PWD E-Bulletin

 

Issue 74 January 2012 - ISSN 2202-0705

Welcome to PWD’s E-Bulletin. This e-bulletin goes out to members and interested others regularly by email. For members who do not have access to email, a printed version of the e-bulletin will be sent by post.

To be added to or removed from our mailing list, or to change your email address, please email pwd@pwd.org.au or contact PWD on one of the numbers listed at the end of this bulletin.

If you would like to become a member of PWD or learn more about our membership options, contact PWD on pwd@pwd.org.au

Are you a Member of PWD?

Do you believe that everyone is born equal and has the right to fully participate in community life, gain employment, get an education, receive health services, be free from violence and abuse and participate in political, cultural, social and recreational activities? Would you like to join a global movement of people fighting for the rights of the world’s most marginalised community?

If you’re not yet a member of PWD then check out the Membership section of our website. Membership doesn’t cost much, can be done via mail or email, and will ensure that your voice is heard in the processes that affect your life. Join Today!

Disability Rights Defenders

 

There is now a NEW way to support PWD – Disability Rights Defenders can now sign up online! Click here to set up a regular donation to PWD and automatically become a DRD.

 

Disability Rights Defenders help change lives by making a significant financial contribution to support the work of PWD through regular, monthly, tax-deductible donations. Regular donations help us pursue essential projects, such as systemic and legal advocacy projects, assist with conducting members’ and stakeholders consultations, enable us to work with Disabled People’s Organisations in the Pacific and in providing information and training to people with disability and their associates. If you’d like to know more about the Disability Rights Defender Program, click here.

Contents

New South Wales News

Other State and Territory News

National News

International News

The Inside Story

PWD Media Releases

PWD Training Opportunities

Upcoming Events

About PWD

Privacy Statement

Contact Us

Return to top

New South Wales News

Have Your Say – City of Sydney Draft Footpath Gardening Policy

The City of Sydney is currently exhibiting a draft policy which will allow residents and businesses to put planter boxes on the public footpath and undertake gardening on nature strips located outside their properties within the City of Sydney local government area. The City of Sydney is seeking feedback from the community on the policy until 13 February 2012.

This is an opportunity for PWD members to comment on the policy while it’s open for public consultation, and draw attention to potential issues around footpath accessibility.

 

Copies of the draft policy are available in Braille and Large Print formats at City of Sydney Neighbourhood Service Centres (locations listed on the City's website) and at the One Stop Shop at Town Hall House. Organisations or individuals that would like their own Braille or Large Print copy of the draft policy can contact Mark Driver by phone on (02) 9265 9385, email mdriver@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au or by post to Mark Driver, Park and Recreation Planner, Level 12 Town Hall House, 456 Kent Street, Sydney 2000.

 

We encourage people with disability to review the draft policy and provide feedback to City of Sydney Council.

Further information and copies of the draft policy can also be downloaded from the 'On Exhibition' section of the City of Sydney Council website.

For more information contact Sam French, Advocacy Projects Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email samanthaf@pwd.org.au

Return to Contents

Participate in Research on the Built Environment

PWD has been approached by a PhD research student at the University of Sydney, Lesley Lewis, who wishes to recruit people to take part in action research about the built environment here in Sydney. 

 

Lesley is looking for 10 to 20 people with disability who would like to be involved in a focus group associated with a PhD research project. The focus group meetings will be facilitated by Lesley, who would like to hear what you think needs to change to make living in the city better, more comfortable, more secure and more varied for people with disability. Lesley is doing this research for her PhD at the University of Sydney. The project Supervisor is Dr Kurt Iveson, Senior Lecturer at the School of Geosciences and the Associate Supervisor is Professor Patricia O’Brien, Centre for Disability Studies, University of Sydney.

 

Involvement in the focus group is voluntary and they are interested to hear from people who would like to join them as they meet once a month for 10 to 12 months, to share ideas, make new friends and learn to develop confidence and skills in expressing your opinion about matters that are important to you.

 

The meetings will be held at the office of PWD, 52 Pitt Street, Redfern. The meeting room is on the ground floor and is wheelchair accessible. Participants are welcome to bring along a support person, family member or advocate to the meetings, to make sure they are comfortable and relaxed, and to help with communication if that is necessary.

 

People from PWD and IDEAS will be in attendance at every meeting, to mentor the members of the focus group and be there if participants need to talk about matters raised by the group.

For more information contact Michael Bleasdale, Executive Director on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email michaelb@pwd.org.au or Diana Palmer, Manager-Advocacy at IDEAS on (02) 9211 1300 or email ideas@ideas.org.au

Return to Contents

Research project: Ageing and People with Intellectual Disability                                                    

A team of researchers from the University of New South Wales are conducting a research project, designed to examine the needs of older adults with intellectual disability. The team  hope to determine how many older people with intellectual disability develop dementia and what things help them stay healthy as they age, as well as to identify their health service needs and the needs of family carers.

