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You do not have to sign your NDIS plan if you are unhappy or unsure about what it says.

 

Asking for an internal review of your NDIS plan

If at any time you are unhappy with your plan you have the right to ask for an internal review.

You can apply for an internal review by filling in the form available here.

A person from the NDIA will look at your NDIS plan to see if they agree with it. If they do not agree with the plan they can overturn the decision and give you a new plan. If they agree with the plan you have been given, they will tell you.  

If you are unhappy with the outcome of the internal review, you can apply for an external review. 

 

Applying for an external review of your NDIS plan

If you do not agree with the result of the internal review, you can apply for an external review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

An independent person who does not work for the NDIA will look at your case. The AAT will decide if they agree with the NDIAs decision. You have to get an internal review before you can go to the AAT for an external review.

There is more information about applying for an external review here.

 

Getting help with your appeal 

PWDA can now support people living in certain areas to appeal a decision made by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

We can support you to make an NDIS appeal if you live in:

  • the Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven areas of New South Wales
  • the Capital Region in New South Wales (also called Southern New South Wales)
  • Queensland

If you live outside of these areas, we can tell you about local services to contact.

 

How to contact us

For advocacy support please call us on (02) 9370 3100, Toll Free on 1800 422 015 or TTY Toll Free on 1800 422 016 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A diverse partnership of over 25 representative organisations of people with disability, disability advocacy organisations, disability services and disability peak bodies have come together to call on Federal Senators to block the Mobility Allowance Bill that is currently before the Senate.

Read the full statement: Word (1.2MB) or PDF (585kB)

Read the media release.

If passed, this Bill will:

  • Reduce transport support for people with disability;
  • Increase social isolation and reduce the ability for people with disability to contribute to the community;
  • Create further barriers to economic participation for people with disability, at a time when there are increasing obligations upon them to find and keep work;
  • Exacerbate the already considerable costs involved for people with disability entering or re-entering the workforce. These additional costs can outweigh the economic benefits of having a job, and be a disincentive to looking for work.

The Social Services Legislation Amendment (Transition Mobility Allowance to the National Disability Insurance Scheme) Bill 2016 will restrict access to essential transport funding to only those eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). There are approximately two million people with disability of working age, but only 460,000 will be transiting to the NDIS, This means that this Bill will impact many thousands of people with disability who will not have access to the NDIS, including people over the age of 65. The Bill has been to the Senate Community Affairs Committee, where people with disability gave extensive evidence about the problems with the legislation, which was ignored by the Government

The groups supporting the statement are: 

  • Australian Blindness Forum
  • Blind Citizens Australia
  • Capricorn Citizen Advocacy
  • Children and Youth with Disability Australia
  • Council for Intellectual Disability NSW
  • Disability Advocacy Network Australia
  • Disabled People’s Organisations Australia
  • First Peoples Disability Network of Australia
  • Guide Dogs Australia
  • Guide Dogs Victoria
  • Independent Advocacy Townsville
  • Macular Disease Foundation Australia
  • Melbourne East Disability Advocacy
  • National Ethnic Disability Alliance
  • National Social Security Rights Network
  • NSW Council of Social Service
  • ParaQuad NSW
  • Physical Disability Council of NSW
  • People with Disability Australia
  • People with Disabilities Western Australia
  • Queensland Advocacy Inc.
  • Retina Australia
  • Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists
  • Spinal Cord Injuries Australia
  • The Royal Society for the Blind
  • Visability
  • Vision Australia
  • Vision 2020 Australia
  • Women with Disabilities Australia

Read the full statement: Word (1.2MB) or PDF (585kB)

Read the media release.

Australian Blindness forum Blind Citizens AustraliaCapricorn Citizen Advocacy

Children and Young People with Disability Council for Intellectual Disability NSWDisability Advocacy Network Australia

Disabled People's Organisations Australia logoFirst Peoples Disability Network Guide Dogs Australia

 Guide Dogs VictoriaIndependent Advocacy TownsvilleMacular Disease Foundation Australia

Melbourne East Disability AdvocacyNational Ethnic Disability AllianceNational Social Security Rights Network

 NSW Council of Social ServiceParaquadPhysical Disability Council of NSW

People with Disability Australia   People with Disability Western Australia  Queensland Advocacy

Retina Australia RANZCO  Spinal Cord Injuries Australia  

Royal Society for the BlindVisability Vision Australia   

Vision 2020 AustraliaWomen with Disabilities Australia logo   

November 30: Cuts to transport funding opposed by national disability groups
National disability groups are calling on Federal Senators to block a Bill that will reduce transport support for people with disability.
Click here to read more

