Michael Lang

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?

What does it mean to create or live in a well designed community? It is good to aspire to an inclusive community and to foster inclusiveness as a key value, but the notion that such a society can be designed elicits the question “who is designing?”. Better to foster values and attitudes which will promote inclusiveness and design infrastructure and institutional frameworks which encourage inclusion.

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

The universal acceptance of these guiding principles would be enhanced by a deeper and broader community understanding of what it means to have a disability. It would be worthwhile to promote a better understanding of the ways in which it is possible to be disabled and the lived experience of people living with each disability. Such understanding wold help break down the perception of “otherness”.

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?

Absolutely vital, but that improvement in attitude would be better if accompanied by an exposure to the lived experience and capacities of disabled individuals. Part of the underpinning acceptance is the recognition of those abilities which people have in spite of or as well as their disability.

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?

This is essential. If one knows where to go for a particular service or support then they have a better idea of where to go to gain assistance. This information could be part of the national curriculum, at least in a general or over view.

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?

Without the inclusion of the non-government sector as a promoter of inclusion the value of inclusion faces an uphill battle. Companies and community organisations could be recognised and accredited as actively improving and working to improve outcomes for people with disability. There may be a place for a body accrediting businesses and organisations as inclusion partners.

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?

Two kinds of information here: 1)a periodic report where there is an overall evaluation of progress accompanied by 2) progress reports on the ongoing barriers/progress for specific kinds of disability. Both of these could draw on the feedback from disability organisations and from disabled individuals. That feedback could be an annual survey but there should be room made for particular moments of progress.

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)?

Targeted Action Plans- a good idea, provided the plans are focused on areas which are recognised as worthwhile by disabled people. I would focus on information access (what is the gap between what information would empower a disabled group and the current state of information?) and the skill levels of support people.

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?

Wide ranging promotion of the engagement plan as a concept. An accord style round table to discuss an action plan and the practical implication of that plan for governments, companies and organisations. Participation by all of these in this process.

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

Nil input.