Forum summaries

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NDIS readiness for advocates

The NDIS is rolling out across Victoria giving thousands the opportunity to start new plans for the first time while investigating local support options. Catherine McAlpine, Manager Disability Loop at AFDO introduced a new ‘Tip Sheet’ for the planning process and provided some perspectives on the Local Area Coordinators and the Service Coordination roles at the NDIS. Continue reading

Absolutely Everyone: State disability plan 2017-2020

Absolutely everyone: state disability plan 2017-2020 started on 1 January 2017. Mark Feigan, Senior Policy Officer and Angela Healy, Manager from the Office for Disability provided an overview of the new plan which was followed by Q&As and small group discussions to explore how the plan might be used as an advocacy tool. Continue reading

‘Zero Tolerance’ of abuse: Response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Abuse in Disability Services

Zero Tolerance’ of abuse in disability services is the focus of the Victorian Government’s response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Abuse in Disability Services. The response was tabled in Parliament on 26 November 2016. Anna Guglielmucci, Assistant Director and Vanessa Stevens-Downie, Principal Policy Officer, Safeguarding and Disability Supports, DHHS provided an update on implementation of the response and discussed opportunities for collaboration with the advocacy sector.

Mary Mallet, CEO at Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA) was present in the audience and obligingly presented an overview of the recently released NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework. Continue reading

Disability Support Pension changes and the appeals process

Peter Norbury from Social Security Rights Victoria updated us on the changes Centrelink made to the impairment tables in 2012 highlighting the contradictions and identifying the hurdles that need to be overcome to pass the eligibility criteria. Len Jaffit, who has been working with the Centrelink Appeals Tribunal at Victoria Legal Aid for many years then stepped us through what you need to do if you are unhappy with a Centrelink decision. Continue reading

Q&A with the Office for Disability

Felix Neighbour, the Acting Manager Strategic Engagement at the Office for Disability brought Martin Turnbull, Assistant Director, Diversity and Disability along to this Q&A session to fill us in on the boost to advocacy funding announced as part of the ‘Zero Tolerance’ initiative. An update with the ongoing dialogue with NDAP and NDIS and the launch of the State Disability Plan to start in 2017 was also discussed. Continue reading

Review of the Victorian Housing Register

Tony Newman, the Assistant Director of the Implementation support department at the Victorian Housing Register outlined the changes to the Housing Register. This was followed by Steve Staikos from Community Housing Federation Victoria who spoke about the impacts of the changes. Continue reading

Who’s not eligible for the NDIS?

The panelists represented people with disability who are either not eligible for the NDIS or who have complexities that make interaction with the agency difficult. A range of issues were raised, and information shared, however many more questions than answers were left in the air. Continue reading

Putting rights centre stage quick reference

Putting rights centre stage was the theme for the Strengthening Disability Advocacy Conference 2016.  It was held at NAB The Hall, 700 Bourke Street Docklands with the Rights Retrospective taking place on the afternoon of 1 September with the main conference program running the next day. Summaries from the conference sessions are available and include … Continue reading

Rights Retrospective

This event celebrated the personalities and campaigns that have put disability rights centre stage over the past 30 years in Victoria. Live music performed by the Rights tough and special guest interviews were a feature. Sarah Barton, film producer at Fertile Films was the MC. Continue reading

NDIS and the National Auslan Interpreting Booking Payment Service

The National Auslan Interpreter Booking and Payment Service (NABS) is funded by the Australian Government to provide Auslan Interpreters free of charge to people who use sign language to communicate and would like to book an interpreter for private health care appointments. This is for all health care appointment, with the exception of public hospitals (which are funded by state governments) Continue reading