work that sat under the former Department of Communities are now placed, please click here.

Victoria: Report calls for a modernisation of guardianship laws

A Victorian Law Reform Commission report was tabled in Parliament on 18 April 2012, which calls for simpler, more accessible laws to protect and empower people with disability in Victoria.


The report recommends that a single, integrated act should replace the state's complex, confusing guardianship laws, which don't work harmoniously when people with intellectual disability must appoint someone else to make their decisions.  Among its 440 recommendations, the 600-page report tabled in parliament on Wednesday also calls for more flexible responses when someone is unable of making a decision.


Currently, someone is deemed to lack decision-making capacity if they can't understand, retain or process the relevant information to make a decision, or are unable to communicate a decision in some way.


The report says a new act should specify that impaired capacity can be temporary, permanent or fluctuating, and should not be based on one's age, appearance, condition or an aspect of their behaviour.


To read the full news story which appeared on Ninemsn on 18 April, please click here.


Further information about the report and the review process which led to its development, please visit the Commission’s website at

Victoria: Protest against Public Transport

On 17 April more than 60 people, including people with disability, advocates, families and carers, protested on the steps of the Victorian Parliament House calling for better accessibility to the state’s public transport system.


In a news story published on the day, the Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) and disability advocacy group All Aboard said that Victoria’s inaccessible public transport system is failing people every day. Disability advocates also claimed that the system is unsafe and leaves people stranded and unable to get to the places they need.


The protest received considerable media coverage, and was advertised by PWD on our social media sites. To read more about the protest, please click here.


Victoria: Rights here, rights now, legal seminar

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission is holding a panel session that will consider the human rights implications of the review of the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986. The Victorian Law Reform Commission’s report and recommendations to Government on the operation of the Act were tabled in Parliament on 18 April 2012.


The panel session will take place on Tuesday 1 May, from 5.30–7pm, at the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, Level 3, 204 Lygon Street, Carlton.

The panel of speakers includes:

  • Colleen Pearce, Public Advocate, Office of the Public Advocate
  • Sue Hendy, Chief Executive Officer, Council on the Aging Victoria
  • Catherine Leslie, Lawyer/Policy Officer, Mental Health Legal Centre.


The event is open to the public to attend, and it is free. To RSVP by email, please contact or call (03) 9032 3430 for more information.

For full details download the seminar flyer (PDF, 160KB) or visit


South Australia: Calls to reform Disability Services Act


On 4 April 2012, Dignity for Disability MLC Kelly Vincent introduced new legislation to overhaul South Australia’s Disability Services Act.


Ms Vincent’s legislation proposes three major changes to the Act:

  • The creation of a Disability Services Commissioner to oversee the provision of disability support in SA;
  • The establishment of a community visitors program to uphold standards in supported accommodation; The establishment of a Senior Practitioner to regulate and minimise the use of chemical, mechanical and physical restraints on people with disability. 


“The models I have written into this legislation are tried and tested interstate and overseas. I am trying to bring South Australia’s chaotic and unfair disability services system up to speed with the rest of the country,” said Ms Vincent, in a Media Release issued by Dignity for Disability.


The SA Government last year flagged that it will introduce similar legislation to change the Disability Services Act, following a recommendation by the Social Inclusion Unit’s Strong Voices report. However, Minister for Disabilities Ian Hunter MLC has told the Parliament not to expect to see the changes anytime soon.


To read the full Media Release from Dignity for Disability, please click here.

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National news

Specialist Roundtable – Women with Disability with the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women

On 18 April PWD attended a specialist roundtable for woman with disability with the United National Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women. Ms Rashida Manjo, is current Special Rapporteur on Violence against women, a role first appointed by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in 1994.  In this role she has a mandate to examine the causes and consequences of violence against women and provide reports to the Human Rights Council.


On this occasion Ms Manjo was visiting Australia on a Study Tour from 10-20 April 2012. Her visit was co-hosted by the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. She was accompanied to the roundtable by Deputy Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Andrea Durbach. While in Australia, Ms Manjoo meet with women, government representatives, service providers, specialist agencies and NGOs and visit shelters and crisis centres.


Each participant invited to the Women with Disability roundtable was asked to present a short presentation focussing on key issues of importance to women with disability in Australia. PWD’s presentation focused on highlighting the growing body of evidence which suggests that women with disability living in residential settings are at an increased risk of abuse and violence, the key factors which contribute to this form of violence, as well as some prevention strategies which can be implemented to reduce and eliminate this violence and risk of abuse.


