Peter Wilson

Which of the following statements best describes you?

  • I’m a person with disability

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 Federal Government continues to largely ignore and/or dismiss people with disability. An unequivocal example of this is the complete lack of ANY increase in the Disability SUpport Pension during the Covid-19 pandemic. Two paltry cash amounts spread months apart did VERY LITTLE to help us in trying to deal with massively increased costs; cost increases that are ONGOING. Economic security is a very bad joke.
Living in an inclusive community continues to be a dream: now the Govt is proposing to ‘independently’ assess just how disabled we are, thus erecting yet another BARRIER rather than assisting us with our efforts to be included in a community full of stairs, rough paths etc.

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

NDIS continues to be a massively over-complex system that shrouds our entitlements in jargon and labyrinthine processes. A desperately needed application for a wheelchair required in order to engage in the wider community has been sitting with the NDIS for THREE MONTHS now, just to give one personal example. A MUCH bigger effort MUST be made to streamline processes in favour of clients and make the whole edifice MUCH more easy to understand/user friendly and transparent with regard to exactly what supports are available rather than making everything semi-secret and mysterious… e.g I have $20,000 in my plan for ‘Assistance with social and community participation’ which I have only just discovered – and I have no real idea how to use it, what it might cover etc, but it sounds like it would be of MASSIVE BENEFIT!!!

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?

If this is to happen to ANY degree, the Federal Government MUST lead by example and start to display INCLUSIVE, DISABILITY-FRIENDLY attitudes, PRACTICES and PROCEDURES rather than making everything so complex and adversarial (e.g. proposed ‘independent assessment’ ideas – nothing more than another gate-keeping barrier).

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?

A very good thing – but great care must be taken to ensure that the ‘clear outlining’ does not result in over-simplification of what are often complex factors contributing to disability and creating more BARRIERS rather than making things easier/better for the disabled person.

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?

Too big an area to cover in 250 words!

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?

Clear, concise and frequent reporting is imperative. The reporting MUST be carried out by a body that is demonstrably free of government and political influence. Assisting people with disability MU&ST STOP BEING A POLITICAL PLAYTHING.

  • 12-monthly surveys of people with disability and providers asking for input and feedback
  • Reports made EVERY YEAR on the preceding 12 months.

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)?

Fine… if such jargon-infested sentiments do not actually end up CREATING barriers or making things even more complex. Again, 250 words to cover such a concept is a joke…

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?

Yet another concept that requires MUCH more than 250 words! I live next door to a person with very obvious disabilities: the govt. housing authority know this and the police know this; they have known for at LEAST 18 months that the person is being subjected to bullying, theft and abuse, but nothing is done. How can such a person be more adequately assisted WITHOUT ignoring their rights? How do such people adequately express their wants/needs? I find it challenging – and I hold a Master of Education degree!

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

Wow. 1000 words. I’ll just limit myself to repeating a couple of my main points:

  • Do not allow disability to become a politician’s plaything like it becoming.
  • DO NOT set up gate-keeping mechanisms that are by nature oppositional.
  • Emphasis MUST be on HELPING people with disability live better lives rather than creating artificial medical-model based BARRIERS that do NOT take individual complexities into account. I have had experience with such thinking first hand and it is very damaging.