Media Item

Fronting up to disability issues in the Victorian election

Calling all political parties, there’s an election coming up.  Where are the real policies for Victorians with disabilities asks systemic advocate for inclusive practices, Tricia Malowney. If you are funded to provide services to Victorians, that means all Victorians, not just the easy ones.  It is time that whoever is elected to Government in a … Continued

Bruce Maguire still fighting to make websites accessible to people with disabilities

Having access to websites has been an ongoing battle for Bruce Maguire. Having access to websites has been an ongoing battle for Bruce Maguire. Photo: Australian Human Rights Commission Most Australians look back at the Sydney Olympics with pride. But for Bruce Maguire, 57, it was an event he’ll never forget for all the wrong … Continued

Schools ‘babysitting’ students with disabilities due to lack of funds, primary principals say

Students with disabilities are being babysat at school rather than being given the resources and time they need to learn, Western Australia’s Primary Principals’ Association says. President Stephen Breen said a leaked report by PricewaterhouseCoopers showed the average number of students with a learning disability was 18.6 per cent, but only 5 per cent received … Continued

Closed caption requirement for TV may be scrapped, disability advocates fear

Bill before parliament eliminates requirement for broadcasters to report annually on closed captioning Disability advocates are concerned the government is paving the way for broadcasters to stop providing closed captioning services. Under proposed laws before parliament, free-to-air networks will no longer have to provide annual reports to show they are complying with captioning obligations. Some … Continued

Tender outcomes for Disability Employment Services announced

The Government today announced the finalisation of the competitive tender process for the remaining part of the $300 million per year Disability Management Service to help people with disability find jobs. The Government announced in the Budget that it would put to open tender the 47 per cent of Disability Management Service currently delivered by … Continued

Call for accessibility guidelines to be included in government procurement

Age and Disability Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan has called for accessibility guidelines to be included in government ICT procurement policies to help drive change within the industry and improve employment opportunities for people with disability. The Australian government does not currently take accessibility into account when purchasing information and communications technology (ICT) products and services. … Continued

Coalition promises $16m for youth mental health

Preventative mental health services for children as young as two will receive a funding boost under a re-elected Coalition government. There would also be $6.9 million to build Victoria’s first child-only Prevention and Recovery Care facility, which will be based at Austin Hospital and provide support to children with more acute mental health problems. As … Continued

Call to do more for mentally ill prisoners

The Auditor-General, John Doyle has found “gaps with planning, collaboration and coordination” in the provision of mental health in Victoria’s justice system. In his report, Mental Health Strategies for the Justice System, Mr Doyle said the audit team found “evidence of work under way to develop links between policing and mental health services, and of … Continued

Disability plan making an impact

The Victorian State Disability Plan 2013-2016 is having a positive effect on the lives of people with a disability, their families and carers, according to a progress report. Minister for Disability Services and Reform, Mary Wooldridge said the report, At home, play, school and work: Statement of Achievements against the Implementation Plan 2013 and 2014, … Continued

More people with disabilities leaving public service than joining

People with disabilities left the workforce four times faster than they were hired in the past year leading concerned disability advocates to call for reforms to federal government hiring procedures. In the past year, 535 people with disabilities left the public service, 46.4 per cent of whom were retrenched, compared with only 119 engagements in … Continued

The Dignity of Slavery – or ‘Why My Shoes Are Cheaper at Kmart’

We used to call them sheltered workshops. That’s a thing of the past – they’re now branded as ‘Australian Disability Enterprises’, places where people with disability are routinely placed and where you can earn as little as $1.79 an hour. A kinder term, but ‘lipstick on a pig’ in the eyes of many. Workers are … Continued

Kevin Andrews says welfare reform a ‘two-term exercise’

Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has described the Coalition’s welfare reform plans as a “two-term exercise” as he prepares to receive the late-running final report of the federal government’s sweeping review of the $100 billion welfare system. Mr Andrews, who was a senior minister under the Howard government, has also committed to standing at the … Continued

Training colleges securing thousands in Government funds by targeting people with disabilities

Unscrupulous training colleges are targeting people with disabilities and the homeless in order to cash in on government education funding. The ABC has obtained evidence some colleges are recruiting people with intellectual disabilities to costly diploma-level courses funded with expensive VET-FEE-HELP training loans. But the training offered is often unsuited as those targeted have a … Continued

Visually impaired and blind workers: undervalued, underemployed

Blinded when she was 20, Ms Henley uses a form of “echo-location” – clicking her fingers or tongue to produce echos much like a bat’s navigation – to find her way around a new office and a new city. “The noise bounces off objects in your environment. You can use it to work out different … Continued

Poverty: The reality of the DSP

Poverty data contained in a new report released by the Australia Council of Social Services (ACOSS) paints a grim picture for people with disability in Australia. 27.4% of people with disability are at risk of poverty (compared to 12.8% for the general population). When housing costs are taken into account, the figure increases to 44.5%. … Continued