The UN Convention for the Elimination of Violence against Women - CEDAW Committee has identified the abuse and violence experienced by women with disabilities living in institutions or supported accommodation as a matter of priority for Australia.

Click here to access more information about Ms Manjoo’s role and mandate.


For further information on PWD’s presentation please contact Sonya Price-Kelly, A/G Executive Director, Leadership Team on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email


Sector Opposition to Supported Accommodation Innovation Fund


The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) and the National Council on Intellectual Disability (NCID) issued a media release on 4 April 2012 stating that both organisations are appalled that the Australian Government has announced funding to organisations under the Supported Accommodation Innovation Fund (SAIF) that breach Australia’s obligations under the UNCRPD.


This Media Release was issued following an announcement by the Federal Government on 4 April to commit $60 million dollars to the SAIF over three years to build accommodation for adults with severe or profound disability. In the media release, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said that 21 organisations across Australia will share in the funds through the Supported Accommodation Innovation Fund. To read more about the funding announcement, please click here.


In their joint media release, NCID and AFDO said that funding for cluster villages for people with intellectual disability is a breach of the rights of people with disability and that “despite the fact that considerable rhetoric is going into the government's support for a National Disability Insurance Scheme, by funding proposals for cluster villages the government is endorsing segregated, institutionalised and outmoded ways of supporting people with disability.”


PWD strongly supports this view, and believes that cluster villages constitute a form of segregated accommodation or congregate care.PWD strongly believes that facilities such as these have the effect of segregating and isolating people with disability from the community, of denying people with disability the same housing options as other people living in the community and of forcing people with disability to live together in order to receive social supports.  PWD joins AFDO and NCID in their outrage towards the Australian Government which continues to ignore its human right obligations and fund the redeveloping new ‘contemporary’ institutions for people with disability.


In the media release, NCID and AFDO refer to the national Shut In campaign as a resource for accurate information about appropriate housing and support options for people with disability.  PWD, NCID and AFDO are all members of the Shut In campaign.

For more information about Shut In, the campaign to close institutions, please visit


NDIS – engaging people with disability in its design and implementation


Previously in E-Bulletin we have reported on the efforts being made by the disability peaks and advocacy sectors to ensure that people with disability are engaged in the design stages of the NDIS.  This is crucial, not just to enable the Australian Government to fulfil its obligations under Article 4 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, but in order to get the new system right.  The principle is accepted that people with disability know best what support they require, and how that support should be delivered, and the NDIS should embody this, in its delivery and in its design.


PWD, together with the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) and the Disability Advocacy Network of Australia (DANA) have taken a coordinating role in bringing together peak bodies and advocacy groups in meetings and workshops, which look at how the new system can ensure that people with disability get the support they need to participate on an equal basis with others in our community.  The joint meeting of representative and advocacy organisations for people with disability last met in Adelaide on 16 and 17 February, and discussed how best to provide constructive input to the process of NDIS design.  A communiqué was developed after this meeting, and it is available on the PWD website


The next meeting of this group is in Canberra on 2 May, following the DANA conference.  At this meeting we are hoping to consolidate the planning for the work we will do throughout the year on the critical aspects of the design of the NDIS, through a variety of working groups which we established in February.  It will also be important at the meeting to coordinate the work we are doing with that being planned within government, and we will have the benefit of a briefing from a senior FaHCSIA official to guide us.


It is anticipated that there will be some funds for NDIS announced in the Federal Budget on 8 May.  No details are available yet about the timetable for the rollout of the new scheme, but if it is to be fast-tracked, then we can expect that the allocation of funds, (outlined in the Productivity Commission Report, Table 16.23, p.788) will need to be brought forward.  Funds for the establishment of the new National Disability Insurance Agency and, importantly, funds for “capacity building”, should be delivered in the next financial year, an allocation of around $600 million at least.  PWD will be monitoring the budget closely, and will report in the next E-Bulletin.


Information will increasingly be posted on the PWD website, but if people wish to have further contact on issues to do with NDIS please email Michael Bleasdale, Executive Director, Leadership Team on


Disability Employment Services – Tender Process


Many readers will be aware that shortly a partial tender process will commence for contracts within the Disability Employment Services (DES) – Employment Support Services (DES-ESS) system across Australia.  This is due to commence in July, with services who are regarded as underperforming, based on the DES star-rating system, being required to tender for market share in their particular Employment Service Area (ESA).  The result of this will be that some providers will decrease their share of services provided, some will increase, and some will cease to provide DES services altogether.  It will also bring new providers into the system.

