Forum summaries

Latest additions

Family Violence and People with Disability-

Alison McDonald from Domestic Violence Victoria discussed the family violence reforms and how they impact on people with disability experiencing family violence. She also covered protections available for people with disability, and other information that advocates working with people with disabilities in vulnerable situations need to know. Continue reading

Disability Advocacy by the Numbers 2012-16 Report Launch

Llewellyn Reynders, Policy Manager at VCOSS, showcased Disability Advocacy by the Numbers report that uses the data collected by the Victorian Office for Disability advocacy program through the Quarterly Data Collection (QDC) provided by organisations funded under the program. He stepped us through the advocacy issues and identified trends through graphic representation and analysis. Continue reading

Self-managed vs Agency-managed supports in the NDIS

Carl Thompson from Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) provided an   in-depth overview, including pros and cons for the various support management options, that would assist advocates when working with people with disability through their NDIs plan implementation phase. This was followed by an update from Felix Neighbour from the Office for Disability. Continue reading

Child Protection-

Barbara Carter and Kate Fitt discussed issues around child protection and provided some practical tips on how to support parents with disability in their dealings with child protection agencies. Continue reading

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