November 14: People with Disability Australia welcomes new local government Disability Guide
People with Disability Australia (PWDA) today welcomed the release of the Australian Local Government Association’s (ALGA) new Disability Guide. The updated guide assists local governments to include people with disability in all parts of their work and helps councils meet their requirements under the National Disability Strategy (NDS).
Click here to read more

November 7: People with Disability Australia (PWDA) today welcomes new research from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse examining disability and child sexual abuse in institutional contexts.
Researchers from the University of Sydney found that international data reveals that around 14% of children with disability are sexually abused.
Click here to read more

 November 4: People with Disability Australia welcomes today’s announcement by Social Services Minister, Christian Porter, that the Commonwealth Government is taking the lead in developing a National Redress Scheme for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.
“We hope that all states and territories recognise the importance of there being equity across all jurisdictions, and ‘opt in’ to supporting this scheme,” Matthew Bowden, Co-CEO of PWDA said.
Click here to read more

October 5: Peak disability group condemns decision to deny Deaf juror equal access
Today the High Court of Australia unanimously rejected an appeal from Gaye Lyons, a Queensland women who had been turned down for jury service because she requires as Auslan interpreter to participate in proceedings.
Click here to read more

August 17: Australian Cross Disability Alliance condemns treatment of student locked in cage
The Australian Cross Disability Alliance (ACDA) is appalled at the report on last night’s ABC 7.30 program about the abuse and restraint of a student with disability.
Click here to read more

July 19: Children with disability have a right to a safe childhood
Leading disability group will give evidence about the shocking levels of abuse of children with disability at today's hearing of the Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney.
Click here to read more

Jun 14: Australian Cross Disability Alliance calls for a disability inclusive Australia
The Australian Cross Disability Alliance (ACDA) calls on all election candidates to commit to building a disability inclusive Australia by supporting key election priorities outlined in the ACDA Election Platform released today.
Click here to read more

20 May: Civil society leaders unite to slam vilification of Duncan Storrar
Over 30 disabled peoples organisations, not for profits, community leaders, unions and commentators on civic participation have united to issue an unprecedented national Civil Society Statement of Concern (see below) about the media treatment of Duncan Storrar.
Click here to read more
Click here to read Statement of Concern

6 May: Australian Cross Disability Alliance welcomes new Commissioners  
The Australian Cross Disability Alliance (ACDA) congratulates the Attorney General, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC for the appointment of three new Commissioners to the Australian Human Rights Commission.  We particularly welcome the reinstatement of a dedicated Disability Discrimination Commissioner.
Click here to read more

3 May: BUDGET 2016 - Don’t fund our NDIS at the cost of our safety net
People with Disability Australia (PWDA) welcomes the Government’s overarching commitment to fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) into the future.  However, we strongly reject the budget measures that link a fully funded NDIS with the need to cut welfare spending.
Click here to read more

7 March: Australian Cross Disability Alliance says 'Hands off the NDIS'
Today's media reports that the Federal Government is considering major changes to the funding and governance of the NDIS, have alarmed people with disability, families and advocates across Australia.
Click here to read more.

18 February: Australian Cross Disability Alliance says #letthemstay
The Australian Cross Disability Alliance urges the Australian Government to allow the asylum seeker children and families, currently facing removal back to offshore immigration detention centres, to stay in Australia.
Click here to read more.

15 February: Australian Cross Disability Alliance welcomes appointment of new Assistant Minister for Disability Services
The Australian Cross Disability Alliance (ACDA) welcomes the announcement of the new Assistant Minister for Disability Services, Mrs Jane Prentice MP.
Click here to read more.

5 February: Vale Faye Druett
PWDA is deeply saddened at the death yesterday of one of our founders, Faye Druett. PWDA President, Craig Wallace pays tribute to Faye in this statement.
Click here to read more.

28 January: Australian Cross Disability Alliance calls for investment in Australians with disability for future prosperity
The Australian Cross Disability Alliance is calling on the Government to end speculation about the National Disability Insurance Scheme and to give certainty to all Australians with disability. 
Click here to read more.

 

On 9th March the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59) began at the United Nations in New York. Governments around the world began their discussions around key issues for women's human rights.

One contentious agenda item was the adoption by Governments of the CSW Political Declaration. This should be a strong statement of the actions that will be taken to progress women's rights in the future. It is usually adopted at the end of the two week meeting period, which gives civil society and women's organisations an opportunity to participate and lobby for key issues to be included. There has been great concern that for the first time, the Declaration was prepared prior to CSW59, and adopted on the first day.

This means that civil society and women's organisations did not have an opportunity to lobby for key issues, and as a result the Declaration was very weak and did not include a vision for the future. Representatives of women and girls with disability, including PWDA and WWDA were also very concerned that there was not one reference to women and girls with disability.

