How Australia is Faring – Key Social Inclusion Report

The new Chair of the Australian Social Inclusion Board, Ms Lin Hatfield Dodds, has released the second edition of How Australia is faring today. The report tracks Australia’s progress against a range of social inclusion indicators. Overall, Australia is doing well on many indicators which are significant to social inclusion. For example, more Australians are … Continued

Vision Australia Further Education Bursary

Closing date: October 31, 2012

2013 Further Education Bursary applications are now open. In 2013, Vision Australia will award Further Education Bursaries to a select number of students who are blind or have low vision. The Bursaries provide adaptive technology to people who would otherwise find it difficult to afford purchasing it themselves, enabling them to succeed with their post-secondary … Continued

Macklin Defends Low Disability Support Pension Cancellation Rate

New figures reveal that despite more than 12,000 Disability Support Pension medical reviews last financial year, only 135 people on it had their payment cancelled. But Disability Reform Minister Jenny Macklin said despite the low cancellation rate, the government’s reforms to slow the growth of the ballooning pension had been working. Since the government’s DSP … Continued

Access iQ

The Access iQ™ website is a hub for anyone who wants to learn how to make websites and applications accessible to users of all abilities. The Access iQ™ website provides resources aimed at equipping web professionals with knowledge to build websites which meet international accessibility guidelines. These resources are written by Access iQ™’s own accessibility … Continued

Web a Hard Read for Disabled

Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes doesn’t expect large scale web accessibility lawsuits in Australia. Picture: Ray Strange Source: The Australian THE private sector has been urged to make its digital assets more accessible to elderly Australians or people with disabilities as federal agencies and departments rush to meet new web accessibility guidelines. An estimated 98 … Continued

How Different Religions View Disability

Religious communities are committed to inclusion, compassion and recognising the full humanity of all. But for people with disabilities, a religious community can be a surprisingly alienating place. Judaism has the primacy of physical perfection written into its sacred text. Islam has a cultural aversion to dogs – guide dogs for the blind included. As … Continued

Allow People with Print Disability Worldwide to Read: Australian Government Should take the Lead

Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes, said today that people with a print disability throughout the world are currently experiencing a ‘book famine’, yet the Australian government has failed to take action that could change the situation. “Only 5% of all books produced in Australia are published in accessible formats such as large print, audio or … Continued

Change Attitudes

James O’Brien (Letters, 16/6) rightly expresses the vital need for a national disability insurance scheme. It is absolutely imperative however that this scheme is not seen as a cure-all for a society that is failing many people with disability. My most recent working week was spent speaking with families from around Australia who have been … Continued

TAFE Cuts Hit Those in Need of Help

When Ben Carbonaro began studying at RMIT’s TAFE he was paired with a ”buddy” who helped with reading and taking notes. Mr Carbonaro has Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism, and he relied on support services throughout his TAFE studies that led to a journalism degree. Before starting his course, RMIT’s disability liaison unit took … Continued

Ramping Up Accessible Information and Representation for People with Disability

Australians with disability will benefit from improved access to the ABC’s Ramp Up website with an additional $557,700 investment from the Australian Government. The Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin, and, said the funding would ensure the website continues to provide a forum for discussion about disability in Australia. “Ramp Up is a lively online … Continued

Taxi Inquiry puts Customers First

The Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) has welcomed the draft report of the Victorian Taxi Industry Inquiry and hailed the customer-first focus of Professsor Alan Fels and his team. ‘The Taxi Inquiry has strongly argued for sweeping reforms to the taxi industry to fix the problems so many Victorians experience with taxis. This includes … Continued

Disability Education Could be Boosted by Gonski Report

The federal government is holding consultations on Australia’s education funding model in the wake of the Gonski report. The report recommends a base level of funding per student which would then be scaled based on the level of disadvantage they face. Disability groups hope the findings, and the National Disability Insurance Scheme, will provide an … Continued

Metro Brushes off Blind Woman

Blind commuter Annmarie Kelly is unhappy about how hard it is to hear train messages. Metro has refused to attend a human rights commission hearing with a blind woman hindered by substandard station announcements, because she would not sign a confidentiality agreement. Annmarie Kelly was due to meet the rail operator at the commission’s headquarters … Continued