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Taxi Fee Squeeze Unfair to Disabled

A border disability support service fears people will have to pay more for wheelchair- accessible taxis if plans to “reform” Victorian fares go ahead. Wodonga’s Disability Advocacy and Information Service officer Martin Butcher yesterday said any change could leave many people with disabilities without transport because taxis would become too expensive for them. His concerns are … Continued

Disability Care Goes Straight to the Heart, but Needs a Businesslike Touch

Ten years ago I was wondering if I was ever going to return to work, or whether my role was going to be the full-time care of my son who had multiple and complex disabilities. My goals just after his birth were to manage getting out of the house and to maybe make it to … Continued

Sandhurst Planning Entering Next Phase

The closure of Bendigo’s Sandhurst Residential Services is entering its next phase, with client planning almost completed and the design of new services commencing. Minister for Disability Services and Reform Mary Wooldridge said a further 17 client plans have been finalised since December, leaving only one of a total of 29 to be completed. Clients … Continued

People with a disability unequal before the law

Discrimination against people with a disability is widespread in Australia’s justice system, according to a damning report soon to be released by the Human Rights Commission (HRC). It will recommend that each state urgently develop a strategy to ensure people with a disability are treated fairly before the courts and their rights are respected. One … Continued

Welfare System Shake-Up

Te Federal Coalition is about to overhaul Australia’s social welfare system claiming there’s a “debilitating cycle of endless welfare dependence”. The announcement of the hard hitting review comes from Federal Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews. Minister Andrews flagged the idea last September, saying he believed the system was ad hoc and needed to be simplified … Continued

Time for ‘Real’ Wages Not ‘Pot Shots’ at People With Disability

Here we go again – vilifying Australians with disabilities. Try paying us a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work instead, argues systemic advocate for inclusive practices, Tricia Malowney. One of the saddest – yet positive – stories I have to tell is from when I was at an event recently and they had … Continued

Bushfire Planning Leaves Behind People with Disabilities

When bushfires start, no one should be more worried than people with disabilities. Recent research shows people with disabilities are twice as likely to die or be injured than the general population during a disaster. They are also less likely to receive aid and less likely to recover in the long-term. Jo Ragen, a senior … Continued

Young Disabled Pin Hopes on NDIS for Housing

An estimated 3500 people aged under 60 live in nursing homes despite 85 per cent of Australians believing there should be age-appropriate housing and support for people with disabilities. A survey of 800 Australians also found that 90 per cent believe the issue should be addressed by government. Note: Subscription required to access this article

Payment Scheme for Workers Assessed Under the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool

The Australian Government will establish a payment scheme for supported employees with intellectual disability in Australian Disability Enterprises who previously had their wages assessed under the Business Service Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT). The scheme will deliver certainty for these employees, their families and carers, as well as their employers, while the implications of the BSWAT … Continued

Class Action Seeks much Better Deal

Lawyers acting for thousands of underpaid intellectually disabled workers will lodge a court application on Monday seeking to block the federal government’s scheme to tackle the underpayments. Legal firm Maurice Blackburn will file a Federal Court action in an attempt to stop 10,000 intellectually disabled employees at sheltered workshops signing away their legal rights to … Continued

Government Plans New Disability Payment Scheme

The Federal Government will introduce a new payment scheme for employees with intellectual disabilities that work in Australian Disability Enterprises but peak Not for Profits say it isn’t enough. Previously employees with intellectual disability had their wages assessed under the Business Service Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT). The Government plan follows last year’s decision of the … Continued

Lawyers for 10,000 Intellectually Disabled Workers to Seek Court Order over Federal Government’s Payment Scheme

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers will today (Monday 20 January) lodge an application for court orders to prevent the Federal Government from misleading intellectually disabled employees into signing away their legal rights. Last week the Government announced plans to establish a payment scheme for intellectually disabled workers who have been underpaid while working at sheltered workshops. The … Continued

Labor Slams NDIS Privatisation Call

A potential sell-off of the National Disability Insurance Scheme agency would betray disabled people and their carers, the federal opposition says. During a senate inquiry on Wednesday, the chairman of the Abbott government’s commission of audit, Tony Shepherd, refused to rule out recommending a sell-off of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), which is tasked … Continued

Concerns Discrimination Against Disabled Widespread and Varied in Australia’s Justice System

TONY EASTLEY: Australia’s disability discrimination commissioner is concerned that too many of the state’s top lawmakers are unwilling to change the justice system in order to make it fairer for people with a disability. For the past six months Graeme Innes has met all state and federal attorneys-general to urge them to reform legislation that … Continued

Disability Funding is No Charity, it’s an Investment

Treasurer Joe Hockey warned earlier this week of a “massive blowout” in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) if the system wasn’t made more efficient. This follows subtle re-positioning of the government’s stance on the NDIS since the election. Tony Abbott referred to the scheme as a “trial” rather than a “launch” after the recent … Continued