The concerns of civil society and women's organisations were strongly raised by Ms Lydia Alpizar, Executive Director of Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID). Her speech is here

After the Opening Session, PWDA and WWDA also joined other networks of women and girls with disability to meet with the UN Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and UN Women, the UN agency responsible for women’s rights. The meeting allowed us to provide advice on strategies for the inclusion of women and girls with disability in the work of UN Women. It also provided a fantastic opportunity to discuss issues and concerns for women and girls with disability in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Spain, USA, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Australia. While our political and social contexts were all different, we had many issues in common such as violence, sexual and reproductive rights, poverty and exclusion.

At the end of a long day, and along with other women’s non-government organisations, PWDA and WWDA participated in an Australian Government delegation briefing. The Australian Government delegation outlined the difficult negotiation process to come to agreement on the final Declaration, their disappointment at the exclusion of strong wording and the exclusion of references to groups of women who are particularly marginalised including women and girls with disability. Australia was one country that argued strongly for these issues.

10891731 10152728690883657 5682921802552095352 n

Ms Lydia Alpizar, Executive Director of Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID).

On Sunday 8 March Therese Sands (PWDA) and Carolyn Frohmader (WWDA) joined the Public March for Gender Equality and Women's Rights hosted by the City of New York, UN Women and NGOs to celebrate the International Women's Day. 

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LEFT TO RIGHT: Therese Sands, CO-CEO of PWDA, Elizabeth Broderick, Sex Discrimination Commissioner & Carolyn Frohmader, CEO of WWDA. 

Throughout the week PWDA and WWDA advocated for the rights of women with disability and provided an Australian perspective during sessions as diverse as the “Inclusion of Displaced Women and Girls with Disabilities in Humanitarian Settings”, "Women with Disabilities: 20 Years After Beijing", and “Realizing the Rights of Marginalized and Disadvantaged Women and Girls”. 

You can watch the webcast of the plenary sessions here or here www.webtv.un.org

For more information see www.WomenEnabled.org or www.ngocsw.org or the CSW Facebook page 

PWDA and Women With Disabilities Australia participated in the 59th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59) at the United Nations in New York from 9-20 March in 2015.

CSW59 reviewed the global roadmap for advancing women's rights, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and as well as gender equality for the post-2015 development agenda.

Women with disability must be integral to these global roadmaps to ensure that our specific issues and concerns are recognised and addressed. We must not be left behind!

Activities 

PWDA and WWDA provided regular updates from the meetings and activities. The links below will guide you to them. 

Public March for Gender Equality 

Opening of the 59th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women 

Click on the menu on the left for links to our media releases and articles featuring People With Disability Australia (PWDA). 

 

 

 


 

2014 Media Releases

12 December : We need more jobs not more doctors
People with Disability Australia (PWDA) is shocked at the announcement by Minister Andrews today that from 1 January 2015, only government contracted doctors will assess new DSP claims.
Click here to read more

8 December : Vale Stella Young – strong & proud disability activist
People with Disability Australia (PWDA) expresses our shock and sadness at the passing of well-loved disability activist, Stella Young, and sends our heartfelt condolences to Stella’s family and friends.

Click here to read more

3 December : International Day of People with Disability: NACLC and PWDA welcome shift to supported decision-making
On the International Day of People with Disability, the National Association of Community Legal Centres (NACLC) and People with Disability Australia (PWDA) welcome the recent Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) Report, Equality, Capacity and Disability in Commonwealth Laws.
Click here to read more

28 November: NDIS SCORECARD: Participants to shape the verdict
People with Disability Australia (PWDA) is launching an innovative Citizens’ Jury process to provide the Australian community with the first user-led national scorecard which is formed, assessed and delivered by Australians who have helped fund this scheme and those who have direct experience as participants within the seven trial sites.
Click here to read more

25 November: National Peak Disability and Advocacy Organisations applaud Senate Vote to Block BSWAT Payment Scheme Bill 2014
National Peak Disability Consumer and Advocacy Organisations applaud the Senate vote to block the passing of the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) Payment Scheme Bill 2014.
Click here to read more

25 November: Urgent Call for National Inquiry: End violence against people with disability in institutions
People with Disability Australia (PWDA) and Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) are outraged at the events that were portrayed in last night’s ABC 4 Corners program, ABC 4 Corners program, In Our Care.
Click here to read more

13 October: 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.
Click here to read more

2 October: Welfare cuts target young people with disability
People with Disability Australia (PWDA) is angered that budget saving measures will disproportionately impact people with disability yet again.
Click here to read more

27 August: People with Disability Australia joins call to reject harsh budget measures
People with Disability Australia (PWDA) joins the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) and representatives from across the community sector in Canberra today to call on our elected representatives to protect those living on income support from harsh measures proposed in this year’s budget.
Click here to read more

25 August: Joint Media Release: Disability advocates call on Senate to stop Bill stripping wages from workers with intellectual disability
Today, four national peak disability groups will join with the AED Legal Centre and more than 30 community disability organisations to launch an open letter calling on politicians from all parties to vote against a bill to extinguish the legal rights of up to 10,500 Australian workers with intellectual disability. Some of these workers earn less than $1 an hour.

