Bi-Monthly Update – September 2019

From the Chairperson

15 September was the start of Disability Action Week, and a week to celebrate the contribution and inclusion of people with disability in our Queensland community. I know QDN members, families and supporters have been leading different activities in their communities, from Expos, to book launches, to people with disability hosting inclusive nature activities.

Queensland’s Disability Action Week this year has focused on how Queenslanders can play their own role in creating an all abilities Queensland. One of the key areas that both State and Commonwealth Governments are focused on increasing employment for people with disability. This is an important area that we all need to work together on to change the outcomes and low employment rates for people with disability. I was recently invited, in my role as Co-Chair for the National Disability and Carers Advisory Council (NDCAC) to speak at a national conference on employment. NDCAC is a Commonwealth Council that advises the Minister for Families and Social Services and helps drive the national reform agenda. The conference, The Power of Purpose, Changing Lives through Employment was organized by the National Employment Services Association (NESA). In my presentation I talked about the importance of people with disability both as employees and employers. In the national reforms happening with the NDIS, people with disability also have an important place and role to play as part of industry as employers.  It is critical that we start to shift this conversation and show the contribution we can make to growing and shaping the market, and being an employer of choice in this transformational time of change. As part of the forum, a call was made for a National Disability Employment Plan which QDN supports and I would also as part of national work. Having a national plan would put this on the agenda and give accountability and responsibility to all levels of Government.

The Royal Commission signage "The sitting has adjourned"
The Royal Commission signage “The sitting has adjourned”

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability held its first sitting in Brisbane on 16 September 2019. This was a historical moment in time for people with disability, families, carers and workers who have campaigned for this for many decades. As members would be aware, the Commission has made Brisbane its base and will operate out of Brisbane. Commissioner Sackville AM made opening statements, and I was pleased that all Commissioners who spoke talked about the importance of people with disability having a voice and being able to tell their story. There is further information in the eBulletin about supports that are available for people with disability to access advocacy, legal and counselling support and I encourage QDN members to seek support from the appropriate organisations if you are going to give evidence to the Commission.

It is a time in disability for the commissions, the Disability Royal Commission, the Aged Care Royal Commission, the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission and the Human Rights Commission. All these bodies are there to work together with people with disability, families and the sector to ensure that our fundamental human rights are upheld, and we can safely work, play, live and learn in our communities.

It is also a time for Annual General Meetings. QDN’s Annual General Meeting is on Saturday 9 November, and this year will be held at the Kitty Hawk Room, Kedron Wavell RSL at Chermside. This is a non-voting year. We are looking forward to members joining us for this important meeting in our annual calendar. More details will follow.

Nigel Webb, Chairperson

From the CEO

There have been a number of policy and legislative reviews announced in the past few months, with opportunities for people with disability, families, carers and providers to have input into these reviews and give direct lived experience feedback to decision makers. QDN has provided a range of submissions in the past two months into reviews around the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the reforms that the Commonwealth Government is proposing. These include changes to streamline the way State and Commonwealth Governments and Ministers make decisions together, changes to Supported Independent Living (SILS) arrangements, NDIS planning and the accessibility strategy for the Disability Royal Commission. All these proposed legislative reviews have direct impact upon people with disability and what will happen on the ground for individuals. The broader reviews for the NDIS Legislation under the Tune Review are focusing on ways to make the NDIS process simpler and remove barriers for participants and providers. It is going to look at what changes need to be made to the NDIS legislation to set timeframes and guarantees for NDIS plans into law. The Commonwealth Government has appointed an independent expert Mr David Tune AO, PSM to lead this review, and report to Government by the end of 2019.

