newsletter Disability Advocacy Resource by jennyyingdi


									                           DARU Update
                           12 March 2012






                            IN THE NEWS
Helping More Australians With Disability To Find Work
Media Release, The Hon Bill Shorten MP, Minister for Employment and
Workplace Relations and Superannuation, Financial Services, 2 March 2012

A record number of people with disability are receiving assistance to
help them find and keep a job, thanks to the uncapping Disability
Employment Services (DES).

More than 97,000 people have been placed into employment through
DES in the past two years, and more than 148,000 people are now
being serviced by DES providers nationally – a 43 per cent increase
since the system began.

The Government is investing more than $3 billion in Disability
Employment Services over the next four years, including new
expanded wage subsidy programs and access to employment-related
mentoring services.

More generous rules will also make work more attractive for job
seekers with disability, allowing people on the disability support
pension to work more hours without having their payment suspended
or cancelled.

The measures are part of the Government’s Building Australia’s
Future Workforce package to deliver skills and education to more
Australians. For more information on Disability Employment Services,
Details of the Building Australia’s Future Workforce package are
available at:

Nursing Home Out of Reach for Diabetes Sufferer
Michelle Griffin, The Age, 5 March 2012

Working for country newspapers and radio stations, Leigh Dickinson
travelled hundreds of kilometres in various jobs. But since he suffered
a diabetic coma two years ago, his horizons have shrunk to a hospital
ward. Brain damage has burnt through his memories and speech; his
eyesight is failing as his blood sugar still soars and plummets to
dangerous levels from uncontrolled diabetes.

At the age of 35, Mr Dickinson is on waiting lists for a place in a
nursing home, a fate his family reluctantly accepts. Like about 6500
other Australians under 50, his nursing needs are too intensive to
allow him to get by with family help.

After several hypoglycaemic episodes, he was admitted last October
to Footscray's Western Hospital and has never left. While he gets 24-
hour special attendant care in the hospital, his diabetes and epilepsy
disqualify him from a place on brain-injury rehabilitation programs that
would help him recover mentally.

''We're running out of options,'' said his father Neil Dickinson, 71, a
pensioner who travels from Albury every fortnight to visit his son. ''A
nursing home isn't really set up for his needs. He's not getting rehab
and he's bored out of his mind. He's a social animal, Leigh.''

He understands perfectly well. No, he says, no friends come to see
him. Yes, he wants to leave the hospital. What does he wish he could
do again? ''Fishing,'' he says.

Bronwyn Morkham, director of the National Alliance of Young People
in Nursing Homes, says young people are stranded in nursing homes
because they slip through the cracks.

A federal-state alliance to combat the issue invested $244 million
over five years on programs to bridge the divide between nursing
care and rehabilitation.
But the program has been in a hiatus since July last year, even
though it reduced the number of people under 50 in nursing homes by
39 per cent. While the federal government has committed another
$122 million for a further five years, none of the states have signed up
again. ''As a result, the program has stalled in that it has no capacity
to take on new applicants,'' Dr Morkham said.

While Victoria does provide $9.4 million to fund services for young
people at risk of moving into nursing homes, it's a slow, uncertain and
complex business co-ordinating state and federal departments.

''Molly Meldrum's all over the news with his recovery,'' said Neil
Dickinson. ''He can get the rehab and therapy that he needs, and
that's great.
But some people don't have access to those things.''

To read the full story, visit:

A Review of Early Intervention Therapies for Children with
Media Release, Senator Jan McLucas Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities
and Carers, 6 March 2012

The Australian Government has welcomed a report reviewing the
most effective models of practice in early intervention therapies for
children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

The report was produced by the Australian Autism Research
Collaboration and will help the Government to ensure its Helping
Children with Autism package is as effective as possible.

Senator Jan McLucas, said the report looked at the assessment
processes used in the early intervention services component of the
Helping Children with Autism package. “This report has provided us
with recommendations to further improve early intervention services
and therapies for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder,”
Senator McLucas said.

