Targeted Outreach Project – where are we now?

Since early 2020, Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) has been working with the Assessment and Referral Team (ART) on the Targeted Outreach Project.  We have been supporting more Queenslanders with disability to get on the NDIS.

Since its launch, more than 2,100 potential NDIS participants have been referred to the ART team for eligibility assessment. So far this has resulting in almost 950 successful NDIS applications.

This success would not have been possible without the involvement and support of people in the communities across the phase 1 regions of Fraser Coast, North Burnett, South Burnett, Gympie, Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay.  As the Commonwealth funding is time limited, from 23 April 2021 we will no longer be accepting referrals from these regions.  We will be moving into new regions to help others get on the NDIS.

To support phase 1 communities to continue to provide positive outcomes for local people with disability QDN’s Targeted Outreach Project team will be hosting final sessions with Local Level Engagement Group (LLEG) members, including Local Champions who have informed and supported this initiative’s work.  Information about these sessions will be sent to LLEG members and Local Champions shortly.  Additionally, the Disability Connect and Outreach Program teams would like to share their learnings and will be hosting community capacity building sessions in May 2021 to help your community teams continue to provide positive outcomes for clients living with disability.

The Targeted Outreach team are currently kicking goals in phase 2 regions of Townsville, Bundaberg, South and Central Queensland  and we again thank this vibrant community for their support.

Phase 3 of this work continues and stretches across the regions of Cairns, Mackay and Mount Isa and the broader North Queensland region.   We will continue to rollout to other locations across Queensland during 2021 and 2022.

The project has been changing the lives of Queenslanders living with disability, many who have previously struggled to access the NDIS. Providing targeted assistance throughout the entire application process, including collecting documentation, working with specialists, and arranging clinical assessments where required, ART is unique to other social service delivery models.

Quote from a new NDIS participant called Beth “Getting on the NDIS can be hard. While I can relate to this feeling, what I have learnt is that there are no obstacles that cannot be overcome with the help of your community. Utilise the supports that are around you. Talk to your family and friends, reach out to the Targeted Outreach team. Knowing that you are not alone in how you are feeling is vitally important and I believe that with the right help, many more individuals, with a disability can access and benefit from the NDIS”.

QDN and our project partners QCOSS and ADA Australia are continuing to help more eligible Queenslanders with disability join the NDIS and experience the benefits of the scheme through the Targeted Outreach Project.

This project is helping people with disability to:

  • understand how the NDIS can provide access to the supports they need
  • access free and practical individual support to apply for and access the NDIS through dedicated regional Assessment and Referral (ART) teams

If you work with a hard to reach or vulnerable client who may benefit from the support of ART, contact QDN on 1300 363 783 or targetedoutreach@qdn.org.au

Independent Assessments rollout to be paused

New NDIS Minister Linda Reynolds has announced she will pause plans for rollout of mandatory independent assessments for NDIS participants.

In an article in The Australian newspaper from journalist Stephen Lunn, Social Affairs Editor today 15 April, the Minister has said she will “not be making any decisions in terms of legislation to enact independent assessments until the trial is finished and we’ve had a good opportunity to examine the feedback.”

“Senator Reynolds said the ­assessments…were still being considered but would have to wait until the end of trials and after nationwide consultations.”

QDN wrote an open letter this week to Minister Reynolds with regards to feedback from members and to ask the Government to suspend implementation of the proposed reforms and undertaken meaningful consultation, engagement and co-design with people with disability, families and providers to ensure future reforms do deliver improved outcomes for people and stay true to the principles of the scheme.

State, Territory and Commonwealth Disability Ministers are meeting today. QDN will update members as more information becomes available.

You can check out QDN’s letter to Minister Reynolds here

QDN CEO was on ABC Brisbane Radio this week also talking about the issue of NDIS reforms. You can check out the interview here.

Open letter to Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds, Minister for National Disability Insurance Scheme and Minister for Government Services

QDN Board of Directors Chair Des Ryan, and Chief Executive Officer Paige Armstrong have written an open letter to Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds Minister for National Disability Insurance Scheme and Minister for Government Services to welcome her to her new role. The letter provides feedback from QDN members with regards to the proposed reforms to the NDIS and calls on the Government to suspend the implementation of these changes, review and undertake meaningful consultation, engagement and co-design with people with people with disability, families, and providers.  Click on the link below to go to the letter .

Click here: Open letter to Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds  

MEDIA RELEASE: Housing crisis by design

More than three quarters of Australians with mobility issues cannot find housing that meets their needs – and it’s a growing problem as our population ages, especially in regional and remote locations.

Rockhampton local, Des Ryan has first-hand experience of housing accessibility challenges. “The only way I was able to secure housing that was affordable and met my disability needs was to build it from scratch” Des said.

Luckily, my parents were prepared to financially support me doing this. However, not all people with disability are able to build a home and face ongoing, housing accessibility challenges”.

“My accessible home gave me the launchpad to achieve a wonderful life – working in employment I enjoy, having a great range of friends and getting out and about in the community.”

New research by La Trobe University and the Summer Foundation has found that many access issues could be easily and inexpensively fixed at the housing design stage.

This research adds to growing calls for the inclusion of mandatory accessibility standards in the National Construction Code – to future proof Australian housing.

