Toothbrush saying I hate my job toilet roll saying oh please

So, the DSS is currently looking into the good and the bad and the possible future when it comes to Disability Employment Services….

I went to the Newcastle forum today for consumers and carers. I have to say, I felt a lot like the odd one out (only recently becoming a DES client, and “only” having mental health issues and not physical, sensory or intellectual difficulties), but that did mean some of the things I DID contribute were a little unique to the group. Like, why the hell would you think it was a good idea to send a girl with mega social anxiety “door knocking” for charity as a work experience gig? Or tell a rather butch chick that she had to learn to wear makeup for interviews (also a bug bear for the Blind woman in the audience – she said sure, I’ll wear nice clothes but like fuck I’ll do eyeshadow!)

It was cool that everyone got a chance to say (or sign) something. There was one woman there with CP and rather unintelligble speech, but she had another woman with her (also with CP) who helped everyone understand what she was saying (THAT was a challenging few periods for the Auslan interpreters!).

So, the NDIS is meant to be rolled out by 2019 or 2010, and the DES is to be fully reviewed by 2018 (ie all the contracts are up for renewal) and they have to find a way to get the two working together, along with employers making those so-called “reasonable adjustments”… Oh then there’s all the stuff in the pre-workforce age range that really needs to be done. Let alone transitions.

So, if you want to look at the issues paper it is at https://engage.dss.gov.au/disability-employment-framework/issues-paper/ in various formats, and you can make a submission through the “engagement” website.

PWD form on disability employment services review summary points

From Live Toad

Annie’s Last Paper Not Coming Out

In a bizarre replay of Annie’s Coming Out (1980) the Department of Human Services is preventing Anne McDonald‘s oldest friend, Leonie McFarlane, from delivering a presentation in her memory.

Leonie’s case is to be taken to the Supreme Court today by Ron Meldrum, QC.

Anne McDonald and Leonie McFarlane were both admitted to St Nicholas Hospital as young children because they had severe cerebral palsy and couldn’t talk intelligibly. Anne left the hospital after winning a writ of Habeas Corpus in 1979, and went on to graduate from university and win a National Disability Award. Leonie remained in state care.

Early in 2010 Anne and Leonie developed a Powerpoint presentation comparing their lives in and out of state care. They planned to deliver the presentation together for the AGOSCI national conference on non-speech communication starting in Adelaide on 11 May – next Wednesday.

After Anne’s sudden death last October Leonie received a FaHCSIA-funded scholarship to attend the conference and deliver the presentation with the assistance of Anne’s carers – Rosemary Crossley and her partner Chris Borthwick.

All permissions were obtained and arrangements finalised with DHS on March 31. On April 21 DHS suddenly banned Leonie from attending the conference, and banned her from having any contact with Crossley and Borthwick. When questioned the Minister’s office said “there is no push at all from the department to stop this happening, rather the individual’s guardian has made the decision”.

On May 3 DHS admitted that Leonie, who is 48, does not have a guardian. Nonetheless the department and the Minister are continuing to pass the buck, with neither prepared to withdraw the bans.

Today Rosemary Crossley said “You cannot imagine how distressing this is, both for Leonie (who saw Anne as family) and for us. Anne fought for ordinary human rights for people with disabilities. It’s heartbreaking to discover that her struggle was in vain – that in 30 years the bureaucracy has learnt nothing about essential freedoms, and the right of all people to a life worth living.”

From what I have read online today, Leonie has now been prevented from further contact with Rosemary and Chris, and will not be allowed to present the paper in Adelaide, and it seems that those who have made the decision have deferred to the parents’ preferences. And from all accounts, Leonie is perfectly capable of making her own decisions should those with the power to listen choose to do so.

I don’t know all the facts, but I do believe that it is perfectly possible that the courts and DHS have chosen not to listen to Leonie as she does not talk.

Okay. Had to get that out there.

More on Anne at Deal.org.au

Edit 10/05 7pm – the age have picked up the story.

NDIS Take Action

Every Australian Counts is the campaign for the introduction of a National Disability Insurance Scheme. The NDIS will revolutionise the way people with a disability, their families and carers are supported in this country.
The NDIS will be a new support system for people with a disability, their families and carers. It will transform the way services are funded and delivered, ensuring people are better supported and enabling them to have greater choice and control.
Over the next few months the Productivity Commission will report to the Government on the findings of its inquiry into a long-term disability care and support scheme.
We need every Australian to stand up and say that people with a disability, their families and carers in this country deserve better and that it’s time for change. We need every Australian to say that people with a disability, their families and carers are Australians too, and that their hopes and dreams count. That they are part of our community, and that they count.
We need to show the government that there is widespread community support for change – and that the time for action has come.
On the pages of this website you can find out how the NDIS will help people with disabilities at home and at work, and the ways it will help children, families and students.
You can support the campaign, by taking action to make every Australian count.

Sign the Petition

(Thanks to Nathaneal B for head heads up – I have vague memories at missing this last year!)

So, Why is my site ugly and Naked today? Why have a css naked day?

The idea of the day is to promote web standards, to remember that not everyone can access the internet just by looking at the pretty pictures on the page and rely on being able to use special browsers or simply being able to enlarge the text, to be able to read your oh so wonderful content.

Yes, there’s even “stuff about the internet” that could be related to the disability discrimination act. There’s also a review going on at the moment (yes, the department of broadband has other things going on than the NBN) into the supply of mobile and other equipment to those with a disability (link) and not just those with a hearing impairment, which often seems to be the focus of “other” ways of accessing telephones. Think speech impairments, or cognitive impairments.

Oh and a cool new AAC “toy” that was doing the rounds yesterday:


The Proloquo2go. It uses a real iphone, but is also a voice output device. Completely suitable for teens and other young people who need an alternate means of communication. So cool and relatively cheap!

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