Recommendations include improved communication and information
sharing among Helping Children with Autism allied health
professionals but also with families in rural and remote communities
and those from a non-English speaking background. The report also
recommends a continued strong emphasis on best practice standards
by service providers as well as the consideration of tele-health
measures to overcome geographical challenges.

“This report will help ensure that organisations who receive funding
for early intervention services through the Helping Children with
Autism package provide effective and scientifically proven services
and therapies,” Senator McLucas said.

“By developing relevant and effective solutions for early intervention
services and therapies, children with autism can have the best
individual care and support tailored to their needs, improving their
quality of life and making it easier for them to attend school, and
participate in everyday activities.

 “More than 16,000 Australian children aged up to seven years have
accessed more than 500,000 early intervention services through the
Government’s Helping Children with Autism package.

To read the full media release, visit:

Another Boost for Pensioners and Income Support Recipients
Media Release,The Hon Bill Shorten MP, Minister for Employment and
Workplace Relations and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation and
The Hon Jenny Macklin Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and
Indigenous Affairs, 3 March 2012

More than 4.5 million Australians, including 3.4 million pensioners, will
soon receive an increase in their income support payments to help
meet their cost of living.

From 20 March, single people receiving the maximum rate of Age
Pension, Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment, as well as
veterans’ income support recipients, will receive an extra $6.70 a
fortnight. Pensioner couples on the maximum rate will receive an
increase of $10.00 a fortnight combined.

Recipients of other income support payments such Newstart and
Parenting Payment will also receive an increase this month.
From 20 March, Parenting Payment will increase by $7.00 a fortnight
for singles. Newstart Allowance, Widow Allowance, Partner Allowance
and Sickness Allowance will increase by $2.90 a fortnight for singles
and $2.60 each for couples. These allowances are indexed to the
Consumer Price Index.

Full details of all rates and thresholds to be indexed on March 20 can
be found at:

Better Deal For People With A Disability
Media release, Mary Wooldridge Minister for Mental Health, Women's Affairs and
Community Services, 2 March 2012

Amendments to the Disability Act 2006 will help protect the rights of
Victorians with a disability while cutting red tape for service providers,
Community Services Minister Mary Wooldridge said today.

The Disability Act 2006 established a flexible support system based
on a person’s choice, their individual requirements and with the aim to
help people with a disability participate more actively in the

The amendments, which were introduced into the Victorian
Parliament this week, will clarify unintended consequences of the Act
and address administrative and technical issues to make several
improvements, including:
   Broadening the jurisdiction of the Disability Services
      Commissioner to include considering complaints about
      services, such as disability advocacy services and the financial
      intermediary service
   Empowering VCAT to review assessment orders made by the
      senior practitioner
   Clarifying that behaviour support plans are not required when a
      person has a treatment plan in place
   Streamlining processes to enable better service provision for
      people with disability

The improvements follow consultation with the VCAT, the Office of
the Disability Services Commissioner, the Office of the Public
Advocate and the disability sector.
Ms Wooldridge said the new legislation reinforced Victoria’s
commitment to transforming the lives of people with a disability, their
families and carers.

Further information about the Bill can be found at

Gillard Government Listens to Sector on Not For Profit Reforms
Media Release, Assistant Treasurer Mark Arbib and Minister for Social Inclusion
Mark Butler, 1 March 2012

Following extensive consultation with the not-for-profit sector, the
Australian Government announced it will extend the start date of the
Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission to 1 October

Assistant Treasurer Mark Arbib and Minister for Social Inclusion Mark
Butler said that the three month extension would provide more time
for the sector and Government to continue to work closely together to
finalise the legislation.

Minister Butler said the additional time would allow for further
engagement with stakeholders, including the Not-for-Profit Sector
Reform Council and the Charities Consultative Committee.

"The Gillard Government has announced the most ambitious reform
agenda for Australia's not-for-profit sector in history, including
establishing the first ever one-stop-shop regulator for the sector - the
Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission," Mr. Butler said.