The evidence-based research found that many features that make housing accessible for seniors and people with disability would be virtually cost-neutral, and they are cost-effective when designed into new houses, apartments and townhouses.

A coalition of more than 70 peak organisations have formed the Building Better Homes (BBH) Campaign, to call for mandatory accessibility standards in the National Construction Code.

A meeting of Commonwealth, state and Territory Building Ministers in late April will consider whether to make accessibility standards mandatory.

BBH Campaign Director, Alistair Webster, says the Ministers have a once in a generation opportunity to change the lives of millions of Australians.

‘Mandatory minimum accessibility standards in the National Construction Code will future-proof Australian housing for generations to come,’ Mr Webster said.

‘This reform will change the lives of millions of Australians – including people with disabilities and older Australians who simply can’t find housing that meets their needs. Many of these people are currently limited inter day to day activities because their housing isn’t suitable.’

‘Design elements such as wider hallways and doorways would vastly increase their housing options. It would also ensure that big reforms like the NDIS and Aged Care reforms can be fully realised.’

‘We urge governments across Australia not to let this opportunity slip by.’

Media contact:

BBH Campaign: Alistair Webster, 0499 760 777

QDN e-Bulletin Update March 2021


A note from Des

Des Ryan, Chairperson of the Board

Man sitting in wheelchair. He is bald and wears glasses. He has a blue, red and white check shirt on. It continues to be a busy time for QDN, for Queenslanders with disability and our allies. I would like to start by thanking all of our members, peer leaders, board directors, supporters and allies for your time and efforts on the Stand with us! campaign around Queensland disability advocacy. We have worked with 14 other organisations in the Queensland Disability Advocacy Alliance and have really highlighted the importance of disability advocacy for people with disability. It was a great result to hear Minister Crawford’s commitment to continue the funding for independent individual, citizen and systemic advocacy for the next two years, until 30 June 2023. We still have some work to do to make sure that there is commitment that reflects advocacy as an ongoing and fundamental need for people. If you engaged with your local Member of Parliament around the issue, please drop them an email to say thank you to them for raising the issue. In a very short amount of time we were able to amplify our messages and we are very pleased that we were heard and that Government have listened and acted.

We have also seen the impacts of natural disasters in communities across Queensland and New South Wales with the recent rain event and flooding. I recently spoke at the Rockhampton Neighbour Day about how important it is that everyone, including people with disability, are prepared for emergency. We know from experience, unless we take time out to think about what we do, our own risks for disaster, and our support needs in an emergency, when the emergency happens it is too late. We need to build in time for planning conversations, to work through the person-centred emergency preparedness tool (PCEP)and make a plan for how we will manage our support needs in an emergency. It is important to know you don’t need to do it alone. QDN  peer leaders have worked with the University of Sydney to develop the PCEP workbook which is a great tool you can use to make your plan. QDN peer support groups are working on this in communities around Queensland so get in contact with QDN to find out more. Disability and community support workers are learning about PCEP and how they can support people in having emergency planning conversations. Local councils, like Rocky Council are working together with QDN to promote the workbook and the importance of including people with disability in disaster planning. Neighbours are important supports to each other in times of emergency so reach out to your neighbours.  You  can go to the PCEP workbook here

Your emergency plan for covid-19. Easy read
Your Emergency Plan for Covid-19. Easy Read.
Person-centered emergency planning for covid-19/ A guide to assist you.
Person-Centered Emergency Preparedness Planning for Cobid-19

Covid-19 is still with us as we see clusters of cases for Brisbane and South East Queensland residents. COVID-19 is a health emergency and it is really important that people have plans in place for covid-19.  The covid-19 plan resource that QDN developed is a good place to get information and understand what you need to think about.  To make sure you have a plan in place for COVID-19, please click on the photos to the left and start planning with the PCEP COVID-19 tool.

We also know the Covid-19 Vaccination Program is rolling out at the moment. New information is being released all the time. The Australian Government Health website has resources and information for people with disability so please stay up to date here


An update from Paige  

Paige Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer
Paige wearing a blue shirt, smiling at the camera

Advocacy matters we all know! The message was loud and clear at the rally outside Queensland Parliament house last week. Thank you to all our QDN members and supporters and our Queensland Disability Advocacy Alliance partners who were able to be there on the day and join with over 200 people in Brisbane and almost 30 people in Rocky. Thank you to everyone who has signed onto the campaign. We thank the Queensland Government for your commitment to continue the funding, and thank you to all the Queensland political parties and Queensland MPs for supporting us.

Accessible, affordable, safe housing is a critical issue for people with disability. Having a place to call home has been one of the top issues identified by QDN members year after year. People need choice about where they live and with whom they live. Current stock of accessible housing already fails the needs of people with disability and we know that demand for accessible housing is set to double over the next 40 years. 1000’s of Queenslanders currently are not able to find accessible housing that meets their needs. The time to act is now. The National Building Code is currently being reviewed. At the moment, there are voluntary guidelines for Liveable Housing Design, however only 5% of new home builds have complied with these guidelines. We know if we stay on this path – going forward 100,000s of people with disability, older people and families will not be able to access housing that is accessible and meets their needs.

