Media Item

People with learning disabilities in England ‘have eight times Covid death rate’

The study from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Oxford University and Public Health England found risks were particularly high for those with profound learning disabilities linked to Down’s syndrome and cerebral palsy. Among Covid patients with Down’s syndrome, for example, the risk of dying from the infection was 36 times higher than in the general population.

Independent Assessments are dead, long live the… ?

But how did this happen? And most importantly, where to from here?  To get some answers, we examine the swarm of important reports released in the lead-up to the decision and look at what they tell us about what might be next. 

NDIS must remain sustainable

Senator Reynolds has foreshadowed a redraft to produce a new model to rein in costs. It will take the views of the disabled into account. Fair enough. But we hope the backflip does not prove a Pyrrhic victory for the disabled. The stark fact, Senator Reynolds wrote last week, is that the scheme “is on track in the latest federal budget to overtake the cost of Medicare, from $28.1bn this year to $33.3bn in 2024-25”.

Independent assessments will not go ahead but concerns remain

Advocacy organisations are relieved the Federal Government has called a halt to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) assessments. While they hope to work with the government to co-design a people-centred scheme, they also remain prepared to oppose legislation they feel limits disabled people’s choice and control.

Government scraps proposed NDIS changes

The federal government has given up on its plan to bring in independent assessments for NDIS recipients with critics saying the decision is a win for person-centred care.

Potential changes for home & living and supported decision making

On 21 June 2021, the NDIA released two new discussion papers on Home and Living and Supported Decision Making. That sound you are hearing right now is an audible groan coming from Australia’s entire disability community.  However, these two papers come as a quite pleasant, if not downright shocking, surprise. They appear to be trying to address problems participants face rather than just trying to cut costs. But the most unanticipated development of all is that the NDIA might have finally learned to communicate with people who don’t read NDIS jargon for a living. I know – I’m surprised too! 

Nothing about us without us’: The government should include the disabled when reforming the NDIS

The government has insisted that it needs a reliable lever with which to keep the scheme’s costs sustainable. Perhaps the Morrison government should think less in terms of leverage and more in terms of building trust. On this front it has created something of a rod for its own back when it comes to service delivery and empowering historically disadvantaged communities.

Many teachers are unaware of assistive technology for disabled students

In an age when digital is no longer optional for finding work, it is crucial that students with special educational needs leave school with the skills and kit necessary for full digital access. Yet our research has found that education providers do not know enough about AT, the funding available for it, or inclusive digital practices. Teachers and specialist staff often do not have any training in AT and don’t know how best to support their students.

The federal government has scrapped its controversial NDIS independent assessments plan

The federal government has given up on its plan to bring in independent assessments for participants of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, with critics saying the decision is a win for person-centred care. “Importantly, all ministers agreed to work in partnership with those with lived disability experience on the design of a person-centred model,” Senator Reynolds said in a statement. 

NDIS independent assessments are off the table for now. That’s a good thing — the evidence wasn’t there

Federal, state and territory disability ministers met on Friday to debate a proposal to introduce independent assessments into the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). In the face of sustained opposition, the federal government agreed not to make any legislative changes to the scheme and committed to consult on any future amendments.

Coronavirus vaccine to be made mandatory for disability support workers in Australia

Disability support workers may soon be forced to get vaccinated against coronavirus if they want to keep their jobs. The compulsory jab policy has been recommended by a panel of health experts and will be debated at a national cabinet meeting on Friday. The proposed mandate follows a similar order imposed on aged care workers, who must receive at least one dose by mid-September to remain employed in the industry.

Linda Reynolds warns NDIS faces serious sustainability issues

“The NDIS is not a Federal Scheme, but a federated scheme,” she said. “The NDIS was established with bipartisan support, and after eight years of operation the scheme must now be reformed on a bipartisan basis and with the support of all state and territory governments.

Disability advocates still worried despite proposed changes to NDIS independent assessments

However, Giancarlo de Vera, senior policy manager at People with Disability Australia, said the proposed changes don’t go far enough.  “From our perspective, it is just tinkering around the edges,” he told SBS News.   “It doesn’t feel like they’re hearing the clear message that we don’t want this. We really need the minister to go back to the drawing board.”