 

The research team anticipates that the results of the project will be vital in aiding local service providers and government to plan for the future needs of older adults with intellectual disability.

 

The project team, led by Associate Professor Julian Trollor, is currently inviting people with intellectual disability to register their interest. People can be in the study if they:

  • Are aged 40 years or older; and
  • Have an intellectual disability; and
  • Live in either the Randwick, Botany or Rockdale Local Government Areas in NSW

For more information contact Kate Chitty, Research Assistant on (02) 9385 3994 or email SAge-ID@unsw.edu.au

Return to Contents

Auslan Community Courses

The Women's Health in Women's Hands (WILMA) Health Centre will be running Auslan “Sign Language for Beginners” courses from Wednesday 15 February 2012 at the WILMA offices at 22 Bugden Road, Campbelltown, NSW. The course will run on Wednesday from 1:30pm – 3pm and will cost $5 per lesson.

For more information contact Lorraine Mulley on 0458 777 748 (Text message ONLY) to book a place.

Return to Contents

Other State and Territory News

Victoria: Opportunity for South Australians with disability to be In Control

In a media release published on 21 December 2011, the Julia Farr Association welcomed the South Australian Government's announcement that Individualised Funding will become the cornerstone of South Australia’s disability services system. Click here to read more about the SA Government’s commitments

 

PWD has worked closely with the Julia Farr Association as part of In Control Australia, which is a group of individuals and organisations who aim to bring about systemic policy change in Australia to enable individuals with disability and their families to self-manage their support. PWD joins the Julia Farr Association in welcoming the SA Government’s commitment to implementing a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and incorporating a model of individualised funding for people with disability.

 

The Julia Farr Association looks forward to providing whatever assistance it can to the SA government on these matters, in recognition of the fact that the new arrangements will have the greatest chance of success if there is a collaborative approach to implementation. 

Click here to read the full media release from the Julia Farr Association (PDF document)

Return to Contents

Victoria: Experiences of students with disability in schools

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission is conducting research into the experiences of students with disability in Victorian schools.

 

This research follows an increase in complaints to the Commission relating to disability discrimination in education, and concerns raised by parents of children with disability, disability advocacy groups and members of the Commission's Disability Reference Group about the provision of education services to students with disability.

 

The purpose of the research is to gather information about the issues and challenges experienced by students with disability in the Victorian school system and to identify potential solutions, consistent with Victoria's equal opportunity and human rights framework, to improve access to education for students with disability.

 

The project includes:

  • surveying students, parents and educators to find out how students with disability fare in our school system. Click here to take the survey.
  • state-wide telephone call-in via the Commission’s Enquiry line 1300 292 153 from 9am to 5pm on weekdays. You can call the Commission using its interpreter service on 1300 152 494 or TTY at 1300 289 621
  • ‘Have a Say’ days in Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Traralgon and Shepparton throughout February and March 2012 to hear from people across Victoria about their experiences. Click here for more information on dates and times
  • have a say’ day at the Commission’s office in Carlton on Friday 14 February 2012 for families of children with intellectual disability. Click here for more information
  • a report on its findings and recommendations for action.

 

If you are a student with disability – or a parent, teacher or carer of a student with disability – they would like to hear from you. To register, call (03) 9032 3430 or email rsvp@veohrc.vic.gov.au Please advise when registering if you have any accessibility or dietary requirements.

To find out more visit the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commssion or contact the Commission on (03) 9032 3422 or email atresearch@veohrc.vic.gov.au

Return to Contents

Queensland: The Best Project

The Best is a workshop program, a party and a social action to make Brisbane a more accessible city. It is being coordinated by Melbourne artist and PWD member Thomas Banks, in collaboration with Brisbane based Contact Inc and Toronto based Mammalian Diving Reflex. PWD has been working with Tom to promote this project and ensure a diverse group is able to take part.

 

The Best Project involves a seven week workshop program for under 30’s with disability. The workshops will explore topics of dating, love, romance, sexuality and intimacy. Participants will work together as a group to create a series of actions and activities which would happen at a party. This Party will then take place in the last week of March and members of the public will be invited to attend and explore the themes presented by workshops participants.

  • Contact Inc. are looking for more participants to join this project – so if you are under 30, identify as having a disability and are keen to create a party where we share ideas and moments of dating, love, romance, sexuality and intimacy ring the Contact Inc office on (07) 3255 3900 or email Thomas Banks on thomas@contact.org.au
  • Workshops will start Thursday 9 February 2012
  • The Party will take place in the last week of March – dates and venue to be confirmed

For more information about Contact Inc visit www.contact.org.au or for more information about Mammalian Diving Reflex visit www.mammalian.ca

Return to Contents

National news

Jetstar continues its second class treatment of people with disability

PWD has joined the growing call for changes to Australia’s anti-discrimination laws following the Federal Court’s decision on Friday 13 January which left Jetstar’s discriminatory two wheelchair policy intact and a passenger with disability, Ms Sheila King, with $20,000 to pay in court costs.