We need mandatory accessibility standards in our National Building Code. We need QDN members to act now to let Governments know that now is the time to change the National Building Code to make sure housing is accessible for everyone. The Building Ministers from the states and territories are meeting on 30 April 2021. We only have 4 weeks.  We are asking members to urgently email the Queensland Cabinet to raise this as an important issue and ask for their support for this amendment to the legislation. If you also live in an electorate of one of the Queensland State Ministers, you may also seek a meeting with them as a constituent of their electorate. We are also asking if you can email the new Chair for the Australian Building Code Board, the Assistant Minister for Industry, Senator the Hon. Duniam,  and you may like to also send that to your local Federal Member of Parliament. More information is available in the ebulletin further below about how to contact and a template email.  It is important that both our State and Commonwealth members of Parliament understand what having accessible housing means for you in your day to day life. 

NDIS Reforms continue to be a significant issue for Queenslanders with disability and specifically around the introduction of independent assessments. Chairperson Des Ryan and I wrote a letter last week to Minister Robert to raise the concerns of QDN members, families and supporters and call for a range of actions to ensure people with disability’s concerns are taken into consideration. We will update the new NDIS Minister Linda Reynolds who was sworn in today. QDN has also provided a submission to the NDIS Joint Standing Committee. We know that the NDIS access process is a challenge for many people, but we want to make sure that whatever changes are brought in make it work for a diverse range of people and that the scheme is the NDIS that Queenslanders with disability and their families fought for.


Covid-19 Lockdown 

The Premier has just announced that the Greater Brisbane lockdown will finish 1 April at 12pm. There are a number of measures that will remain in place until Tuesday 15 April 2021 that include: 

  • If you do need to leave your house, you must carry a mask and wear it when inside spaces including shopping centres, public transport, venues, and crowded places out doors if you can’t socially distance. If you can’t wear a mask because of your disability or your health condition, you just need to explain this if you are asked by police or other official.
  • Restrictions to visitors will remain in place for Aged Care, Disability Accommodation providers and hospitals. 
  • You must be seated in restaurants, cafes and no dancing in public venues.
  • Gatherings at your home are restricted to 30 people.

For more information on current restrictions, please go Queensland’s Public Health Directions on the Queensland Health website. Easy read versions will also be accessible here.

Some important things to remember about the covid-19 lock downs are:

  • services which provide critical health and disability support are considered essential so your disability supports are essential services and workers need to follow direction about personal protective equipment, including masks, when providing supports and should not work if they are unwell.
  • we have a Covid-19 planning tool available on our website.  This planning tool will help you think through how to make a plan for your own individual needs and situation during COVID-19.  Your emergency plan for COVID-19 can be found here.
  • in Disability Accommodation Services, Aged Care and Hospital, your support workers are not considered visitors and can continue to work. 
  • if people with a disability need to attend hospital, there is an exemption in place that allows a support person to go with you – this can be a support worker, informal carer, family member or friend. It’s a good idea to talk to the hospital you are planning to go to about this before you arrive.
  • QDN have developed a guide called “Know your rights: Getting the hospital care you need during COVID-19″, which can be found here.
  • mental health support is also available via the mental health access line 1300 MH CALL (1300 642255) and for carers and families – 1800 242 636.
  • please continue to stay safe and use the usual hygiene measures – such as social distancing of 1.5 metres, washing hands or sanitising regularly, and wearing a mask outside your house.
  • keep up to date with Covid- 19 information specifically for people with disability here

 


Disability advocacy matters. Stand with us!

Stand with us! Queensland Disability Advocacy Matters. Join the campaign.Thank you to everyone for coming together and standing with us! Over 200 people attended the rally in Brisbane out the front of Queensland Parliament House on 24 March and almost 30 people in Rockhampton.   It was also great to have the support of Members of Parliament who came out to stand with us on the day including Government Ministers and MPs, Opposition Deputy Leader and Shadow Minister, Greens MPs and to the MPs who sent messages of support for the rally and the campaign. We have worked with 14 other organisations on this campaign – the Queensland Disability Advocacy Alliance (QDAA) and it is a collective effort that everyone should be proud of.

Queenslanders with disability and their families appreciate the commitment of funding for the next two years, however, advocacy is a ongoing and fundamental need. Going forward,  people with disability need certainty of ongoing support and commitment beyond these two year timeframes. We are still asking people to sign onto the campaign so if you haven’t yet – please sign up to show your support. 

Independent individual, citizen and systemic advocacy plays a vital role in supporting the over 900,000 Queenslanders with disability to have their rights and well-being protected as well as supporting their full inclusion in all aspects of community life – ensuring equal access to the services delivered by government mainstream, community and private organisations.

Check out the photos from the rally on the Stand with us website here.


We need your help to make accessible housing for everyone – Building Better Homes Campaign

Building better homesAnother urgent call to action – we have 4 weeks to go until the State, Territory and Commonwealth Ministers meet to decide on changes to the National Building Code. 30 April 2021 is the date that Ministers will meet so we need to let the Queensland and Commonwealth Governments know it is important for Queenslanders with disability, their families and supporters, that they mandate accessible housing standards. This benefits everyone in our community – whether mothers with prams, people with disability or seniors with mobility issues. 

