Submission archive – 2015

December | Submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission ‘Willing to Work’ Enquiry – Word

Economic participation is a human right. This submission to the National Inquiry into Employment Discrimination against Older Australians and Australians with Disability discusses disability employment reform within the context of the broader welfare reform agenda and the NDIS. A new Disability Employment Framework is proposed to provide increased choice and control, focusing on the quality of outcomes for people with disability. This can only be achieved through identifying and addressing systematic barriers to employment.

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August | Submission to the NSW Legislative Council Inquiry into Vocational Education and Training

“The Smart and Skilled reforms do not encourage participation of people with disability in the VET sector and thus far their impact has been to create uncertainty, reduce accessibility and limit social and economic opportunity for students with disability.  Our primary recommendations are for the Committee to strongly support the role and resourcing of TAFE as a provider of VET, to recommend regulatory mechanisms for course fees and course quality, and to advocate for a flexible, NDIS style disability support funding model based on person centred approaches to learning as opposed to the provision of generic supports.”

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August | Submission to Senate Standing Committee on Education and Employment regarding access and attainment for students with disability in school

The primary recommendation from PWDA is for the Committee to strongly support inclusive mainstream education as the only model which is compliant with Article 24 of the CRPD, and the model that provides the most positive social, economic and personal outcomes for students with disability in school, further education and transitioning into employment.

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August | Australian Cross Disability Alliance submission to the Senate Inquiry into Violence, Abuse and Neglect against People with Disability in Institutional and Residential Settings

This submission from the Australian Cross Disability Alliance (ACDA) provides an overview of the international human rights legislative framework relevant to the elimination of violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability. Data on the scope and prevalence of violence against minority groups is discussed before failures in legislation, policy frameworks, complaints mechanisms and the collection of data are identified for solution.

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  • Personal stories and testimonies (Accompanying document to Australian Cross Disability Alliance submission to Senate Inquiry into Violence, Abuse and Neglect against People with Disability in Institutional and Residential Settings).

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  • Opening statement to Senate Inquiry 

More than 65 yeas ago, Australia helped draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the international document that declares that human rights are universal – to which all human beings are entitled, no matter who they are or where they live. Read the case studies in the  opening statement from ACDA and ask whether the plight of our most vulnerable citizens and asylum seekers reflects a nation committed to our human rights obligations?

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July | Australian Cross Disability Alliance submission on the review of the National Disability Advocacy Framework

ACDA welcomes the commitment that the National Disability Advocacy Framework (NDAF) will continue to be guided by the principles and priorities of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and related human rights instruments.  We also welcome that the NDAF will be designed and delivered with the practical commitment to improving disability advocacy to ensure the consistent achievement of human rights outcomes for all people with disability

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July | Joint submission with Women with Disabilities Australia to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Draft General Comment on Article 6: Women with Disabilities

The rights of women and girls with disability must be conceptualised, analysed and addressed when interpreting and implementing every article of the CRPD. Given the significant gender based assumptions and expectations which place women and girls with disability at a disadvantage with respect to substantive enjoyment of rights, along with the gendered differences reflected in the life experiences of women with disability and men with disability, and the global urgency to address critical subjects of concern for women and girls with disability, it is vital that the General Comment provide specific guidance on every one of the substantive articles of the CRPD.

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July | Submission in response to an application by the Department of Social Services for an additional exemption from the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 to use the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool in Australian Disability Enterprises

PWDA’s submission reflects our positions on wage equity and employment rights within Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) which we have previously outlined in a number of other submissions related to this current Exemption application. These are attached for consideration in support of this submission. PWDA does not consider the granting of a further Exemption to the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) to be appropriate, necessary or justified; it would also result in the continuing violation of the human rights of people with disability.

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July | Submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission on the Australasian Railway Association’s Exemption Applications

People with Disability Australia (PWDA) is pleased to comment to the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) on the Application for Temporary Exemption by the Australasian Railway Association (ARA).  PWDA believes that a monitoring and reporting mechanism is essential for any exemptions granted.  Without this mechanism as a condition most of the application cannot be supported.

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July | Submission on the National Disability Employment Framework Issues Paper

PWDA’s submission reflects findings outlined in a number of other relevant PWDA reports and submissions, which we have attached so that the extensive input may be included in our contribution to the development of a new Disability Employment Framework. The premise of any new disability employment system should be that no person or group is worse off as they move through transitions in life, potentially in and out of employment. A common theme throughout our consultations with PWDA stakeholders was the need for jobseekers with disability to have increased choice and control over employment outcomes.

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June | Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme Discussion Paper

PWDA believes there is need for a total overhaul of the existing employment services system if we are to see tangible improvement in employment outcomes for people with disability. We agree with the Issues Paper that now is the opportunity to create a new disability employment system with the completion of DES contracts in 2018 coupled with the full roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in 2018-19. The introduction of the NDIS will bring increased opportunity to introduce new practices, models and policy that will meet the individualised needs of people with disability and contribute to the realisation of our rights.

