Disability care watchdog has issued just one fine despite 8000 complaints

The scandal-plagued disability sector will get $22 billion from the federal government this financial year, but an independent review found the system left vulnerable people open to harm and neglect.  Mr Shorten said NDIS Minister Stuart Robert had presided over a “toothless and sleepy” watchdog that in reality is “more like a very expensive purse poodle”.

Supporting people with cognitive disabilities to access supported decision making in contracts for goods and services

This was the second session of the Advocacy Sector Conversations forum held on Zoom webinar for the first time, on 29 July 2020 (due to COVID-19  event restrictions not allowing large gatherings). Yvette Maker, Senior Research Associate, Melbourne Social Equity Institute (University of Melbourne) is part of the research team who has been working with essential and basic service providers, people with cognitive disability, and their representative organisations to develop tools to promote the consumer rights of people with cognitive disability.

“Left out and locked down” The experiences of people with disability and their families during COVID19

More than 700 people with disability and their families filled out the survey that asked about your experiences during the first wave of the Coronavirus pandemic. What impact did the pandemic have on your lives? How did you cope and what you thought of the changes made to the NDIS during this time?

The problems raised were the usual issues – confusing, changing and inconsistent information, lengthy delays, lack of flexibility, poor treatment at the hands of Local Area Coordinators or NDIA staff. These issues are bad enough at the best of times. But in the middle of a global pandemic they stood in the way of people with disability getting what they needed to stay safe and well.

Government coronavirus plan did not include people living with disability, royal commission told

The Federal Government’s emergency response plan to COVID-19 made no mention of people living with a disability, a royal commission has heard. Senior Counsel Assisting Kate Eastman SC said people with a disability and their advocates “watched and waited” for the Government to come up with a plan. But people living with disability were conspicuously absent. 

Commonwealth Ombudsman says National Disability Insurance Agency needs significant change if it is to stop delays

The report, released this week by Ombudsman Michael Manthorpe, focuses on the agency’s handling of requests for assistive technologies and is part of several reviews by the Ombudsman into the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Since the NDIS was rolled out in 2013, the number of complaints about the agency received by the Commonwealth Ombudsman has increased each year.

Disability not included in the16 new Closing the Gap targets

In an historic new partnership between government and indigenous organisations, the Closing the Gap program is undergoing a major reset. A key Indigenous group is disappointed that disability has not been included in the 16 new Closing the Gap targets. While disability is a significant issue in health, education, justice and employment, it hasn’t been included as a target.

New survey reveals the financial costs of COVID-19 for people with disability

People with disability are facing financial hardship and going days without food during the COVID-19 pandemic, new research reveals.  A survey from People with Disability Australia (PWDA) found that nine in 10 people with disability have experienced increased expenses due to the ongoing pandemic.

Unsafe carers face bans from entering NDIS

NDIS Minister Stuart Robert is planning to introduce the proposed powers to federal parliament within the next two weeks. The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission would be able to draw on sources outside the scheme to determine a ban, including a worker’s history at aged or child care centres. People with Disability Australia spokeswoman El Gibbs said the new powers would be the first step towards improving safeguards in the NDIS.