Following on from the successful advocacy campaign, we need your help again to lobby around accessible housing by signing onto the campaign here 

As so many of you continue to tell us, accessible housing is fundamental to your lives. We need you to let the Queensland and Commonwealth Governments know how important it is for you personally – it’s the individual stories about your lives and lived experience around housing accessibility – or lack of access – that have the greatest impact.  

We are asking that you email the Queensland Cabinet using this template here, with your personal story around your housing access issues, to ask for their support for the addition of mandatory accessibility standards in the National Construction Code. Queensland Cabinet Ministers email addresses and contact details are here.

We are also asking you to send an email to Senator Jonathon Duniam, who is the new Chair for the Australian Building Codes Board and the Assistant Minister for Industry, using this second template here. Senator Duniam’s contact details are here.

You can also send a copy of the email to Senator Duniam to your local Commonwealth Member of Parliament.  Commonwealth MPs email address and contacts are here. Again, tell your story to bring home the importance of this issue at a personal level.

Thank you for mobilising support to make sure we don’t miss this opportunity – we need as many emails as possible to URGENTLY get to Qld Cabinet Ministers and the Commonwealth Minister. So, please circulate this information onto your social networks asking that they also send emails as quickly as possible. 


Targeted Outreach Project – Far North Queensland Launch

On the 19 March 2021, the Minister for Seniors and Disability Services and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Craig Crawford MP launched the next stage of the Targeted Outreach project in Far North Queensland.  QDN with partners QCOSS, ADA Australia and the Queensland Government will now be working in Far North Queensland from Cairns out to Atherton and down to Mackay to support people with disability to understand how to access the NDIS as well link them with regional Assessment and Referral Team.

6 people standing. 1 person in a wheelchair. All looking at the camera.Paige Armstrong, CEO, QDN shared her experiences at the launch of how the important work in Targeted Outreach is helping people with disability to access the scheme. Paige shared stories about the impacts that homelessness and challenges have on people trying to access the scheme and one example of a person QDN and ART have worked with who has no formal supports and frequently experience homelessness was able to get access to the NDIS. Paige also talked about the role of local champions who are people with disability who are working locally to help people and services find out about how it can help them, and also local level engagement groups. More information about the Targeted Outreach Project is available at Targeted Outreach Project – Queenslanders with Disability Network (qdn.org.au)

Photo: Barry Fewquandie ADA Australia, Aunty Ruth Miller ATSIDNQ, Wayne Maitland Local Champion, Paige Armstrong CEO QDN, Minister Craig Crawford MP, Max Wise and Lauren McFarlane from Department of Seniors, Disability Services, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships


Self-Advocates Building Back Better post covid-19

In 2020, self-advocates with an intellectual disability from Brisbane, Gold Coast and Canada started meeting online.  They held a webinar earlier this year, to hear from people with an intellectual disability from all over Australia and Canada sharing their stories and concerns around keeping connected as a community during COVID-19.  The full webinar is available here.

Click here to check out the Summary Report from the webinar.  

Peer Support Groups


Deception Bay Peer Support Group farewell to Group Convenor Rebecca Bellis and member Roger Read

White speech bubble with Peer Support Group. Sketch of 8 people around the speech bubble.On Wednesday, 10 February 2021 the Deception Bay Peer Support Group thanked Rebecca Bellis co-convenor and Roger Read for their contributions and hard work to bring together people with disability in the area.  

Rebecca who helped form the North Lakes Local Support Group which moved to Deception Bay in 2017 has worked hard to show what people with disability contribute to the community. 

As the co-convenor for Deception Bay Peer Support Group with Eileen Goodenough, Rebecca has worked with the local community, council and businesses to bring more awareness of the needs of people with disability as well as helped people with disability to have a voice in their local community.

Two people sitting and one standing. Smiling at the camera. In the background are lots of people and a market.The group also thanked Roger for all his support to help the group regularly meet and hold events in the Deception Bay community. Over the last four years there has been four expos and three shopping centres meet and greets. These expos and shopping centre meet and greets were a great way for the Deception Bay Peer Support Group to connect with people with disability in the community and show how people with disability meaningful contribute to the community.

QDN would like to join the Deception Bay Peer Support Group in thanking Rebecca and Roger for all their hard work and dedication over the years. They will certainly be missed!

Brisbane Peer Support Group

Brisbane Peer Support Group were interested in better understanding the Taxi Subsidy Scheme and how this was implemented by taxi companies. To help them with this topic they invited Chief Executive Blair Davies from the Taxi Council Queensland to their March meeting.

Blair shared information with the group around the taxi industries regulations and the training process taxi drivers are required to do to assisting people with disability to access a taxis.  The training included the safe transport of varied mobility and assistive technologies including wheelchairs and assistance animals.  Blair also talked about the additional security and monitoring that occurs when using a taxi which includes driver and customer monitoring systems, cameras and microphones that store all the data on a ‘black box’.  The group also talked about taxi fares and catchment areas and found out about the options for fixed price for some fares when you pre-book your trip.

The next Brisbane Peer Support Group meeting is on 21 April 2021 at 10:30am. If you are interested in coming along or joining online contact peersupport@qdn.org.au

Gympie Peer Support Group

QDN’s Gympie Peer Support Group met on the 19th March with the Mayor Glen Hartwig, Gympie Regional Council attending to discuss disability related planning and the role of the local council. 

