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IBM Appoints Chief Accessibility Officer

IBM named Frances West as the company’s first Chief Accessibility Officer to guide Big Blue’s accessibility policies and practices. IBM has created a new position, Chief Accessibility Officer (CAO), aimed at redefining accessibility for users and ensuring that all users can have access to technology. Big Blue appointed Frances West as the company’s first Chief … Continued

Disabled People Routinely Denied Justice by Victoria Police, Human Services and Health, Report Finds

People with disabilities are routinely being denied access to justice by police and other agencies, a Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (EOHRC) report has found. The commission estimated 20 per cent of Australians had a disability, and while they were more likely to experience violent and sexual crime they were less likely to … Continued

Disabled Children Dumped at Hospital

The Health and Community Services Union has blamed the situation on a lack of state government services for disabled children. Staff at the Royal Children’s Hospital notified the union late last month of an autistic child who was aggressive and transferred to the hospital’s inpatient unit for mentally unwell adolescents, despite having no mental illness. … Continued

Fifi Hang your Head in Shame

On Wednesday, a disability rights activist has lambasted FM radio host Fifi Box after she impersonated a disabled person in public. Fox FM’s Box admitted to having parked in a disabled car park and then affected a limp to avoid reproach from bystanders. Box made the comments on Monday morning, with Fox FM highlighting the … Continued

Disabled often Court Out

Access to courts that most take for granted can be a challenge for many Border people with a disability. It can come down to something as seemingly straightforward as getting into a building. Wodonga’s Disability Advocacy and Information Service senior advocate Michelle Critchley said another barrier was hearing loops not being available. “People who have … Continued

Welfare Spending Data Now Online

Federal Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews has announced that from today, more comprehensive and easier to use income support data will be available online. Mr Andrews said making the income support data readily accessible is part of the Government’s policy to reduce red tape. “This data will be updated quarterly and includes the number … Continued

Regional Families with Autism Sstruggle More: Study

Carers and their families are fundamental to the quality of life for people living with autism, yet the far-reaching impact of this job can be overlooked. A Mildura study is looking into the impact on families and carers of caring for a person with autism or Asperger’s, in particular how their finances, employment, health and … Continued

Deaf Jurors Serve in Mock Trial as Part of Ground-breaking Research

When Alex Jones took his oath as a juror in the Parramatta District Court on Wednesday, he did it in sign language. The self-employed lobbyist is one of two deaf people taking part in a ground-breaking trial investigating the feasibility of deaf citizens serving on juries. Previous research has found deaf jurors are not disadvantaged … Continued

Disabled, Frightened and Desperate for Work

Kim Ryan feels like a fading photograph, as the Federal Government reassess the Disability Support Pension she relies on, she is scared of applying for jobs in a tough employment market but equally afraid of letting her life pass her by. “It’s just a shame, I feel that I’m fading like a photograph and my … Continued

Acting Disability Commissioner Starts Today

From today, Age Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan will add Disability Discrimination to her portfolio and will focus on improving dignity, respect and equal opportunities for people with disability. “As I commence my term as Acting Disability Discrimination Commissioner, I want to reinvigorate a national discussion about how we create opportunities for people with disabilities to … Continued

Welfare Review Fails to Understand Australia’s Labour Market

The interim report of the Review of Australia’s Welfare System, led by former Mission Australia CEO Patrick McClure, is a vexed piece of work. Much in it is commendable and even far-sighted, but there is also much in it that is deeply problematic, reflecting the limitations of the context in which it is written. The … Continued

High Achiever Stuck in a World where Success Comes at a Cost

Julia Gilchrist has everything an employer might want. When she graduated with a communications degree with honours in politics, she applied for more than 200 jobs. She even had a stint as an intern in the office of Treasurer Joe Hockey. Yet despite her hunger for success, the past nine years have not played out … Continued

Jobs Plan Push on Disability

The federal government is looking to reconstruct Australia’s welfare system. Reporter COREY MARTIN looks at suggested changes to the disability support pension and the Work for the Dole program, which started on July 1. Disability activists are pushing for a national jobs plan for people living with disabilities as the federal government looks to overhaul … Continued

Warrnambool City Council Clarifies Laws on Disability Access Renovations

State laws requiring sometimes expensive alterations to shops for disability access have been clarified by Warrnambool City Council in response to criticism over costs hindering CBD trade. According to city growth director Bill Millard the disability requirements were triggered where building alteration works required a council permit. In those cases all areas used by visitors, … Continued