Submissions Archive – 2009–2019

2019

November | Submission To The Tune Review Of The NDIS Act

People with Disability Australia welcomes the opportunity to provide this submission to the Australian Government’s review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (the NDIS Act): the Tune Review.

The Terms of Reference for the Tune review of the NDIS focus on “opportunities to amend the NDIS Act to:

  1. remove process impediments and increase the efficiency of the Scheme’s administration; and
  2. implement a new NDIS Participant Service Guarantee
  3. as well as any other matter relevant to the general operation of the NDIS Act in supporting positive participant and provider experiences.

In making this submission, we note that a previous review of the NDIS Act was undertaken in 2015. However, while the recommendations of this review were accepted by the COAG’s Disability Reform Council, the recommendations did not progress to changes in the legislation at the time.

October | Submission To The Review Of The NSW Boarding Houses Act 2012

PWDA is pleased to make this submission to the Department of Customer Service (Better Regulation Division) Review of the Boarding Houses Act 2012.

People with disability have a right to choose where, and with whom they live, and should have the same housing options as other members of the community.

Boarding houses, including Assisted Boarding Houses, represent a form of congregate housing that does not promote or deliver on the right of people to live independently and participate in the community, which is a right under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Article 19). Research and inquiries have also shown that people with disability living in congregate forms of housing are more likely to be exposed to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation (Article 12).[1]

October | Submission On The National Disability Insurance Scheme (Streamlined Governance) Bill 2019

PWDA expressed its opposition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (Streamlined Governance) Bill 2019, as we had concerns over the following:

  • the potential to erode the equal partnership principle that defines the relationship between the Commonwealth and the States and Territories in the NDIS, especially in circumstances that are complex and require collaboration between Governments to ultimately solve issues
  • how the Bill will interact with the forthcoming Tune Review of the NDIS Act
  • how the Bill will interact with the forthcoming National Disability Agreement  and National Disability Strategy
  • what impact lowering the thresholds for key decision-making powers of the Disability Reform Council (DRC) will have, and how it will affect the governance of the NDIS, and
  • the uncertainty around the process to address disagreement with the Commonwealth Minister’s decision, and

We stood unanimously with other disability peak organisations in our key recommendation to consider the proposed changes in this Bill to be deferred and considered after the Tune Review of the NDIS Act was completed.

October | NSW Disability Advocacy Alliance Submission On The NSW Government’s Review Of Disability Advocacy Funding

The NSW Disability Advocacy Alliance (the Alliance) welcomes the opportunity to provide our input into the NSW Disability Advocacy Review. The Alliance is a coalition of independent disability advocacy and information organisations and peak representative bodies currently funded by the NSW Government. We influence and advocate for the rights of people with disability in NSW to ensure they get a fair go and a say in the policies and decisions that affect their lives. Our organisations work towards a better system where the rights of people with disability are protected and upheld; discrimination against people with disability is eliminated and people with disability are fully included, valued citizens in NSW community.

September | Submission To The Senate On Adequacy Of Newstart And Related Payments And Alternative Mechanisms To Determine The Level Of Income Support Payments In Australia

People with disability face significant barriers to accessing employment. People with disability rely on income support payments to meet basic living costs as well as disability-related costs.

PWDA has significant concerns about the level of income support for both Newstart and related payments such as the Disability Support Pension (DSP) due to the following structural reasons:

  1. We face barriers to employment
  2. We face barriers to accessing mainstream education and training
  3. We have higher living costs

Even if we are employed, 61% of us believe our income is not enough to support our basic needs for housing, food and transport. For those of us relying solely on income support payments, that feeling of insecurity is greatly exacerbated.

September | Submission On The Draft Accessibility Strategy For The Disability Royal Commission

People with Disability Australia (PWDA) welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Draft Accessibility Strategy (the Strategy) for the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (the Royal Commission).

We believe first and foremost that the Strategy should reflect the experiences, expectations and needs of people with disability. Accessibility is core to the Royal Commission. Without full accessibility, many of us will not be able to contribute our knowledge, experiences and expertise.

August | Submission To The Senate Standing Committees On Legal And Constitutional Affairs Inquiry Into The Impact Of Changes To Service Delivery Models On The Administration And Running Of Government Programs

PWDA has significant concerns about several aspects of recent service delivery models, especially those that relate to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and Agency (NDIA) and to Centrelink in the Human Services portfolio.

As part of our work with DPO Australia, we recently conducted a survey of nearly 900 people with disability for the Civil Society Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Shadow Report. Our survey found most of us had difficulty accessing government services and agencies (67%). Many survey respondents had experienced discrimination and disrespect from government agencies including Centrelink and the NDIA.

People with disability also told us that language used by government negatively impacts people with disability. The language used reperpetuate the stigma that people with disability are a “burden”, and are not entitled to the benefits they receive. Having to constantly prove one’s disability also strongly contributed to the overall inaccessibility of human services.

August | Submission On Restrictive Practices Authorisation In NSW

People with disability need and deserve a thorough, CRPD compliant overhaul of RPA and associated systems in NSW, rather than minor changes to a flawed system.

In undertaking this task, key considerations and goals include:

  1. Full and transparent engagement with the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework and the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission
  2. CRPD compliance
  3. A supported decision-making model that is legislated and funded
  4. Independent review panels
  5. Consistent treatment of restrictive practices across service settings, including but not limited to out of home care, schools, pre-schools and after school care, medical facilities, disability services, community organisations, and places of detention.

