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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

Navigating the Complexities of the NDIS: DARU Forum

Disability advocates need to help their clients stay informed and navigate the complexities of the new NDIS to make sure no one misses out, those attending a recent DARU forum were told. About 30 people from the disability sector across Victoria took part in the Disability Advocacy Resource Unit (DARU) Advocacy Sector Conversations Forum this … Continued

National Press Club: Graeme Innes

Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes reviews his eight and a half years in the role at the National Press Club in Canberra.

The NDIS, One Year On: a Colac Mother and Disability Worker Reflects on a Year of Change

Not many people have had such a close-up view of the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme as Jacqui Suares. She runs a Colac-based disability organisation and has a daughter with a disability. After a year of momentous change, Jacqui Suares can tell her daughter Mia is happier than ever by the condition of … Continued

Behind the Labels: who is Really on the Disability Support Pension and Why

The Abbott government’s landmark review into the welfare system has suggested that only people with a permanent disability and no capacity to work should receive the disability support pension. In response, the Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has said that the ”real issue” with the DSP is that it has been a ”set and forget … Continued

Graeme Innes: I have never accepted the concept of ‘Lifters’ and ‘Leaners’

“Australians with disabilities would be lifters, if there were not barriers in society that force us to lean every day. I have challenged this my whole life.” Outgoing Australian disability discrimination commissioner Graeme Innes delivered this speech to the National Press Club on 2 July, 2014. I acknowledge the traditional owners of this land. I … Continued

Outgoing Disability Commissioner Graeme Innes Gives Parting Words to Tony Abbott

Outgoing Federal Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes has been a driver behind some of the most significant reforms of his generation, nationally and internationally. He joined Life Matters to deliver his frank parting words to the federal government and Prime Minister Tony Abbott

NDIS Funding Levels not Satisfactory, Disability Service Providers Say

The peak body representing disability service providers has flagged major concerns with the Federal Government’s level of funding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The Federal Government released its eagerly awaited pricing schedule on Friday, ahead of the wider rollout of the NDIS. It comes as the ACT prepares to begin its rollout of … Continued

Lilydale Uniting Church Sold to Melba Support Services as Part of Deal to Build Units for Disabled

A 131-year-old Lilydale church will be saved and housing created for people with a disability under a revolutionary plan from a Mt Evelyn not-for-profit organisation. Melba Support Services has bought the Lilydale Uniting Church in Anderson St, Lilydale. They plan to retain the church for use by parishioners and use some of the site to … Continued

Disabled Man Asked to Leave Melbourne ABC During Ramp Up Protest

Police asked a disabled man to leave the foyer of the ABC at Southbank in Melbourne during a protest against the axing of the disability website, Ramp Up. About 20 people held a protest outside the building. Some of the protesters entered the foyer and security called police when a 39-year-old man in a wheelchair … Continued

TAFE Cuts Threaten Disabled Student Enrolments

As a school student, Andre Zdroykowski was forced to sit on his hands to stop him using sign language to communicate. Deaf students were told to read and mimic lip movements. ‘‘I left school with a very basic education and crappy speech,’’ he says with his hands. Now a successful small businessman, Mr Zdroykowski has … Continued