Queensland disability groups have welcomed the state government’s decision to extend advocacy funding, with $8.1 million committed over the next two years. The QLD Disability Advocacy Alliance thanked the government for the pledge, but noted it was more of a stop-gap measure to support the sector until an ongoing funding model for advocacy was developed.
The idea of a single national scheme to give the disabled more dignity and control has enjoyed bipartisan support for the past decade, but that consensus appears to be fraying over changes now under active contemplation by the federal government.
The Head of Policy at the ACT Council of Social Service, Craig Wallace, said “While we note that the Federal Minister has said this is one of a number of drafts being prepared, this appalling document gives a troubling insight into the direction and planning of the Government’s reforms.
NDIS Minister Stuart Robert has sought to downplay a report about leaked proposed changes to the scheme that sparked anger and distress from disability advocates. Mr Robert said he had not seen the draft legislation cited by the Nine papers, which he said he had been told was only “one of 78”. “The only draft legislation the government intends to introduce is the one I will release shortly,” he said.
People with Disability Australia President Samantha Connor said reports about the confidential 300 page draft: “To discover that there are significant changes proposed that will disadvantage people with disability, along with a proposal to cut out co-design with participants and disabled persons organisations, is deeply concerning.”
People with permanent disabilities will no longer need to be reassessed by doctors every few years to renew their permit, instead they can qualify for one for life. Disability advocates have welcomed the changes but said more still needs to be done around enforcement and public awareness. “Even when you have a permit it’s hard to get a space and that seems to be consistent across most areas, there just aren’t enough spaces,” said Disability Resources Centre Advocate Kim Collinson.
The Morrison Government is allowing corporations with massive conflicts of interest – including one run by former NDIA CEO Robert De Luca – to begin cashing in on planned Independent Assessment changes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme before they’ve even been introduced.
“It’s pretty unfair in Australia, to say the people most vulnerable, least able to speak up for themselves and advocate for themselves, are at the mercy of legislation that puts them in cookie cutter mode,” she said.
A win for the government in its push to deny people on the National Disability Insurance Scheme access to sex worker supports may hand the Commonwealth even greater power to control the scheme.
The Morrison government is considering radical reforms to the $22 billion National Disability Insurance Scheme including denying funding to Australians with acquired brain injuries and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder as well as reducing avenue of appeal for participants as part of secret plans to save costs.
nd and low-vision Australians are being shut out of the Covid-19 vaccination process because the government’s eligibility checker and clinic finder website fail to meet basic web accessibility standards, according to Australia’s biggest provider of low-vision services.
The Agency and NDIS Minister Stuart Robert have been putting out some really bizarre comms of late. On his blog, NDIS CEO Martin Hoffman wrote about “misconceptions and misunderstandings” in the community – which I took a bit personally. But I also guess it is safe to assume patronisation is back in vogue. In this article, we thought we’d evaluate the messaging to separate the facts from the fiction from the irrelevant.
Former NDIA chief executive David Bowen says his former agency must maintain a strong separation between assessors and NDIS providers — especially if they are part of the same parent company. “It certainly shouldn’t be the case that an assessor employed by a subsidiary company is dealing with a participant from their parent company,” he said.
Independent Assessments are putting complete control over my ability to live an ordinary life in the hands of seven groups of professionals that I’ve never had contact with – and providing me no recourse if they get it wrong. The possibility of them getting it wrong is extremely high. I’m the best judge of my function and capacity; no one knows what I need more than I do. But you don’t even have to trust me – instead listen to the specialists who’ve known me my entire life and who understand my disability.
The Migration Act is one of the few pieces of legislation in Australia where it’s OK to discriminate against people based on their disability. Exact data on how many children are ordered to leave because of their condition is not available, but advocacy groups say they come across about a dozen cases each year.