 

In our E-bulletin Issue 58, PWD outlined the discrimination faced by Ms Sheila King, a current PWD Board member and the action that the Disability Discrimination Legal Centre NSW (DDLC) took on her behalf.  Ms King booked her flight over the Internet in August 2008. She was contacted the next day and told she would not be able to fly on her chosen day because there were already two passengers requiring wheelchair assistance booked on the flight.

 

She was told Jetstar had a policy of allowing only a maximum of two wheelchair-reliant passengers on any flight.

The Federal Court decision on 13 January 2012 accepted that Jetstar had discriminated against Ms King, but ruled that Jetstar would have experienced ‘unjustifiable hardship’ if it had not discriminated against her.

 

Click here to read PWD's Media Release on 17 January 2012, calling for a strengthening of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and for current Australian Government process for reform of anti-discrimination laws to include finding mechanisms to achieve systemic change without the need for individuals with disability to bear the responsibility for this change.  PWD congratulates Ms King on the advocacy efforts she has made on behalf of others.

 

For more background information on the case click here to read an article in the Sydney Morning Herald on 18 January 2012 titled 'Advocate to appeal decision on wheelchair'. For an excellent analysis on the flaws of the court decision click here to read 'Fact and Fiction in King v Jetstar Airways' by disability rights advocate Naomi Anderson.

Click here to read the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) Media Release on the 16 January 2012 - Law Clipping the Wings of People with Disability

Return to Contents

Consolidation of Commonwealth Anti-Discrimination Laws

As part of the Australian Government’s National Human Rights Framework, action is being taken to harmonise and consolidate Commonwealth Anti-Discrimination laws, including the Disability Discrimination Act, Sex Discrimination Act and the Race Discrimination Act.

 

PWD, along with other disability and human rights organisations has been participating in forums and meetings to discuss options for harmonisation that will lead to better protections against discrimination.

 

PWD provided our submission to the Attorney General’s Discussion Paper at the end of January.  We raised many key issues regarding a consolidated Commonwealth anti-discrimination law, including:

  • it should be underpinned by Australia’s international human rights obligations, including the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD);
  • it should include a unified meaning of discrimination that incorporates the elements of ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ discrimination, and that excludes the ‘comparator test’;
  • it should include a standalone positive duty provision for reasonable adjustment in relation to everyone protected under the law;
  • it should prohibit harassment and vilification for everyone protected under the law and in all areas of public life;
  • it should provide the broadest coverage of people in terms of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and intersex identify; 
  • it should provide for express recognition and inclusion of intersectional discrimination, so that the law applies to discrimination based on one or more protected attributes or a combination of attributes;
  • it should include a right to equality before the law and that this right should cover everyone protected by the law, including people with disability.

 

PWD proposed recommendations to enhance the compliance and complaints framework.  We argued that the current onus for addressing discrimination is unreasonably placed on individuals.  We argued for more systemic responses to be implemented and resourced, and pointed to the key recommendations made by the AHRC, including:

  • Development and publication of compliance guidelines;
  • Development of voluntary compliance plans by regulated entities;
  • Recognition or certification of industry codes and other co-regulatory measures;
  • Recognition of codes or standards developed by other regulatory and expert bodies;
  • Reporting by regulated entities; and
  • Inspection and audit functions for the regulator or administering body.

 

In addition to these measures, PWD strongly supported measures for increasing the systemic response by AHRC and representative organisations, such as:

  • AHRC’s formal inquiry functions should be expanded to enable AHRC to inquire into any human rights issue or concern in Australia;
  • AHRC should have the power to enter into enforceable undertakings and issue compliance notices for breaches of human rights;
  • Provisions for representative complaints to be made by the AHRC and by representative, advocacy and public interest organisations with a legitimate concern in a particular human rights or equality matter;
  • Provision for a no-costs jurisdiction for discrimination complaints;
  • Adequate funding for AHRC, legal aid, community legal centres, and advocacy organisations.

 

PWD also endorsed the submission made by Women with Disabilities Australian and Women with Disabilities ACT as this submission comprehensively dealt with the issue of intersectional discrimination.

Click here to read the Attorney General’s Discussion Paper and the submissions

Click here to read PWD’s submission to the Attorney General

For more information contact Therese Sands, Executive Director on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email thereses@pwd.org.au

Return to Contents

PWD disappointed at Minister’s announcement to rule out Newstart Increase

PWD and the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (ADFO) have expressed disappointment about comments made on 11 January 2011 by Federal Employment Minister Bill Shorten ruling out increases to the Newstart Allowance. Click here to read an article which appeared in The Australian on January 11 2012 – 'Bill Shorten rules out increase in the dole' which provides more detail on Mr Shorten’s comments.

 

In a joint Media Release issued by PWD and AFDO on 11 January 2012 both organisations expressed disappointment that Mr Shorten’s statements appear to ignore widespread calls from the business sector, welfare groups, unions and the community to bring the allowance up to more liveable levels.