The Commission will determine charitable status (including public
benevolent institution status) for all Commonwealth purposes, will
provide education and support to the sector, will administer a single
national regulatory and reporting framework and will maintain a public
information portal.

The extension in the commencement of the Australian Charities and
Not-for-profits Commission will not affect the announced introduction
of a general reporting framework and the establishment of a public
information portal by 1 July 2013, as well as the introduction of a
statutory definition of 'charity' by 1 July 2013.
To read this article online, visit:

For more information about the reform agenda, visit:

                      EVENTS & TRAINING
Disability Advocacy and the Legal System: You Be The Judge
                  Only One Week Left to Register

When:     26 & 27 March 2012
Where:    Melbourne Park Function Centre, Bat man Ave,
Register: Registrations close Monday 19 March at midnight – so
          hurry! Go online to:

We’ve had an amazing response and thank everyone for supporting
this event so enthusiastically. You will find out:
    Why are people with disabilities so over-represented in our
    How do we make sure people with disabilities have a say in
      what happens to them?
    Are we living up to our responsibilities under international law in
      Victoria and Australia?
    What are the challenges and opportunities for us in a changing
      legal environment?

This conference will explore the major issues and challenges facing
disability advocates at a time of profound change.

Don’t miss our exciting speakers, including:
   Johnny Crescendo (UK/USA) – singer-songwriter, activist and
      founder of the Direct Action Network
   Cindy Johns and Michael Aldridge (NZ) – from New Zealand’s
      leading disability advocacy movement People First and its
      ground-breaking ‘Nothing about us without us’ campaign
   Ian Gray – Chief Magistrate of Victoria
   The Hon. Andrea Coote – Victorian Parliamentary Secretary for
    Family and Community Services
   Sarah Barton – Award-winning documentary-maker, with her
    new film

If that’s not enough to wet your appetite, Richard Coverdale from the
Centre for Rural Regional Law and Justice, John Chesterman from
the Office of the Public Advocate, Anne Coghlan from the Victorian
Civil and Administrative Tribunal) are also in the line-up along with
many more.

For more information, visit the conference website at:

Download a flyer at:

Internal Disputes: Handling conflict in community organisations

When:     Tuesday 17 April 2012, 9.30am - 12.30pm (registrations
          open at 9.15am)
Where:    Maddocks Lawyers, 140 William Street Melbourne
Register: Go online to:

Cost:     $50 per person for small organisations (up to 10 EFT
          employees), $100 per person for large organisations
          (more than 10 EFT employees), GST inclusive.

Healthy debate is good for your organisation, but if internal conflict
and disputes are preventing your organisation from achieving its
goals then it's time to take action. This new seminar for 2012 will
cover disputes and conflict involving members of community
organisations and will help you handle these situations effectively And
legally. Topics covered will include:
    dispute resolution/grievance procedures under your rules or
    disciplinary action, and
    other options for dispute resolution.

For more information, email:
DARU Workshop 2: Tear Down the Walls

When:     Wednesday 28 March 2012, 9:45am – 12noon.
Where:    VCOSS Board Room, Level 8/128 Exhibition Street,
Register: Go online to:

Facilitated by Johnny Crescendo, who is the guest international
speaker at the Disability Advocacy Conference – You Be The Judge.

Johnny will talk about the Independent living movement from its birth
to present day and beyond. He talks about core philosophy, how it
has developed and its future. He talks about ADAPT in the US and
the UK’s Direct Action Network’s struggle for IL services and their
relative success in “Freeing our people” from institutions and
compares British and US policies and practice. He talks about his
concerns for the future and the principle of consumer control.

For more information, contact DARU on 9639 5807 or email

DARU Workshop 3: Fixed Penalty Notice

When:     Wednesday 28 March 2012, 12:30pm – 3:30pm
Where:    VCOSS Board Room, Level 8/128 Exhibition Street,
Register: Go online to:

Facilitated by Johnny Crescendo, who is the guest international
speaker at the Disability Advocacy Conference – You Be The Judge.