Click here to read more

8 August: Joint Media Release: NGO's urge banks to meet consumers' needs and end discriminatory practices
Human-rights focused NGOs have joined forces to call on banks to retain sign-only debit and credit cards for the small number of Australian consumers who need them. 
Click here to read more

4 July: Graeme Innes - Australians with disability say thank you
Today People with Disability Australia (PWDA) fondly farewells Australia's Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Mr Graeme Innes AM from the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC).

Click here to read more

4 July: People with disability need extension to Child Sex Abuse Royal Commission
People with Disability Australia (PWDA) supports the call for the Attorney-General, Senator the Honourable George Brandis, to extend the time to conduct the Royal Commission.

Click here to read more

18 May: NSW Budget: mixed results for people with disability
People with Disability Australia (PWDA) welcomes the NSW Government’s budget commitment of $2.9 billion for ageing and disability services, including substantial funding that will support people with disability to transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Click here to read more

13 May: BUDGET 2014: A mixed bag for disability
People with Disability Australia (PWDA) has welcomed the Budget announcement that the Federal Government intends to roll out the NDIS on time and in full. However, PWDA expressed concerns that thousands under the age of 35 on the Disability Support Pension (DSP) will be medically reassessed and may be moved onto Newstart or Youth Allowance, along with changes to indexation to the DSP that will erode the safety net over time.

Click here to read more

1 May: NDIS delay: unacceptable
People with Disability Australia (PWDA) opposes any delay to the full rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). We hold grave concerns about the Government’s commitment to the scheme after a delay was recommended in today’s Commission of Audit report. President of People with Disability Australia, Craig Wallace said, “The scheme is already being rolled out over seven years.  Delaying it further will plunge people with disability and service providers into a no man’s land of uncertainty well into the next decade.”

Click here to read more

30 April: Australian Human Rights Commission supports continued discrimination of employees with disability (JOINT MEDIA RELEASE)
National peak disability and advocacy groups condemn the decision by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) to allow the Australian Government and sheltered workshops (also known as Australian Disability Enterprises or ‘ADEs’) to continue to discriminate against employees with disability.
Click here to read more

22 April: No broken promises - Get Real on Jobs for people with disability
People with Disability Australia (PWDA) calls on the Abbott Government to honour its election promise to make no changes to pensions in the upcoming federal budget, including the Disability Support Pension (DSP).  We urge the Government to work in partnership with people with disability and their representative organisations to address the jobs crisis and the reality of poverty and disability.

Click here to read more

21 March: Deliver NDIS on time and get it right
The national peak cross-disability body People with Disability Australia (PWDA) has urged the Australian Government to deliver the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) on time while investing the effort needed to get it right.
Click here to read more

10 March: PWDA to support abuse survivors with disability
People with Disability Australia (PWDA) welcomes the announcement by the Hon Kevin Andrews MP, of $4.9 million in specialist support programmes for survivors of child sexual abuse. PWDA is one of eleven specialist organisations funded by the Australian Government to provide support to abuse survivors affected by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. PWDA will be supporting people with disability affected by the Inquiry.
Click here to read more

15 January: Economic loss acknowledged but discrimination continues
People with Disability Australia (PWDA) welcomes the recognition by the Commonwealth that people with intellectual disability who have been paid according to the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) in Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) have experienced economic loss.
Click here to read more

News Update

1. Partnership matters - “In today’s world partnerships matters.” These were the words of Australia’s High Commissioner to Fiji, Ms. Margaret Twomey at the opening of the 4th Pacific Regional Conference on Disability at the Tanoa International Hotel, Nadi.

2. Effective technical advice vital for CPRD implementation - Seeking technical advice from people with disabilities could help achieve the aims of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD)

Partnership matters

“In today’s world, partnerships matters.” These were the words of Australia’s High Commissioner to Fiji, Ms. Margaret Twomey at the opening of the 4th Pacific Regional Conference on Disability at the Tanoa International Hotel, Nadi.

She said there are growing possibilities to form partnerships with organisations and the private sectors, especially here in the Pacific.

She adds that through partnership to realize the rights of persons with disabilities saw more Pacific Islands ratifying the UNCRPD.

She stressed the importance of networking to build on existing partnerships and forge new ones.