The group had robust conversations around areas including housing, employment and community engagement for people with disability in the Gympie area. Accessible housing for young people with disability was of particular interest to the group and discussion was held around the need for the development of more accessible housing in the area.  

12 people sitting around a table talking.The group also discussed accessing the community and some of the challenges people with disability have accessing older buildings and shop fronts. The group are keen to invite a representative from the Gympie Regional Councils, Disability Advisory Committee so they can further discuss these important topics with the committee as they provide feedback to the Council when they are upgrading or changing public spaces in Gympie.

QDN would like to thank Mayor Glen Hartwig for attending and discussing these important topics with the group.

The next meeting is held  on the 23rd of April 2021 from 10-12pm and Unit 2-4 Horseshoe bend (PHN building) in Gympie.

What is a Peer Support Group?

A peer support group is a peer group of people with disability, who join together to:

  • Get helpful information, with a focus upon the National Disability Insurance Scheme;
  • Share information, stories and learnings, enriched through each member’s lived experience;
  • Connect members with activities and organisations in their community, and build on the strengths each member already has; and
  • Support each other to think about and plan for the life they want.

Each Peer Support Group has a group Convenor to coordinate the group and support what they want to achieve.

Find out more about Peer Support Groups by watching the short video here introducing QDN’s Peer Support Groups and their Convenors.

Ready to join a Peer Support Group?

Join or find out more about the Peer Support Groups or the virtual networks by sending us an email or calling us and nominating your choice of group. It’s FREE to join.

We’ve made it easy for you to join.  You can either:

  • Phone
  • Email
  • Complete the form

Phone: 07 3252 8566 or 1300 363 783 (local call)

Email: Email by clicking here.


 Emerging Leaders Blue background. Word emerging leaders

Meet our Emerging Leaders 2021

We are excited to announce the start of QDN’s first Emerging Leader Program which runs from March to November 2021.  The response to the expression of interest was overwhelming and we were able to finalise 21 candidates from across Queensland from different backgrounds and disabilities to be part of the program.

 

The program comprises two x two-day workshops and 7 virtual workshops featuring an outstanding array of speakers sharing their experience and knowledge on a diverse range of leadership topics.  Individuals will be supported by a very capable team of mentors and a QDN based hosting team to build their leadership skills.

 

The program was launched on 9 and 10 March with a two-day, face to face workshop in Brisbane.  The workshop gave people the opportunity to get to know each other, worked together to understand the nature of influence, how to be a leader as well as do the work of leadership, and U theory as a framework for social change.  They learned about staying present in chaos, understanding change processes, and how to look after your relationships and self as a leader.  They also started to craft their own leadership questions.  The photos below are a snapshot of the new Emerging Leaders starting their leadership journey at the March workshop.

More information about this new emerging leaders program including the 21 Emerging Leaders and guest speakers is available here.

Click here to meet the new Emerging Leaders

Have your say on topics that matter to youText is Have Your Say in red and white colours.

Disability and Transport Standards: online consultations

TMR Accessibility are hosting 6 online consultation forums to help people get involved in the reform process and have their say.

The forums will be held over two weeks commencing 12th of April 2021 and will be professionally facilitated to ensure participants have an opportunity to contribute their views. There will be specific sessions for the disability community, the transport industry and open sessions for all participants. Online registrations for each session are required in advance.

Sessions are as follows:

  • Monday 12 April 2021 2:00-3:30pm (AEST) – Disability Community
  • Wednesday 14 April 2021 11am-12:30pm (AEST) – All Participants
  • Friday 16 April 2021 1:00pm-2:30pm (AEST) – Transport Industry
  • Tuesday 20 April 2021 10:00am-11:30am (AEST) – Disability Community
  • Tuesday 20 April 2021 2:00pm-3:30pm (AEST) – All Participants
  • Thursday 22 April 2021 1:00pm-2:30pm (AEST) – Disability Community

For more information please visit Government’s website here

QDN will also be putting in a submssion so please contact qdn@qdn.org.au if you have any feedback. 


Text is Have Your Say in red and white colours.

Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards 2010

The Australian Government is currently reviewing the Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards 2010 (the Premises Standards). 

The purpose of the Premises Standards is to make sure:

  • people living with disability and their family members, carers and friends have equal access to public buildings
  • building certifiers, developers and managers fulfil their responsibilities to people with disability under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992

QDN is preparing a submission. Please contact QDN at qdn@qdn.org.au or call to speak with Louise P if you have any key things you want to add. Submissions close on 16 April 2021

There is a consultation paper out for review and can be found here.

Disability Royal Commission

The Disability Royal Commission has released an issues paper asking the public to share their views about the experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse people with disability. They are especially interested in the views of all people with disabilities and their family and supporters. The issues paper asks 13 questions to help people and organisations to provide responses. The paper is available in Easy Read, PDF and DOCX. They are asking for responses by 11 June 2021. To access papers which are also available in different languages go here 

Have your say 

There are many ways in which you can make a submission to the Royal Commission to share your story. The Disability Royal Commission have released this video to show how you can share your story via phone, email, the website or by making a video or audio recording. There is also information on how you can apply for a private session here.