The changes that this will bring about will inevitably pose some challenges to the ongoing provision of support to people who are seeking work or who have already been placed in employment.  The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), who administers the system, have engaged in a process of consultation with the sector to identify transition issues and to manage these as well as possible, so as to minimise disruption to people with disability who are looking to be employed through DES. 

PWD is part of the DES-ESS Transition Working Group, which was established in March this year and which is looking in some detail at the way in which continuity of service can be maintained.

Much of the work of this group has to remain confidential, but DEEWR has consulted about the nature of the tender itself and about how best to organise the transition period to ensure that minimal disruption is caused.  Feedback was sought with the sector on the exposure draft of the tender document and 20 submissions were received.  From this a number of principles were endorsed with respect to:

  • managing transitions as seamlessly as possible for DES participants who may be required to move agencies, if their current agency ceased to trade or offered a significantly reduced service as a result of decreased market share after the tender was complete;
  • ensuring an offer of choice of providers to participants across the system is also to be strongly maintained throughout the transition period; and
  • ensuring that referrals can continue to enter the system even whilst new or expanding services are establishing themselves within areas.


Click here to access more information about the process of tender from the DEEWR website.

PWD will continue to participate on the Working Group to ensure that discreet strategies are employed which will enable people with disability who are in work or seeking work to experience the least disruption possible if their service is affected by the results of the tender.  The contact at PWD is Michael Bleasdale, Executive Director, Leadership Team, who can be contacted at

Rally to Make it Real: NDIS 2012


On Monday 30 April 2012 PWD will join thousands of people with disability, their representative organisations, families and carers at the Every Australian Counts campaign rally in Sydney.


The event will be the biggest rally of people with disability ever to take place in Australia and aims to send a strong message to Canberra that we want a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to become a reality. Rally events will be held in six capital cities around Australia – click here to visit the Every Australian Counts website and see where each rally will be located.


For more information on the rally click here to watch Kirsten Deane from the Every Australian Counts campaign team explain why all people with disability, their family, friends, neighbours and work colleagues need to come along to a rally in their capital city to make the NDIS real.


PWD and Clean Energy Future Essential Medical Equipment Payment


PWD recently participated in a meeting which discussed the measures being taken by the Australian Government to ensure people with disability who rely on essential equipment at home are not negatively impacted by the rise in prices expected when the carbon tax begins.


As PWD has reported in prior E-Bulletins, last year the Federal Government 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. To learn more about these assistance measures as previously reported by PWD, please click here.


The legislative instruments have now been finalised and have been registered with the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.  This step precedes the instruments being tabled in Parliament, which we anticipate will occur in early May 2012. Now that the instruments are registered they are publicly available and people may access them via the links below.


Four instruments associated with the Clean Energy (Household Assistance Amendments) Act 2011 which further define the eligibility criteria for the payment include:


Click here for more information at the Australian Government’s website on Clean Energy


National Ethnic Disability Alliance announces new CEO


On 3 April 2012 the National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) announced the appointment of Mr Dwayne Cranfield as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  Mr Cranfield will be based at NEDA’s new office at Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre (the old north building) at 180 London Circuit, Canberra City.


Mr Cranfield brings with him a broad working history that has seen him work in both the USA and Sweden, with a career which has focused on working with marginalised and disenfranchised people, from homeless youth to the disability sector (acquired brain injury) and more recently adult mental health.


PWD welcomes the appointment of Mr Cranfield and looks forward to working with him on issues of mutual concern to our organisations and people with disability.


Discrimination in the workplace - information and assistance


The Fair Work Ombudsman is currently running a campaign to raise awareness of the workplace rights of people with a disability, to spread the message that any disability discrimination at work is unacceptable and to let people know how the Fair Work Ombudsman can help.


The Fair Work Ombudsman is a Federal Government Agency that works to educate employers and employees about Australia’s workplace laws. Australia’s workplace laws protect people from discrimination at work, covering thirteen attributes including disability.

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s website,, provides useful information on what workplace discrimination is and how they can help you if you have experienced discrimination in the workplace. They also have printed materials that explain unlawful workplace discrimination and provide examples of the type of actions that can constitute unlawful discrimination.


