Strengthening Disability Advocacy conference 2014
Champions of change

4 & 5 August @ Melbourne & Olympic Park Convention Centre

Working for change


Tuesday 5th August, 2014: 1:30am - 2:30am


River Room


Facilitated by:

Geoff Crawford, Operations Coordinator / Public Officer, Australians for Disability and Diversity Employment (ADDE)

Geoff was born with a genetic eye condition called ocular albinism. He has three grown up children and two grandchildren. He has worked on the factory floor right through to senior management positions in the commercial world and for the past 14 years worked in the Not for Profit sector managing a factory for people … Continued Photo of Geoff Crawford, Operations Coordinator / Public Officer, Australians for Disability and Diversity Employment (ADDE)

Panelists include:

Liz Kelly, Co-director of TLConsult

Liz has worked in human resources and financial management across a broad range of industries in the private sector for over 20 years. Liz has a track record in Project and Change Management; she has extensive experience in developing solutions to complex industry change initiatives in the public, private and NGO sector, both in metropolitan … Continued

Photo of Liz Kelly, Co-director of TLConsult

Martin Stewart, Disability Employment Advocate, Australians for Disability and Diversity Employment (ADDE)

Martin’s fighting spirit literally started when he was born as one of a twin, contracted pneumonia and was not expected to live. In his adult life he has been campaigning on issues such as electric shock treatment, accessible public transport and any social exclusion area where people with a disability were not given a fair … Continued

Photo of Martin Stewart, Disability Employment Advocate, Australians for Disability and Diversity Employment (ADDE)

Robert Pask, Safe Futures Foundation

In his advocacy career, Robert has played a key role in promoting a policy focus on job retention for people with chronic illness and disability. In addition to this formal advocacy, he has personally supported people with disability to stay in work through the provision of peer support, advice and referrals. Through his voluntary involvement … Continued

Photo of Robert Pask, Safe Futures Foundation

Session Summary

This session examines the issues that make it difficult for people with a disability to access employment. Geoff Crawford, the Operations Manager at Australians for Disability and Diversity Employment (ADDE), asks the panelists, who all have the lived experience of disability, to expand on what can be done to address legal and attitudinal barriers to greater employment participation.


Audio podcast



Geoff crawford works with an organisation called ADDE, which is australians for disability and diversity in employment. Geoff is the operations manager and company secretary for ADDE

Geoff has a long experience of working with people with disabilities. He was a manager for about 10 or 11 years with the Vision Australia factory for people who are blind or vision impaired, factory services providing employment for workers with vision impairment. He has had extensive experience in the not for profit sector around employment matters. Geoff also has an vision impairment himself i will now hand the microphone over to geoff who will introduce his panel.

Thank you Robyn. It is a pleasure to be here, thank you all for coming and listening to our session. I have known Bill Law who preceded us in the first session of the day, I thought following him would be a bit of a tough gig. I’m pretty confident you will find after the next 55 minutes this session will be very interesting and often very thought provoking.
ADDE is about to celebrate its 10th year in existence in September. We’re basically a small organisation focused on systemic advocacy around employment issues. We’ve done research projects over the years and in more recent times run a number of workshops for the benefit of employing people with disabilities in the NDIS launch sites of Newcastle and Barwon.

Our speakers today are going to speak to you about their own real life experiences around employment issues and advocacy within the disability sector. We have Liz Kelly, Robert Pask and Martin Stewart.

Robert, in his advocacy career has played a key role in promoting policy, focused on job retention for people with chronic illness and disability in addition to formal advocacy. He personally supported people with disability to stay in work through the provision of peer support, advice and referrals.

Last year Robert was the recipient of the National Disability Award for Excellence in Advocacy and Rights Promotion Award and the Huntington’s Victorian Advocacy Award. Would you please welcome Robert Pask.


Good morning. I have been involved with advocacy and employment for quite a while. There are issues that I believe are being overlooked. There is a perception that people with disability can’t do jobs or don’t want to work. There are quotas in Government Departments for people with disabilities, but businesses should have a quota of the number of people they put on with disabilities.

The quota is just the start. People don’t realise the person with disabilities are more loyal in the workforce, they can do what other people can do and they’ve just got to be given a go and not treated like lepers. A big problem that we found is job retention, which is an enormous problem. People have to support people with disability because a lot of people with acquired disability in fact in 2009 a million people fell out of the workforce with chronic illness.

