Victoria eyes revamp of prisoner mental health services

The Victorian government has admitted it needs to overhaul the way prisoners with mental illnesses and cognitive impairments are treated, concerned they are over-represented in jail, suffer more in custody and are more likely to reoffend on release.

Melbourne carer jailed for sexual assaults

A Melbourne disability carer sexually assaulted two intellectually disabled women in his care within an hour, telling one of them not to say anything or he would lose his job.

Disabled and with IQ of 50, one man seems destined for juvenile detention

Children’s Court president Judge Amanda Chambers has lashed out at the Department of Health and Human Services for leaving her with little option but to send a profoundly disabled young man – who may not understand what he has done wrong – to juvenile detention.

Ask An Expert: The Balancing Act of Supported Decision Making

The right to make your own decisions. It doesn’t get more fundamental than that when considering what makes us human. Questioning a person’s capacity to make decisions is one of the gravest insults one can make, yet in disability it can be thought of like an item on a grocery list. The assumption that people with disability have the right to make their own decisions, and should be given every support to do so, is a transgressive idea in our society. And as with any rights based social change, implementation can get a little tricky.

The NDIS, compensable injury and paybacks

Lawyers are challenged by the difficulty of advising their clients regarding the NDIS. The issue becomes complicated where the NDIS supports costs to be repaid to the NDIS are not at all related to the compensable injury, but to a pre-existing disability, or are in part pre-existing and in part injury-related. The issue is further complicated where the damages for care are for gratuitous care, not paid care for the kinds of supports that may be provided by the NDIS.

NDIS Should Fund Health Supports, Says Tribunal

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has just released a mind-blowing judgement that could fundamentally alter the types of supports funded by the NDIS. It poses a question that has to be giving the NDIA massive anxiety attacks right about now: have we all got the reasonable and necessary criteria completely wrong?

Lack of services means jail the only option for disabled women

Women with disabilities are being imprisoned in Victoria because the services required to care for them are available only to men.

The absence of services for women with complex needs has been highlighted in the case of Heba Teryaki, who has an IQ of 56, with both the sentencing and appeal judges saying she should not be incarcerated but there were no suitable services for her, ­despite the availability of such support for men.

Can support coordinators assist people with appeals?

Choice and control. Sounds easy, huh? In Real Life, bloody challenging. The NDIA has a tricky job to implement choice and control for Participants, and at the same time heroically challenge the systemic barriers of inclusion that mean real choice and control does not yet exist for many people with disability. What’s an Agency to do?

New prison unit completes health and wellbeing hub

A new 48-bed unit for women prisoners with complex needs will open at the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre (DPFC) today, completing a Mental Health and Wellbeing Precinct worth more than $40 million. the opening of the Rosewood Unit provides for women with complex needs which may include intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities and acquired brain injuries.

People with disability are more likely to be victims of crime – here’s why

Up to 90% of women with disability have been sexually assaulted. People with disability are three times as likely to die prematurely than the general population from causes that could have been prevented with better quality care. But to provide victims with justice, we need to better understand why people with disabilities are more vulnerable to abuse and assault.

International disability rights and the dilemma of domestic courts

Law plays an important role in tackling this inequality and exclusion. For the past decade, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Disability Convention) – an instrument of international law – has been both a catalyst and guide for legislative reform enhancing the equality and inclusion of disabled people. To what extent, though, is this Disability Convention influencing domestic case law?

Funding cuts to disability communication service a ‘smack in the face’

State government funding cuts to a South Australian service helping people with disability access the legal system will leave vulnerable people without a voice in police interviews or court, a disability advocates warn.  “This state has seen what happens when vulnerable people cannot give evidence.  We know that cases against alleged paedophiles and other abusers will collapse and offenders go free,” he said.