Your Story, Disability Legal Support

Your Story Disability Legal Support is a free national service funded to give information and legal advice to people about safely sharing their story with the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. National Legal Aid and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal services are funded by The Australian Government to deliver the national service. There are three lawyers who work for Your Story in Victoria – Dayle Partridge and Michelle Bowler based at Victoria Legal Aid and Anna Potter based at the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service. They will outline the scope of the service and referral pathways and how to work together effectively with advocacy organisations.

DSP Help: An online resource

Applications for the DSP are too often rejected due to the lack of sufficient medical evidence. DSP Help has a medical evidence bot that helps you to get the best supportive documentation from your medical specialist which gives you the best chance of having your application approved. Dermott Williams is a Community Lawyer at Social Security Rights Victoria who has been involved with the development of DSP Help and he introduces you to the bot and many other features of this exciting new online resource.

New Guardian and Administration Act (2019)

The new Guardianship and Administration Act 2019 came into effect on 1 March 2020. The new Act includes a presumption that a person has the capacity to make decisions unless evidence is provided otherwise and recognises that a person also has decision-making capacity if they can make decisions with support. This is an important shift away from the best interest approach to one where it is acknowledged that decisions should reflect the person’s will and preferences, unless it would cause serious harm to the person. Join Dr Norman Chia, an Advocate Guardian at the Office of the Public advocate, as he step us through the newly created Supported Decision Maker roles under the Act.

Victorian Disability Worker Registration Scheme

The Victorian Disability Worker Commission forms part of the Victorian Government’s “zero tolerance” approach to abuse of people with disability. It opened for business, launched on 1 July 2020. The role of the Commission is to ensure that people with disability receive greater safety and quality services, workers have the necessary skills, experience and qualifications and stop people who pose a serious risk of harm from providing disability services. Dan Stubbs is the Victorian Disability Worker Commissioner and he joins us to provide information about the new regulations introduced for disability workers. This includes new compliance obligations for workers and service providers under the new Disability Service Safeguards Code of Conduct , mandatory notifications and notifiable conduct, along with a new complaints service for sector audiences.

A horrific playground incident: how one school failed its students


Kimberly’s sunny, athletic and inquisitive about everything. But for years she harboured terrible secrets about what happened to her. Janine Fitzpatrick investigates why her school failed to heed credible warnings that she was in danger.

Leaving school: Transitions for young people with intellectual disability Advisory Group

Closing date: November 23, 2020

Are you a young person with intellectual disability BETWEEN 18 AND 30 YEARS OLD? Would you like to be part of a Research Advisory Group helping a research project?This Project is finding out what it is like for young people to leave school and begin work, training, or community participation activities.  You would come to online meetings to talk about the project and your ideas for making it better. You do not have to do any homework. There will be 2 meetings about 4 months apart. You will receive a gift card for your time.

If you would like to help, or to ask more questions:

Accessibility of Tram Services

Melbourne’s tram network is a crucial public transport mode, with 205 million trips taken each year. In Victoria, 17 per cent of the population lives with some form of disability. A person with a mobility restriction cannot have, in any practical sense, an accessible tram journey without both a level-access stop and a low-floor tram. This report finds that tram services are not meeting the accessibility needs of passengers with mobility restrictions. In 2018–19, only 15 per cent of tram services delivered a low-floor tram at a level-access stop.

Bushfire safety and preparedness for people with disability

There are two online training modules that have been designed to assist  disability workers operating in,  or working with people with disability, in high risk bushfire areas.

The modules include:
1. Bushfire safety for workers – For any person who works in, or travels through, high risk areas over summer to learn about the risks, what preparedness means and how to stay safe on the roads and survive.
2. Bushfire planning: How to support your clients – For any person working with clients or patients in their homes, supporting them to live independently. You will learn about different types of risk environments, your responsibility in helping your clients as well as questions to get the bushfire safety conversation going and tips on how to build the Bushfire Survival Plan to leave early.

Second review of the Premises Standards 2010:

Closing date: November 30, 2020

The Premises Standards are reviewed every 5 years and this is the second review.

The purpose of the Premises Standards is to make sure people living with a disability and their family members, carers and friends have equal access to public buildings and that building certifiers, developers and managers fulfil their responsibilities to people with disabilities under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 Are you affected by the Premises Standards? Are the Standards working as intended and where could they be improved? You can make a submission by writing a letter, phone, uploading a video, or respond to an online survey.

Emergency Preparedness Survey of People with Disability

This study aims to survey how prepared people are for an emergency situation such as pandemic, bushfire, flood etc, and to understand what people can do for themselves and what supports they need in an emergency situation. The information you provide will help to find ways to assist people with disability to prepare for, respond to and recover from an emergency event.

Open letter: Improving the National Disability Insurance Scheme

This open letter was released to all participants, their families and carers. The letter provides an update on the Service Improvement Plan that was released in August and includes assurances about the implementation of the independent assessments that will be introduced as part of the access and review processes next year.

Expression of Interest – Paid Consultation

Closing date: October 26, 2020

People with disability who have experience in accessing or employing service providers are encouraged to express an interest in participating in a focus group. The focus group aims to develop a broader understanding of what people with disabilities want when looking for a service provider – how they choose providers – or how they wish they could choose providers.

Remuneration will be $60.00 per hour (inc GST) deposited onto a debit card (EFTPOS card), which will be posted after delivery of services. The sessions will be held end of October and early November and are anticipated to run for 90 minutes with a short break included.