Those people could’ve been kept in the workforce with a little bit of support. A person with multiple sclerosis like myself or with Parkinson’s or other chronic illnesses may not be able to work a full 40 hour week but there could be things like job share put in place. The Government have services that could help to keep people in work like workplace modifications and things like that that people don’t access enough. Also we’ve been been looking at something like sick leave pooling where if somebody is away if they use their sick leave up somebody else can give their sick leave to them. This week it was announced that 58 million hours of holiday days haven’t been used in Australia alone. You can imagine how many sick days haven’t been used and how they could be shared around.

We’re lacking a lot in education of employers and we have to really start educating employers, employer groups and unions, get them involved as to what people with disabilities can do. We’re saying there is a skill shortage of people in Australia and they’re using 487 Visa’s in to do jobs. We have people who may have fallen out of the workplace that have got a disability that have the skills they could put back into the workforce.

They could be used for training. If a person who had a stroke or something like that was for example working on a printing machine, they could be pulled back into the workforce to train apprentices. We have a shortage of apprentices. They could use people with disabilities who have lost limbs or something like that as trainers. We’re not being utilised enough.

In Australia at the moment the focus is on paid parental leave, it’s about babies. What about some sort of paid scheme for a person that falls out of the workforce? When somebody has been diagnosed with an injury, had a car accident, had an industrial accident that need time off work and can’t go straight back into the workforce, how about instead of paid parental leave we had a paid system overall. I believe very strongly that advocacy groups, all groups should be working together on employment. We’ve got advocate groups from different organisations going in different directions. We’ve got to really come together and make people aware of what we’re doing.
There is examples of ads on television and I will go back to the organisation that I work for and it’s not canning that organisation at all. They used to have ads on television with people with MS. One ad was a woman who couldn’t pick up a child from school because her MS was keeping her at home. At the same time there was a man who couldn’t go out and play cricket with his son because it was too hot and people with MS have a very high proportion of heat intolerance so he couldn’t go outside and do the normal activities. If those people applied for a job and an employer saw that they would say these people aren’t reliable.

It’s not about fundraising, it’s about assisting people and being positive about what people can do. Again, the organisation I was with everybody has heard of the MS Read A Thon, it doesn’t happen at the moment but they used to have people going out to speak to schools. The people that went out to speak were able bodied people, didn’t have anything wrong with them and they take along a person with MS. The person with MS was there as a token. It doesn’t work with disability groups using people as a token. I had the argument with the organisation that organises the Read A Thon saying why can’t people with MS go out and do this themselves? What I got back was how can you rely on a person with MS getting up in the morning and turning up for work? How do you rely on a person with the flu getting out of bed in the morning and turning up for work? There is no difference and you will find these people are more reliable, they will turn up for work.

We need more support as far as transport. There is a lack of transport to get people to jobs and interviews. They’re talking about people on New Start having to write forty applications for jobs a month. There are people with disability that need jobs, we’re more and more up against competition to get jobs whereas the people with disabilities have got the skills and should be giving the opportunities to move on.

That’s really it, I believe we have to work more together as groups. We’ve got ADDE that are representing everybody looking for work but it needs other organisations brought into it. People with disabilities have got the mental capacity in most cases to do jobs, high jobs and I believe people need to be given a go. Thank you.


Thank you Robert that was very interesting. Just for the sake of timing I ask you all hold your questions till the other two speakers have had their say thankyou.

Our next speaker is Liz Kelly. Liz is a parent of a child with a disability, is the past President of the Association of Children with Disability, a board member of the Children with Disabilities Australia, a current member of the Victorian Disability Service Board, a member of the Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and the Deputy Chair of the Victorian Disability Advisory Council. As you can see she is well experienced in the disability sector. Please welcome Liz Kelly.


Thanks Geoff, thanks for having me. Also as a side line I actually have my own business and I actually work in human resources so it’s all about people. I have a business partner who we work together and as far as work for people with disabilities I think it is obviously more achievable than it’s ever been but there is a lot of work to be done.

I agree with all the things that Robert was saying. I will just talk at it from probably a parent perspective and probably a professional perspective. What I have seen happen is sometimes kids aren’t given a good enough education, they’re not given the skills to transition from school like other kids get. My view as a parent is the earlier and the more creative you can be with your child if they do have a disability is to actually start talking about what they want to do to earn money.