For more information or if you have any questions, you can email the Fair Work Ombudsman at


Social Policy Research Centre publishes new report


The Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) has just published their second report on Evaluation of the Self Directed Support Pilot for Children and Young Adults with a Physical Disability.


The report has been developed by Sally Robinson, Sandra Gendera, Karen R. Fisher, Natalie Clements and Christine Eastman for the Department of Communities, Disability and Community Care Services, Queensland.


This second report provides findings about the outcomes for participants and their families, implementation of the pilot, the process and cost analysis. It also draws together implications for future development of similar programs.


To download the report (only available in PDF) please click here.


Facing the facts of youth disability


The Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies (ACYS), based at the University of Tasmania (UTAS), launched the first of a series of Face the Facts publications, with the topic of ‘Youth disability in Australia’.


The Youth Disability publication aims to provide relevant information to youth workers and policymakers so that they can provide the best possible support for young people with disability.


Face the Facts – Youth Disability is the first release in a new ACYS information series. Each includes a ‘Snapshot’ – a short, sharp overview of the issues and facts, and a ‘Briefing Paper’ – an in-depth analysis of the factors involved, their policy implications and what lies ahead for these particular issues.


ACYS is Australia’s leading source of independent, comprehensive and reliable information on the issues affecting young people and the youth sector.


To learn more about the Face the Facts – Youth Disability resource, please click here.


New research and advocacy tool launched at ACOSS National Conference


A searchable directory of over 500 reports and submissions relating to social need in Australia, created by the National Pro Bono Resource Centre in collaboration with the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), was unveiled in Sydney on Thursday 29 March 2012.


Developers say provides an easily navigable and searchable directory of key reports and submissions concerning social needs in Australia since 2007, with an emphasis on those released in the last four years. Over 500 reports and submissions can be directly accessed through the directory by clicking on the report or submission name.


Relevant reports can be identified by text or tag search and be sorted by name, author, date, description or tag. The directory also contains a brief description of the organisations that have authored the reports -- and a link to their home page. 


The inspiration for arose from a desire to provide pro bono legal service providers with a research tool that could assist them in reviewing and developing their programs and in prioritising limited resources to meet unmet legal need.  However, the directory will be useful for anyone researching or seeking to address unmet social need in Australia and provides advocates with a tool to help produce evidence-based reports and submissions.


To learn more the tool, please click here.


New Commonwealth funding for mental health services


On 13 April 2012 the Prime Minister, Minister for Mental Health and the Minister for Housing issued a joint media statement in which they announced an agreement by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to help improve the care and support provided to people with severe and persistent mental illness and complex care needs.


In this new National Partnership Agreement (NPA), the Federal Government will provide $200 million to help address gaps in state and territory mental health systems.


Of particular interest to PWD is the announcement of $10.2 million over five years to support people with psychosocial disability in boarding houses via in-reach support services for boarding house residents who have been assessed as having mental health issues, through low level support packages. PWD is aware that a tender for the provision of these new services was released on 24 April. We will be monitoring the outcome of this tender and the improvement of support for people with mental illness in boarding houses.

For more information on the NPA and this funding announcement, please click here.

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International News

United Nations Economic and Social Commission for the Asia Pacific (UN ESCAP) Regional Preparatory Meeting on the New Asian and Pacific Decade, 2013-2022


As reported in March E-Bulletin, PWD recently participated in the United Nations Regional Preparatory Meeting on the New Asian and Pacific Decade, 2013-2022, as part of a group of international ‘Civil Society Organisations’ (referred to as CSOs).


The meeting focused on reviewing the draft goals and targets to be included in the “Incheon Strategy” for people with disability in the Asia Pacific. The Incheon Strategy is an action framework for the new Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons, which will run from 2013 to 2022.


In the last E-Bulletin we highlighted some of the key areas in which people with disability had direct input through and a link to the ‘CSO Joint Statement’. Click here for a copy of the CSO Joint Statement.


Click here to access the final report on the Social Development Division's new website.

We also encourage you to visit the "Make the Right Real!" website and to show your support by clicking on the Make the Right Real! support button at:

The ‘Incheon Strategy’ will be finalised at the ‘High Level Intergovernmental Meeting for the New Decade’, which will be held in Incheon, Republic of Korea, 29 October to 2 November 2012.