Johnny will talk about the birth of disabled people talking non violent
civil disobedience from the inside. He talks about the details of
organizing and campaigning for disability rights, how to cut an issue,
the need to focus and the concept of the democracy of doing. Johnny
brings you inside the planning of non violent civil disobedience and its
success and pitfalls.

For more information, contact DARU on 9639 5807 or email
Inclusive Education – A New World

When:     Thursday 29 March 2012, 10:30am – 1:30pm
Where:    Mezzanine Floor, Ross House, 247 Flinders Lane,
Register: RSVP by Monday 19 March by booking online at:

Johnny talks about his 25 years experience in developing Inclusive
practice in schools in the UK and US. Johnny as key adviser on
disability to the UK’s largest city council, Birmingham has brought
inclusion to all schools and preschools and closed all the council
owned special schools through parental choice. As a parent of a
disabled person he describes the map to end the segregation of all
our children disabled and non disabled alike. He also talks about his
pioneering work in Philadelphia founding ALFIE, the alliance for
inclusive education and developing with disabled people a manual for
schools to adopt and use to develop their inclusive practice.

Johnny Crescendo was born in the United Kingdom. Johnny is a
disability civil rights singer and songwriter. His song "Choices and
Rights" became the anthem for the disabled people’s movement in
Britain in the late 1980s. His song, “Tear Down the Walls” has
become the anthem for the disability movement in the United States.

In the UK, Johnny founded the Direct Action Network (DAN), which
uses public demonstrations and non-violent civil disobedience to
increase the awareness and liberation of disabled people. DAN was
instrumental in getting the DDA of 1995 passed and for getting
commitments from the government to make all transport accessible.
Johnny is married to Cassie James a leading activist from the USA.
They met in jail in Atlanta Georgia. They have 8 year old daughter

Johnny is also Inclusion Consultant for Liberty Resources Inc, one of
the largest centres for independent living in the country. As part of
this work he founded ALFIE, the Alliance for Inclusive Education
which works to bring a disability perspective into inclusive education.

For more information, contact DARU on 9639 5807 or email
Understanding the Commission’s Free Dispute Resolution

When:     Thursday 29 March, 9.30am–11.30am
Where:    Level 3, 204 Lygon Street, Carlton
Register: (03) 9032 3415 or register online at:


The Commission provides a free, fair and timely dispute resolution
service to help people resolve disputes about discrimination, sexual
harassment, victimisation, and racial and religious vilification.

This session is recommended for community members, advocates
and organisations.

The workshop will:
   outline the laws under which the Commission helps people
     resolve a dispute
   provide a step-by-step guide on how to bring a dispute to the
   explain how disputes are resolved through conciliation

YDAS Workshop - A Social Action Workshop with Johnny

When:     Saturday, March 31st
Where:    Melbourne Multicultural Hub, 506 Elizabeth Street,
Register: RSVP by Monday 26th March 2012 to Bec at YDAS on
          9267 3712 or
Cost:     Free (but you are required to register and places are

Join other young people with and without disabilities to learn about
making change and take part in some social action!

Hosted by: YDAS, Grit Media and proudly supported by the City of
Violence Against Women with Disabilities
WDV Channel, YouTube, 27 February 2012

Women with disabilities experience violence at a higher rate, for
longer periods, and are less likely to report the abuse, than women
without disabilities (Healey, 2008). Tricia Malowney, Chair of Women
with Disabilities Victoria, and Ariane Garner-Williams, youth and
women with disabilities advocate, talk about some of the issues that
arise for this doubly disadvantaged group, in terms of violence.

This 6 minute video has been produced by Sarah Boyd, Women with
Disabilities Victoria. To view the video, visit:

Disputes within Victorian Incorporated Associations

All not-for-profit community organisations have to deal with conflict
sometimes. Healthy debate is good for your organisation, but if
conflict and disputes are preventing your organisation from achieving
its goals, you need to know how to handle it effectively and legally,
before it escalates.

These resources are designed to answer burning questions asked by
incorporated associations. Information Sheets available include:
    Removing or disciplining a member
    Removing a committee member from the committee
    Going to court about an internal dispute, and
    Using mediation to resolve conflict and disputes.

