Which of the following statements best describes you?
- I’m a parent / guardian or other family member of a person with disability
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?
I think the overall vision is fantastic. We have just had a health experience with my son who has CP, mobilises in powered wheelchair and talks with electronic device. We were able to get a hospital room with a ceiling hoist but there was only one on the ward. He has some behaviour issues and the staffs ability to help with this was poor. Access to health in terms of infrastructure contained is rarely thought of from the disabled persons perspective or carer. All hospitals should have a changing places room for personal care if visiting/appointments. And staff should have PD about how to communicate with people who communicate differently. Simple stratgies to help with behaviour etc.
What do you think about the guiding principles proposed here?
Some of the access standards do not support universal design. Eg a standard disabled toilet does not support people who are unable to stand or transfer. Changing places bathrooms need to be the standard for public places eg hospitals, schools, sports grounds etc and private places like shopping centres should be supplemented to provide the same. Parks and public outdoor areas too will meet standards but these may not meet the needs of people in wheelchairs equitably.
Please add significantly physically disabled people into the list of priority populations – these are by far and away the most vulnerable and most disadvantaged.
i agree with the guiding principles – engaging the non-disabled community will be the key and gaining true long term cultural shift
What is your view on the proposal for the new Strategy to have a stronger emphasis on improving community attitudes across all outcome areas?
Absolutely agree, but how will this occur. the Discrimination act has been present for almost 3 decades yet the education sector still “will make reasonable adjustments on enrolment” for children with disabilities. Why are adjustments still needed this far down the track, why are schools still built without necessary access, why are principals allowed to make capital works changes that are not accessible and why do playgrounds typically support able bodied children – our principal said “he really likes watching the other kids play” my response was “i think he would prefer to play himself” but the equipment did not support all abilities play – since then our school has installed new play equipment none of which is accessible. This is just an example of how the attitudes affect opportunities of disabled people to develop and belong. If senior educators can’t do it now how will this shift for the future?
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?
I see this will just be restructure and unless the individual groups have an intent to make it all easier it will just be the same just different distribution of who does what.
How do you think the Strategy should represent the role that the non-government sector plays in improving outcomes for people with disability?
It would be great if there could be a certification (simple) that shows the organisation meets disability standards. there could be certifications that show what role the organisation has eg research, support, representation, employment etc – this would allow non-government sector guidance of how to improve outcomes. Even if there was a website that gave guidance on steps to allow inclusion.
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?
Human rights commission needs to have more authority to direct organisations. The commission needs to be accountable too. My son was not allowed to go to daycare because the daycare group informed me that their insurance didn’t cover him – human rights commission did not help at all. This seemed completely unreasonable to me. the daycare dragged out arbitration until my son was due to leave – NO consequences for them and human rights commission unable to apply any warning penalty. We need to make sure the reporting isn’t just words but creates change that supports disabled people quickly.
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)?
It is ok in principle but how will you measure success during and after? How will change be maintained? there are lots of targeted actions, i hope some can run in parallel. Please make the first one to be – make all education settings inclusive always –
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?
Disability is diverse, what is important to one group may be less so for others. it is important to have breadth of opinion. having a national representation group that had local branches that consulted with all local support groups would be good. having surveys like this is great. having smaller focus groups would also be useful. it would be good to have some able bodied reps too.
Is there anything else you would like to share about the ideas and proposals in the position paper?
You have done a good job to define a complex area into some form of organised approach. I feel some concern about priority groups, my gut instinct is not to have priority groups as the needs of the community should cover all these groups.