News and blogs

Economics of Getting Disabled Australians into Work

It’s estimated only half of the more than two million Australians with disabilities who are of working age are employed. Disability advocates want to close this gap. And agencies and businesses that employ people with disabilities say the economic benefits are too hard to ignore.

Disability Issue ‘Breaking our Nation’ Heart’

Parties split on disability insurance State Labor and Liberal leaders take opposing stances on the Gillard Government’s planned disability insurance scheme. The Prime Minister has launched a scathing attack on Liberal state governments for playing “cheap politics” in a media blitz this morning as federal Labor tries to break the standoff on disability reforms. But … Continued

What about the Husband and Children I Never Had?’

Having lived for 50 years with deformed legs and without arms, only some fingers attached to her shoulders, Mary Henley-Collopy was incensed to discover yesterday that her disabilities could have been prevented. The Melbourne victim of the side-effects of thalidomide said she was ”infuriated” that German pharmaceutical company Grunenthal ignored and covered up warnings about … Continued

Concern Over Use of Drugs to Restrain Disabled

More than 1800 people with disabilities were drugged to control their behaviour last year, in what advocacy groups say is a widespread and worrying practice. The use of ”chemical restraint” is by far the most commonly used intervention in Victorian disability services, according to a report by the Office of the Senior Practitioner to be … Continued

Down Syndrome, Social Change and the Fragile Nature of Progress

Down syndrome was first described by John Langdon Down 150 years ago. A child either has or has not Down syndrome and a diagnosis is definite soon after birth, but the experience of having Down syndrome is not static. As with prenatal diagnosis, medical progress has significantly affected those with this condition. The same discipline … Continued

Policing the Mentally Ill a ‘Drain on Resources’

VICTORIA Police apprehend a disturbed person in the community on average every two hours and transport them to a hospital emergency department, according to a study into the challenges of policing the mentally ill. Such callouts do not often lead to criminal charges, with the bulk of people having threatened or attempted suicide or other … Continued

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