Let’s face it with money you have power. We live in Australia, the more money you have the better outcomes you’re going to have, the more choices you can make in life. I think the earlier as parents we talk to our kids about what they want to do and being creative. If we think about Australia and where it is as a country where do the jobs lie, where are the industries closing and where are they actually opening? One of the areas is the human service area in Australia.

For example, the NDIS is saying they’re going to need something like 40,000 more workers because of the NDIS. Where can we fit within that space as people with disabilities, what’s our role there? The other area is aged care. How do we ensure that we get a foot hold into those industries?

One of the projects I’ve been working on and talking about is actually talking to employers about what’s in it for them. Often they don’t understand what’s in it for them. If you can show an employer the productivity gains that they can make, so why is it better to employ someone with a disability, how could they do it?

Sometimes they have these very high position descriptions and there is all this multi-tasking in roles whereas some of those roles could be broken down and simplified for people who may have an intellectual disability who could do part of that role and make it more productive for employers. I actually don’t think that they don’t want to do it. I think that they just don’t know how and they also don’t know what’s in it for them. I really think when we’re talking about employers who are there to make profit, they are keen to see how they can do that better. If we can show them I reckon they would employ more people with disabilities. We’ve been working in that space.

Also about BEING creative, what sort of roles are out there for people. People have money who work a lot who need things around their house done. There is a lot of work. People want their house cleaned, they want their dogs walked, they want to be walked and they want to pay for all that. There are opportunities out there for people with jobs in those particular areas.

I guess that’s my message and that’s all I’ve got to say. So go for it.

Thanks Liz. I’m now going to hand over to our third speaker Martin Stewart who I have known for 16 years. If I told you all I know about him we won’t have any of the session left. I will go to THE brief version.

Martin has sat on many boards, community groups including Disability Resource Centre, National Federation of Blind Citizens, Yarra Ranges Council to name just a few. He has worked in various roles including conciliation officer and then industrial relations officer for the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind. With many years of extensive industrial relations, experience and knowledge consulting, negotiating and advocating various individuals and collective industrial agreements his experience has allowed him to establish many contacts in the media, the Government and the community. Please welcome Martin Stewart.


I come with a warning, I don’t stick to safe ground. I go beyond the square and I’ll do that today because taking a risk is part of your development. Taking a chance, taking an opportunity, making people understand what you understand, having them feel your life, hear your truth, that’s how I live and I think it’s the best way to contribute to your own personal development and the development of the society as a whole.

I don’t believe in just being another brick in the wall following. I do believe in leading, influencing, changing. Working for change is this session’s call and I believe it should be our life cause. There’s many ways to communicate, there’s a noise, a pleasure or pain or anger. I’ve had enough, I love you. There’s all kinds of ways sign language, writing. Yes the production of your voice can come in so many different forums, but it’s got to be your way. Make sure it’s your words, your way. Make sure you make your mark.

I was not brought up to feel safe that’s perhaps part of the reason why I don’t play it safe. It’s good to feel safe, good to feel secure. But going beyond the square, taking that risk is the only way you’re going to find out how far you can extend yourself and what your true capacity is. And that’s about getting ready for life which involves employment, which involves making friends, which involves establishing relationships etcetera, it’s just involved.

So you must evolve with life itself as you come across it. Survival instincts are really important. I got lucky in 2001 when I was hit by a train and lost my arm and leg. I wasn’t unlucky. I was very lucky to survive and experience and become much more expressive through these experiences. I can now communicate through not only a disability that I was born with but one through that accident that I acquired. A whole lot more interesting.

We’ve heard phrases such as seeing is believing, and there was a famous song, I told you I would go beyond the square. If a picture paints a thousand words then why can’t I paint you (singing). Well the reason why Mr Gates who sang the song, much better than me, is that you can’t paint a picture. It doesn’t draw all these descriptions and pictures just are a picture. You can paint it but it’s just a picture. It doesn’t paint a thousand words. What paints a thousand words comes in so many different formats and ways. As I said before I love you says and means so much. So does the alternative words. You can write, you can sign, you can do what you need to do and can do to get your story over, to get the frustrations out or express your love.

So these expressions seeing is believing, if I said nothing and you saw me what would you believe? Well perhaps nothing, perhaps something. I don’t know. But I believe in being expressive. I strongly suggest that those who lack confidence amongst us it doesn’t come naturally at times, take a risk, take an opportunity. If it’s not there try and make it happen.

