Bi-Monthly Update – May 2019
From the Chairperson
QDN held our 15 year anniversary last year, celebrating the hard work and dedication of members and staff, to bring to life the vision of our founding members of a state-wide network of people with disability, informing, connecting, leading and influencing change for an inclusive community. Our work over the past 15 years has been focused on ensuring that people with disability are equal and valued citizens, participating socially, economically, culturally and civically in all parts of the community.
I am very proud as Chairperson of QDN today, 28 May to be part of the launch of QDeNgage. My thanks to Hon Coralee O’Rourke MP, Minister for Communities, Disability Services and Seniors, for officially launching this initiative. Minister, we thank you for your kind words, your support and acknowledgement of the importance of the role and leadership of people with disability in this critical work. Thank you also to Kevin Cocks AM as representative for the Director General, Department of Transport and Main Roads, for speaking at the launch about the importance of the voice of people with disability and co-design. It makes good economic sense to have services, products, environments, and policy, which are inclusive and accessible for people with disability who make up 20% of the population. Add to that, our family, friends, work colleagues and acquaintances – we make up a great percentage of the population, and a large customer and consumer base. QDeNgage can help you co-design a product, service, experience or space to ensure it meets the needs of people with disability. QDN’s network is a diverse network of people with disability, including people with physical, intellectual, cognitive, vision, hearing, and psychosocial disability. We have many talented people, and will work to encourage more people with disability to be part of the group of QDeNgage representatives and consultants who can provide a range of advice, feedback, knowledge and expertise. I encourage you to go to our website, or to contact QDN on 1300 363 783 to find out more.
I was also pleased this month when I heard the Palaszczuk Government’s announcement to extend the Taxi Subsidy Scheme (TSS) for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants for another year post 30 June 2019. I also welcome the Palaszczuk Government announcement of the launch of a $21 million, four-year Wheelchair Accessible Taxi (WAT) fund to encourage taxi operators to make their vehicles accessible and modernise the state’s fleet. Accessible public transport remains a shared responsibility across Commonwealth, State, and Local Governments. QDN will continue to work with all levels of Government to ensure that people with disability can access a range of accessible and affordable transport options to be able to get to work, to get to essential medical appointments, to get to the shops to buy their groceries as well as all the other things that people want to do. The TSS is a vital scheme, and we need to ensure this issue is resolved during this time that the Queensland Government has provided this extension, so that Queenslanders with disability are not in the same position in a years’ time, worried and concerned about how their transport options. Read more
I acknowledge and congratulate Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his newly appointed Ministry. QDN looks forward to working with the Government to deliver for people with disability, a place in the community as equal citizens. We also look forward to working on government’s election commitments and priority to fix the problems with the NDIS and on the development of the National Disability Strategy and the National Disability Agreement. QDN also congratulates Minister Stuart Robert (Member for Fadden in Queensland) as the new Minister for NDIS; Minister for Government Services, and Senator Anne Ruston as the Minister for Families and Social Services (South Australia Senator). The Productivity Report and recommendations have provided a framework and architecture to help shape the future National Disability Agreement and National Disability Strategy. This is an important time for people with disability to have a say and voice in shaping these high-level documents that will influence direction, accountability, reporting and monitoring of how we are progressing as an Australian community to achieve the full social and economic participation of people with disability. There is also the important work to fix the issues with the NDIS so it is a scheme that delivers for all participants, regardless of your disability, where you live or what your needs for support are. We will work with all stakeholders to reach resolutions on many of the outstanding mainstream interface issues around housing, transport, health, education, and employment.
Nigel Webb, QDN Chairperson
From the CEO
As we head towards 30 June 2019, there are a number of big changes happening in our sector. The 30 June 2019 signals the end of Queensland’s transition timeframe to the NDIS. It signals the end of a critical piece of Queensland’s history in the delivery of services and supports to people with disability and their families and the end of our ‘readiness’ to transition to the national approach. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the Department of Disability Services and their work over decades in the administration, governance, stewardship, clinical and delivery of disability services. The Department has had many titles over the years, and been located structurally in a variety of different portfolio areas, with many different Ministers holding responsibility. There have been many dedicated staff who have worked in the Department, in areas of policy, legislative, governance, clinical, administrative and direct support roles. QDN would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge this work, and this moment of time as the Queensland State Department of Disability moves into a new era, but with still important responsibility in the stewardship of policy, governance and leadership for the inclusion and access of 900,000 Queenslanders with disability in our community. We look forward to sharing with members and our supporters information as it is released about the new structure, and in the coming year, the new legislation that will shape the way forward.