 

In their 2010 Economic Survey of Australia, the OECD argued that the large gap between Newstart and DSP benefits has reduced the incentive to work, because people experiencing unemployment have an incentive to apply for the DSP instead of Newstart.

 

PWD supports incentives which enable people with disability to get into the workforce, but these must ensure that the needs of people who are totally reliant on the DSP or Newstart Allowance are fully met.

 

AFDO and PWD are now calling on Mr Shorten and the Federal Government to rethink this statement and to consider implementing the modest increases to the Newstart Allowance which were recommended in the Henry Report of 2010.

Click here to read the full PWD and AFDO Media Release

Return to Contents

PWD joins community groups in call for Australia to ratify OPCAT

PWD has joined the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and other community organisations in calling for the Australian Government to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT).

 

In a letter sent to Federal Attorney-General on 21 December 2011, the Hon Nicola Roxon, our organisations outlined our position on this issue, arguing that ratifying OPCAT will assist Australian governments to protect the basic rights of people who are detained, including people detained in prisons, mental health facilities and immigration detention.

 

Click here to read a the letter (PDF document)

 

The Optional Protocol requires ‘National Preventative Mechanisms’ (NPM) to be established to prevent torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.  These NPM’s must cover all ‘places of detention’ within all parts of Australia, including offshore military and immigration detention facilities.  The range of detention situations includes those that are relatively well recognised, such as prisons, juvenile detention centres, police stations, involuntary mental health facilities and immigration detention centres.  However, OPCAT has far wider reach and includes all situations where there is non-consensual detention, including disability services and aged care facilities.

 

PWD has long supported calls for the Australian Government to ratify OPCAT, in the understanding that the International inspection regime and NPMs which would come into place with ratification would positively impact upon the broader community and people with disability in detention in particular.

 

On 5 December 2008, the then Australian Human Rights Commissioner Graeme Innes, released a report outlining options for the implementation of the OPCAT which was recently acceded to by the Australian Government. 

 

This Report argues for a federal system of inspections, with a national coordinating inspection body as well as an inspection body in each State and Territory. Click here to read this report on the Human Rights Commission website.

 

Return to Contents

Minister for Disability Reform: a welcome new position from the Prime Minister

PWD issued a Media Release on 13 December 2011 welcoming the Prime Minister’s appointment of the Hon. Jenny Macklin to the new position of Minister for Disability Reform. 

 

PWD congratulates the Australian Government for committing to disability reform by investing in the establishment of a National Disability Insurance Scheme and by appointing a Minister for Disability Reform, which means the Government can now focus on the reform agenda at the elevated level it deserves.

 

PWD looks forward to working with Minister Macklin in taking concerted and comprehensive action to implement reforms that create positive and measureable differences to our lives.

Click here to read the full PWD Media Release

Return to Contents

Fairfax journalist Adele Horin wins Human Rights Award

PWD was pleased to be in attendance at the Human Rights Awards on 9 December 2011 when Fairfax journalist Adele Horin won the Human Rights Print Media Award for her series of stories on abuse and neglect of people with disability living in licensed boarding houses.

 

Her stories focused on the human rights abuses experienced by people with disability living in licensed boarding houses in NSW, with a particular focus on Grand Western Lodge, a licensed boarding house in Millthorpe in which PWD has been providing individual advocacy services to the residents for many years.

 

PWD worked closely with Adele on these stories and it was the media attention, combined with PWD’s strong advocacy, which led to the majority of residents being moved out of the boarding house and resettled in the community.

 

Click here to read more about PWD’s advocacy around Grand Western Lodge and to read Adele’s award-winning stories

Adele thanked PWD in her acceptance speech, saying how organisations such as PWD allow journalists such as herself to report successfully on social justice issues.

 

A highlights video and photos from the Awards are now available on the Human Rights Commission’s web channels, which you can access by clicking on the following links:

 

Return to Contents

National Disability Strategy

The National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 (NDS) was endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in February 2011.  A key aim of the NDS is to implement actions that will enhance the lives of people with disability and protect, promote and fulfil their human rights, in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

 

Since endorsement, Australian Governments have been working on State and Territory Implementation Plans to achieve the outcomes and directions in the NDS.  The Australian Government released the NDS Implementation Plan Exposure Draft in December 2011 for comment by national peak disability organisations.  PWD has provided comments on the Exposure Draft in a number of ways:

  • As a member of the NSW Disability Network Forum (DNF), we prepared a DNF response that was provided to the NSW and Australian Governments;
  • Along with the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) and the Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA), we met with the office of the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers and the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) to directly raise our issues and concerns;
  • We prepared a PWD response on the NDS Implementation Plan Exposure Draft.