QDN knows from our work over almost two decades in providing feedback and a voice for people with disability to decision makers that it is important to get changes to legislation right. There can often be unintended consequences and things that may end up impacting negatively on people with disability when legislation is translated into practice on the ground. The NDIS has been established to give people with disability access to much needed funded supports to live their life in the same way as other Australians can. It is also about shifting the power to the person with disability so they can have choice and control over when, where, and how they purchase those supports they need. It is critical that these changes to legislation uphold these fundamental building blocks of the NDIS, and that they strengthen the way the law is translated to practice and day to day implementation of the scheme. QDN knows from talking with members that there are some critical issues that compromise the choice and control principle in the way Supported Independent Living (SILS) is being rolled out, also people’s access to information about this and it is important that these changes address these issues. At the end of the day, it needs to improve what is happening day to day for people with disability so they can get the best opportunity and support from what the NDIS has to offer. I encourage members to get along to one of the NDIS Participant Services Guarantee Consultation if they are being held in their areas. For more information click here

I would also like to welcome new staff to QDN. Jeremy Farley has taken on the role of Project Support Officer and will be working primarily with local support groups and QDeNgage. I would also like to welcome Natalia Freitas in the role of Administration and Executive Support Officer. We have farewelled Sharon Turner who was previously working in this role in July, and we also will farewell Rebecca McElroy who has been supporting local support groups at the end of September. A big thanks to these staff for their contribution to QDN’s work.

Paige Armstrong, CEO

2019 Annual General Meeting

QDN’s Annual General Meeting will be held in the Kitty Hawk Room at Kedron Wavell RSL, Saturday 9th November.  The meeting will begin at 10am to 12pm.  Members will receive more details in the coming weeks.

The Disability Royal Commission:  Townsville Community Forum & Brisbane First Public Sitting

QDN staff, board members and members attending the Royal Commission first public sitting in Brisbane
QDN staff, board members and members attending the Royal Commission first public sitting in Brisbane

The first community forum of the Disability Royal Commission (full name Royal Commission into Violence Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability) was held in Townsville on the 9 September 2019.  The first Public Sitting of the Disability Royal Commission was held in Brisbane on Monday 16 September. This marked an historic moment in time after many years of advocacy to get a Royal Commission so the voices of people with disability could be heard in relation to their experiences of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect.

Important links for members:

  • Click here to view the webcast of the First Public Hearing of the Disability Royal Commission at the following website.
  • 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 into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. The legal advisory service will be an independent, trauma informed and culturally safe service that will be delivered nationally. You can contact NLA on 1800 771 800 between 8.30am-5pm AEST. An interim website will be available from Monday 16 September. Click here to view the website.
  • Support during the Disability Royal Commission – Advocacy services funded under the National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) have been given additional funding to support people with disability during the Disability Royal Commission. 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 and we will be happy to assist you to find your nearest advocacy service.

Click here to read more.

Queensland Government Announces Disability Connect Queensland

The Queensland Government has announced the creation of a new area within the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors, Disability Connect Queensland (DCQ).

A key strategy of DCQ will be to seek and consider the lived experience and views of people with disability, their families, carers and the sector.  To remove barriers for employment of people with disability, DCQ will have a goal of 20 percent of the areas existing FTEs being people with disability.

The state government’s commitment to supporting the enhanced social and economic opportunities and inclusion of Queenslanders with disability is supported by more than $1.45 billion investment in disability services in the 2019-2020 State Budget.  Click here to view more information about Disability Connect on their website.

QDN Projects

QDN work with Department of Housing and Public Works (DH&PW)

As previously reported, QDN has been funded by DH&PW to do a range of policy work in relation to people with disability and housing from April 2018-April 2019. Specifically, the work will provide a disability perspective on the Partnering for Growth and Partnering for Impact initiatives of DH&PW. Since the last report, QDN has finalised the project plan with the Department which will trigger payment of the funding from DH&PW. In the coming months, QDN will work on a major deliverable of the project, a workshop with community housing providers on the SDA housing and how providers can leverage opportunities in SDA to increase accessible housing stock.

As covered in the last eBulletin, QDN has been funded by the Department of Housing & Public Works (DH&PW) to do a range of policy work in relation to people with disability and housing from April 2018-April 2019. Specifically, the work will provide a disability perspective on the Partnering for Growth and Partnering for Impact initiatives of DH&PW. Since the last report, QDN has finalised the project plan with the Department which will trigger payment of the funding from DH&PW. In the coming months, QDN will work on a major deliverable of the project, a workshop with community housing providers on the SDA housing and how providers can leverage opportunities in SDA to increase accessible housing stock.