Ms. Twomey in congratulating the Pacific Disability Forum on their 10th anniversary said the Australian government would work closely with PDF as partners to advocate and raise awareness on UNCRPD.

She encouraged all people with disability, particularly our children and young people, to continue to demand and strive for a fair society on the principles of the convention.

Building a disability inclusive Pacific will only be possible if all partners work together to ensure that disability rights are realised.

2. Effective technical advice vital for CPRD implementation

Seeking technical advice from people with disabilities could help achieve the aims of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD).

These were the words of Ms. Elena Down the Senior technical advisor for Disability Inclusive Development of CBM Australia at the Pacific Regional Conference on Disability in Nadi. Down said if technical advice is not consistent with CRPD, then the policies, legislation, programs and outcomes would probably not be either.

“Technical advice means providing information on the experience of people with disability, advising on ways to collect data about disability, participating on committees to ensure that they include perspectives of people with disability, being on research teams to help ensure inclusion and giving advice about accessible meetings and communication,” she said.

“It can be sector specific, for instance, reviewing laws or policies for CRPD compliance,  advising governments about inclusive education, WASH, accessible roads infrastructure, access to justice, EVAW, audit of building access and making recommendations on improvement, and advice on how to make a policy or action plan more inclusive of women and girls with disability.”

As persons with disabilities as technical advisors in disability inclusive development, Ms. Down said Disability-inclusive development seeks to ensure the participation and beneficiary of people with disabilities from development activities on an equal basis with others.

“Partnership complements other training, and, influences how the CRPD is implemented in each context, each policy and each program, to make the rights real for people with disabilities,” she said.

Down added working in partnership, in a variety of ways would open up more opportunities for people with disabilities to be involved in the development of their communities. 

Funding is vital to sustainably build the capacity of persons with disabilities

Sustainable funding from donors is essential in building the capacity of persons with disabilities around the Pacific. A good example is the formation of the Rainbow Disability Theatre Group which through external funding was able to establish them in Vanuatu advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities.

Mr. Willy Sablan a participant and representing Vanuatu at the 4th Pacific Regional Conference on Disability in Nadi, Fiji said that through a Disability Rights Fund (DRF) funded workshop he attended, he was able to obtain funding to form the Rainbow Disability Theatre Group in Vanuatu.

“This was made possible because of strong partnership to push for the rights of persons with disabilities.” he said.

Ms. Diana Samarasan the Executive Director and founder of the DRF calls for stronger inclusive partnerships with donors while presenting at the 4th Regional Conference on Disability.

She said according to an online report on global funding; only four percent of human rights funds accounts for persons with disabilities.

“That is tantamount to being, still, invisible. And, as all of you know, without resources, it is hard to push rights forward,” she said.

Ms. Samarasan said it was vital for Disabled Persons Organisations (DPOs) to create networks with donors and development partners to attract support for their work and donor agencies to establish inclusive framework within their structures to be able to support persons with disabilities effectively. 

Include persons with disabilities in development agenda

“All persons with disabilities must be included and recognized as people who can make a lift to our society.”

These were the words of the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar in closing the 4th Pacific Regional Conference on Disability.

She said that each nation must see that inclusion is not just at policy dialogue or policy intervention, but rather a concept expressed in improved livelihoods for people with disability. Persons with disabilities should be included in the new development agenda in the new world that we are building for all.

Realising the inclusion of persons with disabilities will require good communication between Disable Peoples Organisation, Governments, and disability partners and stakeholders. Good communication still needs to be pursued to materialize disability inclusion in all sectors. 

News Update 

Improve standards for persons with disabilities in society

Fijian Prime Minister Hon. Mr. Voreqe Bainimarama in opening the 4th PRCD urged every participant throughout the region to return to their homes with determination to improve the position of persons with disabilities in our societies.

Mr. Bainimarama stressed the importance of realising the rights of persons with disabilities to be asserted into national laws and policies such as reasonable adaptation of buildings, infrastructure, vehicles, working arrangements, rules, pratices or procedures to enable their full participation in society.

Including persons with disabilities in all aspects of life is important in taking action towards building a disability inclusive Pacific.

A disability inclusive Pacific means bringing people with disabilities from the margins to the centre of our national lives. It means implementing programs and providing services that cater the needs of persons with disabilities.

News Update 2

Partnership and Action towards a disability inclusive Pacific

Hovering on the theme ‘Partnership and action Towards a Disability Inclusive Pacific’, the 4th Pacific Regional Conference on Disability was opened by the Prime Minister of Fiji Hon. Mr. Voreqe Bainimarama this morning. Disability stakeholders, development partners, CSOs, NGOs, Disabled Persons Organisations and representatives from 20 Pacific nations and territories convened at the Tanoa International Hotel, in Nadi, Fiji to discuss ways forward for persons with disabilities in the Pacific.