1 July 2019 signals the time for Queensland full scheme rollout of the NDIS. QDN congratulates the NDIA Queensland on their work over the last 3 years in the implementation of the NDIS as we move to full scheme. There are almost 60,000 Queenslanders who have gained access to the NDIS, many people are just at the beginning of this journey, whilst others are up to their third plan. QDN acknowledges for many people this has bought positive outcomes, and for others this has been a challenging process to navigate. However, for those yet to get in, from the original estimates by the Productivity Commission, there is still over 30,000 people with disability who are thought to be eligible for the scheme, yet to gain access. QDN will continue to work with the NDIA and Queensland Government on ensuring that everyone who is eligible for the NDIS gets the support they need to access the scheme.
1 July 2019 also signals the time for the commencement of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission in Queensland and the new legislative arrangements and responsibilities for the Commission and the Queensland Government. There will be a range of things that the Commission will have responsibility for and you can get more information in this factsheet. Queensland Government will keep looking after the yellow card system, the approval of restrictive practices, and administering the Community Visitor Program. We will provide a more detailed update to members in the next E-bulletin about these changes.
1 July 2019 also signals the time for the start of the Human Rights Act in Queensland and the changes to the work that the Anti-Discrimination Commission of Queensland (ADCQ). From 1 July 2019, the Anti-Discrimination Commission of Queensland (ADCQ) will become the Human Rights Commission. Scott McDougall will become the Human Rights Commissioner. QDN is meeting with Commissioner McDougall soon to talk more about this and what people with disability need as this moves forward.
In the coming months, we will also see the commencement of the Royal Commission into the Abuse, violence and exploitation of people with disability. I am very pleased to see the budget allocations made for the Royal Commission, including an allocation for counselling and other supports to assist people with disability to participate. The Royal Commission is going to have Brisbane as its base and headquarters. QDN will continue to keep members updated as we know more. Click here to read more
The first half of 2019 has been action packed and many and varied key things are happening in the sector. As you can see, the second half of the year is going to be very busy, with many changes and opportunities for people with disability and QDN to continue to connect, inform, lead and influence.
Paige Armstrong, CEO
Engagement consultants with lived experience of disability
Connecting you to people with lived experience of disability to help grow your business
People with disability make up almost 20% of the population. One in five Queenslanders identify as having a disability and want to be customers and consumers of all that business, industry and the community has to offer. Making services, products, businesses, workplaces and the community more inclusive of people with disability benefits everyone. Getting the right services, right products and right policies that are accessible and inclusive makes economic sense and enables people with disability to be equal citizens, accessing essential services as well as participating socially and economically in their communities.
We were very pleased to have the Hon Coralee O’Rourke, Minister for Communities, Disability Services and Seniors to officially launch QDeNgage this week. Click here to read more.
QDN Policy Response Wrap Up
Since the last e-bulletin QDN has worked on the following policy matters:
- Met with Minister O’Rourke to discuss the NDIS Peer to Peer Advocacy project and outstanding mainstream/NDIS interface issues still needing to be resolved;
- Met with Minister Miles to discuss NDIS and health interface issues;
- Made a presentation to the National Disability Insurance Agency Board and Senior executive including Acting CEO and Deputy CEOs whilst they were meeting in Brisbane;
- Ongoing work and meetings with the 14 Community Services Peaks on four priority areas – NDIS, Family Matters, Human Rights Act and accessible, affordable housing including meetings with Ministers, Premiers and Senior Departmental Officers;
- Ministerial Housing Council Meetings;
- Chairing Ministerial Housing Council Sub-Committee on Disability;
- Co-Chairing Minister’s NDIS Queensland Transition Advisory Group meetings;
- Health Alliance Core Group (Metro North HHS and Brisbane North PHN) people with complex health and social needs;
- Worked collaboratively with national allies around health and intellectual disability priorities for Federal election;
- Attended the Queensland Transition to NDIS for Mental Health Strategic Forum;
- Submitted a response to the Register of Births, Deaths and Marriages Review;
- Released the QDN Federal Election Platform and Advocacy Kit for members;
- Submitted a response to the consultation on the Draft Terms of Reference of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Exploitation and Neglect of People with Disability;
- Attended consultations in Brisbane and Townsville on “Shaping the future of disability policy for 2020 and beyond” – developing the new National Disability Strategy;
- Submitted a response to the Disability Services and other Legislations Amendment Bill;
- Met with the Electoral Commission of Queensland to provide advice on accessible polling booths;
- Attended consultations at Electricity Queensland on proposed new tariffs;
- Gave a presentation at WWILD Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month Roundtable; and
- Part of the panel with international and national experts on Inclusive approaches to Disaster Management hosted by Department of Communities – Disaster Recovery.
Keep a look out next month for the QDN member survey which will be arriving in your inbox or by post. The feedback you give us will inform our work for the coming year so we ask that you consider taking the time to have your say.
Taxi subsidy to continue post 30 June for another year
QDN welcomes the Palaszczuk Government’s announcement to ensure the Taxi Subsidy Scheme (TSS) for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants continues post 30 June 2019 for another year. QDN members and our supporters have raised our concerns with both State and Commonwealth Governments about the unresolved issue of the TSS and its impacts upon the lives of people with disability. Click here to read more.
QDN presentation at NDIA Board Meeting in Brisbane
QDN was pleased to present to the National Disability Insurance Agency Board and senior national executives when they were in Brisbane this month. Paige Armstrong, Michelle Moss and Melissa Hill presented about the work QDN has undertaken in the Getting on the NDIS Grid Project working with people who experience additional disadvantages to learn about the NDIS, and the NDIS Peer to Peer Advocacy project, assisting people with the support they need to access the NDIS. QDN highlighted the critical issues experienced in Queensland with the lower than expected numbers of new participants entering the scheme given Queensland’s bilateral was for 50% new participants to the scheme (45,000 people). We are currently at 12,000 people. QDN also shared the approaches and targeted support we have been providing to people with great success and about delivering positive outcomes for people in navigating this process to get access to the essential supports they need related to their disability.
Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability
QDN was pleased to see the allocation of almost $528 million in the Federal Budget for the conduct of the Royal Commission over five years. $149 million is to be used for counselling and other supports to assist people with disability to participate. The three year Royal Commission will be based in Brisbane and will travel the country seeking evidence. The Terms of Reference, detailed in the Letters Patent, indicate that the Commission should inquire into what should be done to:
- prevent, and better protect, people with disability from experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation;
- achieve best practice in reporting, investigating and responding to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation; and
- promote a more inclusive society that supports the independence of people with disability and their right to live free from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation
It will cover all forms of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability, in all settings and context.
Panel member – Inclusive Approaches to Disaster Management
Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors – Community Recovery, hosted an afternoon forum for community and emergency service representatives. Presentations where heard from Dr Daniel P Aldrich (USA) and Dr Michelle Villeneuve (NSW) to talk about inclusive disaster management and what they have learnt in their research and practice.. Dr Aldrich gave a presentation on using social capital and networks to survive and thrive in disaster.
Michelle Moss, QDN’s Business Development and Operations Manager and Belinda Drew, CEO at Community Services Industry Alliance joined with Dr Aldrich and Dr Villeneuve on a panel to discuss the critical things we need to consider in the Queensland context. They discussed the benefits to people with disability and broader society when their individual strengths and contributions to the social capital of local communities is identified and recognised. It was great to have two QDN members, Bev and Warwick Best (Gold Coast Local Support Group Convenors), who have a keen interest in making planning for disasters inclusive of people with disability, come along to the forum.
Federal Election Community Forums
QDN held two disability community forums during the election campaign period in the federal electorates of Dickson and Moreton. This was in the lead up to Every Australian Counts national day of action on 3 May. The forums gave candidates an opportunity to detail their disability commitments.
Each forum was hosted by the Local Support Group in partnership with a corsortia of other local organisations. Both forums had approximately 110 attendees with good representation by people with disability in the audience.
A disability inclusive and disaster resilient Queensland
QDN is working in partnership with the Centre for Disability Research and Policy at the University of Sydney, and the Queensland Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors (DCDSS), to facilitate a series of workshop consultations in Queensland on the topic of disability inclusive disaster management and planning. The consultations offer an opportunity for people with disability, emergency services, local council, disability service providers and community organisations to have these very important and timely conversations about how we can make disaster management inclusive of the diverse needs and experiences of people with disability. The outcome of these consultations will be the development of a framework and toolkit for Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DIDRR) for Queensland. These workshops are held in four locations across Queensland, and got off to a fantastic start in Brisbane where a diverse group had some very rich discussion and insights. The remaining consultations will be in held in Townsville (28 and 29 May), Ipswich (14 and 15 June) and Rockhampton (18 and 19 June).
QDN are seeking people to submit expressions of interest to participate in Ipswich and Rockhampton. If you would like to have a say on what is important to people with disability, and you are based in one of these locations, we encourage you to apply through the QDN website here.
Still time to help Shape the future of disability policy for 2020 and beyond
A friendly reminder to members that there is still time to respond to the public survey on shaping the next National Disability Strategy. You can complete it here.
The survey will take between 20-30 minutes to complete, is available in several accessible formats and is open until 10 June. If you have any questions or need help completing the survey, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1800 334 505.
Members reflect on positive changes since the NDIS
Recently QDN members told us about positive changes in their lives since receiving their NDIS supports. QDN thought it was important to share these stories with others to provide “food for thought” about what is possible. In particular, some people have been able to change service providers under the NDIS and have had positive results because of this.
Stories people have shared include:
- “I now have support to do the things I want to do when I want to do them, instead of being stuck with an inflexible roster and being unsure of who and when people will turn up”.
- “The NDIS has provided us with the opportunity to change providers from a large service to a small, more flexible service where we have a dedicated team of workers to assist us”.
- “With my new service, I don’t have to go through a centralised rostering system anymore to change a shift time, I just flick a quick SMS to my key worker and there’s no drama”.
- “Before the NDIS, I only had support to do the basics, now I’ve been able to pursue my interest in gardening which has given me a hobby, gotten me outside more and been great for my health and wellbeing”.
- “I was scared about changing service providers at first, as they were all I’d known and I didn’t want the feeling of being stuck with all the responsibility if things went wrong. However, now I’ve made the change, and am more in control of the supports and services I receive, I couldn’t imagine going back to the old system”.
Morrison’s Coalition Government returns to power after election win
Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) acknowledges and congratulates Scott Morrison and the Coalition government on their election win. Click here to read more.
Resignation of NDIA CEO
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), Mr Robert De Luca, informed the NDIA Board of his intention to resign from his role, effective immediately. Ms Vicki Rundle, the Deputy CEO Government, Communications and Stakeholder Engagement has been appointed as Acting CEO. Read more.
NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission from 1 July 2019
From 1 July NDIS participants can take any concerns about services they are receiving from their NDIS provider to the NDIS Quality and Safety Commission. Complaints or feedback relating to NDIS support plans and decisions can be made directly to the National Disability Insurance Agency by calling 1800 800 110 or by emailing email@example.com. The Commission will be operational in Queensland from 1 July, and QDN congratulates Fran Vicary as the new State Director.
National Disability Insurance Agency January-March 2019 Quarterly report – Queensland Statistics
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) recently released the quarterly report for January-March 2019. The Queensland Quarter 3 report gives the following data:
- Queensland new participants to the scheme is 12, 274, sitting at 27% of estimated numbers in bilateral;
- Queensland has a total of 46,036 participants now being supported by the NDIS in Queensland, including children in the ECEI program
- In Queensland, 59% of scheme to date bilateral estimates have been met (1 APRIL 2016 – 31 MARCH 2019)
In Queensland, 59% of scheme to date bilateral estimates have been met (1 APRIL 2016 – 31 MARCH 2019) Roll out progress for new participants remains significantly low in Queensland.