As I said sometimes it doesn’t come naturally. Believe it or not I’m actually not naturally comfortable in crowds but yet I’m speaking to a group now because I’m taking a risk. I’m out here before you expressing myself. When you do this you will win respect and admiration even if there are signs of discomfort. All the more reason for people to be attracted by what you’ve done, what you do. In other words do something.

I have had experience with union politics being the President of a union and also in management. All the dynamics of life have come to me or I’ve gone to it. In other words you can be flexible and still believe in basic principles of fairness, justice and reason. That’s what I’ve stuck to. Fairness, justice and reason. You hear the other person, don’t be just a transmitter, be a listener. Then consider and then make your mark.

This is an important part as a matter of fact I think in the entire aspect of what you can be if you listen, consider and transmit. Make sure you cast your individuality, make sure that you are you. So many people try to get people to believe they’re someone else. Always take an opportunity to influence something or someone that is the only way you can become a champion for change.

The cause is so important, there is no such thing as a menial job, no such thing as a menial job. I am very critical of some in the disability sector who are critical in people who work in what is previously known as shelter workshops, very critical because these places add value. It’s a contribution. Absolutely right that the conditions and the pay rates should reflect that contribution and currently in the past and in the short term future only I hope these conditions are good enough. The pay isn’t good enough. But I really don’t care if it’s two screws in a bag, if it’s working under a car, if it’s a rocket scientist. I don’t care. It’s valuable. It’s a contribution. Even whether it’s paid or not. If you chose a voluntary role it’s your way to contribute. Just like the taxi driver, train driver or pilot who got you here today that was their contribution.

Your contribution is to be here and go away and develop your strategy to give. That’s the important part. Giving not just receiving. So often we are presented as wall flowers, subjects of charity, recipients. I say yes we can receive, even peoples generosity but give back what you get. Ensure if you go to a place for dinner that you take a bottle of wine not just be given something, nice meal you hope. Yes just understand that the stereo type of us is that we should receive, be given, be supported. Don’t shy away from that fact but you can support, you can give. It’s so important that you make your signature in that way.

Signatures are not just given on pieces of paper they are offered through your presentation. Why is it that the unemployment rate is not getting better, it’s getting worse for people with disabilities. I’m not one to issue stats because you will always get it wrong because someone else will have another set of figures. I won’t do that but I know it’s getting worse. We know it’s getting worse.

Government, anybody who is here from Government think about it. Employ people in your offices whether they be electoral offices, whether they be Local, State or Federal Government offices, whether it be the Prime Minister’s office. Think about a diverse group working for you and with you.

Ladies and Gentleman every time you get an opportunity to speak like I just have, take it, embrace it, make it your contribution. Take that chance to influence something or someone, your chance to become a champion for change. Thank you.

Thank you Martin. As you can all see Martin is very passionate at the issue we’re talking about today and many other issues around advocating for people with disability. I did pick up on two words Martin used, valuable and the contribution of somebody working.

How many of you were at the session this morning with Thomas when he spoke of his job at a bar at Malthouse Theatre company, how many of you felt the power that his employment gave him? He was just so proud of that job. I have a nephew who has an intellectual disability and he was given an opportunity similar to that. Whenever he talks about his work he just beams. It’s very, very important the value of work to all of us with or without a disability.

It’s time now to open up the floor for some questions.

Hi my name is Delia Portlock. I live with an acquired brain injury as well, now I have a physical disability as well. I think the whole population needs education of the full worth of people with a disability working for them and knowing the people with the disability a lot of times more regular, they’re not going to take days off for the sake of it. They want the work and can do the work but the public needs educating.

Would any of the panel members like to comment or leave that to me? Over to me.

I couldn’t agree with you more. My organisation did run twelve workshops in the NDIS sites there with some large employers with Deakin University and a number of the Councils in the area. We ran them at the employer’s workplace and they were all staggered at what the people with disability could deliver to them. They were staggered at what the benefits are to employing someone with a disability.

I think you’ll find I would guess, there is no real official figures on this but 85% of employers are just afraid. They don’t understand how they can be provided with workplace modifications, wage subsidies, with job sharing etcetera. You’re dead right.
Sorry I have forgotten your name, the one with the advocate (Liz). In NSW we have an organisation called PWDA, which stands for education and training. Their role is to people like us, we have employment agencies, disability support employment agencies. Now for 6 months and for almost a year and a half I was chopping and changing between the two because I wasn’t happy with the one I had. She didn’t transfer me properly so I was left in limbo. I had nowhere to go, no job and no support.

