News and blogs

600,000 Australians with Disability in Poverty

People with disability are more than twice as likely to be in living poverty than other people in our country, says ACOSS’s Cassandra Goldie. More than 600,000 Australians with a disability are living below the poverty line according to new figures from peak welfare group, Australian Council of Social Service. The figures, released on Friday, … Continued

Disability Advocates Query Victoria’s School Alternative

A voucher system making funding for disabled students portable between schools would not guarantee a quality education, advocates warn. The Victorian government has proposed a voucher system for disadvantaged students, known as a ”pupil premium”, where the money would follow the child to the school of their choice. It is part of a $400 million … Continued

Imprisonment of Intellectually Disabled Man ‘Embarrassing’

An intellectually disabled man was left in prison for more than a year for a crime he could not have understood, largely because accommodation could not be found for him. County Court Judge Mark Taft called Ross Cunningham’s 371 days on remand an ”embarrassment to the administration of criminal justice” in a ruling on Friday … Continued

Sterilisation First Option for the Disabled

Parents of women with intellectual disabilities are going straight for sterilisation procedures rather than ”existing and viable options” to help control menstruation and contraception, a national Senate inquiry has heard. Associate Professor Sonia Grover, a gynaecologist at the Royal Children’s Hospital, told the hearing she was horrified when she received ”straight-out” requests for hysterectomies. She … Continued

Disability No Bar to Good Parenting

The recent removal of a child from a young mother with a disability, reported in (the) Saturday Age, is heart-wrenching and disturbing and leaves me and those involved in the case in emotional turmoil. Goodness knows, then, how the poor mother, ”Rebecca”, is coping, let alone her child. It appears, however, that the removal of … Continued

A Child Taken, a Mother Grieves

It is more than three months since Rebecca’s child was taken from her, but the pain is still raw and the decision still impossible for the grieving young mother to fully comprehend. She had fought hard during the court hearing to keep the little girl who had been the centre of her world for eight … Continued

PM Tells of Pride in Disability Scheme

Disabled Victorians will not be guaranteed the protection they need under draft laws for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the Victorian government has warned. Prime Minister Julia Gillard had said few actions in public life had given her greater pleasure than introducing the disability scheme on Thursday. ”The scheme is ambitious, and necessarily so,” she … Continued

Disability: We’ve got the Sense, Now for the Dollars

When Jenny Macklin stepped up to the podium at the National Press Club last month to talk up the country’s first national disability insurance scheme, an elephant lurked ominously at the back of the room. The Minister for Disability Reform spoke with genuine passion and excitement about a looming revolution, telling her audience the scheme … Continued

Easing the Burdens on Disabled and the People who Care

There are 410,000 families in Australia for which the introduction of the national disability insurance scheme legislation in Federal Parliament this week will represent a monumental day in their often difficult lives. It is an idea whose time has come, and this legislation should be supported across the house. It is not a time for … Continued

Violent Deaths and Soaring Abuse in Residential Homes

Up to 10 people die violently or through neglect each year in state-monitored homes designed to protect the mentally ill, disabled and elderly, while many vulnerable residents have been sexually assaulted and abused. In the most extreme case this year, a 66-year-old schizophrenic manwas charged with murder over the death of his room-mate at Bellden … Continued

Walk a Mile in my Shoes: A Program Teaching Students how to Relate to People with a Disability

If you have an obvious disability, you’ve probably got used to people’s awkwardness, as they struggle with what to say, how to act, where to look. Often pre-conceived ideas or prejudices about difference have developed without them even realising. A Victorian initiative wants to help confront this awkwardness early on, at school. The Young Ambassadors … Continued

I Refuse to be Disabled by Fear

I’ve been thinking about the Jill Meagher case and feeling sad. Sad for Jill and her family, and sad for all the women out there who remain invisible and unsupported when they experience acts of violence. I live just a couple of kilometres from where Jill was taken. Because I’m a woman who is deafblind, … Continued

Parents’ Exhausting Battle with Education System

As the mother of three children on the autism spectrum, Kerrie Curtis is a veteran of battles with the Victorian education system. Her latest fight is to get special VCE exam provisions for her oldest son Liam, who has Asperger’s, an anxiety disorder and a learning difficulty. Ms Curtis’ frustration is not with his school, … Continued

Genetic Test Could Predict the Risk Of Autism In Infants

A genetic test to predict a baby’s risk of developing autism has been developed by Melbourne researchers, paving the way for earlier intervention to improve behaviour and functioning.

Kevin Stone Interview on ABC News

ABC News Breakfast presenters, Karina Carvalho and Michael Rowland, interviewed Kevin Stone, CEO of VALID, about abuse of people with disabilities in supported accommodation.