The Honourable Mr. Voreqe Bainimarama said that today’s discussions would not only be productive and produce tangible benefits for people with disabilities but, also produces a determination on the part of everyone to redouble their efforts before the next regional conference in two years’time.

"'A disability inclusive Pacific means bringing people with disabilities from the margins to the centre of our national lives, it means implementing programs and providing services that cater to their needs and it also means bringing them from the margins of decision making to the centre of national policy formulation.” Mr Bainimarama said

He said while we cannot be judged by the standards of the developed nations when it comes providing services for people with disabilities, we could acknowledge that we all have to do more, adding that it was pleased to note that in the case of many of our nations, the years of neglect were over.

Mr. Bainimarama added for far too long people living with disabilities have been among the most disadvantaged in our societies not only in the Pacific but throughout the developing world.

Mr. Bainimarama expressed his gratitude to the organisers the Pacific Disability Forum, and the Fiji Disabled Peoples Federation and the Australian Government for the financial assistance that had made the important gathering possible.

News Update

1. Lack of accessibility is a challenge for persons with disabilities - Accessing quality education and proper employment opportunities is still a challenge for youths with disabilities in the Pacific. While the protection and promotion of disability rights and interest for persons with disabilities in the Pacific is progressing, there is still more that needs to be done to ensure that youths with disabilities in the Pacific have full access to education and employment opportunity

2. Skill development a challenge for youth with disabilities - Youths with disabilities in the Solomon Islands find it hard to access skills development and entrepreneurship training due to discriminatory treatments. These were the words of the Pacific Disability Forum’s Youth Co-chair Mr Charlie Maeke.

Lack of accessibility is a challenge for persons with disabilities

 Accessing quality education and proper employment opportunities is still a challenge for youths with disabilities in the Pacific. While the protection and promotion of disability rights and interest for persons with disabilities in the Pacific is progressing, there is still more that needs to be done to ensure that youths with disabilities in the Pacific have full access to education and employment opportunities.

Naunau O’E Alamaite Tonga Association (NATA) youth President Ms. Ana Pela Talakai said, that more needs to be done to ensure full access to education for persons with disabilities in Tonga. In her presentation at the Pacific Youth Conference on Disability, Talakai said despite the existence of three disability schools in Tonga, challenges remains for the full access to education for persons with disabilities.

Talakai added that there is a need to advocate and lobby for the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to ensure full accessibility.

She highlighted the absence of ramps, assistive technologies, sign language teachers, accessible transportation and buildings and budget allocation for persons with disabilities is depriving them from enjoying everyday life as normal.

Furthermore, Ms. Rosy Kissun of the Fiji Disabled Peoples Federation stressed the need to enforce current laws that protects the interest of persons with disabilities in Fiji.

She said that while the Employment Regulation Promulgation in Fiji ensures the inclusion of persons with disabilities in employment opportunities, the lack of enforcement by relevant enforcement agencies in implementing this law is proving to be a hindrance for persons with disabilities to obtain decent employment.

Kissun believes that the lack of knowledge that employers have on the accessible needs of persons with disabilities, the stigma that society have for persons with disabilities and the lack of enabling working environment often limits employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.

She stressed the need for DPO to work together with the government to review the building code and current legislations and policies on employment and education to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities and strengthen partnership and action towards a disability inclusive society.

Skill development a challenge for youth with disabilities

 Youths with disabilities in the Solomon Islands find it hard to access skills development and entrepreneurship training due to discriminatory treatments.

These were the words of the Pacific Disability Forum’s Youth Co-chair Mr Charlie Maeke.

Speaking at the Pacific Youth Regional Conference on Disability, Maeke said accessibility to education and employment opportunities for youths with disabilities in the Solomon Islands is a challenge.

“It is a challenge for youth with disabilities in the Solomon Islands to access scholarships for the TVET program and getting enrolled to the program, is virtually impossible as priorities are given to young people without disabilities,” said Mr. Maeke

While DPO’s plays an important role to lobby for the protection and promotion of the rights and interests of people with disabilities, governments play a vital role in ensuring that persons with disabilities are included in their programs.

Maeke further said that employment is another major challenge as they were not accepted in the work industry due to their disabilities.

“Most of our youth in Solomon Islands wants to start our small business on the trade that we have, but because of our disability we are not entitle for loan scheme and there is limited access to information on skills development that are available for young people,” he said.

Maeke emphasised the need for governments, development partners and stakeholders together with Disabled Persons Organisations (DPOs) to include young people with disabilities in skills development and other training programs.

He said it was vital that youths with disabilities be equipped with the knowledge on how to write business plans, be financial literate and be able to develop project proposal for small businesses.