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June | Submission from more than 30 leading Australian academics regarding violence data, coordinated by PWDA and to the Senate Inquiry into Violence, Abuse and Neglect against People with Disability in Institutional and Residential Settings

Data on the violence, abuse and neglect experienced by people with disability in Australia is limited in scope and by methodology of collection. This submission enumerates those limitations and provides advice for improved data collection and quality on this important issue required in order to inform policy.

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June | Submission to the National Children’s Commissioner’s examination of domestic violence and children

Better understanding of the prevalence and incidence of violence, abuse and neglect is urgently needed to address the very high levels of violence experienced by this cohort and fulfil the needs of government, policy makers, researchers, Disabled Peoples Organisations, and the general community. Data relating to violence against people with disability is currently extremely limited across Australia, especially relating to those in institutional and residential settings, those who are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. To remedy this situation, recommendations are made regarding the collection of data by the ABS, AIHW and abuse hotlines to better reflect the experience of children with disability experiencing domestic violence.

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June | Submission to the NSW Government’s Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme Discussion Paper

PWDA has some serious concerns about the impact of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme on people with disability, especially women. People with disability experience much higher levels of domestic violence than people without disability. According to data this is particularly an issue for women in NSW. Few domestic violence service providers are accessible to people with disability, or understand the complexity of the situations that people with disability experience domestic violence in. Shortcomings in the It Stops Here reforms are identified in this submission and recommendations are made for ways to better meet the needs of people with disability suffering domestic violence.

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June | Review of the Disability (Access to Premises – Building) Standards 2010

The primary focus of PWDA’s submission is to voice the lived experience of people with disability and assess whether the Premise Standards and their implementation has delivered dignified, equitable, cost effective, consistent and reasonably achievable access to buildings, facilities and services.

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June | Submission to Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Issues Paper 8: Experiences of Police and Prosecution Responses

PWDA have been funded as a Royal Commission Community-Based Support Service by the Department of Social Services to provide individual advocacy to people with disability who are affected by the Royal Commission. As part of this process, we have supported individuals in reporting violence to Police, but also in making complaints about the services they have received from Police when they have previously reported. This submission to Issues Paper 8 seeks to elaborate the difficulties faced by children with disability seeking to report child sexual abuse in an institutional setting.

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May | Proposal for a National Disability Insurance Scheme Quality and Safeguarding framework – Joint submission with Women with Disabilities Australia

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Quality and Safeguarding Framework (‘the Q&S Framework’) must be embedded in a human rights framework. This submission lists the appropriate governance instruments under international, Commonwealth and state law. This submission elaborates in detail how the human rights framework applies to the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework.

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May | Submission to the Third Action Plan of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children

The National Framework and the Consultation Paper for the Third Plan both acknowledge parents and children with disability as priority groups. This is important, reflecting the facts that children with disability are overrepresented in the out of home care system, that early intervention and prevention for this cohort has been poorly funded, and that children with disability are 3.4 times more likely to experience violence than their peers. PWDA continues to advocate against the description of disability as a ‘risk factor’ for violence against children, because this terminology is both victim-blaming and fails to recognise that the problem lies with inadequate access to appropriate supports. 

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Mar | Women with Disabilities Australia Submission to Committee on the Rights of Personals with Disabilities (CRPD) Committee on the Right to Education

“In April 2015, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will meet for its 13th session. As part of the session, the Committee is holding a Day of General Discussion on the Right to Education for Persons with Disabilities, to inform the development of a General Comment for CRPD Article 24 [The Right to Education]. WWDA was invited by the CRPD Committee to provide a written submission to contribute to this work.

WWDA’s Submission considers Article 24 [the Right to Education for Persons with Disabilities], and the development of a General Comment for Article 24, in the context of the intersection of disability and gender.”

WWDA site

Mar | NSW Department of Justice Discussion on Limitation Periods in Civil Claims for Child Sexual Abuse

For the reasons elaborated upon within this submission, PWDA supports Option A of the Discussion Paper – removal of limitation periods in claims for child sexual abuse. We also support retrospectivity in claims following any amendment to the Limitation Act 1969 (NSW).

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Feb | PWDA 2015 Federal Budget Submission

Australia currently ranks 26 out of 27 OECD countries for the percentage of people with disability living in poverty. Our accumulated short comings mean that 45% of people with disability in Australia live near or below the poverty line. PWDA strongly argues against using cuts to welfare to fund the NDIS.

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Feb | Social Housing in NSW: Discussion Paper Work

The NSW Legislative Council Select Committee Report provides robust recommendations to the NSW Government for priority action on social, public and affordable housing in NSW. PWDA strongly endorses the reports’ findings and urges the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) to use the report as a foundation for reform.

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Feb | Senate Community Affairs Committee Inquiry into the Adequacy of existing residential care arrangements available for young people with severe physical, mental or intellectual disabilities in Australia

Key to this debate is the question of what housing and support ought to look like for people with disability. Historically, a nursing model – derived from understanding people with disability as sick or ill – was the only form of support for people with disability, and accommodation was thus modelled on hospitals, producing large residential institutions.  The fact that institutions are inappropriate contexts for people with disability is well established. It is clear from this that Australia needs to urgently address the issue of institutions for people with disability, and that current approaches which prioritise the congregation and segregation of people with disability in group homes, specialist residential settings, or in aged care facilities are inadequate.

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