 

The key issues highlighted in PWD’s response include:

  • The significant lack of meaningful engagement with people with disability and their representative and advocacy organisations in the preparation of the Implementation Plan;
  • The lack of action to establish an engagement mechanism to ensure people with disability and their representative and advocacy organisations are embedded in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the NDS;
  • The lack of strategies or mechanisms to drive reform across national government departments and between Australian and State and Territory Governments;
  • The lack of clarity and planning information related to actions, timeframes, resources, responsibilities and performance measures;
  • The lack of new initiatives and actions to address a large number of the outcomes and directions identified in the NDS;
  • The absence of specific initiatives and strategies focused on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability and people with disability from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

 

Overall, PWD was extremely disappointed with the NDS Implementation Plan Exposure Draft and strongly urges the Government to address key gaps in the redrafting of the Plan.  We believe this is critical before the Plan is provided to COAG for endorsement.

 

For more information contact Therese Sands, Executive Director on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email thereses@pwd.org.au

 

Return to Contents

National Research and Development Agenda finalised

PWD was just one of a large number of national stakeholders who took part in a roundtable discussion at the end of 2010, to discuss the research priorities in disability across Australia.  A limited budget of $10m over five years has been allocated by the Commonwealth and the various States and Territories, to devote to research in this area.  The final version of the document was made available in November 2011 and can be read by clicking here.

 

The priorities articulated in the document are:

·         Australian disability demographic profile and trend information, including access to social and economic inclusion data.

·         Disability related social and economic inclusion research, including research which focuses on human rights, participation in community life, access to mainstream activities and services and broader systems change.

·         Evaluations, reviews and research to contribute to the evidence base to improve service delivery and support options.

·         Analysis of the factors that support sector sustainability, sector development and improved organisational capability.

·         Research on the profile, experiences and issues affecting diverse and/or disadvantaged groups of people with disability, such as:

a)    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

b)    People from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

c)    Women with disability

d)    People in regional, rural and remote areas.

There will be a funding round called for shortly and an information sheet provides some details.  People interested should check the website www.dprwg.gov.au for details as they emerge.

Return to Contents

Travel Limited: A Report into Inaccessible transport in Australia

Australia for All have recently published a research paper on inaccessible transport in Australia. The paper, Travel Limited: A Report into Inaccessible Transport in Australia (it comes up under “Transport Survey”), details the results of a survey conducted in 2009 by Australia for all, which looks at non-compliance amongst the Transport Industry Companies.

 

The paper is researched and authored by PWD Director, Sheila King, whose other actions in advocating for the rights of people with disability to accessible transport can be read in another section of this Ebulletin (see "Jetstar continues its second class treatment of people with disability")

 

The report provides evidence of lack of compliance with the Disability Standards for Accessible Transport, as well as documenting numerous obstacles encountered by people with disability in trying to travel. 

Click here to visit Australia for All website to access the report.

Return to Contents

Ten Year Roadmap for National Mental Health Reform

In January, the Australian Government released its draft Ten Year Roadmap for National Mental Health Reform (the Roadmap).  The Roadmap details a commitment by all governments to a long-term national reform plan for mental health to guide future action and investment across Australia over the next ten years.

 

The Roadmap sets out five key directions for action:

1       Promoting good mental health and well-being and preventing mental illness and suicide

2       Early detection and intervention

3       Putting consumers and carers at the heart of services and supports

4       Supporting people to participate in society

5       Making services work for people – access, quality, integration and coordination

 

While the Roadmap contains some important initiatives, such as the development of a national consumer representative organisation, PWD also outlined our key concerns in our response:

  • It is not underpinned by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD);
  • It focuses on reforms in the existing mental health service system, but does not address the broader issue of fundamental legislative, administrative and policy reform that is required to fulfil the rights of people with psychosocial disability;
  • It does not intersect with the current disability reform agenda being implemented through the National Disability Strategy or the National Disability Insurance Scheme;
  • It does not address the issue of engagement of ‘consumers’ in the design, delivery, governance and evaluation of mental health services and supports.

 

PWD also endorsed the submission made by the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO). Click here to view the draft Roadmap

 

For more information contact Therese Sands, Executive Director on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email thereses@pwd.org.au

 

Return to Contents

Australia’s first National Mental Health Commission

On 23 January 2012, Australia’s first National Mental Health Commission was launched by the Federal Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler.  The Commission is a key aspect of the Federal Government’s mental health reforms, which aims to give mental health the high level and national prominence.

The Commission will be led by the Chair, Professor Allan Fels and eight Commissioners:

  • Mr Peter Bicknell;
  • Ms Jackie Crowe;
  • Dr Pat Dudgeon;
  • Professor Ian Hickie AM;
  • Mr Rob Knowles AO;
  • Ms Janet Meagher AM;
  • Ms Samantha Mostyn; and
  • Professor Ian Webster AO.

 

The CEO of the Commission is Ms Robyn Kruk AM. PWD particularly congratulates Janet Meagher, a long time mental health consumer advocate on her appointment to the Commission.