What I’m saying about the employment service is when you want to give us a job, a lot of us can’t keep our jobs because we don’t have the outgoing support. We don’t have a trainer who can come in for maybe 6 months or 12 ½ months to train us yet there is an organisation called Job Support who only train people with an IQ of 70. Someone like myself or someone who is intellectually disabled doesn’t have that support. There is not a lot of agencies in NSW for us anymore. With the NDIS how is that going to affect people like us trying to get a job, where do we get the support? There is no support for us now in looking for work and maintaining a job because there is no agencies out there. PWDA has said if you’re not performing that’s it you’re gone. I struggle trying to find work because I can’t get the support I need. I don’t know.

Thanks Jenny. Look I think that’s really challenging. I would say Job Services, PWDA I think they’ve always struggled in the role that they’ve tried to play in keeping people in employment. I would say one reason is because there is not enough people with a disability working in those organisations to understand what the issues might be.

With the NDIS I don’t know how that’s  going to work for someone, but if part of their plan is they need a support person to stay in work or to start a volunteer job surely that’s something that needs to be or could be considered and looked at.

I’m just thinking about Thomas who was here before speaking on the panel. He was talking about HOW he got a support person to scribe for him, he has his own business. They’re the sort of things I believe if people can have, if parents start thinking about that with their kids into getting work experience as early as they can, getting the support to get work experience like you do with any person. We all have to do work experience. Sometimes we volunteer because we want to learn some skills. I know because my son has the support he needs I can go out and work. I volunteer, I give back as Martin described but I think that’s something we should be certainly advocating for under NDIS. One of the key indicators of success of the NDIS will be more people with disabilities in work, it has to be. These stats can’t continue the way they’re going. I think one thing that people could ask for is the right support to sustain them in work. Thank you for your question.

Thanks Liz and Jenny this whole conference is all about advocacy. I suggest maybe the organisations like NZED (? 38:05) and DANA I would suggest to go outside to the right of you and have a chat to the ladies at SARU who are part of running this conference today.
Hi my name is Tara. What happens if we lose our pension? We’re about to lose our pension from the Government? How can we do that, why are they doing it to us?

Tara firstly allow me to say it’s not definite that you will lose your pension. I will say this though this Government is making it a very, very concerning environment, it’s creating a very concerning environment. I am very disappointed that people such as yourself are being made to feel insecure as you are. The language of this what my view is very, very hard line Government is upsetting, concerning and quite frankly disgusting. I don’t believe it will be automatic that you would lose your pension. But I do believe that there is going to be set criteria’s that may make it more difficult.

I would just add a comment too and this is not meant to be a political comment. I think you’ve all noticed changes in the approach of the current Government in terms of their budget reforms. Like Martin said I think there is just a big wave of uncertainty and a good chance they may back off on that particular one.

Not last election the election before there was a campaign , I have a disability  and I vote. I think what I said before people need to get together. The number of people with disabilities or with families who have a person in the family with disability that vote can actually to win a seat or to turn over a seat in Parliament. I think the politicians need to be aware the strength that people with disabilities have got by the numbers of people with disabilities they’ve got. It needs to get out when the next Federal election is, to get out to candidates and say what are you going to do, you can’t do this? It’s about time that people with disability were seen a lot more. We’re extremely powerful group of people.

I don’t believe that they can start touching peoples disability pension like they’re talking about. Hockey just does not get it. He doesn’t have to worry about where his next meal comes from. If he lost his job in Parliament he is on $350,000 a year pension, he isn’t going to lose that. The uproar with some people if they lost their disability pension would go absolutely troppo in the papers and media.

What if wheelchair access could be available as worksites?

They should be.

They should be and employers if they employ somebody with a mobility problem they can get workplace modifications through the Federal Government. They can get it for nothing and it can be put in very quickly.

It is free and that’s what employers don’t understand. Running our workshops we heard some firsthand cases of workplace modifications. One story that sticks in my mind…

There was a fellow in Geelong all he wanted to do was mow lawns but he was in a wheelchair. He came across an employer who thinks outside of the square. They went to Job Access and they thought a ride on mower is really a wheelchair with blades. The Government spent $32,000 and got a lifting mechanism to get him out of his wheelchair into a lawnmower sitting on top of it and he mowed his heart out for 15 years.

I think that’s an excellent story of what can be achieved free of charge to the employer. What a valued employee he turned out to be, in 15 years he had absolutely no time off.

Julia Gillard the old Prime Minister, I launched the NDIS with her.