PWD will continue to have input to the New Decade of Persons with Disability in the Asia Pacific and strategies for implementation of the CRPD in our region. For more information about the Regional Preparatory Meeting go to UN-ESCAP Website

For more information about PWD’s participation at the meeting and other side events, contact Samantha French, Advocacy Projects Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email  


Papua New Guinea ratifies UNCRPD


PWD congratulates the Papua New Guinea (PNG) government for ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD) on 4 April 2012. This ratification came about in part through the hard and persistent work of the Papua New Guinea Assembly of Disabled Peoples (PNG ADP), supported by other NGOs, the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) and PNG MP Dame Carol Kidu.


Ratification of the CPRD is an important step towards a country’s recognition of people with disability as equal members of society. The CRPD articulates a profound shift in understanding the rights of people with disability, replacing a charity and medical model with the social model, in which people with disability are recognised as rights-holders with the same rights as everyone else.


In presenting the convention to Parliament, PNG Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Ano Pala said that ratification was a new universal trend which recognises that the continued denial of human rights of people with disability was no longer acceptable.


“The purpose of the convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full participation and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities and promote respect for their inherent dignity,” said Mr Pala.


To read the news article which appeared in the Post Courier about PNG’s ratification, please click here.

PWD supports Australian Youth Ambassador for Development in Fiji


PWD is proud to be partnering with the Australian Youth Ambassador for Development (AYAD) Program to support Stephanie Hubbard in her role as a Communications and Marketing Officer with the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) in Fiji. The PDF is an organisation which facilitates regional cooperation on disability related concerns and works to achieve inclusive, barrier-free, socially just and gender equitable societies that recognise the human rights, citizenship, contribution and potential of people with disability in Pacific Countries and territories.


The start of Ms Hubbard’s one year assignment with the AYAD Program, an Australian Government, AusAID initiative, coincided with celebrations of National Youth Week, in which individuals and organisations come together to recognise the valuable input young people make to our communities.


“We believe the AYAD program is a fantastic way to support young Australians to volunteer their time and skills to assist with the ongoing work of organisations like the PDF and we know that Stephanie will use her skills, experience and enthusiasm to make a positive impact on the organisation,” says Sonya Price-Kelly, an Acting Executive Director of PWD.


To read more about PWD’s partnership with the AYAD Program, please click here

Meeting of the 7th Session of the CRPD Committee


From 16 – 24 April 2012, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee) met in Geneva, Switzerland to discuss recent developments related to the CPRD from around the world.


The Deputy High Commissioner of Human Rights, Ms Kyung-wha Kang, made an opening statement to the Committee, mentioning the launch of the Multi-Donor Trust Fund last December by six UN agencies (ILO, OHCHR, UN DESA, UNDP, UNICEF & WHO) who comprise the UN Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN PRPD) and the Human Rights Council resolution adopted recently on the right of people with disability to participate in political and public life. To read the opening statement by Ms. Kyung-wha Kang, please click here


For the first time the Committee’s session was webcast live by the International Disability Alliance (IDA) which was welcomed by Australia’s Professor McCallum and other Committee members. The session was webcast live at and an archived version of the video will shortly be posted on this same website.

For more information on the CRPD Committee and meeting, please click here

Issue Paper on CRPD Article 19


Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg, on his last day as the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, released an Issue Paper investigating Article 19 – Living Independently and being included in the community, of the CRPD. The issue paper is accompanied by a short comment by the Commissioner.


The issue paper provides a detailed analysis of CRPD Article 19 – including how upholding this right looks like in practice as well as identifying, what violations of this right might look like. Both institutionalisation and segregation within the community are addressed. The paper provides guidance on worrying trends emerging in Europe such as the replacement of institutions with other forms of congregate care (e.g., group homes) and the infringement on autonomy and choice resulting from the bundling of services (such as housing and support services). Though the paper is Europe-focused, it lays the ground for considering the application of Article 19 to other contexts as well which do not rely heavily on institutions and where isolation are not necessarily the result of institutionalisation as much as the lack of community-based supports.


