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Kevin Andrews says welfare reform a ‘two-term exercise’

Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has described the Coalition’s welfare reform plans as a “two-term exercise” as he prepares to receive the late-running final report of the federal government’s sweeping review of the $100 billion welfare system. Mr Andrews, who was a senior minister under the Howard government, has also committed to standing at the … Continued

Training colleges securing thousands in Government funds by targeting people with disabilities

Unscrupulous training colleges are targeting people with disabilities and the homeless in order to cash in on government education funding. The ABC has obtained evidence some colleges are recruiting people with intellectual disabilities to costly diploma-level courses funded with expensive VET-FEE-HELP training loans. But the training offered is often unsuited as those targeted have a … Continued

Visually impaired and blind workers: undervalued, underemployed

Blinded when she was 20, Ms Henley uses a form of “echo-location” – clicking her fingers or tongue to produce echos much like a bat’s navigation – to find her way around a new office and a new city. “The noise bounces off objects in your environment. You can use it to work out different … Continued

Poverty: The reality of the DSP

Poverty data contained in a new report released by the Australia Council of Social Services (ACOSS) paints a grim picture for people with disability in Australia. 27.4% of people with disability are at risk of poverty (compared to 12.8% for the general population). When housing costs are taken into account, the figure increases to 44.5%. … Continued

Life in 36 parts: one woman’s story of dissociative identity disorder

Dissociative identity disorder (DID) continues to be a largely misunderstood – and sometimes controversial – mental illness. Lucy Adams shares her experience of living with the disorder. Colac woman Lucy Adams knew something was wrong when she noticed she was dropping out of her own life. “I used to lose time and I thought I … Continued

Whittlesea 18-year-old with severe autism moved frequently due to lack of respite care

A WHITTLESEA 18-year-old with severe autism placed in state care is moved from one accommodation service to another several times a week due to a lack of respite facilities, his mother says. Mary Hullin, who lives outside Whittlesea township, relinquished Lachlan into state care on June 10. Ms Hullin, whose other son has cerebral palsy, … Continued

Carers’ role in NDIS uncertain

The future of support for carers is “highly uncertain” as NSW transitions towards the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), according to a new report by peak body, Carers NSW. Released this week, The NDIS one year in: Experiences of Carers in the Hunter trial site paper draws on Carers NSW research, consultation and policy analysis … Continued

Welfare cuts target young people with disability

People with Disability Australia (PWDA) is angered that budget saving measures will disproportionately impact people with disability yet again. Measures passed by the House of Representatives today will see the reassessment of people under 35 years of age who receive the disability support pension (DSP) if they became eligible between 2008 and 2011. Those who … Continued

NDIS: Barwon service providers say more clarity is urgently needed for mental health participants

Consumers and mental health service providers in the National Disability Insurance Scheme launch site of Barwon say the design of the NDIS process isn’t suited to people with mental illness in its current form. Lucy Adams has dissociative identity disorder that she says was triggered when she was sexually abused as a young child. The … Continued

Students with disabilities let down after funding freeze: union

Australian Education Union federal president Angelo Gavrielatos. Australian Education Union federal president Angelo Gavrielatos. Photo: Gary Warrick The country’s peak national education union has accused the Abbott government of failing students with disabilities by reneging on a pre-election promise to increase funding for them from next year. The Abbott government’s response to a senate inquiry … Continued

Women with disabilities – questions we need answered

A recent forum saw women with disabilities ask the three major parties contesting the Victorian State Election in November to answer questions around healthcare, equal access and violence against women. Women with Disabilities Victoria (WDV) has long been at the forefront of Systemic advocacy, ensuring that the voices of Victorian women with disabilities continue to … Continued

Sandhurst centre finally has ‘certainty’ with new tender

After months of uncertainty, Minister for Community and Disability Services and Reform Mary Wooldridge says a tender process will deliver for the Sandhurst centre. Last year the state government announced it was going to close the Sandhurst centre in Bendigo, which houses people living with disabilities. The government is moving the residents into more 21st … Continued

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