Strengthening Disability Advocacy Conference 2016
Putting rights centre stage

Friday 2 September @ NAB, The Hall, 700 Bourke Street, Docklands

Enter stage rights: Applying a human rights based approach to person-centred service delivery

What role can or should disability advocacy play in a landscape of person-centred service delivery? How do we make sure that mainstream services are accessible to people with disability? What will best practice look like?

When

Friday 2nd September, 2016: 1:30am - 2:30am

Where

The Hall

Speakers

Facilitated by:

Robyn Gaile, National Manager Innovative Service Delivery, Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO)

What role can or should disability advocacy play in a landscape of person-centred service delivery? How do we make sure that mainstream services are accessible to people with disability? What will best practice look like?

Photo of Robyn Gaile, National Manager Innovative Service Delivery, Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO)

Panelists include:

Daniel Leighton, Chief Executive Officer, Inclusion Melbourne

Inclusion Melbourne is a day support provider that began the journey to personalised services in 1990. The centre was sold in 2008 and now delivers all supports within the community.

Prior to working at Inclusion Melbourne he held a range of roles across the community and disability sector including in government, academia and in NFPs. He has a deep commitment in ensuring the inclusion of people with an intellectual disability, sustaining a healthy and vibrant charitable community support sector and the utilisation of evidence based practices.

Photo of Daniel Leighton, Chief Executive Officer, Inclusion Melbourne

Christina Ryan, Chief Executive Officer, Advocacy for Inclusion

Christina Ryan is a non-profit governance & management specialist with particular expertise in embedding ethical frameworks across organisational structures & culture. She provides peer consultancy on change management, human rights, human resources, good practice governance & management, and recruiting & retaining people with disabilities.

Photo of Christina Ryan, Chief Executive Officer, Advocacy for Inclusion

Leonie Dillon, Advocacy project Officer, ASERT 4 All

Leonie’s backgroun is in the area of early childhood development, family services and community development. She believes that each individual, family and community has the right to develop their life and community to the best potential that they need, desire and want.

Photo of Leonie Dillon, Advocacy project Officer, ASERT 4 All

Louise Glanville, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Stakeholder Relations, NDIA

Louise brings a vast range of state and federal public sector experience to her current role having previously held Senior Executive roles at the Commonwealth Attorney General’s Department and the Victorian Department of Justice. Louise has also held positions in academia, the private sector and ministerial offices.

Photo of Louise Glanville, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Stakeholder Relations, NDIA

Session Summary

This session was introduced by a video where people with disability told about what an ordinary life meant to them.

 

 

This discussion was focused particularly on the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and featured very different perspectives on fundamental issues from its panel.

 

 

 

The story board

One of the main issues was how the NDIS can truly offer choice and control and the risks that it ends up just offering superficial choices while asserting bureaucratic control.

That was made powerfully clear by long-term disability advocate Frank Hall-Bent who was in the audience and gave a graphic account of the confused, disappointing process of NDIS planning he had just experienced. “What’s happened to my choice and control?” he asked.

 

 

NDIA’s Louisa Glanville spoke about the massive reform that the NDIS entails, particularly as it begins its national rollout, and the fundamental shift it embodies. She talked about one mother with an adult son with a disability who described how hard it was to even consider choices after having learnt for years to just accept what supports were available.

Daniel Leighton, noting that he represented one of the few service delivery organisations in the room, outlined Inclusion Melbourne’s partnership with RMIT to look at choice and choice-making. It identified three significant areas of choice – basic, lifestyle and everyday choices – and the risk that service providers get caught up in everyday choices.

“I think what happens is service providers get caught up in everyday choices – the chocolate bar or the biscuit – and say ‘we’re offering choice’ and don’t look at whether the person even wants to be in the room’. He said the other major lesson from the research was that “choice needs to be taught and is a skill that’s acquired.”

But Christina Ryan challenged this. In her experience, people with disabilities know what they want, their trouble may be in articulating it, or being heard and taken seriously. Rejecting the term ‘person-centred service delivery’ as “able-ist”, “passive” and “yuk”, she said the real challenge is to realise self-determination. She asked the room: “How many of you as organisations have a majority of people with disability on your board, or on your staff or even as your members? The sector that supports us should also be by and for us. Otherwise it’s just more language.”

Leonie Dillon gave insights about the Barwon trial process and how advocates need to build relationships across education, health, public transport, jobs agencies and more to make the NDIS plans work. “there has to be a true working relationship and a true change of attitude,” she said.

 

 

Resources

Further information on topics relevant to the discussions in this session include: