Group Convenor Training Days 15 and 16 October 2020
On 15 and 16 October, Group Convenors from across Queensland came together for two days of training in Brisbane. Across the two days convenors explored topics like transformation leadership and capturing digital stories. Convenors heard from representatives from the National Disability Insurance Agency and Every Australian Count to keep up to date with changes around the National Disability Insurance Scheme. These training days are an opportunity for convenors to come together to share information and learn new skills they can share with their groups. During this time convenors also connect with their peers to explore further the power of peers on a personal level as well as in a group.
Photo left: Elisha Matthews, Donna Best and Wendy Lovelace in group discussions
Photo right: Tony Melksham, Normanton Peer Support Group and Gary Mathews, QDN Mackay
QDN supports virtual and face to face peer support groups across the state. The following information provides an update on the groups and please contact QDN if you want to find out more information about the groups and how to connect in.
MAC Group for Over 65s Peer Support Group
In August 2020, we launched the MAC Group for people with disability over the age of 65. The group is convened by Rachel Mathews and brings together people with disability aged over 65 to talk about topics that are important to them. MAC is a Queensland wide group that meet online via Zoom, with members joining from all over Queensland including Brisbane, Cairns, Clifton, and even as far as Normanton.
The group discuss issues and have had guest speakers including the My Aged Care Navigator and advocates from Aged and Disability Services Australia. MAC have been very successful in connecting online with technology and supporting each other to be connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. The MAC group meet the 1st Wednesday of every month from 1pm to 2:30pm. The Group is always welcoming new members. If you would like to join the MAC Peer Support Group for people with disability aged over 65, please contact QDN for information.
Left: MAC Group for Over 65s convenor, Rachel Mathews.
Sunnybank Peer Support Group
The Sunnybank Peer Support Group have been meeting online via Zoom since March when COVID restrictions were introduced in Queensland. During this time, the Sunnybank Peer Support Group have discussed topics important to them including:
Local area design consultation
Queensland state election
The Sunnybank Peer Support Group plan on returning to face to face meetings early next year so watch this space for updates! The Group meet on the 2nd Saturday of the month from
10:30am to 12:30pm.
With the easing of COVID-19 restriction in Queensland, the Deception Bay Peer Support Group, convened by Rebecca Bellis and Eileen Goodenough, have recently commenced meeting face to face again. Since meeting, the group has discussed the Queensland state elections and emergency preparedness. The Group meet on the 2nd Tuesday of the month from 10:30am to 12:30pm.
Left: Deception Bay Peer Support Group co-convenors Eileen Goodenough and Rebecca Bellis (from left to right).
Toowoomba Peer Support Group
The Toowoomba Peer Support Group are returning to face to face meetings in November now restrictions are easing. Like other groups, the Toowoomba Peer Support Group will continue to offer Zoom as an alternative to joining the meeting. This means that those who cannot make the face to face meeting can still be included in the conversation.
The Group, convened by Nadia Brady and Sharon Boyce, have talked about the following topics at their meetings this year, social connectedness, Disaster preparedness, the diversity within the group – sharing what it is like to be you, NDIS self-management, Queensland state elections, and planning for meetings moving into 2021. The Group meet the 3rd Thursday of the month from 3pm to 5pm. They meet face to face, or you can join online.
Left: Nadia Brady on a Zoom meeting.
Brisbane Hot Topics Peer Support Group
The Brisbane Hot Topics Peer Support Group for people with an intellectual disability have had a big year connecting online and are now meeting face to face since COVID restrictions have eased. They have returned to the QDN office for their monthly meetings and are following social distancing requirements. Brisbane Hot Topics, convened by Donna Best, have been busy covering topics such as:
COVID safety with Metro South Health
Queensland state election and the importance of voting
People coming together for housing with the IYHG Peer Educators from
Community Living Association
Understanding the Queensland Human Rights Act with the
Queensland Human Rights Commission
Self-advocacy quiz as part of Self-Advocacy Month
The Brisbane and Gold Coast Hot Topics Peer Support Groups have even connected with self-advocate groups all the way over in Canada! The Hot Topics groups have been meeting regularly with the New Vision Advocates and Teegatha Oh Zeh to plan an international online event to celebrate International Day of People with Disability on 3 December.
The Brisbane Hot Topics Peer Support Group meet the last Friday of the month, from 12pm to 2pm, and connect face to face and online.
Photo left: The Hot Topics Peer Support Group connecting with other self-advocacy groups in Victoria as part of Self-Advocacy Month.
Self-management Peer Support Group
The Self-management Peer Support Group launched in September 2020. The Group, convened by Rebecca Bellis, is for people with disability who self-manage their NDIS plans or are wanting to know about self-managing their plans. This dynamic group meet online and come from across Queensland with members representing Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville, and the Gold Coast. The group draw on their own lived experience of self-management with members who part self-managing, completely self-managing or wanting to self-manage their NDIS plans. The NDIS Self-management group meet online via Zoom on the last Thursday of the month from 10:30am to 12:30pm.
Caboolture Peer Support Group
On Saturday 31 October the Caboolture Peer Support Group met for the first time since COVID started. The group was excited to be back meeting face to face. After a good catch up, the group spent some time sharing updates on changes that have happened in the disability sector as well as information on QDN projects like the Targeted Outreach Program, which is currently available in the Caboolture area.
The Caboolture Peer Support Group meets on Saturday at the Caboolture Sports Club.
Left: Group convenor, Matt McCracken welcoming the Caboolture Peer Support Group back to face to face meetings
Brisbane Peer Support Group
During the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Brisbane Peer Support Group successfully moved their meetings from face to face to online using zoom. Group convenors Elisha and Lisa have facilitated some wonderful discussions. This has included disaster preparedness planning for people with disability, online scams awareness, and the upcoming November guest speaker, Damon Jaenk, who is speaking on his Push the Stigma Away initiative.
The Brisbane group meet on the third Wednesday of each month, from 10:30am 12:00pm. The meeting is held at the QDN Brisbane office or you can attend virtually via Zoom.
Fitzgibbon Peer Support Group
Fitzgibbon Peer Support Group has been meeting virtually for several months to discuss topical issues such as SDA accommodation and independent compared to group living situations. Charmaine Idris, Group Convenor, has been facilitating these group discussions and is encouraging new members to join this exciting group. Mark Warren is also being welcomed as the group’s new co-convenor at the next meeting via Zoom. The Fitzgibbon Peer Support Group meet online via Zoom on the third Tuesday of each month, from 10:00am to 12:00pm.
Ipswich Peer Support Group
Ipswich Peer Support Group has successfully incorporated online participation into their meetings with members joining face to face and via Zoom. Having learnt Zoom skills earlier in the year each member now can join meetings to keep connected and be part of the conversation even when they physically can’t make the meeting. Peter and Lynda Tully have facilitated various meeting topics from self-managing NDIS plans, giving feedback on the Ipswich’s Disability Action Plan and keeping each other up to date during COVID-19. The Ipswich Peer Support Group meet in the Auditorium at 56 South St, Ipswich on the third Saturday of each month, from 10:00am to 12:0pm.
Sunshine Coast Peer Support Group
Sunshine Coast Peer Support Group has also transition to virtual meetings, helping members to use Zoom to be able to join the meetings. Group convenor, Will Procter, has facilitated great discussions on several member driven topics with Sunshine Coast Council, NBN Co and SCANN. This group is also working on a digital story project titled ‘How to speak to people with disability in the community’. The Sunshine Coast Peer Support Group meet on the fourth Wednesday of each month from 10:00am to 12:00pm. A new venue will be confirmed for 2021.
Left: Sunshine Coast group convenor Will Proctor shares a laugh at the convenor training day.
QDNY Peer Support Group for under 35s
QDNY is the State-wide, youth support group, that launched in July 2020 for people with disability aged 18-35 years. This group meet monthly online via zoom to discuss topics like the Queensland state election. The group have invited speakers from Carer’s Queensland to talk about the role of Local Area Coordinators and the NDIS. In November QDNY guest speaker Fran Vicary, from the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, joined the group to talk about how the NDIS is regulated.
Normanton Peer Support Group
Normanton Peer Support Group located in far north Queensland is looking forward to meeting again after a long break due to COVID-19 restrictions. Once the wet season ends, we hope to hear more from this support group moving into 2021.
We are calling on QDN members to help build better homes for all Australians
In early 2021, Building Ministers from across Australia will meet to consider whether to include mandatory minimum accessibility standards in the National Building Code. This decision will affect hundreds of thousands of Australians who cannot currently find appropriate housing.
This will be a critical decision for the hundreds of thousands of Australians with mobility impairments who cannot get access to housing that meets their needs.
Changes to the National Building Code will then come into effect in all states and territories on 1 September 2022.
QDN are asking our members to support the Building Better Homes Campaign by signing and sharing the petition to the Hon Karen Andrews MP, Chair of the Building Ministers Meeting. This petition will be presented to the Building Ministers Forum at the end of February. Their signatures will strengthen the call for change.
Alternatively, you can email our Building Ministers to inform them of your support for a minimum access standard for housing in the National Construction Code.
We’ve been talking a lot about Independent assessments, and we aren’t stopping just yet.
Since our last update, The Commonwealth Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS has decided to conduct an inquiry into independent assessments under the NDIS.
The committee is now inviting submissions from people with disability, families, and carers; allied health professionals; and representative organisations.
Submissions that provide information about individual cases or complaints can help the committee to find broader issues for investigation.
The Committee will pay attention to:
– the development, modelling, reasons, and justifications for the introduction of independent assessments into the NDIS
– the independence, qualifications, training, expertise, availability, and quality assurance of assessors
– the appropriateness of the assessment tools
– the use of independent assessments for access to, and eligibility decisions, as well as to determine what might be reasonable and necessary support
– exemptions, reviews, and challenges to their use including for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, those living in regional, remote and very remote areas, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and people with particular disabilities
– opportunities to review or challenge the outcomes of independent assessments
e-Blast: COVID Conversations: Free webinars for Queenslanders with disability and their supporters
COVID-19 has meant lots of changes and it’s important that everyone can get the information they need about what we can do to be prepared, slow the spread of COVID-19 and get essential services and support.
Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN), in partnership with Health Consumers Queensland (HCQ), are holding a series of free webinars for people with disability and their supporters. We have organised a range of speakers including people with disability, families and carers, colleagues from Victoria, Queensland Department of Health, Queensland Department Communities, Disability Services and Seniors, Australian Human Rights Commission, NDIA, NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, and Every Australian Counts.
Media Release: New resources for Queenslanders with disability to assist them during COVID to get the hospital care they need
Know your rights: Getting the hospital care you need during COVID-19 – for people with disability and their supporters
Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) and Health Consumers Queensland (HCQ) are pleased to announce the release of a new resource for people with disability to assist them during COVID-19 with getting the hospital care they need.
The resources, “Know your rights: Getting the hospital care you need during COVID-19” is a nation first. QDN and HCQ have worked together with people living with disability and family and carers with lived experience of Queensland’s health system to co-design this resource. This guide is funded by Queensland Department of Health through the COVID-19 Grant Fund: Immediate Support Measures.
e-Blast: Virtual Forum Series for people with disability: COVID Conversations #1
COVID testing and mask wearing: what do people with disability and their supporters need to know?
Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN), in partnership with Health Consumers Queensland (HCQ), is holding a series of 3 COVID Conversations for people with disability and their supporters.
These forums will provide information from a range of speakers about testing for COVID and wearing masks and your rights in navigating healthcare and disability and community support services during COVID.
e-Blast: Urgent feedback sought on the impacts of accessible housing – adults with mobility limitation
The Australian Network for Universal Housing Design is working with the Melbourne Disability Institute and Melbourne University to survey people with disability to identify individual qualitative benefits to people with disability of having regulated minimum accessible housing standards in place. As such they are seeking your feedback on the impact to your:
e-Blast: Restrictions lifted for Queensland aged care facilities
From 10 August, Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has lifted restrictions for aged care facilities. This is great news as it means that families and community services are again able to go into aged care facilities.
Additional protections that were put in place, such as increased personal protective equipment and requesting staff to work as much as possible at one particular site, will remain.