News Update 2

Regional conference ensures women with disabilities voices are heard

 Women with disabilities in the Pacific regardless of income, location, disability, age or ethnic group must participate fully, freely and safely in political, economic and social life, according to Suzanne Bent, the First Secretary, Gender Equality, Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Speaking at the 4th Pacific Regional Conference on Disability, Ms. Bent said the Women’s Regional Conference on Disability was relevant because it allow development partners, CSOs, NGO’s and other stakeholders to hear the concerns of women with disabilities in the Pacific.

“We acknowledge, more needs to be done to ensure the issues and concerns of women with disabilities are brought to the table and presented by the women themselves, and that action is then taken to respond,” she said.

This, she said, was part of the approach for Pacific Women, a ten-year regional program with a AUD $320M budget commitment to work across 14 Pacific Island Countries. The program works towards the empowerment of women and their full participation in the society they live in.

“The delivery approach recognises that the change needed starts from the individual level, through to the family, community and national levels.  It needs to happen within formal systems as well as within the informal rules and practices which make up women’s and men’s lives.”

She said part of the guiding principles of Pacific Women was to acknowledge the complexity of gender inequality and the need for a collective and multi-layered solution.

Brent adds that forming partnerships was also an integral part of the work to combat gender inequality. She said donors catalysed the movement by providing the resources and funding needed.

“But although this is an important role, outside agencies cannot impose change; long term and sustainable change will only be driven by indigenous agents, groups and coalitions,” she said.

Brent said Pacific Women aims to establish the capacity, resources and relationships needed for action to be underway in all key areas across the region.

“And by the end of year six of the program, we want to see joined up services and action, that are independent of, but informed by, Pacific Women, happening in all 14 countries,” she said.

Program

Click here to view the 4th Pacific Regional Conference on Disability 2015 program

News Updates

Latest

Access to Justice

Australian law and subsequent institutional mechanisms for dealing with complaints do not sufficiently protect or promote the human rights of people with disability. 

Legal Capacity Reform

The legal capacity of people with disability is often denied or diminished by the law. Equality before the law is an absolute right and hence legal capacity is inherent to all people with or without disability. PWDA undertakes work, individually and in partnership to ensure equality in the accordance with the right to equality before the law for all people with disability.

Further Resources and Information

Below are petitions relating to the lives and experiences of people with disability. Some of these petitions are put out by PWDA and some are put out by other people.

We provide these links in the interests of promoting the work of people with disability and their advocates around issues we believe are important. 

Australia has a National Disability Strategy (NDS) which has been adopted by the States and Territories through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). The NDS is also the avenue through which Australia implements its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) which it ratified in 2008.

The National Disability Strategy is the key element to disability reform in Australia. The NDIS is a vital underpinning to improving the lives of people with disability but it cannot work alone: It won’t fix transport services; it won’t improve infrastructure barriers; it won’t provide accessible technology and communications; and it won’t tackle training, jobs and barriers to broader social and economic participation. We need an NDS and an NDIS working in tandem in order to address issues of this magnitude. Using this approach will also address the infrastructure challenges facing an ageing 21st Century Australia as the baby boomers retire and the population ages.

The NDS is a good framework but it is under resourced and lacks leverage and specificity. It requires greater resourcing, a public reporting mechanism, and transparent accountability measures within State and Territory agreements to ensure strategy outcomes are achieved at both the State and Federal level.

Specific areas of the NDS which need to be given a priority focus include:

Increasing access to employment opportunities as a key to improving the economic security of people with disability: Nearly half of people with disability in Australia live on or near the poverty line. Open employment opportunities are essential to enable people with disability to forge prosperous lives for themselves and their families.

Establishing a public, private and community transport system that is accessible for the whole community: Success in delivering the NDIS or achieving more jobs for people with disability cannot be realised without more integrated and accessible transport networks. Federal leadership, through a more robust and timely standards process is essential to ensure States implement the required transport improvements which would also be of significant benefit to the wider community.

Addressing infrastructure barriers: Universal design is the design of products, services and environments so that they are useable by everyone regardless of their age or ability. The introduction of universal housing design provisions in the Building Code of Australia for all new and extensively modified housing would considerably benefit people with disability by improving the available accommodation options.

Reforming discrimination law: We need strengthened disability discrimination law backed by robust mechanisms with teeth. The Americans with Disabilities Act, for example, has an implementation authority capable of enforcing standards and regulations which continuously drives industry improvement.

Ensuring that people with disability are free from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation: People with disability, especially women and girls with disability, experience greater incidences of all forms of violence than other people in Australia. For people living in congregate arrangements such as institutions this can be a daily occurrence. Time and time again we have seen that institutions are havens for predators who take sexual, physical and financial advantage of people with disability because they are living in an environment of dependence. Institutions must be closed and people with disability supported to live in the community.