Did you?

Yes I was on the TV.

Good on you.

There needs to be a public advertising campaign Federally sponsored. If the Government wants to talk about getting us into employment and we should be there they’ve got to provide the assistance through those things such as public education advertising campaigns. It’s alright to say where we should be but if we’re not being employed there is no point.

Hi everyone my name is David Baker and I am a theatre arts person and also a person with a disability. For me personally just sitting here listening to the panel I must say I do strongly agree with you. I actually recently last year scored my dream job. I work as an usher at the Melbourne Arts Centre. For me it’s a dream job. I admire the job every time I walk into the building. I put on the uniform and I really feel as if I’m part of a team. Everyone there actually treats me as an equal. Treats me as I’m not a person with a disability. I’m a person who is equal and a person is who there doing my job. I am doing a job I love and also at the same time I am getting paid for it. What I am saying for me I have been longing for this job ever since I was a child. I have been growing as a theatre arts person, even here today I am here as a delegate but also hearing everybody. It’s also strongly about taking risks and challenging yourself, going out there and being proud of who you are. I really admire everyone here. Again I sure hope that all companies should open up their doors and go okay let’s see what you can do, let’s see what you can do and really push through, break down barriers and say hey be inclusive of that equality. I’m here to say hey I’m stuck with what to say. Thanks.

Thank you David, well said.

I like to back Government, my name is Abby. I love the comment, which said people with disability take risks. I do so many risks to get a job. The job was a part of my life. I have done volunteer work, I have done (inaudible 46:44) and sometimes I go down , I didn’t give up. I think what’s most important people with disability should take risks. I know some people with disability because I am working community worker, and some people with disability are I will never get a job, I will give up. I am telling them no we should never give up because one day we will get what we dream. My dream was since I was at school I want a job and I want a paid job. It’s taken me about 30 years, I got a paid job. I am really, really proud and I am proud to give a message to every other person never give up. Because one day they will get what they want.

You’re agreeing with Martin, well said.

Can I just say on that level it’s often over protective well-meaning parents who start the problem, who commence the problem and keep someone overly safe. You get someone who becomes within themselves and can’t come out or at least finds it very difficult to come out. Just average existence and if that means a risk, if that’s means wanting to climb a tree well don’t panic, don’t freak out let them climb the tree in a safe way if it’s possible. If it’s not well maybe they will fall. The point I make is don’t cotton wool, don’t over protect if you’re a parent out there. Of course you’ve got to do it reasonably. Well done to the speaker.

Can I just say here, here to that with Martin. As a parent with two children, one with a disability one without, my concern about society as a whole and parenting is this whole helicopter parenting. People are constantly in their kids face and more so with their kids who have disability. Yeah of course we all worry about our kids, always will. Anyone who is a parent knows they will. Ultimately my view with both my children is give them life experience. That whole theatre thing is fantastic to hear. My daughter loves theatre, she doesn’t have a disability but I keep saying to her go and work in theatre, go and be an usher, do those sorts of things if that’s what you love. Even if that’s your work experience or that’s a part time job while you do something else. With work and because I work in this field, in careers and those sort of thing, start mapping it out as early as possible. Think about it, talk about it and there is so many ranges of jobs and careers and roles you can do that are outside the square. And so many stories I have heard of people who have started their own business doing something interesting and different because they’ve been flexible. Thank you.

Hi my name is Julie Brasington. I’ve got an intellectual disability. I work with a company in Gippsland that helps people with a disability get employment. But my concern is I’ve got four kids, I have one with a disability, I’m hoping there will be a placement for him when he is old enough to start work.

I will tell you what I would say to that that is don’t be judgemental about where that employment comes from. I said in my talk I am really, really disappointed with many in the disability sector who are against people with disabilities working together. If that needs to be, is what it is don’t shun it. It’s their contribution and so many people develop from that process to go elsewhere. Vision Australia Enterprise the very public campaign where Vision Australia let it go, dropped it. You may remember that campaign run by the Blind Workers Union of Victoria and we lost. We lost because we got no help, no help from disability advocacy organisations. It was disgusting and it’s because there is this judgement that is made that if you’re working together as people with disabilities that’s not a real job. I’m going to get an outside job, you haven’t got that you’re shunned and it’s disgraceful. I told you I would go beyond the square, thank you.

Thank you very much for your attendance. We have to wind up for lunch now. I would like to say thank you to all our speakers, I think they did an excellent job.