To read the Issue Paper, please click here

To learn more about the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, please click here

As previously reported in E-Bulletin PWD has developed its own position paper aimed at raising awareness of the human rights dimensions in housing and in housing and support for persons with disability.  Our position paper titled Accommodating Human Rights: A human rights perspective on housing, and housing and support, for persons with disability also aims to raise awareness about the obligations on all governments to ensure the respect, protection and fulfilment of the right to adequate housing and adequate support services.  It will also be of use to persons with disability, their families and advocates, in their advocacy to secure the human rights to adequate housing and to adequate support services. To read PWD’s position paper, please click here

World Autism Day and action to combat discrimination


The annual observance of World Autism Awareness Day on 2 April should spur global action to combat the unacceptable discrimination, abuse and isolation that people with autism and their loved ones face, said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a media release.

“People with autism are equal citizens who should enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms,” stated Mr Ban.

In December 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day in an effort to draw attention to autism, a condition which affects tens of millions around the globe.

To read the full media release issue by the UN news centre, please click here

Savina Nongebatu receives US Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award


PWD warmly congratulates Ms Savina Nongebatu on being the Solomon Islands 2012 National Winner of the U.S. Secretary of State’s Award for International Women of Courage. PWD has worked closely with Ms Nongebatu in the past in her role as Co-Chair of the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) and as the head of Disabled Peoples’ Association of Solomon Islands (DPASI).

Ms Nongebatu has received this award in recognition of her lifetime dedication to championing the cause of people with disability in the Solomon Islands.


The Secretary of State’s Award for International Women of Courage is presented annually to women around the world who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for women’s rights and advancement.


The U.S. Ambassador to PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu H.E. Teddy Taylor presented the award to Ms Nongebatu at a brief ceremony in Honiara on 29 March 2012.


To learn more about Ms Nongebatu’s work towards the achievement of rights for people with disability, please click here to access “From painful memories to a courageous reward”, a story which appeared in the Island Sun on 4 April.

To learn more about PWD’s extensive work in the Pacific region and with the PDF, please click here.

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The Inside Story

From the President

“Believe it or not here we are in April almost a third of the year gone; is it just me or are the years going faster?


We are at this time focused on the Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA) Conference taking place in Canberra in late April early May, which we will report back on in the next E-Bulletin. PWD will be represented by staff, executive and board members alike and it promises to be a very significant conference for the development of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). It will also be great to hear other Disabled Peoples Organisation (DPO) views and to catch up with government ministers and hopefully get them to commit 100% to an NDIS. We don’t want a tokenistic ‘one size fits all approach’ or a discriminatory agenda against older people. We want a fair scheme that will cater for all people with disability.


At the conference, Executive Director Matthew Bowden and I are going to give a presentation on Article 19 of the CRPD, similar to what PWD presented in Durban at the 8th World Disabled Peoples’ International Congress last year. I will be emphasising the difference between institutionalised living and life in the community, which hopefully will help people to understand that institutions have to go! We will be using the Shut-In Campaign Vodcast to add some oomph to our presentation.  


I hope that you all had a good Easter and you are refreshed and ready to go for the remainder of the year.


That’s enough from me until the May edition of E-Bulletin!”


Jan Daisley, PWD President

PWD Vice-President appears in Newcastle Herald

PWD congratulates its Vice-President Heidi Forrest for completing her law degree and appearing in a profile in the Newcastle Herald.


The story, which appeared on 20 April 2012, highlighted Heidi’s determined nature, and celebrated her commitment to disability rights.


To read the story, please click here

Appeal to cover legal costs incurred in discrimination case

As reported in previous E-Bulletins, PWD has joined the growing call for changes to Australia’s anti-discrimination laws following the Federal Court’s decision on Friday 13 January 2012, which left Jetstar’s discriminatory two wheelchair policy intact and a passenger with disability, Ms Sheila King, with $20,000 to pay in court costs.


In our E-bulletin Issue 74, PWD outlined the discrimination faced by Ms Sheila King, a current PWD Board member and the action that the Disability Discrimination Legal Centre NSW (DDLC) took on her behalf.  Ms King booked her flight over the Internet in August 2008. She was contacted the next day and told she would not be able to fly on her chosen day because there were already two passengers requiring wheelchair assistance booked on the flight.


The Federal Court decision on 13 January 2012 accepted that Jetstar had discriminated against Ms King, but ruled that Jetstar would have experienced ‘unjustifiable hardship’ if it had not discriminated against her.


The Australian Centre for Disability Law (formerly the DDLC) has kindly agreed to accept donations on Ms King’s behalf, to contribute towards covering Ms King’s substantial legal costs.