May | PWDA Submission To Inquiry Into Ageing And Disability Commissioner Bill 2019

People with Disability Australia (PWDA) welcomes the opportunity to provide a submission to the NSW Legislative Council’s Standing Committee on Social Issues Inquiry into The Ageing and Disability Commissioner Bill 2019. We write to the Committee to raise a number of areas where we believe the Bill could be strengthened, including

  • Scope and powers of the Commissioner
  • Community Visitors Scheme
  • Advocacy
  • PWDA also fully endorses the submission from the NSW Disability Advocacy Alliance, and all of its recommendations.

February | Pre-Budget Submission 2019 – Invest To Solve Housing Crisis For People With Disability

PWDA, with the Summer FoundationNational Shelter, and the Australian Network for Universal Housing Design, have developed a package to address the housing crisis for many people with disability.

The package includes measures to make more homes accessible, to increase the supply of affordable and social housing, and reform the Specialist Disability Accommodation funding in the NDIS. People with disability are being forced into group homes and aged care, can’t find an accessible place to live, and are struggling to afford a home. Each of the measures in this package will work to solve these problems.

2018

November | The Queensland Human Rights Act 2018: Queensland Parliament, Legal Affairs & Community Safety Committee

PWDA supports the Human Rights framework proposed in the Bill, however, in order to be truly effective the Human Rights Act must be legally enforceable. The Bill should give people the means to take legal action should they be treated unfairly. In addition, the Bill needs to guarantee provisions for people with disability to ensure effective and full access to justice and equality before the law, as equal citizens, in any form of legal proceedings. In its current form, the Bill does not effectively guarantee these rights.

PWDA Submission, DOC

November | Australian Law Reform Commission Discussion Paper: Review of the Family Law System

Reforms need to include making information about the Family Law System more accessible, ensure that parents with disability aren’t discriminated against, making courts more accessible, recognise the legal capacity of people with disability, ensure that specific domestic and family violence against people with disability is taken into account and a complete prohibition of sterilisation of children with disability, and of genital modification and medical interventions of children with intersex variations, except where medically necessary or where there is a serious threat to life.

PWDA Submission, DOC

August | Implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the provision of disability services in New South Wales

We provided a detailed submission to this Inquiry about the NDIS roll-out in NSW and the gaps in service provision. The Committee was established to inquire into and report on systemic and policy issues concerning the provision of disability services and the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in New South Wales.

PWDA Submission, DOC

August | Joint Select Committee on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse – oversight of redress related recommendations

We provided a submission to the Senate’s Joint Select Committee on the Redress Scheme established by the government.

PWDA Submission, DOC

July | Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card Trial Expansion) Bill 2018

The current proposal is for an expansion of the existing compulsory cashless debit card trials. We oppose this bill.

PWDA Submission, DOC

June | NDIS Specialist Disability Accommodation Pricing and Payments Framework Review

The Framework governs the approach to SDA pricing and payments and is intended to result in a competitive price that attracts market players to supply new and innovative housing solutions for people with disability. KPMG will carried out a scheduled review of the Framework.

PWDA Submission, DOC

March | NDIS Market Readiness

The National Disability Insurance Agency undertook a review into NDIS market readiness.

PWDA Submission, PDF 408KB

Email us for this guide in a different format.

March | Family Law Review

Response to Issues Paper: Review of the Family Law System Australian Law Reform Commission

PWDA Submission, DOC

February | Review of the Guardianship Act in NSW

NSW Law Reform Commission Review of the Guardianship Act 1987

PWDA Submission, DOC

February | Termination of Pregnancy Laws in QLD

The Queensland Law Reform Commission undertook a review into termination of pregnancy laws in Australia.

PWDA Submission, DOC

January | Abuse Redress Scheme

Commonwealth Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Bill 2017 to Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs

PWDA Submission, DOC

January | Youth Diversionary Program

Inquiry into the adequacy of youth diversionary programs in NSW Legislative Assembly Committee on Law and Safety.

PWDA Submission, DOC

2017

October | Inquiry into Transitional Arrangements for the NDIS by Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

PWDA members and clients have experienced numerous issues relating to the NDIS transitional arrangements. These issues include; gaps in supports, denial of funded support services or equipment, and inconsistent or inadequate plans. In some cases, these issues have been life threatening or are bringing individuals or families to crisis.

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July | Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs Inquiry into Social Services Legislation Amendment (Ending Carbon Tax Compensation) Bill 2017

PWDA strongly urges the Committee to recommend that the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Ending Carbon Tax Compensation) Bill 2017 not be passed. The proposal to abolish the Energy Supplement is deeply unfair and will cause substantial financial pain to people in receipt of social security payments.

PDF or Word

May | Submission to the NSW Department of Justice, Disability Justice Strategy

The over-representation of people with disability in the criminal justice system is, in large part, a consequence of the prevailing legal capacity framework in NSW. Not only are people with disability routinely denied the support to which they are entitled to navigate the criminal justice system, they are also excluded from prevention interventions and court proceedings because of perceptions of individual ‘capacity’.

