Consultation period

29 April 2019 - 12:01 am To 26 July 2019 - 11:59 pm

Discuss emerging areas

This forum is closed for comments. All comments can be viewed by scrolling down the page.

The emerging areas discussion document  is available at the links below:

The discussion topic included:

  • Technology, including assistive technology
  • Interaction with NDIS
  • An ageing population
  • Entrepreneurship and microenterprise – opportunities for people to start their own businesses
  • Social enterprise.

This discussion has been made by members of the public. The views and recommendations expressed in this discussion are those of the authors and are not the views or recommendations of the Australian Government. The Australian Government accepts no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of any material contained in these submissions. Please note discussion may have been edited to remove certain words or names of individuals or organisations.

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11 comments on Discuss emerging areas

  1. The Social Deck

    Welcome and thanks to everyone who has shared their experiences, insights and comments so far in this online forum about the next National Disability Strategy for 2020 and beyond.

    Today (Friday 21 June) is the final day of the forum. It will be closed to comments at 5pm AEST.

    Please refresh your page regularly to see new comments.

  2. The Social Deck

    This discussion topic is about technology
    What technology in the future do you think will help to improve the lives of people with disability? Think about:

    What sorts of assistive technology do you use, or would you like to see more of?
    Is it easy or difficult to access the internet or a computer to do things online?
    Are there new technologies you are looking forward to that you think will help to improve the lives of people with disability?

  3. The Social Deck

    This discussion topic is about the interaction with the NDIS
    What might need to change in the next strategy to respond to the NDIS? Think about:

    If you have an NDIS plan, how has this changed things for you?
    How do we make sure people who don’t access the NDIS are looked after?

  4. Lewis

    I work for Huntington’s NSW & ACT. I’m confident the following comments are relevant to a number of other neuro-degenerative diseases.

    The NDIS appears to be driven by principles of reablement, working to improve independence and employability.

    For our members and the many thousands of people affected by Huntington’s disease and other neuro-degenerative conditions, their reality is increasing disability, whether physical, cognitive or other.

    Many of our carers report that NDIS assessors simply don’t ask the right questions It appears they cannot allow that the person for whom services are being applied may not have insight into their condition and thus tell an assessor they have no need of services, when this is patently not the case.

    It would be much better if assessors and service providers working with people with Huntington’s disease had some understanding of the condition and its impact on individuals and carers. This is nearly always not the case according to reports from our members. In fact from our perspective this should be a requirement.

    Also degenerative diseases progress at different rates at different times for different individuals, so considerable flexibility should be built in to timing and intensity of package reviews.

    I’d also like to point out that most people with Huntington’s disease end up in aged care, even though the majority would be under 65. This is the wrong place for them, and we need to see funding being focussed on intensive and specialised disability accommodation for this client group becoming available, particularly in regional locations. This is potentially an important way of addressing ongoing concerns about the inappropriate placement of younger people in nursing homes (itself one of the terms of reference of the current aged care royal commission).

  5. The Social Deck

    This discussion topic is about an ageing population
    What do you think will happen as our society gets older? Think about:

    What is the impact of carers becoming older?
    What is the impact on young people who might need to care for their loved ones for longer?
    How can the aged care and disability systems work better together?

    1. garrarte

      I am not sure if currently there is enough public awareness on the average number of years a person is expected to live affected by a disability.This information is relevant to plan, design, integrate services at all levels, fund programs and collect data to support decisions.

  6. Stephen Williamson

    With an ageing population, hearing loss is predicted to increase to one in every four Australians by 2050. About a third of acquired hearing loss is because of noise exposure from workplace noise and leisure activities and is largely preventable. Hearing loss increases from less than one per cent for people younger than 15 years to three in every four people aged over 70 years. About a fifth of the population live with ear disorders such as Tinnitus and Meniere’s. Hearing loss is a significant and economic cost to Australia − about $15 billion each year. In particular, with our ageing population, and the need for all Australians to stay productive for longer, impact of hearing loss on productivity at work must be viewed as critical. People who want to work and have a hearing loss face challenges that most of their hearing peers won’t be aware of. For some, the barriers are clear at or before they start looking for work and, for many, they become more important during the selection process or at work. Hearing loss can also mean people leave work sooner than they would like and before the age they plan to retire.

  7. Rae

    More people are becoming very sensitive to chemicals, for example in ‘air fresheners,’ cleaning products and especially fragrances in personal care and laundry products. A number of chronic conditions are worsened by constant exposure to such products and people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity face barriers in most aspects of life. Receiving in-home care is very difficult, as finding workers who are willing and able to be fragrance-free can be almost impossible. And then as workers change, the stressful process needs to be repeated. The condition is considered a disability under human rights law but not respected enough in the health area. In order to stay as healthy as possible, I need to carefully control my environment. As I – and others like me age and become more reliant on services, we have to relinquish some of that control – to the severe detriment of our health (which will cost the government money).
    At the moment, I am both in receipt of services for my own disability, and a carer for an ageing and disabled (different dis/ability) parent. We will soon be in a situation where I can no longer care for her at all, and if she enters a residential facility, it is highly likely that I will not be able to visit her freely – due to chemicals in the facility and on staff and other residents.
    And then of course, there is the question of having chemical-free accommodation for myself into the future – whether that be a residential facility or supported housing.
    Choosing less toxic cleaning methods and enforcing fragrance-free policies for staff will go a long way to ensuring facilities are accessible to ALL disabled people and their families. Fragrances have neurological effects and physical effects on many people; everyone would benefit from a fragrance-free facility and health-care workers who do not worsen illness through their choice of laundry and personal care products.

    1. The Social Deck

      Hi Rae, just want to let you know that we really appreciate the information and ideas you’ve provided around chemical sensitivities and the complexities of ME/CFS.

  8. The Social Deck

    This discussion topic is about entrepreneurship and microenterprise – opportunities for people to start their own businesses
    How can we help people with disability to become business owners, if they want to? Think about:

    What can stop people with disability from starting their own business now?
    How can people with disability be supported to start their own microenterprise or other business?

  9. The Social Deck

    A reminder that this forum ends at 5.00pm today (Friday, 21 July 2019).

    We would like to thank all participants for their time and contributions, and for sharing your story and experiences.

    The information and insights provided by participants in this forum will be reviewed, considered and included in our Consultation Report, alongside the information gathered through the public survey and 17 face-to-face workshops held over the past 8 weeks.

    If you would like further information about consultations to help shape the next national disability strategy, please email . You can also visit to sign up to the newsletter for updates.