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 support worker / work directly with people with disability
  • I’m a health professional

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?

Personal and community support:
The current workforce has needed to expand. The training of health professionals eg physiotherapists in the area of disability has not kept up. Graduates do not have sufficient disability specific training to provide adequate services. Further training, both formal and informal including ongoing mentoring and supervision should be an integral part of service provision. This will ensure a higher standard of care but also attract suitable people to the field of disability and give consumers of services more choice.

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

No comment Thanks

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?

Attitudes in both the general community as well as community services such as child care and schools and also workplaces all need to improve to build a more inclusive society. Policies are not reflected in the actions of workers in many settings and inclusion can be tokenistic and not truly build the capacity of the individual with disability. In fact it can undermine future potential when workers are not supported and encouraged to embrace diversity. Better funding of early childhood sector and more specialist support available to schools has the potential to remove barriers to inclusion that currently exist.

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?

Service providers and others who support people with a disability, as well as those with a disability spend a lot of time making sense of entitlements that are convoluted and lack transparency. Flexible and person centred approaches to decisions are helpful but guidelines need to be clear so that we don’t spend excessive time trying to access necessary supports by making multiple time consuming enquiries, reports and research efforts to “shop” for the outcomes that people are entitled to.

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?

Non government service providers have workforces that are not adequately remunerated (for example compare allied health professionals working in non gov sector vs health sector at same level of expertise). Training, supervision, mentoring are not sufficient and those who endeavour to fill the gap via private business endeavours cannot charge market rates as those employed in these industries are largely underpaid women working part time while raising families and earning less per hour than their government funded counterparts. The early career professionals work with inadequate supervision and in small business can be under pressure to meet “billable hours” at the expense of training and support and time for reflective practice with more experienced mentors. This results in clients with disabilities and their families receiving less than adequate service as a result of lack of choice or awareness of the standard of care they should be receiving. This is especially relevant in early childhood disability where families are still unaware of what best practice early intervention looks like and are dealing with new and complex responsibilities of caring for a young child with a disability. Their lack of expertise is reflective of a general community inexperience with inclusion

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 quarterly would seem reasonable in a 1 page or 5 minute format

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)?

Quality service provision is impossible if their is not a highly qualified workforce. Workforce development from support workers through to tertiary qualified health and education professionals needs to be supported by funded mentoring, formal and informal systems of education and learning that encourage and build the disability workforce and also build the standard of undergraduate training of all health and educational professionals so that best practice reflects inclusion and disability topics such as family centre practice and person centred care. Undergraduate health and education training are still embracing expert led models of care as the only model.

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?

No comment. Thanks

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

No comment. Thanks