PDF or Word

March | Inquiry into the design, scope, cost-benefit analysis, contracts awarded and implementation associated with the Better Management of the Social Welfare System initiative

We strongly urge the Committee to recommend that the process be put on hold until Minister for Human Services and the Department have undertaken comprehensive consultation and review processes, including with people affected by the initiative, to ensure that appropriate safeguards are put in place.Word or PDF

March | Australian Law Reform Commission Discussion Paper: Protecting the Rights of Older Australians from Abuse (DPOA)

The human rights of older people with disability must be recognised, promoted and upheld when discussing elder abuse and conceptualising responses to this issue.

PDF or Word

March | Inquiry into Students with a disability or special needs in New South Wales schools

Inclusive education provides significant benefits for students with and without disability. However, students with disability have much lower school completion rates (36% of students with disability compared to 55% of students without disability). This in turn means that people with disability are less likely to go on to pursue further education and training.

PDF or Word

February | NSW Law Reform Commission Review of the Guardianship Act 1987 Question Paper 3: The role of guardians and financial managers

Supported decision making already occurs, often informally, through advocates, family and friends, and support workers. However, the current legal capacity framework does not recognise supported decision-making as a form of support that should be actively pursued, assessed for adequacy, and provided when needed.

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February | NSW Law Reform Commission Review of the Guardianship Act 1987 Question Paper 2: Decision Making Models

This inquiry must not just tinker at the edges of the current system, but instead entirely reframe the concept of capacity in terms of decision making within the legislative and policy environment.

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February | Towards an all abilities Queensland consultation paper

PWDA welcomes the Queensland Government’s consultation into the development of a new Queensland Disability Inclusion Plan – “Towards an All Abilities Queensland”. It is critical that during this period of transition, people with disability are at the centre of decision making and policy development – “nothing about us, without us”.

PDF or Word

February |  Submission to Consultation regarding a Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme in Queensland

Our view on DV Disclosure Schemes in general remains consistent with the views expressed in that submission: that we recommend against the introduction of the DV Disclosure Scheme, but that if a Scheme is implemented, due consideration must be given to its potential impacts on people with disability.

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2016

December | Submission to Inquiry into and report on all aspects of the conduct of the 2016 Federal Election and matters related thereto by Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters

PWDA surveyed people with disability on their experience of the last election. The responses we received came from across the country and from people who were presented with a variety of barriers to their participation in the election. A number of respondents did not vote in the election due to these barriers.

Submission PDF

December | Submission to Fifth National Mental Health Plan

Reform of the mental health service system to better meet the needs of people affected by mental health concerns and psychosocial disability is welcome, and the rhetoric in the Fifth Plan around a holistic response, with individuals at the centre of service planning, delivery, evaluation. However, PWDA believes there are a number of fundamental concerns with the draft Fifth Plan which undermine this rhetoric and which need to be addressed. This PWDA submission explains these concerns and strongly urges the Department of Health to review, and amend, the Fifth Plan to appropriately recognise Australia’s obligations under the Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Submission – Word

November | Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse: Submission regarding Criminal Justice

In this submission, PWDA reminds the Royal Commission that Australia is a party to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and as such, is bound to align domestic legislative change with the Convention. PWDA highlights the key articles relevant to the concerns of the Consultation Paper, and encourages the Royal Commission to give due recognition and weight to both the barriers that people with disability face in accessing justice for child sexual abuse under Australia’s international obligations.

Submission – Word

October | NSW Law Reform Commission Review of the Guardianship Act 1987 Discussion Paper 1: Preconditions for Alternative Decision Making Arrangements

In this submission, PWDA advocates a distinction between the labelling of an individual as incapable of making their own decisions and the failure by society to provide supports that would enable decision-making by that individual. In order to avoid limiting the rights of individuals, PWDA advocates that prior to formal orders being made by the Guardianship Tribunal, an assessment of the quality of support available to enable decision making by the individual is undertaken. Further to this,  it is argued that specific diagnoses should not automatically limit decision making capacity under the Guardianship Act and that decisions to appoint a Representative decision maker should also be open to appeal.

Submission – Word

October | Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee inquiry into Social Services Legislation Amendment (Budget Repair) Bill 2016

In this submission, PWDA argues that the Senate Community Affairs Committee recommend that the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Budget Repair) Bill 2016 not pass the Senate. The proposed amendment to reduce the number of weeks people with disability can maintain Disability Support Pension while travelling overseas will impact disproportionately on refugees and migrants visiting family outside of Australia. Attempts to reduce education educational support for people with disability and parents re-entering the workforce are also detrimental to the needs and rights of those groups.

Submission – Word or PDF

October | Foundations for Change – Homelessness in NSW submission

Homelessness is an important issue that disproportionately affects people with disability. In addition, people with disability are often affected by, and experience homelessness in different ways to the broader community. This submission identifies legislation relevant to policy makers across international, federal and state jurisdictions in addressing the issues faced by people with disability in achieving equal access to housing. Shortcomings in the current system are identified and advice is provided on the appropriate organisations to implement solutions to the existing gaps in service provision.

Submission – Word or PDF

August | Australian Law Reform Commission Issues Paper: Protecting the Rights of Older Australians from Abuse

The intersectional discrimination and violence experienced by older people with disability requires an integrated response to ensure that experiences of this cohort are acknowledged and responded to appropriately. The PWDA submission on protecting the rights of older Australians from abuse describes case studies and offers a full range of recommendations across the health, legal and law enforcement sectors.