QDN’s Self-management Project

QDN has received some funding through the targeted round of Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) for Disabled Persons and Family Organisations in December 2018. The project will build upon existing self-management resources and, using a co-design approach, develop user-friendly resources and tools to assist people with disability to understand what is involved in self-managing their NDIS plan and build capacity through QDN’s local support groups across the state.

Everyday Practice Project: QDN part of Consortium Delivering Information for NDIS Providers and Participants about Quality and Safeguards

Through funding provided by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, QDN is continuing to work with Amergin to deliver the Everyday Practice project, responsible for the work to co-design resources and information by and for people with disability. QDN, in collaboration with Amergin, has been developing initial resources for the Everyday Practice website which will be launched soon.  This includes the development of user-friendly resources and tools about the NDIS co-designed by people with disability.

From October, QDN will be engaging with QDeNgage representatives to co-design resources across the key topic areas that the project will cover. Information about opportunities to engage and the process for doing so will be shared shortly through our QDeNgage network. Please stay tuned for further information about this opportunity.

Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DIDRR) Project Update

The Disability Inclusive Disaster Reduction (DIDRR) framework for Queensland is a project in partnership with the Centre for Disability Research and Policy at the University of Sydney, and is funded by, and in partnership with, the Queensland Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors (DCDSS).

In May and June of this year, QDN co-facilitated cross-community consultations across four locations; Brisbane, Ipswich, Rockhampton and Townsville. These consultations focused on gathering the perspectives of people with disability and a broad range of stakeholders, on how to ensure disaster management and recovery is inclusive of people with disability.

The final reports for these consultations have now been released and can be found on the QDN website, alongside further information about this project. Click here to view.

The consultations and reports have informed the development of a DIDRR framework and toolkit for Queensland that is due for launch in October.

Changing Lives, Changing Communities

The second year of Changing Lives, Changing Communities is now in full swing. Together with QCOSS and Human Rights Commission Qld,

People having discussions around a table at Toowoomba Changing Lives, Changing Communities
People having discussions around a table at Toowoomba Changing Lives, Changing Communities

we continue the conversation with communities across Queensland around how we create communities where everyone contributes, matters and belongs.

The first of the second-year forums was held in Toowoomba on the 3rd and 4th of September, where over 60 people from across the

community came together to share their stories and ideas for action. We heard stories from participants from the first-year forum about projects they are collectively progressing, and other exciting work happening across the community. Participants then spent time together designing and shaping new ideas and projects for action.

We are looking forward to continuing Round Two of Changing Lives, Changing Communities with the next forum to be held in Mackay on the 9th and 10th of October. Click here to view further information about this work, including details on how to register, or contact us at the office.

It’s Time to QDeNgage

Benefits of becoming a QDeNgage consultant or representative - keeping informed about opportunities for representatives and consultants as they arise, access to professional development opportunities, leadership and networking opportunities, access to online community for QDeNgage members, access to information about external professional development opportunities, opportunities to gain casual employment, and promotion of representative and consultants activities through QDN's social media and online publications (where appropriate).

People with disability have specialist knowledge, expertise and unique perspectives that only lived experience of disability brings.

By making this specialist knowledge and expertise available to businesses, it enables you to influence their products and services to be more inclusive, accessible and reflective of what people with disability need and want.

Click here to learn more about how to apply to become a QDeNgage Consultant or Representative today, or call QDN on 1300 363 783.

Important information for service users of the Queensland Community Care Program

The Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors funded QDN from 1 July 2019 to 30 September 2019 to assist people who have being receiving Queensland Community Care (QCC) supports to transition to the new Queensland Community Support Scheme.  This project is only funded until 30 September 2019 and will cease at this time.

The QCSS Linkages Project has worked with people who have a disability and their supporters, to provide independent support to transition to new QCSS services.  Where these individuals have stated that they would like to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) the project team has also provided information, support and advice with this process.  This has included making access requests, completing paperwork, gathering evidence, speaking with NDIS National Access Team, and supporting people to link with their Local Area Coordinators for further assistance.

Through this work, people with disability have continued to highlight their need for independent support to assist people with disability to navigate and access the NDIS.   After 30 September 2019, if you are seeking assistance in accessing the NDIS, click here to contact your Partners in the Community who include Local Area Coordinator (LAC), click here for Early Childhood Early Intervention Provider (ECEI), or click here to contact the NDIA directly.