 

While PWD welcomes the introduction of the Commission as a mechanism to address much needed mental health service reform, we also urge the Commission to take an active role in progressing the rights of people with psychosocial disability in the context of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).    

 

For more information and to read the full Media Release, please click here to visit the Department’s website.

 

Return to Contents

Mental Health Consumers Reference Group

The Federal Government is calling for Expressions of Interest from the public to become members of the Consumer Reference Group (CRG) which will help shape the development of a national mental health consumer organisation.

 

The CRG will provide advice to an auspicing body to assist with the establishment of the new national mental health consumer organisation. This will include advice on strategic directions for the consumer organisation; building an inclusive and diverse membership base; and setting up appropriate mechanisms to ensure consumers are involved throughout the process.

 

The Department of Health and Ageing will convene a selection panel comprised of consumer, non-government and government representatives to select the Consumer Reference Group.

 

Mental health consumers interested in applying can read the CRG EOI kit on www.health.gov.au/mentalhealth. This kit includes the overview of the selection process, the selection criteria, information about roles and CRG position responsibilities and tips on how to apply.

EOIs must be submitted using the online form and close 4pm AEDT Monday 20 February 2012.

Return to Contents

Not-For-Profit Sector Reform

The Commonwealth Government is in the process of redrafting its Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission Bill 2012, in light of criticism made about the initial draft from a number of corners of the community sector, including the peak ACOSS. Submissions on the original exposure draft of the Bill were due on Friday 25 January 2012.

 

There is a strong appetite for reform and for harmonisation of regulations and contractual/funding agreements across the country, whilst some understandable reluctance to rush toward standardised definitions of organisations and uniform regulations, without adequate consultation and testing.

 

If you are interested in learning more about the issues under consideration in this proposed reform, you can read the following submissions by clicking below:

ACOSS continues to press for constructive reforms in this area and their submission can be accessed here on their website

Return to Contents

International News

ESCAP meeting on the New Asian and Pacific Decade, 2013-2002

PWD participated in the Regional Stakeholder Consultation for the High-Level Intergovernmental Meeting on the Final Review of the Implementation of the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons, 2003–2012, organised by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), from 14–16 December in Bangkok, Thailand.

 

The meeting focused on reviewing the ten goals of the “Incheon Strategy to Make Rights Real” for people with disability in the Asia Pacific.  The Incheon Strategy is an action framework for the new Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons, 2013 to 2022.

 

The meeting provided PWD, the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) and other organisations with an excellent opportunity to connect with our Asia and Pacific colleagues to learn more about regional initiatives and issues. Participants included representatives of Asia Pacific Disability Forum (APDF), Pacific Disability Forum, Inclusion International, Asian and Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD) and others.

 

Click here to read the media release issued by Inclusion International on this meeting

For more information contact Samantha French, Advocacy Projects Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email samanthaf@pwd.org.au

Return to Contents

UN Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Trust Fund (UNPRPD) Launched

PWD has welcomed the launch of a new UN Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Trust Fund (UNPRPD), which aims to promote disability rights by assisting countries to improve their policies, data gathering and service delivery to people with disability. Six UN organisations - ILO, OHCHR, UN-DESA, UNDP, UNICEF and WHO – came together to form this Partnership, which was officially launched in New York on 8 December 2011.

 

The UNPRPD aims to facilitate dialogue between governments and disabled peoples organisations (DPOs) in order to boost national action to address discrimination and marginalisation. This is in line with the internationally agreed UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which also seeks to advance international cooperation on these issues.

 

In a Media Release issued on 12 December 2011, UNDP Associate Administrator explained how “Disability affects vulnerable populations including women, children and the elderly in a disproportionate way. We cannot achieve development goals – from health to education, employment to citizen’s participation – unless we tackle disability as a driver of social exclusion.”

 

More than one billion people, representing about 15 percent of the world’s population, live with some form of disability, according to the World Report on Disability published earlier this year by the WHO and the World Bank.

Click here to read the full Media Release.

Return to Contents

The Inside Story

From the President

“Here we are, with another busy year before us, with the upcoming relocation of our Redfern office, our continuing advocacy for an NDIS and a variety of other initiatives.

 

I would like to welcome Faye Druett, Heidi Forrest and Craig Wallace back onto the PWD Board and I look forward to working with this new Board in 2012. I also welcome back all PWD staff and I trust you all had a good break and are ready to do justice to another year.

 

I was appalled to hear about Jetstar’s victory regarding their “Two Wheelchair Policy”, which you can read more about in this Ebulletin. I congratulate our Board Member Sheila King for her tenacity and courage in taking on a corporation as big as Jetstar. We have supported Sheila throughout her action and believe she is doing the right thing in challenging this discriminatory policy. I was absolutely horrified to hear that the judge made Sheila responsible to pay for court costs.

 

Finally, we joined together on 6 February to celebrate the life of Kim Walker (also known by many as Carol Pein). Kim was a passionate advocate who fiercely fought for the rights of people with disability and she was an asset to our organisation. We will all miss her greatly.