Submission – Word

June | Department of Social Services (DSS): Review of the National Disability Advocacy Program

The ACDA fully supports a strengthened, well resourced and effective program of independent advocacy for people with disability through the National Disability Advocacy Program. This submission responds to the specific questions in the Discussion Paper, but provides some initial overarching comments to frame the views of the ACDA. Some of these comments repeat the views outlined in our submission to the review of the National Disability Advocacy Framework.

Submision – Word or PDF


May
| Department of Communications and the Arts: Communications Accessibility: 2016 and Beyond

This ACDA submission on the future of the National Relay Scheme argues against changes to the Telecommunications Regulations which would lead to a reliance on the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 to ensure equal access to telecommunications technology for people with disability. The telecommunications industry must be proactively supported by government to ensure that all forms of telecommunications are accessible and affordable to people with disability. ACDA supports the creation of an independent body to inform and monitor these actions to ensure that the telecommunication industry becomes increasingly disability responsive and inclusive.

Submission – Word

April | 2016-17 PWDA 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. Many measures contained in recent budgets disproportionately affected people on low incomes, including people with disability. The National Disability Strategy is the mechanism under which Australian Governments at all levels are progressively implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. The PWDA submission to the 2016 budget strongly supports the retention of a Medicare Levy to fully fund the NDIS, avoiding welfare cuts to vulnerable groups.

Submission – Word or PDF

April | Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Consultation Paper: Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse In Out of Home Care

PWDA express concern that the Royal Commission has not fully investigated the situation of children with disability in out of home care; nor that the investigations that have occurred thus far are fully inclusive of the experiences of children with disability. Despite Australia being a signatory to UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the CRPD is not mentioned in the Consultation Paper. This PWDA submission details the specific relevance of each CRPD article to out of home care of children with disability and highlights gaps in data concerning the sexual abuse of these children. The submission also provides information about the discriminatory practices identified in removal of children from parents with disability.

Submission – PDF

April | Submission to Inquiry into Indefinite Detention of People with Cognitive and Psychiatric Impairment in Australia

People with disability in Australia represent the most detained sector of our population; disproportionality prevalent in our prisons, institutionalised within our communities, hospitalised and confined in psychiatric wards and indefinitely detained in detention centres, including immigration detention. This ACDA submission to the Senate Inquiry into Indefinite Detention of People with Cognitive and Psychiatric Impairment in Australia argues that addressing the problem of indefinite detention requires legislative, policy and program reform in multiple areas.

Submission Word

April | National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA): Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) Position Paper on Draft Pricing and Payments

Currently, many people with disability are compelled to live in segregated and congregate housing and specialist accommodation arrangements in order to receive disability support, contrary to their rights under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). This response from ACDA to the Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) Position Paper details community concern that participants appear to have very little choice or control in being ‘streamed’ into SDA in the determination of eligibility under the NDIS and in the choice and control over the type of housing, and how with whom they will live, undermining the intent of the CRPD. The ACDA believe that the concerns raised in this letter warrant an urgent meeting with the National Disability Insurance Agency.

Submission – Word

April | Australian Cross Disability Alliance Response to Victorian Creating Child Safe Institutions Consultation Paper – Reportable Conduct Scheme

In 2014, Australia was horrified to hear that children with disability in a Victorian school had allegedly been locked in a darkened room, and subject to physical ‘restraint’ such a being sat on by teachers. Reportable conduct schemes vary by jurisdiction and can exclude the types of incidents that should attract robust oversight due to exclusions specific to children with disability and/or the setting in which the behaviour occurs. This response from ACDA to the Victorian Child Safe Institutions Consultation Paper argues for specific measures to close the gaps in the Victorian reportable conduct scheme.

Submission – Word


March
| Submission to the NSW Law Reform Review of the Guardianship Act

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is providing people with disability, many for the first time, access to the quality supports they require to take control over decisions that affect their lives. This change has implications for legislation focused on the concept that the exercise of capacity should be limited or denied for people with disability. In this submission PWDA recommends that reviews of the Guardianship Act be undertaken regularly to reflect the changing needs of people governed by this legislation.

Submission – Word or PDF


March
| Letter to the ACT Government Reportable Conduct Consultation Paper

PWDA ACT endorses this submission by the Australian Cross Disability Alliance to the reportable conduct consultation arising from reported incidents of abuse against children with disability within educational settings. The ACDA has a specific focus and expertise in the area of violence, abuse and neglect of people with disability, including the specific age, gender, and cultural dimensions of such violence and is particularly well suited to comment and advise on issues relating to children with disability in institutional settings, including the school environment.

Submission – Word

March | Letter on the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Bill 2015

This submission focuses on concerns regarding the potential for harm to people with disability that will arise as a result of the proposed amendments to the rules governing income management periods and special benefit. PWDA believes that the proposed changes to eligibility for special benefit in this legislation remove the discretionary nature of the payment in regard to income maintenance periods, potentially leading to hardship and poverty. This will disproportionately impact on people with disability.

Submission – Word

March | Submission to Affordable Housing Working Group Issues Paper – Council on Federal Financial Relations, Social Policy division

PWDA advocates that future affordable housing initiatives facilitate achievement of National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 targets and is supportive of the four identified financing models: Housing Bonds, Housing Trusts, Housing Corporations, and Social Impact Bonds and consider that a mix of these initiatives may be most appropriate to meet the supply required.