Consumers with Disability education campaign 2019
Australia’s consumer law regulators are launching a national campaign to educate consumers with disability and participants in the National Disability Insurance Scheme about their rights and obligations under the Australian Consumer Law. They have produced videos and guides to help consumers with disability understand their rights. These include:
- an educational video on how to shop smart and use your rights;
- an Easy English educational video (with Casey and Reece) on how to shop smart;
- fact sheet with a short summary of your consumer rights and the steps you can take to resolve problems;
- detailed guide explaining your consumer rights, how to be a smart shopper, what to look out for when signing a contract/service agreement and the steps you can take to resolve problems; and a
- fact sheet on where to go for assistance or to make a complaint about a product or service.
All these videos and guides can be found here.
QLD Housing Strategy innovations to help more Queenslanders secure affordable housing
Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni has announced $2 million for three new products as part of the Queensland Government’s Housing Strategy to support more Queenslanders who are locked out of affordable housing options. Click here to read more.
Anti-Discrimination Commission will change its name to the Queensland Human Rights Commission
The Human Rights Act 2019 will protect 23 rights by law, require parliament to consider those rights when debating and passing laws, and ensure public services comply with human rights. They will continue their work under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991, including training and complaint handling. The change will not affect any complaints under the Anti-Discrimination Act either before or after 1 July 2019. Click here to read more.
Review into the impacts of domestic and family violence on people with disability
In accordance with recommendation 10 in the Not Now, Not Ever report, People with Disability Australia (PWDA) were commissioned to conduct research to better understand the impact of domestic and family violence on people with disability. QDN was a member of the reference group. The Queensland government has recently released the report.
The report highlights that people with disability disproportionately experience violence in their homes and that a broader range of people can be responsible for that violence. The Review highlighted the need to take action to:
- bolster preventative domestic and family violence approaches for people with disability;
- build the capacity of the sector;
- establish responsive approaches to address the impact of domestic and family violence against people with disability; and
- build the evidence around the intersection between domestic and family violence and people with disability.
The Queensland Government has developed Queensland’s plan to respond to domestic and family violence against people with disability (PDF, 193 KB). The Plan represents a cross-government commitment to addressing the issue of domestic and family violence committed against people with a disability, now and into the future. This plan consists of both immediate strategies to improve responses as well as laying the ground work to build understanding to inform future work. Read the PWDA research report here.
Accessibility upgrades for six southside stations
The Palaszczuk Government has announced funding plans for major accessibility upgrades to Fairfield, Yeronga, Yeerongpilly, Moorooka, Rocklea and Salisbury stations on Brisbane’s southside. Click here to read more.
New fund to support wheelchair accessibility
The Palaszczuk Government has launched a $21 million, four-year Wheelchair Accessible Taxi (WAT) fund to encourage taxi operators to make their vehicles accessible and modernise the state’s fleet. Click here to read more.
Language interpreting services to assist people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds to access the NDIS
The NDIS has developed new practices and resources to assist people from CALD backgrounds with disability and their families to access and participate in the NDIS. The resources include a Participant Fact Sheet that has been translated into 12 Languages other than English which provides information for people with disability who need language interpreting services. This information details how to access language interpreting services throughout the NDIS pathway from calling the National Call Centre to implementing an NDIS plan. The resources also include instructions for NDIS providers to set up an interpreting account so people with disability aren’t charged for interpreting against their NDIS plans and a practice guide for providers working with interpreters. Click here to read more.
Design Quality Manual
The built environment affects the daily lives of everyone; the design and quality of our surroundings can have a lasting impact on our culture, identity and quality of life. Good design in the built environment means buildings and spaces that are:
- fit for purpose, efficient and enduring;
- in the right place and responsive to their surroundings – local character, cultural heritage, the natural environment;
- designed to promote community inclusion and cohesion;
- ecologically sustainable; and
- places people will enjoy and be proud of.