Access to justice for people with disability: Support for independent advocacy and community legal centres is central to ensuring that people with disability are able to enforce their rights. Courts and tribunals also need to know how to support people with disability to participate in the justice system as victims, witnesses, defendants and appellants alike; and this must be reflected in law and procedure. The police and lawyers must investigate and prosecute violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation against people with disability to the same extent asfor people without disability.

Creating more effective responses from the criminal justice system for people with disability who have complex needs or heightened vulnerabilities: People with disability, in particular women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, are vastly overrepresented in our prisons and juvenile justice facilities. This includes the unwarranted use of prison for the management of unconvicted people with disability deemed unfit to plead. Prevention programmes, court diversion schemes and alternative support options need to be developed and strengthened in order to stop the incarceration of people with disability with complex needs.

2013 is also a significant year, as this September the Committee to the UN CRPD will review Australia’s compliance with the CRPD and make observations and recommendations. Taking more vigorous action to implement the NDS will demonstrate a stronger commitment to the CRPD. Moreover, there are important elements of the CRPD that the Government is yet to address. These include the collection of disaggregated national data about the situation of people with disability, and the establishment of a genuine and consistent framework for actively engaging and consulting people with disability and their representative organisations on policy and legislation that affects them.

Key Recommendations

  • Fully resource the range of measures under the NDS designed to implement the CRPD.
  • Strengthen the NDS by including a public reporting mechanism and transparent accountability measures within State and Territory agreements.
  • Establish a policy engagement framework detailing how people with disability and their representative organisations will be consulted on legislation and policy that affects them.

 Make the Convention Real Word 103kb

It is estimated that 20% of Australians are people with a disability. Yet historically, we have been shut out of civic life, the community and jobs. Hindered by negative attitudes, unimaginative programs, and inaccessible transport, buildings and information, people with disability in Australia have been excluded from ‘a fair go’, and basic human rights.

People with Disability Australia is uniting Australians with disability to call on government, politicians, the media, business and voters to end protracted and systemic marginalisation: to stop the abuse of people with disability and bring an end to institutions; to increase the number of people with disability in jobs and reduce poverty; to provide people with disability the adequate and appropriate supports we need to live lives of our own choosing by building a sustainable, person centred DisablityCare Australia; and to promote, protect and fulfil our human rights.

Advocate
Contract Position – to September 2014 (possible ext.)
Part-time: 21 hours per week

($57,689 - $62,195) plus super pro-rated (salary packaging options available)

Sydney office close to Redfern and Central Stations

People with Disability Australia Incorporated (PWDA) is a leading national disability rights and advocacy organisation that is seeking a skilled individual to provide advocacy support to individuals or groups of individuals with disability, and their associates and to promote and protect their human, legal and service user rights in accordance with the National Disability Service Standards.

Information package Download the Information Package (Word 73kb) that includes the selection criteria, which you must address in your application.

Applications close: 5pm 4 September 2013

People with disability and associates of people with disability, including those from culturally and linguistically diverse,  and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds, are encouraged to apply.

More information

Please study the information pack. If you have further questions, please contact Susan Barnes, Manager, Individual & Group Advocacy NSW on phone: (02) 9370 3100, TTY: (02) 9318 2138 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Applications  must address the selection criteria and include a recent CV and contact details for two (2) referees and emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or posted to Recruitment, PO Box 666, Strawberry Hills NSW 2012. 

 

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Thank you for your interest in employment at People with Disability Australia (PWDA).  We are a team connected by our shared values regarding the response to HIV in Queensland, and foster a respectful workplace with high regard for diversity.

There are currently no vacant positions.

If you are interested in volunteering, please visit the Volunteer page or contact us:

1800 422 015 is a toll free call  or you can call (02) 9370 3100

On Saturday 16 July 2011, PWDA members, guests and staff came together at the Mercure Hotel in Sydney NSW to celebrate PWD's 30th Anniversary Celebration:   Past, Present and Future.

Special guests on the evening were:

  • Graeme Innes AM, Disability Discrimination Commissioner and     Race Discrimination Commissioner from the Australian Human Rights Commission;
  • Joan Hume OAM, PWDA Life Member and Founding Member;
  • Senator the Honourable Jan McLucas, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers; and
  • Emeritus Professor Ron McCallum AO, Chair of UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Speeches

Photographs

Thumbnail link to Memorabilia Photographs Thumbnail link to 30th Anniversary Photographs

Our event was kindly sponsored by

Crumbs - cake art logo  DLP Piper logo     Gilbert and Tobin Lawyers logo

Media Access Australia logo