Submission – Word

February | Submission to the NSW Legislative Council Inquiry into Elder Abuse

Approximately one third of PWDA’s individual advocacy clients are people with disability over 55 years of age. Over half of NSW residents with disability are aged over 55. The population is expected to age over coming decades, exposing an increased proportion of the population to the risks that come with disability and ageing. PWDA offers several recommendations for the improved treatment of aged and people with disability including a Royal Commission into violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability.

Submission – Word

February | A Blueprint for Family and Domestic Violence Response in NSW

People with disability experience such disproportionate levels of domestic and family violence. This Blueprint will be a major intervention in the epidemic of domestic and family violence in this state. We are pleased to provide the following policy advice and recommendations to assist in ensuring that people with disability are fully included in these processes.

Submission – Word or PDF

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.

Word

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.

Word or PDF

  • 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).

Word or PDF

  • 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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2014

December | NSW Disability Inclusion Plan Consultation

The National Disability Strategy (NDS) is the Commonwealth of Australian Government (COAG) mechanism through which Australia will progressively implement the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD). The current NSW Implementation Plan 2012-2014 (Implementation Plan) identifies strategies under the six outcome areas of the NDS, with direct link to the CRPD. This uniformity across policy at the national and state level is essential to adequately track progress towards overarching goals and priorities, linked to consistent national monitoring and evaluation frameworks.

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November | Senate Community Affairs Committee Inquiry into Out of Home Care

Historically, children and young people with disability are among the most likely in our community to be institutionalised, often through child protection systems. Unlike most other children and young people in out of home care, children and young people with disability are most frequently institutionalised to benefit other people, often with limited, if any, consideration of what might be in their best interests. Children with disability are more than three times more likely to experience abuse than their peers. This is unacceptable and requires urgent intervention.

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October | Considerations of the 4th and 5th Reports of Australia by the Committee to the Convention Against Torture

People with disability in Australia are frequently subject to treatment that may constitute torture, or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (ill-treatment), including persistent and severe violence and abuse, forced or coerced non-therapeutic sterilisation, long-term neglect of basic human needs, and painful and degrading behaviour modification techniques or ‘restrictive practices’. The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the Special Rapporteur on Torture) has expressed concern that, ‘’in many cases such practices, when perpetrated against persons with disabilities, remain invisible or are being justified, and are not recognised as torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.

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September | Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration ‘Inquiry into Domestic Violence in Australia’ – (Australian Cross Disability Alliance)

Whilst there are numerous instances where men and boys with disability are subjected to and experience violence, including domestic/family violence, it is clearly a gendered issue that disproportionately affects women and girls with disability. In this context, this Submission predominately focuses on women and girls with disability, whilst acknowledging that men and boys with disability who may be subject to, or at risk of, domestic/family violence, and are entitled to the same protection against violations of their human rights as women and girls with disability. Thus, this submission does also provide some specific information on violence perpetrated against men and boys with disability.

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August | People with Disability Australia (PWDA) Disability Employment Services (DES) Consumer Engagement Project

PWDA believes more work should be done by government, in partnership with business, to ensure people with disability have opportunities for sustainable employment in Australia. While the DES is an important mechanism to place and train people with disability, the message must go out to industry and business that all work places should accommodate people with disability. There should also be recognition by Government as well as by business and industry that specialist programs are not the only means available to facilitate employment for people with disability.

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August | Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs References Committee Inquiry into the extent of income inequality in Australia

PWDA welcomes the 2014-15 federal budget commitment to deliver the designated funding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) with no changes to the roll out at this stage. It is vital that the NDIS is implemented in full and on time, reaching the 400,000 plus people anticipated. As the NDIS is rolled out, safeguards need to be in place to protect people with disability.

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August | Submission to the consultation on the Interim Report on Welfare Reform

Article 28 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) obliges the Australian Government to safeguard and promote the realisation of these rights. People with disability are entitled to appropriate levels of social protection based on their individual circumstances and which recognises, without discrimination, the barriers to social and economic participation that they experience. This submission addresses the introduction of a tiered income support system based around an individual’s hypothetical capacity for work, including moving people from DSP to Newstart and the implications of this for people with disability.

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August | NSW Legislative Assembly Public Accounts Committee Inquiry into tenancy management in social housing

PWDA welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the NSW Legislative Assembly Public Accounts Committee Inquiry into Tenancy Management in Social Housing, with particular reference to the following terms of reference:

  • the cost effectiveness of current tenancy management arrangements in public housing, particularly compared to private and community housing sectors;
  • the range and effectiveness of support services provided to tenants in social housing;
  • outcomes for tenants from current tenancy management arrangements; and
  • possible measures to improve tenancy management services.

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July | Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs inquiry into the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool Payment Scheme Bill

In this submission, PWDA explains  three key reasons why the Bill should not proceed.  Until the Commonwealth commits to ending wage assessment using the BSWAT, people with disability will continue to be assessed by it, and will continue to experience wage injustice. This will include people who take a payment under the scheme; yet in doing so they will have given up their right to complain about a discriminatory system that the Commonwealth has no plans to end.