The National Capital Authority (NCA) has produced the Design Quality Manual which can be viewed by clicking here.
Local Support Group Update
There are 20 groups across Queensland who meet regularly, both face to face and virtually. The Local Group Convenors are connected with more than 1,000 people and support them to link with their local community.
In the lead up to the Federal election on Saturday 18 May 2019, Local Support Group Convenors and members have been busy consulting people in their communities, canvasing their local federal government candidates and attending community forums to raise and discuss important issues for people with disability, such as NDIS, housing, justice, health, work, transport. Local Support Group members were strongly represented at the recent community forums held in the Dickson and Moreton federal electorates. Local Support Groups have also been disseminating a range of information and resources, to assist people with disability to vote in the Federal Election.
We are also developing a short video about Local Support Groups and the important work we do – stay tuned for further updates about this.
At the last Ipswich Local Support Group meeting, Peter and Linda led discussion and encouraged members to take part in the recent Every Australia Counts – Let’s Make It Count – Day of Action in the lead up to the federal election. They also urged members to get along to their polling booths to vote.
Additionally, Peter and Linda have again been involved in the Fresh Futures Market in Brisbane and the Gold Coast – and again encouraged those members who could to come along and help promote the day. For those who could not make it along – you would be welcome to join in when the Fresh Futures Market takes place in Ipswich in September.
Peer to Peer Advocacy Project Update
The Peer to Peer Advocacy Team have been busy working across South East Queensland to provide support, information and advice to over 1,200 people with disability. People have been contacting QDN to get support with accessing the NDIS or with their pre-planning and planning meetings. The majority of requests for support have been from people who have had no disability services or have had some community care services previously.
The majority of requests to the team have been from people wanting to put in their first access request, though we have also found that many people who are requesting support have previously made 2-3 previous unsuccessful attempts to access the NDIS. QDN has been able to work with people to resubmit their access request, and found that with appropriate evidence many have seen successful results.
Through this work, QDN has identified a range of important issues affecting individual’s ability to access the NDIS, their experiences and, to a greater extent, people’s lives and their wellbeing. People QDN are working with report they are frequently faced with many challenges across a number of areas including homelessness, child safety, juvenile justice, domestic and family violence, health and criminal justice systems.
The Peer to Peer Advocacy project is funded by Queensland Government from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019. QDN encourages anyone still wanting to find out about the NDIS and what they can do to make an access request to contact QDN now on 1300 363 783 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
QDN Member Profile – Paul Larcombe
Paul is a QDN member and stood as a candidate for the Australian Senate. We caught up with Paul recently and this is what he shared with us…..
In recent months ATSIDNQ team members have visited a number of regions around the State such as Dalby, Oakey and St George, Maryborough and Hervey Bay, Bamaga and the surrounding communities. Strong connections with Burringilly Respite Centre have also been developed, in which great yarning groups have been established. The NDIS has been raised as a huge road block when they visit these communities. A proposed solution is being discussed, which is establishing an Indigenous Culturally Safe NDIS workshop with various service providers.
The ATSIDNQ facebook is receiving some great content, movement and use within the community.
- Regional updates: Systemic issues are a focus
- There are feedback requests for submissions on the ATSIDNQ website and members’ Facebook page for:
- ‘the rights of older persons with disabilities’ submission
- National Disability Strategy 2010- 2020 – Survey
- Thin Markets NDIS – questions or yarns asked at yarning groups for feedback.
ATSIDNQ Future Direction over the next 3 months:
The ATSIDNQ have a busy few months ahead on the road with some of the team visiting Torres Strait Islands, Gold Coast, Townsville, Palm Island, Mackay, Kurbingui, Rockhampton, Cherbourg and Bundaberg. They will attend and participate in many NAIDOC celebrations. Musgrave Park 12 July; Toowoomba 9 July; Cairns 5 July; Maryborough and Hervey Bay to be advised. There will be 11 Good News Stories from members released next month, which will be promoted on the ATSIDNQ Members’ Facebook page. Keep a look out for these.
Phone: 3252 8566 or 1300 363 783
Facebook: Queenslanders with Disability Network