To learn more about how you can make a donation, please click here or contact the Australian Centre for Disability Law on (02) 8014 7000, Free call 1800 800 708 or email

Reminder: PWD E-Bulletin Survey

PWD is seeking input from E-Bulletin readers on how we can improve the accessibility, relevance and usefulness of our key publication. We invite all E-Bulletin subscribers and other readers of E-Bulletin, to click on the link below to participate in this survey:

The survey should take only about 10 minutes to complete and is anonymous.

We greatly value your feedback and it will help us make our E-Bulletin better suited to your needs.

We have endeavoured to make this survey accessible to as many people as possible. If you experience any difficulty while completing any aspects of it please contact Daphnee Cook, Communications and Membership Development Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email

Disability Rights Defenders

There is now a NEW way to support PWD – Disability Rights Defenders can now sign up online! Click here to set up a regular donation to PWD and automatically become a DRD.


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.

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PWD Media Releases

20 April 2012: National Youth Week: PWD supports Australian Youth Ambassador for Development  

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PWD Training Opportunities

PWD is currently reviewing the training it has on offer and is currently updating its existing training packages.


In the 2011/2012 financial year, PWD will no longer be issuing a training calendar with fixed trainings but instead will be providing a training brochure detailing the training options on offer. In addition, we will also be marketing customised training packages that can be adapted to meet the needs and interests of individual organisations and/or services.


We will continue to offer our 2-day Responding to Sexual Assault training which aims to challenge myths surrounding sexual assault and people with intellectual disability, build capacity of staff to support victims of sexual assault, as well as decrease the vulnerability of people with intellectual disability to this crime. Also available is our 1-day Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) training which provides a discussion of the development of the CRPD, the rights enshrined in it and the practicalities of implementing these rights, as well as information about its available complaints process.


PWD will continue to provide Disability Awareness training, however in a new, flexible format with core and optional supplementary modules. Core modules will provide a general introduction to disability awareness, exploring the concept of disability, the myths and facts surrounding it, as well as respectful language and communication. Supplementary modules will include customised components that incorporate information, case scenarios and examples applicable to the context in which the training is delivered.


PWD will continue to focus on developing and delivering training in its expertise areas of violence, abuse and neglect as well as disability and human rights. In addition, we remain open to discussing the development of specific trainings based on interest.


Further information is available from our website.


Alternatively, contact PWD Training: via (02) 9370 3100 or email:

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Upcoming Events

3 May 2012: Surry Hills, NSW NCOSS Sector Development Conference 2012, The Buck Stops with the Board. For more information, please click here


8-10 May 2012: Sydney, NSW Community Legal Centres NSW State Conference 2012. For more information and to register, please click here


18-19 May 2012: Wollongong, NSW Australian Community Children’s Services conference, "Change and Leadership: Who is the ringmaster".  For more information, please click here.


22 May 2012: Canberra, ACT Overcoming Barriers: Living with a Disability in the Developing World. In June 2011, the first ever World Report on Disability was released, shedding light on some of the challenges and triumphs experienced by people with disabilities and making recommendations for the future. So, how are we tracking one year on? For more information, and to register your interest, please click here.


12-15 June 2012: Nadi, Fiji Pacific Island Community Based Rehabilitation Forum. Jointly organised by the Pacific Disability Forum, Pacific Island Forum Secretariat, Motivation Australia & World Health Organisation. For more information, please click here


13-14 June 2012: Sydney, NSW Disability Inclusive Research Collaboration Conference (DIRCC), Research Rights: Disability Inclusion Change. For more information, please click here


9-11 August 2012: Perth, WA 10th Biennial ECIA Conference and 1st Asia-Pacific Early Intervention Conference ‘Pathways to Participation: Engagement and choice for children’. For more information, please click here


17-21 September 2012: New Delhi, India TRANSED 2012: The 13th International Conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled People. To read the call for abstracts, click here


29 October – 2 November 2012: Incheon Songdo, South Korea Rehabilitation International (RI) World Congress. The RI World Congress is an international conference held every four years for the social inclusion and implementation of rights for people with disability. For more information, please click here


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About PWD

People with Disability Australia Incorporated (PWD) is a national peak cross-disability human rights organisation, of and for people with disability, that has been providing information, advocacy, training, complaints handling and a representative voice for people with disability for over 30 years. 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 666 Strawberry Hills NSW 2012
Phone 02 9319 6622, toll-free 1800 422 015
TTY 02 9318 2138, toll-free 1800 422 016

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