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Union fears rushed disability services tender for Sandhurst residents

A union leader says an 18-day tender period for new disability services in Bendigo is rushed and lacks detail. The Victorian Government has advertised tenders for private operators hoping to provide services to residents of the Sandhurst Centre after the facility closes in 2016. The Minister, Mary Wooldridge, says running the tender process much sooner … Continued

Confronting the challenges of evacuating people with disabilities

Tips for planning for the evacuation needs of disabled persons in the community In any disaster planned for by emergency management personnel, one in five people encountered will have a disability of some type – Michael Rieger/FEMA In 2013, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström, noted that people with disabilities … Continued

What’s fair pay for people with intellectual disabilities?

Thousands of disabled Australians earn just a few dollars an hour working at disability enterprises. A recent Federal Court decision will lead to higher wages, but some employers fear this will send them broke. Is this a cunning ploy to get out of paying more or are their fears justified? And some parents believe these … Continued

Maria Sevilla’s visa refused because of her son Tyrone’s autism

Tyrone Sevilla is the boy deemed not good enough for Australia. The Immigration Department has resolved to deport the nine-year-old to his native Philippines, because his autism has been judged a financial burden on taxpayers. His mother, clinical nurse Ma Cecilia “Maria” Sevilla, is also likely to be forced to leave her home in Townsville … Continued

Disability Rights Campaigner Nominated for Justice Medal

Former Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes AM, now chair of Attitude Foundation, has been nominated for the 2014 Justice Medal. Exodus Foundation founder and CEO Rev Bill Crews is also among the nine nominees for the prestigious medal. The Justice Medal will be presented at the 16th annual Justice Awards dinner, hosted by the Law … Continued

Windfall for women’s mental health in eastern suburbs

Burwood East’s Peter James Centre will have a women’s only section for mental health patients. The state government has provided $34,376 to install the new area for female mental health patients at the Eastern Health facility. The money will be used to create a gender-sensitive, female wing with swipe card access, lounge area and a … Continued

Support grows for Ballarat man who just wants to stay home

A Ballarat man with a degenerative disease is trying to secure ongoing government funding to allow him to remain in his home. Support is building for a Ballarat North man who is seeking more funding to allow him to remain in his own home, rather than be forced into an aged care facility. Wil Hobbs, … Continued

No cash left for Saturday care as council axes disability services

Geelong city council will stop providing disability services on Saturdays as it continues to struggle with the National Disability Insurance Scheme funding model. The council’s community services general manager, Jenny McMahon, said it had no money left in the budget to offer services, including respite, on Saturdays. She said existing clients would be covered in the … Continued

Disability advocates fear peak body funding changes could affect representation

Disability advocates are concerned people with disabilities will not be adequately represented under changes to the sector proposed by the Federal Government. Under a Department of Social Services overhaul, peak bodies that represent people with disabilities have been told to re-apply for their Commonwealth funding. The current amount of funding is modest in government terms … Continued

Improved Accountability for Court-Managed Disability Funds

Legislation to modernise the management of funds held by the Supreme Court on behalf of people with a disability and those under eighteen has been introduced in the Victorian Parliament. Victorian Attorney-General, Robert Clark said the legislation would improve transparency and accountability for more than 5,200 Victorians whose funds and assets are managed and administered … Continued

Strapped in and Locked Up: Shocking Photos Reveal how Autistic Children are Treated in Australian Schools

Tracey Hayes has photos of her twin boys strapped to chairs at Monash Special Developmental School in Melbourne Other parents of autistic children have also made complaints about how their children have been treated in Victorian schools Rebecca Cobb claims she was forced to pull her autistic son Tristan out of Marnebek school, in Cranbourne, … Continued

Loo bewdy: new bathrooms mark clean getaway from toilet ‘horror’

For thousands of young and adult Australians, even disabled toilets are near unusable, offering only the dirty floor as a changing facility; now, advocacy groups have had a win. There is not much dignity to be found on a cold, wet toilet floor. This is where the parents of people with disabilities often have to … Continued

Jobless struggle inspires new business to help disabled find work

Jessica May knows from personal experience how hard it can be for people with disabilities to find suitable employment. “I’ve had anxiety for a very long time, but after I had my daughter, it got really quite bad and I was facing lots of issues about going back to work,” she said. Mrs May said … Continued

New homes for residents of Colanda disability centre

Approximately 20 residents of Colac’s Colanda Centre are set to move to modern community-based supported accommodation homes as a result of $5.7 million in funding from the Victorian Coalition Government. Speaking today with parents of residents, Victoria’s Public Advocate Colleen Pearce and senior officials from the National Disability Insurance Agency at Colanda, Parliamentary Secretary for … Continued

Mentally ill Victorians could be cut off from vital services

Up to 10,000 mentally ill Victorians could be cut off from vital health services because they do not meet tough eligibility guidelines for the national disability insurance scheme, an alliance has warned. A group of 20 mental health organisations are urging the state government and opposition to commit $80 million over the next four years … Continued