Public Hearings

The Disability Royal Commission has released their schedule for 2021. The first public hearing of 2021 will be held from the 16th to the 25th of February and will cover the justice system. More details about the hearing will be available closer to the date. Click here for the schedule.

Important Commission Links  

Legal Support:  National Legal Aid (NLA) together with the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS) will provide a free, national legal advisory service for people engaging with the Royal Commission.  You can contact NLA on 1800 771 800. 

Click here to access National Legal Aid.  Click here to access the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services 

Financial Assistance:  This area of the Commission can be contacted directly on 1800 117 995.  If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can also call the National Relay Service and give 02 6141 4770 as the number you would like to call. 

Advocacy:  Advocacy services funded under the National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) have been given additional funding to support people with disability. Information about the program can be found at National Disability Advocacy Program, along with a Disability Advocacy Finder tool to help you locate a service provider near you.  Alternatively, you can contact the Disability Royal Commission Hotline on 1800 517 199 or at the following email DRCEnquiries@royalcommission.gov.au to assist you to find your nearest advocacy service. Click here to access the National Disability Advocacy Program and the Disability Advocacy Finder. 

Counselling support during the Disability Royal Commission is available from Blue Knot Foundation on 1800 421 468. 

 


Policy Updates

Independent Assessments and NDIS Reforms

QDN provided a submission to the NDIA to respond to the two consultation papers on the proposed introduction of Independent Assessments for the NDIS. QDN peer leaders also engaged in consultation with the NDIA to provide feedback on the key issues.  The NDIA have released the feedback reports “You said- we heard’ post consultation reports which you can access here 

QDN has also provided a submission to the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS on 31 March 2021 outlining the feedback from QDN members and allies with regards to the proposed changes including the mandatory independent assessments for both new and existing NDIS participants. 

QDN will keep members updated as this progresses. 

New Worker Screening Process – Yellow card 

From 1 February 2021, a new worker screening process commenced in Queensland for workers that provide supports and services to people with disability. It replaces the existing ‘yellow card’ screening. In Queensland, you will be required to get a worker screening clearance if you work for a registered NDIS provider or if you work in state non-NDIS disability services. Plan and self-managed NDIS participants can choose whether they require their non-registered workers to get a clearance.                           

On Thursday, 18 February 2021 QDN partnered with ADA Australia, ATSIDNQ and CRU held an webinar event for self and plan managed NDIS participants and their families on the new changes to the yellow card system and how it will impact their supports.  Over 100 people connected in to hear from speakers from the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and people with lived experience of self or plan managing their NDIS funds.  

You can access the slides, summary of questions and answers, additional links and resources here.

Royal Commission into Aged Care

The Final Report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety was delivered on 26 February 2021 – the Commissioners make 148 wide ranging recommendations for fundamental reform of the aged care system. The report is available here  

Disability Royal Commission

The Disability Royal Commission has released overview of the responses that were received from people with disability, parents and family members, academics and organisations in response to the issues paper on employment. You can read more here https://disability.royalcommission.gov.au/publications/employment

The Disability Royal Commission has also just released their latest newsletter outlining ‘proposed finding’ in regards to the discriminatory attitudes and wrong assumptions about people with disability are among a range of barriers that prevent people with disability from finding and keeping a job. It is one of many proposed findings made in relation to Public hearing 9 which took place last year and looked into barriers and pathways to open employment for people with disability. In this hearing we heard evidence from 35 witnesses including people with disability, parents and carers of people with disability, advocates and academics.  You can read more information here.

Covid-19 Vaccinations

Phases 1a and 1b of the Commonwealth COVID-19 vaccination rollout are currently underway – this means vaccinations are occurring for residents and staff of aged care and disability accommodation, and they are also available for younger adults with an underlying medical condition, including those with a disability. QDN has been engaged by Queensland Health to provide information sessions on the vaccination process for residents and staff of Level Three Supported Accommodation and has been delivering these on the North and South Coasts, Ipswich region and throughout Brisbane.

We will continue to update members with information about the broad distribution of the vaccine. 


Policy Work

Congratulation to QDN board directors, Sharon Boyce and Peter Tully, and CEO Paige Armstrong on their appointment to various reference groups, working within the Independent Advisory Council to the NDIS.   The new membership boasts participants, experts, advocates, family members, and researchers with broad-ranging lived experience, skills, and knowledge.  Reference Group members come from all Australian States and Territories, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and diverse cultural communities.

The four Reference Groups are:

  1. Children, Young People and Families Reference Group
  2. Equity and Inclusion Reference Group
  3. Home and Living Reference Group
  4. Intellectual Disability Reference Group.

These Reference Groups will help inform the development of Council’s fiercely independent formal and informal advice, drawing attention to the most important issues affecting the delivery of the NDIS for participants, families, and carers.  You can learn more about the Council here

 


QDN is looking for artists with disability

QDN is looking for artists with disability who would like to design the artwork for a QDN shirt. The design concept is around connecting people with disability together, sharing stories and creating a strong vibrant Queensland wide network.  We would like people interested to provide their concept by Friday 16 April 2021.   This is just a rough drawing of what the final design would look like.  Once the design has been chosen the artist can finish their artwork. 