To download these publications, visit:

NDIS: Make it Real in 2012

The Every Australian Counts campaign for the National Disability
Insurance Scheme is pleased to announce the campaign theme for
2012: Make it Real in 2012.
As part of the Make it Real push, the campaign site has been
upgraded to allow people to upload their own stories and videos.
Thanks to Dr George Taleporos and the gang at the Youth Disability
Advocacy Service for the great clips they have already provided for
the campaign. You can view these at:

Anyone can contribute to this exercise – the video doesn’t need to be
too flash – just a 30 second or so clip stating why you support the
NDIS. The only stipulation is that you finish your clip with the
statement: “Please Prime Minister and Mr Abbott, it’s time to make
the NDIS real”.

The other big event is the Melbourne ‘Make it Real’ 201 rally – which
is planned for 12noon, Monday 30 April at Federation Square - further
details coming soon.

For more information about the proposed NDIS or the campaign,
contact James O'Brien on 03 8341 4300.

Imbedded Use of Inclusive Technologies - Survey and Case

Students with a disability use a range of Inclusive Technologies in the
classroom and throughout their studies. In some cases these
Inclusive Technologies may be utilised by the student throughout their
education and then later in postsecondary education and onto
employment. However, some of these Inclusive Technologies are not
suitable for postsecondary education or employment.

It is the appropriateness of these Inclusive Technologies that this
project aims to address by guiding students, parents/carers and
teachers through the process of selecting suitable Inclusive
Technologies for long term use and the necessary skill development
for their use in postsecondary education and ultimately in training and

The aim of the project is to provide a set of resources for students
with disability, parents/carers and teachers which will build a greater
awareness and understanding of inclusive technologies and their
suitable use in education and employment settings. Part of the
Imbedded Use of Inclusive Technologies Project is to collect
information and case studies on people's experience with inclusive
technology in schools, postsecondary education and employment to
better inform future practice and skill development.

We invite you to take part in the survey to assist us in putting together
a better picture of the use of inclusive technologies in Australia and
put together a number of case studies as examples to inform others.

To take part in the survey, go to:

For more information about the project email

AbaF Arts Access Award

AbaF and Arts Access Australia are pleased to announce the launch
of the AbaF Arts Access Award.

This new national award will recognise, celebrate and raise
awareness of arts organisations that have implemented projects or
strategies to improve access for people with disability to their venues,
programs or services.

The award will become a part of AbaF’s annual award program, which
honours the best relationships between the arts, business and donors
across Australia. Nomination information is now available on the
AbaF website at:

The AbaF Arts Access Award is open to all arts organisations
Australia-wide and will be judged at state level, with the winners
announced in each state in September going on to the national AbaF
Awards in October.

Nominations close at midnight Friday 11th of May 2012.

For more information, contact Gabby Talmadge, AbaF, on or 03 9616 0300 or Kate Larsen, AAA,
on or 0419 201 338.

Advocacy & Policy Officer
   Permanent full time position (35 hours per week)
   Based in CBD Melbourne,

Blind Citizens Australia (BCA) is the national peak consumer
representative organisation of, and for, people who are blind or vision
impaired in Australia. We are a small, friendly and passionate team
committed to equity and equality for people who are blind or vision

BCA is seeking a full time Advocacy & Policy Officer. Our team of
seven (5.3 equivalent full time) includes advocacy and policy workers
and two administration staff.

The role involves the provision of advocacy services to people who
are blind or vision impaired, development of advocacy resources,
supporting members wishing to lodge complaints under the federal
and state disability discrimination acts, development of BCA public
policy, monitoring Government policy and utilising social media
networking to promote our campaigns.

Essential prerequisites include excellent written, verbal and
interpersonal communication skills, research, organisational and
computer skills and the motivation and experience to work both
independently and within a small team.

Attendance at afterhours events will be kept to a minimum. However,
attendance at events, such as our national and state conventions and
face to face Board meetings (two per year), will be required. Salary is
in line with the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services
Industry award. We also offer a generous salary packaging program.

