Which of the following statements best describes you?

  • I’m a parent / guardian or other family member of a person with disability
  • I’m a carer of a person with disability
  • I’m employed by federal, state or territory, or local government
  • Other – I work in a school with students with varied disabilities

Question 1:
During the first stage of consultations we heard that the vision and the six outcome areas under the current Strategy are still the right ones. Do you have any comments on the vision and outcome areas being proposed for the new Strategy?

The education system catering for students with special needs also needs a huge overhaul and independent inquiry.

There is still confusion around eligibility of enrolments, levels of support / funding for students, teacher training and support specific to schools and how critical schools are in linking families to NDIS and supporting NDIS goals in the school context. A school needs to support students and families with navigating this incredibly complex system with little knowledge or support.

Question 2:
What do you think about the guiding principles proposed here?

  • employment of young people with disability is my role in my school context and there is really little (authentic) employment opportunities post schooling. (There is a real need for more organisations like GSI Canningvale recycling plant – particularly in WA – to offer various employment opportunities for people with disability. The huge geography of WA – and there is only ONE of these providers south of the rive) This is a very grey area and schools are trying to do the same job as many service providers… this area could be looked at. Schools need to be informed about NDIS changes / services so they can best support families working through their plans.
  • families and cares reach breaking point often, before any help is given. Many of my families have disengaged with NDIS / service providers as their needs have not been historically met. Plans are made – parents dont understand and go to schools seeking help.
  • could schools not be given funding allocation for therapists to be directly employed by schools to address all students with disability in their care? That way more students could be targeted and receive services that many dont use as parents of students with disabilities are already overwhelmed with all the extra parenting that comes with a child with a disability

Question 3:
What is your view on the proposal for the new Strategy to have a stronger emphasis on improving community attitudes across all outcome areas?

Well overdue!

Families / carers – particularly young carers NEED more services and addressing their mental health is required. If the family unit falls apart – the child with the disability is left disadvantaged / more vulnerable. Many families are single parent families too – the enormity of raising a child solo is daunting and overwhelming. Family units are no longer close knit – service providers (respite) then becomes so important but so hard to get.

  • the education system has policies that are developed specific to mainstream students regarding eligibility for enrolment, behaviour, violence in schools etc but nothing is specific to dealing with students with disability.
  • Teacher training at University levels need more courses on teaching / learning of students with disability… one unit in a 4 year degree does not cut it.
  • schools are expected to cater for students with a variety of disabilities, behaviour issues AND students with normal IQs but have severe mental health issues or from juvenile justice – this is crazy. That means students with disabilities are being exposed to students / issues like suicide… that is way beyond their level of comprehension. This desperately needs changing. Very different needs – very different approaches required.

Question 4:
How do you think that clearly outlining what each government is responsible for could make it easier for people with disability to access the supports and services they need?

Most definetly! And make the funding open and transparent too to the community. I have no idea how it is calculated and how one person with a disability gets more funding then another.

The planning process for NDIS really needs to be improved too. When you need to review plans – this should be quicker.

Question 5:
How do you think the Strategy should represent the role that the non-government sector plays in improving outcomes for people with disability?

This is a massive area that needs overhauling. Small businesses need incentives to employ people with disabilities in meaningful employment. Schools could give valuable advice in this area – especially people who work in Senior Secondary schools and how difficult it is to source employment / work place learning for students with a disability.

The state government need to have more places like GSI Canningvale recycling plant – locating all the state that can cater for large volumes of people with disability sourcing employment.

Question 6:
What kind of information on the Strategy’s progress should governments make available to the public and how often should this information be made available?

It should be covered on the National news – TV advertising etc.

Again schools don’t know this information.

Reporting should be done annually – especially in light of Covid 19 – issues need to be addressed NOW!

Question 7:
What do you think of the proposal to have Targeted Action Plans that focus on making improvements in specific areas within a defined period of time (for example within one, two or three years)?

Brilliant idea – shows accountability.

Data needs to be collected on school leavers gaining employment post schooling.

Collect data on well being on carers / families.

Target improving education – review education system to see if it is adequately catering for students with disability.

Data needs to be collected on generational disability – in our school context … we have entire families coming through our school system and their parents have a disability. How can they advocate for their child / if they don’t have capacity themself?

Question 8:
How could the proposed Engagement Plan ensure people with disability, and the disability community, are involved in the delivery and monitoring of the next Strategy?

Ask schools for data – strategies.

There is a lack of authentic community programs for teens to engage in, in the community.

Well being of the family unit needs more support – especially young carers.

More authentic job opportunities in the community – linked to local organisations with govt incentives.

More AAC devices / braille etc displayed throughout the community so that everyone has a voice.

Question 9:
Is there anything else you would like to share about the ideas and proposals in the position paper?

I think it is great and well overdue. I will reiterate…. that the education system also needs a review and overhaul. Families / carers need so much more support – especially single parent families. Families / carers with children with disability also need support so that they are not discriminated against with the huge task of caring for a child with a disability and attending all the medical appointments, therapies, meetings – as well as trying to hold down a job… is there a need for families to have additional leave?