To find your local LAC and ECEI click here. You can search by postcode for your nearest or preferred LAC and ECEI and you will find their address and phone number. You can ask your LAC and ECEI about the supports available in your community, even if you are not eligible for an NDIS support plan.

To contact the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) call the NDIA on 1800 800 110 or click here to go to their website. The NDIA provides information and referrals, links to services and activities, individualised plans and where necessary, funded supports to people over a lifetime.

As always, we encourage members to keep up to date with QDN news, views and the latest policy information on our website and Facebook page.  You can also call us on 1300 363 783.

Member Survey 2019

Thank you to all those who participated in the 2019 QDN Member Survey.  A lot of useful information was collected and will help with QDN’s work into the future.  Congratulations to the winners in the random prize draw. QDN appreciates all your time and efforts in providing feedback.

Policy updates

QDN Policy Response Wrap Up

Since the last eBulletin QDN has worked on the following policy matters:

  • Submitted a response to the National Disability Insurance Act Amendment (Streamlined Governance);
  • Submitted a response to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme Inquiry into NDIS Planning;
  • Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme Inquiry into Supported Independent Living (SIL);
  • Disability Royal Commission Draft Accessibility Standards (due 13/09/19);
  • Aged Care Royal Commission (due 29/9/19).

QDN thanks all members who gave feedback into these submissions.  It is important that QDN’s policy response work is reflective of the lived experience of members.

QDN also attended the following forums, consultations and meetings:

  • Hon Coralee O’Rourke, Minister for Communities, Disability Services and Seniors
  • Stephen Miles, Minister for Health and Deputy Director-General, Qld Health
  • Sterling Hinchliffe, Minister for Local Government, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
  • Office of Premiers and Department of Premiers and Cabinet
  • Presentation to the Board of the National Disability Insurance Agency and key senior leaders including acting CEO, Deputy CEO’s and State Manager
  • Mick De Brenni, Minister for Housing and Public Works, Minister for Digital Technology and Minister for Sport – Ministerial Housing Council
  • Ministerial Housing Council – Disability Sub Committee
  • Executive Director, Strategic Policy, Queensland Health
  • Executive Director Metro North Hospital and Health Service
  • Department of Communities – Thriving Communities Leadership Group Meeting
  • Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, Scott McDougall and Principal Conciliator
  • Queensland Treasury
  • NDIA
  • Carers Qld
  • Peaks Collaboration meeting
  • National meeting with key invited representatives from each state to discuss NDIS and Health Interface issues, principles and work going forward
  • Meeting with Department of Housing and Public Works
  • Meeting with National Shelter and Summer Foundation
  • Metro South Hospital and Health Service Disability Advisory Committee Meeting
  • Energy Queensland Community Advisory Group
  • A meeting with staff from Centrepay organised by Queensland Council of Social Services;
  • Make Renting Fair Queensland Alliance meetings;
  • A Smart Ticketing customer feedback session;
  • Transport and Main Roads Co-Design Activities;
  • Community Housing Operating Model – this workshop followed on from the Partnering for Growth/Partnering for Impact workshops held across Queensland in May-June 2019 and tested a proposed model developed by the Department of Housing & Public Works as a result of these consultations;
  • Cross River Rail Accessibility Engagement – attended by a QDN member;
  • Chester and Ella Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) Community Information Session on Summer Housing’s Newstead site;
  • CEO and Senior Leaders Network Forum, QShelter;
  • Brisbane Metro – Accessibility Working Group – Orientation & Meeting 4;
  • The Hopkins Centre Meet & Mingle which focused on Housing Research;
  • Homelessness Investment Project Briefing, Community Services Industry Alliance;
  • Disability Housing Supply Review – Market Sounding Interview, Queensland Treasury.


Time for Sexuality Policy for the NDIS

People with disability, and organisations, are calling for the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to develop a comprehensive policy on sexuality for people with disability accessing the NDIS.  A position statement was released, signed by over 40 organisations, calling on the Australian Government to include sexuality supports in the NDIS.  Click here to read more.

NDIS Quarterly Reports

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) recently released the quarterly report for April to June 2019. The quarterly report provides the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Disability Reform Council with information (including statistics) about participants in each jurisdiction and the funding or provision of supports by the NDIA in each jurisdiction. As at 30 June 2019, 49 013 people were active and had an approved plan in Queensland.