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July | Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 1) Bill 2014 and Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 2) Bill 2014

Nearly one in two people with disability in Australia already live in or near poverty. Throughout this submission PWDA explains how measures implemented through this budget will impact disproportionately on those already suffering financial hardship, compounded by the numerous systemic and societal barriers people with disability face every day.

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July | Comments and Recommendations in Response to the Consultation Paper: Developing a new disability strategy for Australia’s Aid Program 2015-2020

PWDA recommends that a rights-based approach, firmly based on the CRPD, is embedded in Australia’s aid delivery and that monitoring of aid programs and initiatives (both mainstream and disability-specific) is undertaken with the participation of DPOs to ensure disability inclusion occurs at all levels of planning and implementation.

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July | Submissions to Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC): Equality, Capacity and Disability in Commonwealth Laws, Discussion Paper May 2014

People with Disability Australia (PWDA), The Australian Centre for Disability Law (ACDL) and The Australian Human Rights Centre (AHRCentre)

The authors of this submission agree that a national framework must be created, but disagree with the development of an “ability test”, Discussion Paper Proposal 3-7, which a person has to pass in order to be considered capable of decision making and thus to have their capacity to act (legal agency) recognised.  Commonwealth laws should not be amended to include such a test.

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People with Disability Australia (PWDA) and National Association of Community Legal Centres (NACLC)

This submission is made in response to Chapter 7 (Access to Justice) of the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Discussion Paper, Equality, Capacity and Disability, released on 22 May 2014.  Both NACLC and PWDA have made separate submissions on the other issues in the Discussion Paper.

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People with Disability Australia (PWDA) and University of Sydney (USYD)

We write with respect to ALRC Proposal 8-1 relating to the development of nationally consistent regulation relating to the use of restrictive practices: “The Australian Government and the Council of Australian Governments should facilitate the development of a national or nationally consistent approach to the regulation of restrictive practices.”

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April | Membership engagement report to The Department of Social Services (DSS) regarding the implementation of the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020

This report was written with reference to the regular consultation that PWDA engages in with members and supporters over the life of the Strategy so far, and primarily over the last 2 years. We have also utilised information gathered through the research that underpins our policy and advocacy work. The report is provided in 6 sections reflecting the areas of the NDS.  The current policy directions are outlined at the outset, and this is followed by a description of PWDA’s position on the specific issue area.

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April | Submission to Senate Economic References Committee Inquiry into Affordable Housing

The housing system is already in crisis, with the needs of people with disability frequently unmet.  Moreover, the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will increase the pressure on this already broken system as people with disability become empowered to seek better supports and more appropriate housing options. This submission argues against the use of institutionalisation as a solution to policy failure in housing of people with disabilities.

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March | Submission to Legislative Council Select Committee Inquiry into Social, Public and Affordable Housing

In individual advocacy, accommodation issues represent the largest single issue dealt with, at 28.3% of all matters in 2013. This submission has been written in consultation with PWDA Members, and we have included their perspective throughout. Their stories highlight the inextricable links between housing, poverty, inclusion and participation in the community, and it is essential that their experiences are heard.

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February | Joint submission to the CRPD on the Draft General Comment on Article 12 of the Convention – Equal Recognition before the Law

This PWDA/ACDL/AHRCenter submission provides input to the 2014 consultation on Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities to explain how in its (then) current form, the General Comment did not adequately clarify how and why the capacity to act of all people with disability is non-derogable, or explain why the concept of ‘unsound mind’ can no longer be substantiated as a basis for limiting the capacity to act in the interpretation of international human rights law.

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February | Submission to the Senate Inquiry into the prevalence of different types of speech, language and communication disorders and speech pathology services in Australia

Difficulties in communication and swallowing affect many Australians (at a minimum 1.3 percent and 16 percent respectively). In regards to communication, one of seven users of disability services over the age of five have little to no functional speech and over 40 percent require communication assistance. This submission explains the shortcomings in existing services and the implications of this for people with communication disorders.

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February | NSW Disability Inclusion Bill 2014

In this submission, PWDA elaborates a case that the content of the Bill does not live up to the promise of inclusion suggested by its name. The Bill covers three main areas: the creation of Disability Plans, the provision of disability services until the full NDIS roll out, and restrictive practices. However, the Bill does not improve or create any new approaches to inclusion for people with disability in these areas. In doing so it restates the status quo and misses the opportunity to establish a framework for real inclusion and participation for people with disability in NSW.

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February | Joint supplementary response regarding Dept of Social Security (DSS) application for exemption from the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 to use the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT)

PWDA considers that the SWS should be implemented as the single national award wage assessment for the long-term in order that discrimination is immediately addressed and that adjustments to the SWS is not a solution to problems of business viability experienced by ADEs.

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January | Joint response regarding Dept of Social Security (DSS) application for exemption from the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 to use the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT)

This submission follows the announcement on 15 January 2014 by Ministers Andrews and Fifield that the Commonwealth will make a one off payment to employees with intellectual disability paid wages determined by the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT).

This submission calls on the AHRC to set a national standard of the SWS to remove any doubt or loophole regarding the use of BSWAT.

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January | PWDA Submission regarding Review of equal recognition before the law and legal capacity for people with disability

This PWDA/ACDL/AHRCentre submission explains how the Issues Paper conflates the concepts of mental capacity and legal capacity in its discussion regarding ‘capacity standards’ and ‘assessment of capacity’ and challenges the assumption that legal capacity is a concept that can be limited by reference to cognitive impairment.

