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Lambie vote defeats disability payment scheme bill

The Senate has narrowly rejected a controversial payment assessment tool for people with disability, known as the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) Bill, by just one vote delivered by former Palmer United Party Senator Jacqui Lambie. In one of Lambie’s first votes as an Independent Senator, the final vote was 30 in favour and … Continued

Independent Inquiry call over Yooralla abuse

Calls for an independent inquiry into the Australian disability sector have been made amid ongoing allegations of abuse and the mismanagement of complaints by a major disability service provider. At the centre of the controversy is disability service provider Yooralla, which has been accused of failing to act properly on complaints of sexual, emotional and … Continued

Coalition pledge more support for disabled on waiting lists

About 5000 young or severely disabled Victorians on support waiting lists would get priority access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme from mid-2016, if the Napthine Government is re-elected. The Coalition today will reveal an agreement with the Abbott Government to prioritise help for people who are currently on the Victorian disability support register, or … Continued

Mary Wooldridge drops the ball on disability employment

Victorians who live with various disabilities, gathered at the Melbourne office of Australians for Disability and Diversity Employment (ADDE) INC, a national disability employment lobby group, to express their deeply felt anger and disappointment over what they say has been a complete lack of interest and resultant poor performance from the Victorian Government over this … Continued

Communication Rights Australia appoints high profile human rights lawyer as patron

Mr Ronald Merkel QC has practiced as a barrister since 1971 and as a Queens Counsel since 1982. He was appointed and sat as a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia from 1996 until retiring from the Court in 2006. Since 2006, he has returned to the bar with a particular focus on the … Continued

Death of autistic boy at Kyneton a ‘tragic accident’, coroner rules

The death of a central Victorian autistic boy under Department of Human Services care was a tragic accident and not the result of a lack of care, a coroner has found. Michael Patrick Ormsby, 9, died in 2010 when he ran away from his carer at Kyneton and was struck by a car. In November … Continued

Separate curriculum for students with disability no good for anyone

The review of the Australian curriculum raises major concerns about access to a quality curriculum for students with disability. Under the guise of creating greater inclusivity, the review recommends a separate curriculum for some students with disability. A separate curriculum is discriminatory The Australian curriculum has been at the centre of public attention since its … Continued

Fronting up to disability issues in the Victorian election

Calling all political parties, there’s an election coming up.  Where are the real policies for Victorians with disabilities asks systemic advocate for inclusive practices, Tricia Malowney. If you are funded to provide services to Victorians, that means all Victorians, not just the easy ones.  It is time that whoever is elected to Government in a … Continued

Bruce Maguire still fighting to make websites accessible to people with disabilities

Having access to websites has been an ongoing battle for Bruce Maguire. Having access to websites has been an ongoing battle for Bruce Maguire. Photo: Australian Human Rights Commission Most Australians look back at the Sydney Olympics with pride. But for Bruce Maguire, 57, it was an event he’ll never forget for all the wrong … Continued

Schools ‘babysitting’ students with disabilities due to lack of funds, primary principals say

Students with disabilities are being babysat at school rather than being given the resources and time they need to learn, Western Australia’s Primary Principals’ Association says. President Stephen Breen said a leaked report by PricewaterhouseCoopers showed the average number of students with a learning disability was 18.6 per cent, but only 5 per cent received … Continued

Closed caption requirement for TV may be scrapped, disability advocates fear

Bill before parliament eliminates requirement for broadcasters to report annually on closed captioning Disability advocates are concerned the government is paving the way for broadcasters to stop providing closed captioning services. Under proposed laws before parliament, free-to-air networks will no longer have to provide annual reports to show they are complying with captioning obligations. Some … Continued

Tender outcomes for Disability Employment Services announced

The Government today announced the finalisation of the competitive tender process for the remaining part of the $300 million per year Disability Management Service to help people with disability find jobs. The Government announced in the Budget that it would put to open tender the 47 per cent of Disability Management Service currently delivered by … Continued

Call for accessibility guidelines to be included in government procurement

Age and Disability Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan has called for accessibility guidelines to be included in government ICT procurement policies to help drive change within the industry and improve employment opportunities for people with disability. The Australian government does not currently take accessibility into account when purchasing information and communications technology (ICT) products and services. … Continued

Coalition promises $16m for youth mental health

Preventative mental health services for children as young as two will receive a funding boost under a re-elected Coalition government. There would also be $6.9 million to build Victoria’s first child-only Prevention and Recovery Care facility, which will be based at Austin Hospital and provide support to children with more acute mental health problems. As … Continued

Call to do more for mentally ill prisoners

The Auditor-General, John Doyle has found “gaps with planning, collaboration and coordination” in the provision of mental health in Victoria’s justice system. In his report, Mental Health Strategies for the Justice System, Mr Doyle said the audit team found “evidence of work under way to develop links between policing and mental health services, and of … Continued