Australia’s disability laws set to undergo first major shake up in nearly 40 years

The Disability Services Act has not undergone significant change in almost 40 years.  Disability Employment Services, advocacy funding, service provider certifications and disability services regulation standards are all governed by this legislation. Since then, the federal government signed on to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and conducted a royal commission into the violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability.

The Advocacy Effect – 2022 AFDO Advocacy Conference

Held in Melbourne on 17 October, the program set out to “unpack and examine the impact and effect that advocacy has in a variety of areas” from large-scale policy to community-led projects. Opening address was presented by Amanda Rishworth MP, Minister for Social Services with keynote provided by Ben Gauntlett, Disability Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission. The livestream is still available so catch up now.

Australia NDIS Gets App with Blockchain: What Could Go Wrong?

Disabled Australians will soon receive an app that implements a welfare compliance system devised by the same individuals who created robo-debt. However, this is not at all good news. The point is that it is evident that the Australian government intends to extend technology-driven compliance to all Australians, with an emphasis on punishing your failures rather than theirs.

Funding for Multiple Disabilities

It won’t surprise many readers that people live with multiple disabilities. But when a person requests funds for a support related to a disability not listed on the access request form or in the NDIS system, the NDIS can be unnecessarily difficult. 

Explainer: New changes to the NDIS Act

On 30 March 2022 the National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Participant Service Guarantee and Other Measures) Bill 2021 (Bill) was passed by Parliament. The Bill will amend the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (NDIS Act).  In this Explainer, we aim to assist participants and advocates by summarising and analysing the major changes to the NDIS Act. 

Parliament passes important NDIS legislation to improve participant experience

The Australian Government has today delivered the most significant improvements to participant experience since the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was established in 2013. Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the passage of the NDIS Amendment (Participant Service Guarantee and Other Measures) Bill 2021 will reduce red tape and increase flexibility for participants, their families and carers.

National Disability Strategy 2021-31 explained

On International Day of People with Disability 3 December 2021, Australia’s new Disability Strategy was released with an initial investment of $250 million over the life of the strategy.  The strategy sets out a plan through which governments at all levels will work with the community, business and people with disability to
deliver services to meet the needs of all people with disability and create an inclusive Australian society. Melissa Hale, the DARU Coordinator, hosted this session in conversation with Dr Ben Gauntlett, Disability Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission. They discussed the scope of the strategy, how it works across all levels of government and how advocates can get involved through its implementation over the next 10 years.

Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031

The Strategy) is a national framework that all governments in Australia have signed up to. It sets out a plan for continuing to improve the lives of people with disability in Australia over the next ten years.  The Strategy supports Australia’s commitment under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Strategy’s vision is for an inclusive Australian society that ensures people with disability can fulfil their potential as equal members of the community.

Behind the scenes of a powerful campaign: a case study

Advocates for the rights of people with disability have long experience in successful and high-impact campaigning.  Below, the Every Australian Counts campaign shares some of the backstory to their recent success in fighting off the Federal Government’s plans to introduce independent assessments under the NDIS.

What has changed since the tragic death of Ann Marie Smith?

Ms Smith’s death sparked numerous investigations and reviews, including by police, the state government and the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. The NDIS Commission’s independent investigation led to 10 recommendations, including that vulnerable NDIS participants should have multiple carers.