The artist with the chosen design will receive a $150 gift card.

If you have any queries, please contact Olivia Spadina at peersupport@qdn.org.au or phone 3252 8566



COVID-19 information for people with disability

Advice and information about COVID-19 is changing all the time.  QDN is working hard to make sure you have a place to go for the latest information and advice, and the resources that are most helpful for people with disability.

We want you to get the factsmake a plan and stay connected.  Go to the QDN website to read more here 


Targeted Outreach Project

Thank you to Moreton Bay’s Targeted Outreach Local Champion Matt McCracken (pictured centre) for organising a booth for the Targeted Outreach team at the Caboolture State High School Diverse Learners Hub Expo earlier this week.
 
It was a great opportunity for the Targeted Outreach team’s Kate Burton (pictured left), Matt McCracken and Simone Hockins (pictured right) to speak with year 10, 11 and 12 students with disabilities, their parents and carers about the Targeted Outreach Project – a free NDIS access assistance program, helping school leavers in their transition from school.
 
Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) and our project partners QCOSS and ADA Australia are helping more eligible Queenslanders with disability join the NDIS and experience the benefits of the scheme through the Targeted Outreach Project.

2 ladies and a man behind a table which has QDn banners in blue and white. There are brochures and banners around them. The banners have a photo of 20 people and the words QDn . phone 1300 363 783.

This project is helping people with disability to:
  • understand how the NDIS can provide access to the supports they need
  • access free and practical individual support to apply for and access the NDIS through dedicated regional Assessment and Referral (ART) teams
ART has small multi-disciplinary teams in the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors who provide intensive case management to support people with disability to navigate the NDIS access process from start to finish. The following NDIS application support is available:
  • collecting and preparing information
  • filling out and sending NDIS forms
  • discussing disability related needs with doctors and specialists
  • providing functional assessments where needed
  • keeping track of the NDIS access request until the process is finished

Find out more about our Local Champions here.



QDeNgage

QDeNgage Logo

Want to know more about QDeNgage? Find out if it could be for you?

Join us for an online QDeNgage info session for people with disability on 14 April 2021 at 10:30am. At this one hour session you will find out more about the QDeNgage initiative, and have your questions answered.

Joining the QDeNgage team will open up opportunities to share your knowledge and experience, and create a more inclusive Queensland. QDeNgage is an initiative of Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN), connecting businesses, government departments, and organisations to people with lived experience of disability to provide feedback, advice and information.

If you are a person with lived experience of disability who is looking to:

• Share your lived experience with others and be remunerated for your expertise 

• Contribute to creating positive change for people with disability

• Provide feedback on important issues for people with disability QDeNgage could be for you!

Click here to register for the QDeNgage information session

Read more about QDeNgage on the QDN website here.



Disability Inclusive Disaster Resilient Queensland

2 people sitting in wheelchairs in front of a table. The table has QDN blue and white banner on it. Two other people are sitting behind the table. They are all outside.

The team has been in Rockhampton and Mackay engaging with peer support groups around emergency preparedness. Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DIDRR) Peer Leaders in these communities held meetings with people with disability, beginning the emergency preparedness planning journey together.

QDN staff also attended the Rockhampton Neighbour Day celebration, alongside guest speaker, Rockhampton local and QDN Board Chair Des Ryan. The day was attended by a wide range of community organisations, local Council, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, and people with disability.

It was a great opportunity to connect with the local community and share important information on how to get prepared, including our Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness Workbook available here.

Introducing a four-part webinar series on Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DIDRR)

Our project partners Community Services Industry Alliance have developed this webinar series for people with disability, community, health and disability service providers, government and emergency services personnel who want to develop their capability to work together to ensure the safety and well-being of people with disability before, during and after disaster.

Check out our QDN DIDRR Peer Leaders Peter Tully and Nadia Brady in video 1

Check out the videos here 


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Disability Network of Queensland

Yarning Circles -Hervey Bay and Maryborough

Two people stadning by a sign that says Join us

Last Month ATSIDNQ returned to Hervey Bay and Maryborough to facilitate the Yarning Groups as part of the Powers of Peers (POP) program.  ATSIDNQ and the team from Galangoor Duwalami Primary Health Centre yarned with mob at the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre and at Galangoor Duwalami Primary Healthcare Service.

It was great to meet the new NDIS Community Connector, Cherie Wilkie, who is based at Galangoor and covers both the Hervey Bay and Maryborough area.  If you would like information on the NDIS or support in accessing the NDIS please call through to reception on (07) 4184 9969 or 0418 465 119 for a yarn with Cherie.

ATSIDNQ are organising more Yarning Circles for 2021 and hope to see you soon at a Yarning Circle near you. 

Read more from ATSIDNQ here.


QDN Events

White speech bubble with Peer Support Group. Sketch of 8 people around the speech bubble.Peer Support Groups

Peer Support Groups meet monthly connecting people with disability to share information and learn new things. Contact peersupport@qdn.org.au or 1300 363 783 to get meeting details. Find out more about your local Peer Support Group here.

 

Free online emergency preparedness planning sessions!