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2013

October | PWDA Submission regarding DSS application for exemption in relation to the use of the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT)

PWDA welcomed the decision of the Federal Court in Nojin & Prior v Commonwealth [2012] FCAFC 192 in December 2012, and the recent supportive ruling of the High Court in May 2013.  Ending use of the BSWAT as soon as possible would send a clear message that ALL workers in Australia have the right to enjoy equal pay for work of equal value.

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August | PWDA Submission to Access to justice in the criminal justice system for people with disability

The questions used in the Forum address issues raised by the Access to Justice Issues Paper published by the Commission in April 2013.  This submission is a response to the call for submissions to the Access to Justice Listening Tour conducted by the Disability Discrimination Commissioner through July 2013.

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April | PWDA Submission on the Draft Boarding House Regulation 2013 and associated Regulatory Impact Statement

PWDA is a long standing member of the Family and Community Services – Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) Boarding House Expert Advisory Group (BHEAG), providing regular feedback to the Minister for Disability Services and ADHC with regard to policy developments relating to the licensed boarding house sector and associated Boarding House Reform Program (BHRP). PWDA continues to stand by its objections to the Boarding House Act 2012 and formulation of any supporting Regulation which promotes and condones congregate, institutional accommodation and support in exploitative, ‘for profit’ models of accommodation for people with disability.

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March | PWDA Submission to the Inquiry into the involuntary or coerced sterilisation of people with disabilities in Australia

For over twenty years, PWDA has been advocating domestically and internationally against involuntary or coerced sterilisation of people with disability, and seeking legislative, policy and practice reforms that would prohibit this egregious form of human rights abuse.  PWDA’s work is very much grounded in reality – the real views, concerns and issues of our members and the people with disability we work with in our advocacy and training programs. These views, concerns and issues are reflected in this submission.

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March | PWDA Submission regarding the Exposure Draft Boarding Houses Bill 2012

In formulating this submission PWDA has consulted with a range of stakeholders including the New South Wales Council of Social Services (NCOSS), Local Government and Shires Association, NSW Council for Intellectual Disability (NSW CID), Tenant’s Union of NSW (TU), Australian Centre for Disability Law, City of Sydney, Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), NSW Consumer Advisory Group. University of Western Sydney, UnitingCare Children, Young People and Families as well as people with disability who have experience living as a resident of the Boarding House sector.

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March | PWDA Submission regarding the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Rules Consultation Paper

People with Disability Australia (PWDA) is pleased to provide comments on the Rules Consultation Paper.  However, we, along with our Members, are disappointed that this Paper did not provide significantly more information and clarity on the proposed content of the Rules, making meaningful engagement on the content problematic and targeted feedback challenging to gather.  Despite this, an online forum hosted by Members and supporters of PWD contributed over 300 comments.

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February | PWDA Submission to NSW Government Discussion Paper on the Reform of the NSW  Disability Services Act 1987

This submission comments on the proposed reform of the NSW Disability Services Act (DSA) 1997, and supports the consolidation of laws regarding support for people with disability in NSW into one piece of legislation. It is critical that a reformed DSA must at least work in harmony with the NDIS and provide the same level of human rights standards as the current DSA, and at best surpass the quality, accessibility and human rights standards outlined in the NDIS.

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February | Improving the Employment Participation of People with Disability in Australia

More than 450 comments were received during the consultation exercise providing evidence base for the submission and reflecting the high interest and importance of employment issues in the lives of many PWDA members and affiliates.  The key themes which emerged from the discussion are detailed within, and a number of representative comments have been included in this submission at Attachment A.  This paper also forms our response to the Issues Paper Employment Services – Building on Success.

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January | Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee: The National Disability Insurance Scheme Bill 2012

The majority of comments made in this submission reflect concern at provisions that run counter to the enjoyment of human rights by people with disability, or highlight improvements that could be made in order to maximise the enjoyment of rights of people with disability on an equal basis with others.

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2012

April | Mid-Term Review of the AusAID Strategy: Development for All – Towards a Disability-Inclusive Australian Aid Program 2009 -2014

There is broad acknowledgement across the development sector that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) cannot be achieved without first addressing the equity and inclusion of people with disability. Since the launch of the Development for All Strategy in 2010, improving the lives of people with disability has become a central development objective of the Australian aid program. PWDA are also an active members of the Australian Disability and Development Consortium (ADDC) and a member of the ADDC Executive Committee and signatories to the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) Code of Conduct.

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January | Consolidation of Commonwealth Anti-Discrimination Laws

In PWD’s submissions to the National Human Rights Consultation and the National Human Rights Action Plan Baseline Study, we outline the commonplace experience of discrimination and human rights violations faced by people with disability in Australia.

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2011

November | NSW Attorney General and Justice’s review of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007

PWD has undertaken a number of projects examining the experience of people with disability in residential and service settings as well as barriers to human rights to freedom from violence and abuse including the Sexual Assault in Disability and Aged Care – SADA Project, the Rights Denied Project and the Disability and Domestic Violence in Residential Settings Project. This submission situates the feedback from these projects within the wider research context and applicable domestic and international legislative instruments.