That’s all from me at this stage, except - Happy New Year to Everyone!”
- Jan Daisley, President PWD

Return to Contents

PWD Executive Committee 2012

At the first Board Meeting of the year, 4 February 2012, the following Board members were elected to the Executive Committee;

  • Heidi Forrest, Vice-President
  • Craig Wallace, Secretary
  • Faye Druett, Treasurer

These Board members will join the President, Jan Daisley in forming the PWD Executive Committee for 2012.

Return to Contents

Vale Kim Walker

PWD was greatly saddened by the passing of Kim Walker (also known as Carol Pein), a PWD Life Member and leader within the disability rights movement in Australia. Kim was a passionate advocate who devoted much of her life to defending the rights of people with disability.

 

Kim lived in an institution for much of her earlier life before moving into the community. She quickly became involved in the self-advocacy movement, joining the Intellectual Disability Rights Service (IDRS) soon after its inception in 1986 and becoming one of the first members of its Rights Forum. A natural advocate and communicator, Kim was soon employed by IDRS as an educator and continued in that job for nearly 20 years.

 

Kim was known for speaking up for people with disability on numerous advisory committees, boards and councils, including the Disability Council of NSW, the Disability Advisory Council of Australia and the NSW Council for Intellectual Disability (CID).

 

From 1992 to 1994, Kim represented Australia on a self-advocacy committee of Integration International, a committee which reported to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Disability.  In this role, Kim travelled to five countries, and in 1994 presented a paper on achieving equal rights at the Integration International world conference in Delhi.

 

In 1998, Kim received the Rosemary Dybwad Award, an international self-advocacy honour presented every four years for excellence in support and development of human rights and social justice.

 

Her most recent work centred around the Shut In Campaign, a national campaign to raise awareness about people with disability in institutions, take action to close institutions and to advocate for housing and supports that enable people with disability to live in the community in the same way as everyone else. As part of her support for this campaign, she was filmed in a powerful Vodcast (available here) in which she talks about why people with disability should live in the community and not in institutions.

 

Kim passed away on 26 December 2011 aged 55, after a short illness.

NSW CID, PWD and IDRS organised a Celebration Event for the many friends and admirers to remember Kim’s life and celebrate her achievements. It took place at Redfern Town Hall on 6 February 2011 and was attended by over 100 friends and colleagues of Kim, including the Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes.

Return to Contents

PWD in 2012 Mardi Gras

“PWD is happy to announce that we're once again taking part in the Sydney Mardi Gras. We'll be marching our way through the city to promote the sexual right of people with disability in the most fabulous way possible.

 

Our theme this year is: "Sexuality and Sex/Gender Diversity do not end with disability” and we’re looking for PWD members and friends who are keen to participate.

 

Some info for the event:

  • The Parade will take place on Saturday March 3, from 7.45pm-10pm, though you will need to be available from about 5:30-6pm (I’ll confirm times closer to the date)
  • Participants will be provided with PWD T-shirts;
  • More information will be sent out closer to the event, with a formal Briefing Meeting for all participants the week before.

For more info or to register your interest, please contact Daphnée Cook, Communications and Membership Development Manager on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email daphneec@pwd.org.au

For more information on the 2012 Sydney Mardi Gras Parade visit www.mardigras.org.au

Daphnée Cook, Communications and Membership Development Manager

Return to Contents

PWD Media Releases

6 February 2012: Fearless advocate fought for the rights of people with disability to have a voice

 

17 January 2012: Jetstar to continue second class treatment of people with disability

 

11 January 2012: Keeping the dole low will increase hardship, not employment

 

13 December 2011: Minister for Disability Reform: a welcome new position from the Prime Minister

9 December 2011: People with disability: ‘our human rights, our lives’

Return to Contents

PWD Training Opportunities

PWD is currently reviewing its trainings on offer and making changes to its existing training packages.

 

In the 2011/2012 financial year, PWD will no longer be issuing a training calendar with fixed trainings but instead will be providing a training brochure detailing the training options on offer. In addition, we will also be marketing customised training packages that can be adapted to meet the needs and interests of individual organisations and/or services.

 

We will continue to offer our 2-day Responding to Sexual Assault training which aims to challenge myths surrounding sexual assault and people with intellectual disability, build capacity of staff to support victims of sexual assault, as well as decrease the vulnerability of people with intellectual disability to this crime. Also available is our 1-day Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) training which provides a discussion of the development of the CRPD, the rights enshrined in it and the practicalities of implementing these rights, as well as information about its available complaints process.

 

PWD will continue to provide Disability Awareness training, however in a new, flexible format with core and optional supplementary modules. Core modules will provide a general introduction to disability awareness, exploring the concept of disability, the myths and facts surrounding it, as well as respectful language and communication. Supplementary modules will include customised components that incorporate information, case scenarios and examples applicable to the context in which the training is delivered.