Important links:

  • Click here to access the 4th quarter quarterly reports, including more information specific to Queensland.
  • Click here to view up-to-date information on data and insights regarding current NDIS supports being delivered.

Disability-related Health Issues covered by NDIS from 1 October 2019

A reminder to all QDN members and supporters that from 1 October 2019 the NDIA will be releasing an updated NDIS Price Guide and Support Catalogue 2019–20 to include more than 90 disability-related health supports that will now be funded under the NDIS where the supports are a regular part of the participant’s daily life and result from the participant’s disability.  As people undergo their plan reviews in the coming months, QDN reminds members to think about and mention their disability-related health supports.

It’s expected that many health-related disability supports will be claimed using existing line items for disability support workers and therapists (including OT’s, physiotherapists, psychologists, ECEI specialists, dietitians and exercise physiologists). But there are also 94 new line items in the Support Catalogue, including:

  • Health related supports line items (including allied health) under both Core and Capacity Building to allow Participants to pay from either budget (more on that in a minute);
  • New support items covering 5 levels of nurses: Enrolled Nurse, Registered Nurse, Clinical Nurse, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Nurse Practitioner;
  • New health-related assistive technology line items including Respirators, Ventilators, Aspirators as well as generic lines for their repairs, maintenance, setup, training and delivery;
  • Line items for high cost and low-cost disability-related health consumables (quotes required for high cost items).

Click here for more information.

For extra information on what the NDIS will fund in relation to health-related supports click here.

NDIS Act Review and Participant Service Guarantee

The Australian Government has asked for an independent review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (the NDIS Act). This will also include a review of the NDIS Rules and a Participant Service Guarantee will be developed as part of this review.

The review will focus on opportunities to make the NDIS process simpler and more straight forward.  It will also remove barriers to positive participant and provider experiences with the NDIS. The review will consider what changes may need to be made to the NDIS legislation to support the Guarantee and set new standards into law.  This may involve amendments to the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (the NDIS Act) and the NDIS Rules, but will not change the design or intent of the NDIS.

The Australian Government has appointed an independent expert, Mr David Tune AO PSM, to lead the review. The review’s recommendations are due to be delivered to the Government by the end of 2019, to support the roll out of the Participant Service Guarantee on 1 July 2020.

You can have your say in the following ways:

  • Contact QDN to inform our submission: phone 1300 363 783 or email Karin
  • Click here to complete an online survey.
  • Click here to make a written submission.
  • Attend a face-to-face community workshop in Queensland:

Click here to find information on workshops for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Click here to download the discussion paper.

Issues with Temporary Transformation Payment (TTP)

As previously reported to QDN members, in June, the NDIS announced prices for this financial year. This included the introduction of a 7.5% loading as a TTP to assist service providers make changes to operate in the competitive market that NDIS brings.  This payment was welcomed across the disability sector as it acknowledged the low prices that had been in place since the NDIS began and would assist providers to become viable. At the time of the release of TTP the NDIA stated, “Providers are encouraged to adopt the higher valued TTP and conditions for claiming. Before claiming the TTP price limit, providers and participants must discuss and agree to any proposed changes.” Plans in existence at 1 July were indexed for TTP-included prices. However, new plans approved by the NDIA since that date have not included the funding that would allow providers to charge the higher prices. QDN understands that the NDIA committed to fixing this in mid-August and feedback to date is that this is still waiting to be resolved.

Funding in a participant’s plan is based on what is deemed ‘reasonable and necessary’ support. QDN is concerned there will be pressure on participants to give up some hours of reasonable and necessary support so providers can claim at the TTP inclusive rates required to ensure their services remain viable (which the NDIA is encouraging providers to do). QDN believes NDIS participants should not be placed in the position of having to negotiate fewer hours of service in their plans in order to use the services of a charging at TTP- included prices. National Disability Services (NDS) is leading a campaign on this issue. QDN supports the work of this campaign. For more information click here. QDN will keep members updated.


Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) Quarterly Report Update

According to data from the 4th quarter (April-June, 2019) Quarterly report, there are now 977 SDA providers in the market – an increase of 12 per cent – while the number of enrolled dwellings also grew by 9.5 per cent in the quarter. In total 13,300 participants now have SDA in their plans, which increased by 600 over the June quarter, and 1600 over the past year.  Click here to view the Quarterly Reports.

Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) for Potential Minimum Accessibility Standards for Housing

The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) is undertaking a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) for potential minimum accessibility standards for housing, to be applied through the National Construction Code (NCC). Click here to view more information on the ABCB Accessible housing website.  The Centre for International Economics (The CIE) has been engaged by the ABCB to undertake the Accessible Housing Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS). The first stage will be the Consultation RIS, which is expected to be available for public comment in the first half of 2020. QDN will keep members informed as work on this progresses. The National Construction Code 2022 is expected to take effect from 1 May, 2022.

Reports to the CRPD Committee on Australia’s lack of Accessible Housing

Reports are available detailing Australia’s obligations regarding accessible housing.  QDN advises members it is important to know how Australia will be meeting these targets.  To read more, click here.


Suburbs where Public Transport is Limited, Brisbane City Council (BCC) will Pay for your Cab

Public transport in a pocket of Brisbane’s south-west is so limited BCC will now pay for residents’ taxi fares to leave. Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner recently announced cabs to and from Brisbane’s Centenary Suburbs – including Jindalee, Mount Ommaney and Middle Park – would cost just $1, because TransLink services were “limited”. To find out more, click here to visit the website.

Human Rights

UN Report on Australia’s Review of CRPD

The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the committee) has published its findings on its recent review of how Australia is meeting its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The Report recognised the positive work that Australia has undertaken.  However, the Report also revealed that the committee has deep concerns.

You can read the Outcomes Report in full below –
Click here to view PDF.
Click here to view Word.

New Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Commissioner

Ben Gauntlett commenced his term as Disability Discrimination Commissioner on 7 May, 2019. He has lived experience of disability and prior to commencing as Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Ben worked as a barrister in Western Australia and Victoria with a broad ranging practice. He has also worked as an associate to the Honorable Justice Kenneth Hayne AC at the High Court of Australia, as Counsel Assisting the Solicitor-General of the Commonwealth and taught law in Australia and the United Kingdom. Click here to see an interview with Ben.

A delegation of seven people with disability presented to the 22nd Session of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) Committee on 12th & 13th September 2019 in Geneva, regarding Australia’s progress on implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The delegation included QDN member Noel Muller who was representing Qld Voice for Mental Health. Click here to see Noel’s introductory statement here, alongside the opening statements of the other delegates. QDN was signatory to the CRPD Shadow Report.

People with Disability in Australia Report

The diverse experiences of more than 4 million Australians living with disability is the subject of a new report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).  The report, People with Disability in Australia, brings together information from a range of major data sources to enhance the picture of what is known about people with disability in Australia. It covers multiple life areas such as education, health, social support and employment. Click here to read the report.

Local Support Group Update

Local Support Groups Logo

Our Local Support Groups continue to meet and provide peer support to each other about important issues for group members, including a range of diverse guest speakers who have been invited to meetings.

Fitzgibbon invited Kallangur and Deception Bay Local Support Groups to their September meeting to hear from TADQ: Technology for Aging and Disability Queensland.  The meeting was very informative and provided an opportunity for the three groups which sit on the outer North regions of Brisbane to catch up with each other.

Brisbane LSG September meeting was very well attended with the group sharing information about the recent Disaster Risk Management Forum. Members also shared personal stories in relation to experiences on public transport – and the fact that there are no longer people to assist at platforms.  The group is looking to work to problem solve how they can get change on this important matter. Gold Coast invited a guest speaker from Carers Queensland, and Caboolture focused on recreation which is an important part of life, with Fishability during their August meeting while Sunnybank invited a guest speaker to share insights relating to exercise and personal fitness for people with disability.

Gold Coast Hot Topics have an exciting October meeting planned with a nutritionist coming along to share positive health advice.   Brisbane Hot Topics had a very exciting opportunity with members interviewed on 4ZZZ radio station.  Ipswich LSG invited a guest speaker from Nurse Navigator Disability & NDIS from West Moreton Health talking about supporting people with disability to access hospital services.  Sunshine Coast had a representative from the Department of Housing come and share information about their services while Townsville invited a representative from Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia to discuss the differences between Aged Care Support and the NDIS.  Deception Bay spent their September meeting planning and organising their upcoming Expo which was held during Disability Action Week.  The theme this year is Creating Change: Everyone Has a Role to Play.

