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NDIS yet to solve disability accommodation shortage for Victorians

For many Victorians with disability, the right to choose where they live and who they live with is so constrained that they are left feeling unsafe and fearful in their own homes, according to a report tabled in the State’s Parliament earlier this month.

Emerging disability housing market meeting appetite for impact investment at scale

When fully rolled out, SDA payments are expected to total approximately $700 million per year. Building the scale of housing required for the SDA market has the potential to stimulate around $5 billion in private sector investment. Using SDA payments to leverage private capital has enormous potential to transform disability housing in Australia.

NDIS yet to solve disability accommodation shortage

For many people with disability, the right to choose where they live and who they live with is so constrained that they are left feeling unsafe and fearful in their own homes [pp. 41-43], according to the Community Visitor Annual Report 2020 tabled in Parliament today.

2020 Public Advocate police awards

Now in its fifth year, the Public Advocate awards recognise police members, employees and units that have made an outstanding contribution to and improving outcomes for people with disability and delivering a police service that is accessible, inclusive and responsive. A police member who coordinated a sensory-friendly and person-centred search for a young autistic man has been recognised with the 2020 Public Advocate Award for Outstanding Police Service to People with Disability.

Communicating for change

As a proud person with a disability, El Gibbs has spent her career communicating and amplifying the voices of the disability community during times of crisis and triumph. She’s this week’s Changemaker.

Wage theft and poor pay among workers with disabilities, royal commission hears

The 9th hearing of the Disability Royal Commission has heard evidence today of widespread wage theft among firms that hire workers with disabilities. Employers avoid paying even the minimum wage to workers on the assumption, the Commission was told, that additional income from the Disability Support Pension provides sufficient support. But experts warn the majority of bosses neglect workers’ basic rights, leaving workers with little option but to leave their job, entrenching them in unemployment.

The Morrison Government’s unfair treatment of disabled job seekers

Meredith said her experience with having her welfare payment suspended for not meeting her mutual obligations while undergoing cancer treatment kept her “up all night with panic attacks”and worried about how she’d pay her bills and feed her child. ‘You people are going to be the death of me and many others,’ she told her WISE Employment job consultant via email.

Opinion: legal representation for people with disabilities is shockingly low when appealing NDIS decisions

More than 75% of people with disabilities across Australia last year did not have legal representation at their NDIS appeals, according to data obtained under freedom of information from the AAT, which reviews government administrative decisions. While people with disabilities are attending their NDIS appeals without any legal representation, the NDIA uses up to three lawyers to represent it in one tribunal hearing.

Communiqué 4 December 2020

Ministers discussed the implications for Disability Reform Ministers’ meetings, which will be ongoing and meet four times each year, with a focus on key priorities. Ministers agreed to three broad priority workstreams for their workplan over the next 12 months including the National Disability Strategy, NDIS system reform and mainstream interfaces, and Scheme Performance.

Much Needed Clarity from the Commission

The NDIS Quality & Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) recently released the Regulated Restrictive Practices Guide V1 – October 2020 (RP Guide). This is a welcome document from the NDIS Commission as it provides the much-needed clarity on previously grey areas of policy and practice.

New departments to deliver a healthier and fairer Victoria

As we move into the recovery phase of the pandemic, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will be separated into two new departments. The new Department of Health (DoH) and the new Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) will commence operation from 1 February 2021. The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing will include the current DHHS portfolios of Child Protection, Prevention of Family Violence, Housing and Disability – ensuring the delivery of the significant investments from the recent Budget in Victoria’s recovery – with Richard Wynne taking on the role of Coordinating Minister.

Raft of changes urged for disability plans

There are no dissenting views within parliament’s report into the National Disability Insurance Agency’s approach to support plans, with committee chair Kevin Andrews flagging 42 recommendations to improve transparency, consistency and accountability. That comes on top of the 14 recommendations made in the committee’s interim report.