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October | Senate Education Employment and Workplace Relations Committee Inquiry into the administration and purchasing of Disability Employment Services in Australia

The comments PWD makes in this submission are informed by its role as an organisation of people with disability and also by its contractual role as operator of the Complaints Resolution and Referral Service (CRRS). The CRRS receives complaints about the delivery of services from users of Commonwealth-funded disability services subject to the Commonwealth Disability Services Act 1986. These services comprise DES, Australian Disability Enterprises (ADE) and Disability Advocacy Services (DAS).  This submission is primarily concerned with the term of reference which deals with assessment of the DES performance framework as the best means of meeting the objectives of the Disability Services Act 1986, although other issues will be raised in doing so.

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September | NSW Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Issues Inquiry into Domestic violence trends and issues in NSW PDF only

This submission was made available only in PDF and is no longer available at the NSW Parliament link provided.

July | Exposure Draft of the ‘Supported Accommodation Innovation Fund’

Housing options for people with disability must not result in the congregation, segregation or isolation of persons with disability, each of which is a key accelerator or facilitator of abuse, neglect and exploitation of persons with disability. It is of great concern to PWD that, despite evidence of the detrimental aspects of congregate living arrangements, some governments continue to license and fund institutions and some are being redeveloped into ‘contemporary’ institutions that continue to congregate people with disability and segregate them from community life.

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May | Interim Report by the Productivity Commission into Disability Care and Support

PWD believes the Draft Report is a great step forward int he process to introduce a funded National Scheme which would provide personal support for people with disabilities on an entitlements basis.  However in building a new system we have an opportunity and an obligation to get it right so that we are left with a sustainable system that supports our obligations under the UNCRPWD and principles of personal control.  PWD maintains that there are many aspects of service quality which have remained unexamined in the process of the Productivity Commission enquiry.  These issues are elaborated within this submission.

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April | Joint Submission NEDA and PWDA: Productivity Commission Inquiry into Disability Care and Support

This submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry which formed an early step in the process toward the creation of a National Disability Insurance Scheme recommends that the NDIS be extended to asylum seekers and persons granted refugee status, all children should be eligible regardless of residency status, individuals who have applied for permanent residency, 457 holders and international students – to afford individuals with disability the same right to participate in these schemes as those without disabilities.

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2010

December | Inquiry into the Commonwealth Commissioner for Children and Young People Bill 2010

Our strong support over many years for the establishment of a national Commissioner for Children and Young People is based on our individual and systemic advocacy undertaken with and on behalf of children and young people with disability. PWD has highlighted this through submissions to national and State-based inquiries, through our election platforms, at meetings with Members of Parliament and senior bureaucrats and in NGO Shadow Reports to UN Treaty bodies. It is within context that we provide the following submission on the Commonwealth Commissioner for Children and Young People Bill 2010.

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August | Inquiry into services provided or funded by Ageing, Disability and Home Care

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

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August | Submission: Productivity Commission Inquiry into Long Term Disability Care and Support

The Australian Government has asked the Productivity Commission to undertake a public inquiry into a long-term disability care and support scheme which will become the National Disability Insurance Scheme. This Submission uses the experience and strength of PWD to provide detailed recommendations on how specific aspects of the proposed long-term disability care and support scheme should work, and includes a methodology of how these recommendations came into being.

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July | Public consultation on proposed Youth and Community Services Regulation

Currently no policy, procedure or guideline exists to provide guidance to the Licensees/Licensed Managers or staff of licensed boarding houses on the meaning and application of the YACS Act, licence conditions and Regulations, or on specific issues of best practice. This vacuum of information needs to be rectified immediately and must make clear how ADHC intends the licensed sector to interpret and use the policies currently listed on the ADHC website as ‘good practice in LRC’s as well as those mentioned in detail within this submission.

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July | Stronger Together Consultation

This review of Stronger Together provides a timely opportunity to ensure that CRPD is the overarching framework for Stronger Together.  Using the CRPD as a framework would provide surety that the NSW Government was meeting its human rights obligations in the provision of disability specialist services and supports, and would enable consistency with the national agenda.

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July | Review of the National Standards for Disability Services

A primary purpose of the Standards and the Objectives and Principles of the Disability Services Act was to move towards a service system in which people with disability were at the centre and could access the elements of care and support they require to manage their own lives.

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July | Summary Submission: Productivity Commission Inquiry on Disability Care and Support

The PWD position on the proposal for the delivery of a new disability care and support scheme that operates by directing resources at eligible individuals with disability will be articulated by a set of principles, which will also tie the proposed new scheme to Australia’s obligations as a signatory to the Optional Protocol of the CRPD, and reference specific articles of that Convention when assessing the types of outcomes that the new scheme must achieve.

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February | Inquiry into the provision of education to students with a disability or special needs

PWD welcomes the NSW Legislative Council’s General Purpose Standing Committee No. 2 Inquiry into the Provision of Education for Students with a Disability or Special Needs. PWD will address some longstanding issues and concerns that PWD has about the NSW Education System for students with disability in the remainder of this letter.

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2009

December |  Response to the Inquiry into the NSW Taxi Industry

November | RACGP – Review of Standards for General Practice – Joint Submission 

August | NSW Legislative Council’s Inquiry into Substitute decision-making for people lacking capacity – Joint Submission 

June | National Human Rights Consultation 

March | Draft Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards