Thanks to everyone who completed the evaluation survey. Your feedback has been compiled into the SDAC Evaluation Report which is available for download from the DARU website.
As is often the case with evaluation forms, your comments were the most informative and echoed those on the day. Here’s a range of comments collected during the conference that are reflective of the overall sentiments you expressed:
- Sometimes we forget that we enjoy rights and services because of advocates who challenged the world before.
- The advantage of direct action is that it unsettle the general public and confronts the passive, grateful image they have come to expect from people with disability.
- With so many issues requiring attention there is limited opportunity to come together and focus on one issue, We need a strong movement working together.
- Self-determination is a right at an individual level but also a collectivist framework for action.
- Systemic issues or barriers don’t go away just because the NDIS funds a person’s plan.
- If by virtue of human rights everyone is equal why do people with a disability need to hope for the best, be passive and wait for recognition? Put disability on all agendas with a stronger rights focus.
The panel discussions ranged across systemic issues and identified potential ‘calls for action’ including:
- A call for a Royal Commission into violence against people with disabilities in institutions and disability services.
- A call to ensure that people with disability are included and accounted for in the new family violence laws and processes. We can no longer accept that if violence happens to people with disabilities then the disability sector needs to deal with it; violence is violence.
- A call to advocacy organisations to pick up the bigger issues and campaign loudly for them- particularly in relation to the provision of services promised under the NDIS.
- Presenting personal stories is a powerful way to bring issues of concern to the mainstream who are largely ignorant of the realities of living with disability. Using mainstream media, videos and imagery to get cut through and change assumptions.
- Human Rights are human rights- and this includes people with disability. The rights of people to equality and self-determination means to have people with disability involved in all levels of services provided to them- as board members, staff and members. “the sector that supports us, should also be by and for us”
- Take up opportunities to have your say in the development of policy through research, interviews or questionnaires. Make sure that decisions are reflective of what is happening on the ground.
- We need to advocate for inclusion into mainstream services, and move away from disability services and have a presence in the mainstream.
Planning for Strengthening Disability Advocacy Conference 2017 has begun with the new planning committee meeting in early December. It’s safe to suggest that the NDIS will have a major theme.
We look forward to welcoming you again and supporting this very important conference.
On behalf of the SDAC16 Planning Committee