This year the Victorian government is doing an inquiry into social inclusion for people with a disability. This means you will be able to have your say about what problems you face in taking part in your community. For example, the kinds of difficulties you might have accessing buildings, going to school or getting a job. The government wants to hear about what they can do better and what changes need to be made so that people with disabilities can be included in the community. The closing date for providing your thoughts and ideas to the inquiry is 28 February.
People with a disability are twice as likely to experience serious legal problems compared to most of the population
People with disabilities often have legal problems. One of these problems is that people often break the law by not treating us as they should. People with disabilities often find that doctors do not look after us properly, people do not treat us as equals, and landlords, neighbours, government organisations and police may treat us unfairly. A recent survey shows that people with disabilities and single parents are twice as likely as other people to have legal problems. The survey looks at why some people have a lot of legal problems, and what can be done to help those affected.
The media often uses inappropriate words when talking about people with disabilities. So a set of guidelines have been written to help the media portray people with a disability. The "Reporting it Right" guidelines are written by the Department of Human Services. The guidelines ask people with disabilities be portrayed as people first. They also suggest not using very emotive language when describing people with disabilities. To help the media, the guidelines list acceptable terms for describing disabilities.
About a million Victorians have a disability. Disabilities can result from accidents, illness, genetics, or aging. A disability can be physical, sensory, intellectual, psychiatric or neurological. Disabilities limit a person's ability to carry out day-to-day activities. Organisations and governments use different ways to define disability. The DiVine website uses a general list of disabilities. Centrelink that provides the disability support pension lists many disabilities. The mobility allowance by the Federal Government has a much shorter list of disabilities. The Department of Education includes behaviour and language disorders. Other organisations like VicRoads concentrate on disabilities that affect access to their services.
2 female friends (1 wheelchair 1 crutches) walking through park
The NDIS could be available to some people within a year.
Last Monday I went to the National Disability Insurance Scheme rally. It was at Federation Square in Melbourne. There were about 2000 people. Speeches were made by state and federal politicians, as well as people with disabilities. It was good to share people's stories. Later in the day, the federal government announced it would begin a trial of the scheme within a year. I think the scheme is very important. It will help make people's lives more manageable. It will give people more opportunities. I left the rally happy knowing the government is doing its best to look after us.
The National Disability and Carer Congress was held in Melbourne last week. It followed a report about changes to the disability care and support system. There was strong support at the congress for change. People are very happy that the Australian Government has been told more money for supporting people with a disability is needed. They are also happy that people with a disability should have more say in what support they receive. But some people do not agree with all of the ideas the government has been given. The final report will be released in July.
I am excited by the concept of a national disability insurance scheme. The disability support system in Australia is not fair to everyone. But a national disability insurance scheme should help ensure people get the support they need. I was born with a disability. It was not anyone's fault. I do not receive the same support that other people receive. My options were limited when I left school. I hope a new system can ensure better support for everyone. The campaign Every Australian Counts is fighting for change.
People with significant disabilities would be guaranteed care under a new plan. The plan was released this week by the Australian Government’s Productivity Commission. Many people with a disability do not get the help they need. It often depends on how they got their disability. The Productivity Commission says the current system is unfair. The commission says there needs to be more money to provide care to people with a disability. You can have your say on the plan before it is finished.
Peter Gibilisco wants everyone to understand that people with a disability are equals. His goal is to change people's attitudes. He has spent many years studying society's treatment of people with a disability. He has written a book about disability and politics. The book focuses on employment, education and disability services. Doctor Gibilisco has a physical disability. He has been very determined to achieve so much. He has received awards for his work.
People with the same disability can get different support
Some people with disabilities have all their care and equipment paid for. Other people do not get enough help. This is not fair. A new insurance system would make sure that everybody gets the help that they need. Many people are asking the Australian Government to introduce an insurance system as soon as they can.