Media Item

Australia Signs the Marrakesh Treaty

The Australian Government signed in Geneva overnight the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise Print Disabled. The treaty will give an estimated 285 million people with vision impairments around the world access to more books published in accessible formats including large print, braille or … Continued

Removing Ramps and Silencing Disability Issues

It was announced recently that the ABC’s disability website, Ramp Up, launched in 2010, will be scrapped by the end of the month. Seed funding for the website — provided by the Department of Social Services — was scheduled to cease at the end of June this year. The previous government had expected that the … Continued

Disability Dissent Silenced as ABC’s Ramp Up Scrapped

Abolishing the ABC’s Ramp Up, a national platform for disabled voices, looks like an attempt to suppress dissent at a crucial moment for the sector, writes Shakira Hussein. Yesterday afternoon, the ABC disability website Ramp Up announced that it would cease publication on June 30 after failing to renew its contract with the federal government. … Continued

One Step Forward

The disability movement in Australia has taken some significant steps forward over the last three years. When Kate Larsen moved from London to Melbourne three years ago, she was surprised to find that Australia was on the back foot with disability issues. Today, however, she feels Australians with disability and their non-disabled allies are more … Continued

Connection is more than Just a Click

Can we change the world with a click and a share? Engaging in online activism can’t replace putting a face to a name or chatting over a cuppa, but it can help some people with disability to participate and it can still get things done, writes Jodie van de Wetering.   The internet has trickled … Continued

Disabled ‘need say’ in NDIS

Australia’s only politician who uses a wheelchair has written to the chairman of the national disability insurance scheme urging the board to listen more carefully to people who have a “lived experience” of disability. South Australian Legislative Assembly member Kathy Vincent, who heads the Dignity for Disability Party, wrote to Bruce Bonyhady last week, highlighting … Continued

Bureaucratic NDIS ‘letting disabled down’

The National Disability Insurance Scheme is bogged down in bureaucracy and consistencies, and is “the same old system”, according to a warning letter to its managers. Samantha Jenkinson, a campaigner for the NDIS through the group Every Australian Counts, spent months collecting examples from hundreds of Australians who had been let down by the scheme. … Continued

Jetstar Business Model Leaves Jim Conway Stuck in Wheelchair

“If you are in a wheelchair and can’t lift yourself out, don’t attempt to fly with Jetstar.” That is the message renowned Australian musician Jim Conway has for disabled people who cannot independently lift themselves out of a wheelchair and into a plane seat. Mr Conway and his wife Helen Martin were left feeling “frustrated” … Continued

Human Rights Commission to Spread Extra Load after Disability Commissioner’s Departure

There will be a group effort at the Human Rights Commission to compensate for the loss of its disability commissioner, with the remaining commissioners all taking on disability work when Graeme Innes leaves next month. The federal government cut the commission’s funding by $1.7 million in the budget, reducing the number of commissioners from seven … Continued

A Message from the Ramp Up Team

Ramp Up will cease publication on 30 June 2014, but will remain online as a body of work. After much speculation about the future of Ramp Up since the Federal Budget announcement, we have some news to share. As many of you are aware, in 2010 the ABC received funding to establish an online destination … Continued

Mutation of Genes Linked to Disabilities

Most severe intellectual disabilities are not pre-­programmed in parents’ genes, but are instead caused by ad-hoc mutations arising before ­conception. Dutch scientists say they have convincing proof that “de novo” mutations are the major cause of the disabilities, which ­afflict one in 200 newborn children. The finding, reported today in the journal Nature, is good … Continued

What’s normal anyway?

We like to be different, but not too different, to fit in yet still be individual. It’s a tension that gets played out in various ways. By parents who want their children to have a “normal” life, to find friends and not be teased. Yet parents can also take great pride in their children being … Continued

Simple Pleasures Beyond Reach of Disabled Seniors

OLDER Australians who have a disability and require care have less choice in how they spend household budgets, with more money going on necessities and less on recreation and “simple pleasures”, new modelling shows. Data from the Australian ­Bureau of Statistics reveals couple households caring for an older disabled person spentmore than $100 a person … Continued