 

PWD will continue to focus on developing and delivering training in its expertise areas of abuse and neglect as well as disability and human rights. In addition, we remain open to discussing the development of specific trainings based on interest.

 

Click here for further information is available from our website.

Alternatively, contact PWD Training phone (02) 9370 3100 or email training@pwd.org.au

Return to Contents

Upcoming Events

8-10 February 2011: Geelong, VIC Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability Inc (VALID) Having a Say Conference 2011 - “My Life - My Way”, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria. For more information visit www.valid.org.au

 

16 February 2011: Harvey Bay QLD PWD’s Fraser Coast Office Re-launch. Join PWD’s Fraser Coast Manager Alan Grimsley and PWD Executive Director Matthew Bowden, along with friends, supporters and clients, in warming up our new office and celebrating the already two years of service to people with disability on the Fraser Coast. RSVP to Alan by Thursday 9 February to alang@pwd.org.au  or phone 1800 422 015 or mobile 0417 451 714

 

17 February 2012: Sydney, NSW From Outlaws towards Inclusion at UNSW. A conference on 10 years of challenges and progress in rights and human services for people with intellectual disability in contact with the criminal justice system. For more information contact IDRS by phone (02) 9318 0144 or email rego@idrs.org.au

 

20-21 February 2012: Melbourne, VIC International Conference on Human Rights in Closed Environments at Monash University Law Chambers, 555 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. For more information contact phone (03) 9349 2220 or email info@conorg.com.au or visit www.law.monash.edu.au   

 

14-16 March 2012: Bangkok, Thailand Conference on Disability-Inclusive MDGs and Aid Effectiveness. UN Conference Centre. For more information visit www.lcint.org/?lid=5732

 

17 March 2012: Sydney Olympic Park, NSW Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA) Independence Expo. For more information or to hold a stall, please contact Rebecca Konstatzky on phone (02) 9356 1106 or email rkonstatzky@scia.org.au

 

24-25 March 2012: Honolulu, Hawaii Pacific Rim International Forum hosted by the Centre on Disability Studies (CDS) at the University of Hawaii. For more information contact Charmaine Crockett email prinfo@hawaii.edu or visit www.pacrim.hawaii.edu/internationalforum/2012/

 

26-27 March 2012: Honolulu, Hawaii 28th Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability & Diversity "Living to Our Complete Potential"  For more information contact prinfo@hawaii.edu or visit www.pacrim.hawaii.edu

 

29-30 March 2012: Sydney NSW ACOSS National Conference, Sharing the wealth of the lucky country For more information contact  ACOSS, phone (02) 9310 6200, email info@acoss.org.au or visit www.acoss.org.au/whats_on/conference/acoss_national_conference_2012/

 

17-21 September 2012: New Delhi, India 13th International Conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled Persons (TRANSED 2012). For more information email secretariat@transed2012.in or visit www.transed2012.in

 

Return to Contents

About PWD

People with Disability Australia Incorporated (PWD) is a national disability rights and advocacy organisation. Our membership is people with disability and organisations made up of people with disability. Individuals and organisations committed to the disability rights movement can join PWD as associate members.

PWD was founded in 1981, the International Year of Disabled People, to provide people with disability with a voice of our own. We have a cross-disability focus and represent the interests of people with all kinds of disability.

As a non-profit, non-government organisation we increasingly depends on membership fees, public donations, bequests and fundraising activities to maintain our commitment to improving the lives of people with disability. PWD is a deductible gift recipient so donations of $2 or more are fully tax deductible. Your tax deductible donation will mean we can continue to maintain our services. If you are interested and would like to support PWD please visit www.pwd.org.au/donations.html

For information about membership, contact PWD on email pwd@pwd.org.au or one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin.

Return to Contents

Privacy statement

We are committed to protecting your privacy. In doing so, we commit ourselves to conforming to the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Bill 2000, which came into effect in December 2001 and the National Privacy Principles issued by the Australian Privacy Commissioner. This newsletter is distributed by email. You have provided us with an email address. This email address will be used only for the purpose for which you have provided it and you will not be added to any other mailing lists unless you specifically request that this be done. Your email address will not be disclosed without your consent.

You can have your email address removed from the mailing list for this newsletter by sending an email to pwd@pwd.org.auThis newsletter contains links to websites. We cannot be held responsible for the privacy practices (or lack thereof) or the content of other websites.

Return to Contents

Contact us

Please note that PWD publishes items contributed by other organisations at our discretion. While we will assist where possible in the dissemination of information, we do not take responsibility for the promotion or advertisement of events organised by other organisations.

If you would like to receive PWD E-Bulletin in an alternative format or have an enquiry, contact PWD by email pwd@pwd.org.au or on one of the numbers listed below.

People with Disability Australia Incorporated
PO Box 66 Strawberry Hills NSW 2012
Phone 02 9370 3100, toll-free 1800 422 015
TTY 02 9318 2138, toll-free 1800 422 016

Return to Contents