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?

Stop defining people with disabilities by what’s wrong with them and clustering them with other people with disabilities we need an inclusive society where people with disabilities are excepted in the mainstream.

As long as the ndis focus on pwd being wrong enough or impaired enough to gain access then you erode their self esteem and motivation.

I have had a disability for three years I which is so severe that I pass out but I can’t gain access because I don’t have reports that say I’m wrong enough. It’s counter-productive because if the NDIS provided me with support I could be economically self-sufficient. I could be participating in economic activity like running my own business and I could be X accessing the community in similar ways to before I had the Disability.

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

In some cases there needs to be indirect support via the Caira is specially in regards to autism. Instead of the participant being assigned support this report actually needs to be for the Caira to facilitate programs in the environment of the person with a disability to enhance their potential. Carers have been excluded and their burden increased since the introduction of NDIS.

Priority needs to be given to rural locations. Where diversity is less excepted and there are less resources as well as other problems specific to rural areas especially travel.

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?

Communities may vary. I can only speak of the community in which I live which is a small rural town. This town has a history of an institution for people with disabilities, consequently there are many fixed attitudes and outdated responses to Disability. Many of the problems are perpetuated by organisations who provide services to people with disabilities. There is a massive need for education and improvement of service delivery. The general public need to be educated about inclusion instead of treating people with disabilities in a condescending or paternalistic manner.

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?

The introduction of the NDIS has seen a vast reduction in state services in the rural location where I live there are no mainstream services for people with disabilities. If someone with a disability doesn’t gain access to the NDIS they get no support at all this is not acceptable.

The dissemination of information is currently very poor. Even NDIS staff are unfamiliar. There needs to be a one-stop easily accessible place for a person with a disability to get all the information they need and this should also be accessible to the medical fraternity who have a responsibility for continuing care after a diagnosis has been made a person with a disability should be able to transition straight into disability care.

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?

The strategy should include measures designed to educate and encourage non-government organisations to be inclusive. I have found that many non-government organisations are unwilling to make an effort and will not do so unless it is made compulsory. It should be compulsory for every workplace to have an inclusion policy demonstrating how they will make an effort to include people with disabilities in their employment program especially for non-government organisations with a large employee group. For example every community football team can surely find a place in their organisation to include two or three people with a disability in some role. Boards of management could find a way to assist a person with a disability to be included on the board of management supermarkets could find a place to employ one person with a disability.

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?

Reporting needs to be based on the live experiences of people with a disability I am fed up with so-called advocates purporting to represent me with a paternalistic attitude of knowing what’s best for me without any consultation with me.

I don’t want to read a report about how much money was spent I want would like to see a report that indicates people with disabilities themselves have indicated that certain key factors of their life have improved.

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)?

I think that targeted action plans are a good idea for service providers and NDIS staff especially in relation to education. We need qualified staff capable of doing the job and using innovation.

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?

Engagement plan is essential and I think a really good step towards that would be getting rid of advocacy agencies and directly engaging with people with disabilities so that they have an opportunity to speak for themselves directly. We have interpreters for people for whom English is a second language, can we not have interpreters that understand particular Disability speak. By that I mean people who are skilled in using or understanding communication boards or simplifying questions for people who have intellectual disabilities. Can we not have a department In the NDIS who are responsible for engagement directly with the people with disabilities who are affected by this instead of advocacy groups or individuals who manipulate that process for their own political end.

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

I think that independent assesses are a good step however it concerns me how you will find qualified experienced professionals in rural locations and how one particular practitioner will assess a person with complex or comorbid conditions.

I am also concerned that there is not enough community awareness of people with neurological or sensory processing disorders and not enough service providers and not enough consideration in solicy policy or building design.

For example government agencies could desensitise their officers by not having fluorescent lights EVERYWHERE when this exacerbates sensory overload.