Interviews will be conducted on Thursday 29 March. Applications
close on Monday 26 March at 2 pm. Shortlisted candidates will be
notified of their interview offer after 3pm on 26 March.

Applications addressing the selection criteria should be emailed as a
Word file to Robyn Gaile, Executive Officer, by email to

For more information contact Robyn directly on 03 9654 1400.
To download the job description visit
Referral Service Administrator

The Public Interest Law Clearing House (PILCH) is an independent,
not-for-profit organisation that is committed to furthering the public
interest, improving access to justice for those who are disadvantaged
or marginalised, and protecting human rights.

PILCH does this by facilitating pro bono legal services to Victorian
individuals and organisations in need, and by addressing injustice
through law reform, policy work and legal education.

PILCH acts as a go-between for pro bono legal assistance between
the community and the private legal profession. We coordinate pro
bono (free) legal assistance for individuals through the Members’
Referral Program, the Law Institute of Victoria Legal Assistance
Scheme (LIVLAS) and the Victorian Bar Legal Assistance Scheme
(VBLAS). Clients who are eligible for assistance through any of these
services are referred to a solicitor or barrister who will act for them on
a pro bono basis.

We are currently seeking an experienced, professional Administrator
to play a vital role in ensuring the efficient administration of PILCH’s
Referral Service. If you are interested in using your finely honed
administrative and public liaison skills to improve our effectiveness
and make a difference for social justice, we look forward to hearing
from you.

Employee Benefits:
PILCH offers employment benefits including salary packaging
(making part of your salary tax-free), flexible working arrangements,
above award annual leave provisions and opportunities for
professional development. PILCH is an organisation that strives to
show leadership, operate sustainably and demonstrate our
effectiveness. You will be rewarded with a workplace culture that is
professional, hard working and dynamic, and where a sense of fun is

Applications close 9am Monday 26 March 2012. For more
information, or to apply online, please visit

Wild@heART Community Arts
Wild@heART Community Arts provides a diverse range of creative,
skills, social and employment opportunities for people with disabilities
and people with mental health issues through contemporary music,
multimedia, dance and performance. We work in partnership with
governments, not-for-profit and corporate sectors to provide
community arts programs that have a transforming and sustained
impact in people’s lives.

There are currently 2 job opportunities .

   1. Program Manager - Casual, Part Time

The Program Manager will implement a portfolio of Wild@heART’s
existing community arts projects, and will contribute to the strategic
development and funding of our program.

For more information and to download a job description go to

To apply for this role, send a CV and cover letter to, using the subject: Program Manager
application via EthicalJobs, by Wednesday 21st March.

   2. Administration Manager - Casual, Part Time .

The Administration Manager will undertake a wide range of tasks in
the day to day administrative and organisational operations of
Wild@heART. This will include financial administration, database
management, support for communications, marketing and promotion,
social media and online updating, administrative support for
compliance, evaluation, staffing and other organisation operations as

For more information and to download a job description go to
To apply for this role, send a CV and cover letter to, using the subject: Administration Manager
application via EthicalJobs, by Wednesday 21st March.
Supporting materials
Welcome to the weekly Update from the Disability Advocacy Resource Unit (DARU).
If you would like to be removed from this list or kept up to date another way, please
reply to this email and let us know.

DARU has been funded by the state government. It is run by a governance group,
including members of the Victorian Disability Advocacy Network (VDAN), and the
Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS). DARU’s staff currently includes a Co-
ordinator, Sharon Granek, and an Administration Officer, Natasha Brake.

We are always happy to hear from people who are interested in what we do. If you
have a question, an idea, some news you’d like to see in the next update, or even if
you just want to tell us something we’re doing is good or bad, get in touch! Call us on
03 9639 5807 or email

Please note that material contained in the DARU Update copy does not necessarily
reflect the policy of DARU or the views of any staff members. Statements in the
DARU Update do not comprise advice and readers should avail themselves of
professional advice where appropriate.

To top