News and blogs

Threat to Kill Son Finally Stirs Authorities to Act

Last June Lyn Bicknell went to her local police station and told officers that if they did not help her she would kill her intellectually disabled son. As desperate as she was – having just been pinned to a chair by the knife-wielding 15-year-old – she admits she would never have gone through with it. … Continued

Unlocking Housing Key to Disability, Aged Care

The big social reforms outlined by the government last week – the aged-care package and the introduction of a National Disability Insurance Scheme – will revolutionise the way we provide care in Australia. The tricky thing is, by the time these reforms are up and running, the foundations on which they are built – namely … Continued

Charges Laid Over Alleged Sexual Assaults

Police have laid charges over alleged sexual assaults on intellectually disabled women in a DHS care home.

Disability Groups Aim for High-Tech Help

When, at 23, Joanne Webber was told she had a rare eye condition, she received lots of support. She was diagnosed for free at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital and was helped by the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind. “I met with mentors of similar age to me and met people with … Continued

With Better Digs Comes a Happier Life

She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at 19 and her marriage broke down when it all became too much, but Katy Skene considers herself one of the lucky ones. At the age of 31, because there was nowhere else for her to go after a two-month stay in hospital, Ms Skene was moved into a … Continued

Converting PDFs to Webpages Results in Staggering Increase in Page Views

A striking lack of PDF files differentiates the Victorian Government’s Department of Primary Industries web site from just about every other government and business site in Australia. Since DPI Systems and Technical Manager Mark Bryant completed a PDF purge in July 2011 the DPI site has also registered an astonishing increase in page views – … Continued

Death with Dignity Backed

Victorians could soon have greater control over their deaths by being allowed to refuse life-saving treatment for future illnesses, under proposed laws strongly endorsed by the Health Minister. The proposed laws being considered by the state government would enable people to set directives about healthcare and medical treatment for conditions they don’t yet have. Health … Continued

Disability in Indigenous Communities; Addressing the Disadvantage

By any measure, Aboriginal people with disabilities are amongst the most disadvantaged Australians. They often face multiple barriers to their meaningful participation within their own communities and the wider community. This continues to occur for a range of reasons including the fact that the vast majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders with disabilities do … Continued

Agreement for More Captioning on Pay TV

  Media Release, , 8 May 2012   Captioning levels on subscription television services will be increased over the next three years, under an agreement reached between the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA). The agreement was reached together with leading captioning expert body, Media Access Australia and … Continued

A Blind Spot Found on City Trip

Transport Department project officer Paul Smith designs tram stops so they are easier to use for people with disabilities. But it took the temporary loss of his own vision during a cross-town tram trip to fully appreciate how tricky using public transport is for the blind. The experience was part of a Guide Dogs Victoria … Continued

Autism School for West

Victorian Education Minister Martin Dixon says a plan for a prep-to-year-12 school for students with autism in Melbourne’s western suburbs is ”non-negotiable”, with work on the new school to begin within two years. Specialist autism P-12 schools are controversial because some experts argue autistic children should be educated in mainstream schools to improve their social … Continued

Pushing the Boundaries on Autism in the Mainstream

Clifton Hill Primary principal Geoffrey Warren is the first to admit to ”considerable doubts” when asked to enrol a student with severe autism several years ago. Adam Dickson, then eight, was ”shutting down” at an autism school and his mother Stephanie Gotlib became concerned he was depressed. Ms Gotlib, the executive director of Children with … Continued

Violence Against Women with Disabilities

Women with disabilities experience violence at a higher rate, for longer periods, and are less likely to report the abuse, than women without disabilities (Healey, 2008). Tricia Malowney, Chair of Women with Disabilities Victoria, and Ariane Garner-Williams, youth and women with disabilities advocate, talk about some of the issues that arise for this doubly disadvantaged … Continued

See No Evil? Definitely Not Without Audio Description

For many years, people who are blind or vision impaired have not had access to cinema or television. Audio description can change that. Senator Stephen Conroy last week announced that ABC1 will trial audio description in 2012, giving people who are blind or vision impaired access to something most of us take for granted. Movie … Continued

Disability Advocate Wants Law Overhaul

Violence is ”scarily common” in residential accommodation for people with disabilities and is systemically accepted, according to a disability advocacy group. In a submission to the ACT government, Advocacy for Inclusion has called for an overhaul of domestic violence laws to provide greater security for people with disabilities, including those living in disability group homes … Continued