We invite you to join us for a series of three online emergency preparedness planning sessions to develop a plan for what you would do in an emergency situation, such as floods or bushfire. Everyone needs to plan for an emergency, and people with disability often have additional support needs to consider. 

QDN has been working with the University of Sydney and project partners to develop the ‘Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness Workbook’, a practical conversation guide and emergency planning tool. You can access the workbook here. Over three sessions you will be supported through the workbook, have the opportunity to hear from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, and learn from Peer Leaders with disability who have their own plans in place.

You will need to be able to attend all three sessions on these dates:

15 April 2021: 10.30am – 12.30pm – P-CEP Planning Session 1: Identify your strengths and support needs

29 April 2021: 10.30am – 12.30pm – P-CEP Planning Session 2: Know your risk

13 May 2021: 10.30am – 12.30pm – P-CEP Planning Session 3:  Make a plan

You can express your interest in joining these sessions by emailing Louise Abson at engage@qdn.org.au or calling the QDN office, and we will send you more information. Please let us know if you have any accessibility needs, such as AUSLAN or captioning requirements.


From Our Friends

Gallery of Modern Art 

On Wednesday 14 April 2021, and to co-incide with Autism Awareness Month, QAG and GOMA will be low sensory during opening hours. Visitors with Autism, sensory sensitivity or disability, their families, carers and support workers are invited to experience our exhibitions in a quieter environment. Volumes will be lowered and high sensory areas signposted. Quiet zones will also be available.

Here is a link to the event for sharing with your networks. QAGOMA_Low sensory day_14 April 2021

To help plan a visit, download or view the information sheet with sensory floor plans at the link here

View our world-exclusive exhibition, The Motorcycle: Design, Art, Desire, which showcases more than 100 of the most innovative and influential motorcycles of the last 150 years. ‘The Motorcycle’ is a ticketed exhibition – tickets can be purchased in advance online or onsite at GOMA on the day. Carers and support workers with a valid Companion Card receive complimentary entry to ticketed exhibitions.

There are many free exhibitions to see at QAG and GOMA, including two interactive Children’s Art Centre exhibitions which are suitable for all ages.  

In-line with the Gallery’s COVID Safe Plan, visitors are required to provide their name and contact details upon arrival, to support contact tracing. Visitors can scan a QR Code with a smart phone or use an iPad at all entry foyer Information Desks to provide these details. More information is available on there website here

New resource from The Hopkins Centre

Griffith have created a guide to help people with a disability decide whether to participation in research.  The guide includes helpful hints, things to think about and questions to ask researchers. It aims to help people with a disability make a more informed decision on whether or not to take part in research, as well as be more empowered throughout the research process. You can access the guide here.

Meet our Emerging Leaders 2021

Meet our Emerging Leaders here

QDN is excited to introduce the Emerging Leaders for 2021. The program kicked off in Brisbane on 9 and 10 March.  Our 21 participants from across Queensland started in the first Emerging Leaders program.  Over the next 10 months, these emerging leaders will engage with a range of speakers, leaders, and mentors.  Together as peers, as they embark on their leadership journey.

Meet the new Emerging Leaders at the link below and find out more about their what they are passionate about changing in the world and what they are looking forward on their leadership journey.

 

Stand with us! Queensland disability advocacy matters

Thank you to everyone for coming together and standing with us!

Yesterday, 24 March, over 200 people attended the rally in Brisbane at the front of Queensland Parliament House and almost 30 people rallied in Rockhampton. It was fantastic to have such a big turnout.

We thank everyone for signing on to support the campaign and for coming along to the rallies.  We want to especially thank QDN members, supporters, Board Directors and allies for coming along to show how important disability advocacy is in people’s lives. We have worked with 14 other organisations on this campaign – the Queensland Disability Advocacy Alliance and it is a collective effort that everyone should be proud of.

It was also great to have the support of Members of Parliament who came out to stand with us on the day including Government Ministers and MPs, Opposition Deputy Leader and Shadow Minister, Greens MPs and to the MPs who sent messages of support for the rally and the campaign.

We welcome the announcement on 23 March by the Palaszczuk Government to deliver a funding commitment of base funding of $8.1M over the next two years to continue advocacy services in Queensland.

We were pleased to welcome Honourable Craig Crawford, Minister for Seniors, Disability Services and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, to speak at the rally about the announcement and to let people know that your voice has been heard.  QDN looks forward to continuing to work through the Queensland Disability Advocacy Alliance with the State and Commonwealth governments to continue to shape and influence Queensland disability advocacy into the future, to ensure the ongoing and fundamental need of advocacy in people’s lives is met.

We know that many QDN members and supporters have raised this issue with your local MPs, and actively engaged in this campaign. Thank you for all of your actions.  It has made a difference and we have been listened to. Please follow up with your MPs and thank them for taking up this issue, listening to people with disability, and supporting Queensland disability advocacy.

Click here to go to photos from the rally on the Stand with us! website

Palaszczuk Government commits to continued funding for advocacy support – 23 March 2021

The Queensland Disability Advocacy Alliance welcomes the announcement last night (Tuesday 23 March 2021) by the Palaszczuk Government to deliver a funding commitment of base funding of $8.1M over the next two years to continue advocacy services in Queensland.

Read More