Hot Topics on 4ZZZ

For the second time this year, Hot Topics local support group can be heard on local Brisbane radio 4ZZZ’s ‘Only Human’ program. Presenter Kim Stewart attended the group’s monthly meeting and spent some time interviewing members of the group on all things Hot Topics. Click here to stream this program for the next few weeks.

Deception Bay Disability Expo

People attending the Deception Bay Expo
People attending the Deception Bay Expo

The Deception Bay Local support group held their annual disability expo, its theme was ‘creating change everyone has a role to play’ on Thursday 19th September at the Market Square Shopping Centre Deception Bay.  The expo was greatly supported by community and QDN members with 300 people experiencing what was on offer and finding out what is happening in their local area.

The highlights were the cutting of the cake to celebrate the opening of the expo, members Dale, John, Ann & Christine showcasing their talents and having repeat stall holders.  Thank you to everybody for engaging on such a wonderful day.

Art Competition

First prize in the art competition with caption We are all connected : Let’s include people with disability in every part of the puzzle. Nothing for us unless we are involved.
First prize in the art competition

QDN members were recently invited to submit a painting or drawing which reflects what QDN’s motto ‘Nothing about us without us’ means to them. A huge thank you to all the amazing QDN members who submitted a piece of art.  Judging was tough but the winning pieces of art have been voted on by the Board of Directors.  Members awarded prizes will be in this year’s annual report. See a sneak peak of first prize that goes to Jason and Leigh, with the caption – We are all connected : Let’s include people with disability in every part of the puzzle. Nothing for us unless we are involved.

Member Profile

The Importance of Home

QDN Chairperson, Nigel Webb, recently wrote an article for Community Resource Unit’s publication CRUcial Times on the importance of home.  In the article, Nigel reflects on the concept of home throughout the various stages of his life, commenting that home has helped him take his place in the community. Click here to download the publication.

Discovering Dyslexia – Experiencing Mysteries, Exploring Solutions Book Launch

Sharon Boyce, QDN staff and board members at Sharon's book launch
Sharon Boyce, QDN staff and board members at Sharon’s book launch

Congratulations go out to QDN Board Director Sharon Boyce on the launch of her book, Discovering Dyslexia – Experiencing Mysteries, Exploring Solutions. Sharon’s book launch was hosted by the Hon Coralee O’Rourke and Director General Clare O’Connor on 18 September.  Sharon is an author, advocate, part-time education academic and consultant in disability awareness across the state. She is passionate and committed to social justice – empowering people with disability and supporting real living independence.  Click here to view more information on how to purchase a copy of Sharon’s book.

From our Friends

Queensland Council of Social Services (QCOSS) 2019 State Conference

Paige Armstrong presenting at QCOSS conference
Paige Armstrong presenting at QCOSS conference

Congratulations to Queensland Council of Social Services (QCOSS) on a successful annual state conference. Over the 12th and 13th of September, QCOSS brought together a wide range of organisations and community members to hear from inspiring speakers and to be part of the conversation on how we can ‘lead change together’.  QDN members and staff attended the conference, with CEO Paige Armstrong facilitating a panel session on ‘including the voices of people with lived experience in our work’.

ASID Forum on Royal Commission on Violence, Abuse, Neglect & Exploitation of People with a Disability

QLD Division of Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability (ASID) invites you to the Forum on Royal Commission on Violence, Abuse, Neglect & Exploitation of People with a Disability.

The Forum will be held on Wednesday, 30 October from 6pm – 8pm at WWILD, 211 Hudson Road, Wooloowin in the downstairs hall.

Guest Speakers will include:

  • Kathy Ellem – Research Overview: Violence and abuse of people with intellectual disability.
  • Fotina Hardy – Will present the result of joint CLA-WWILD project which has sought to gather and support presentations to the Royal Commission.

There are also current negotiations with the Royal Commission to have a representative in attendance.

Queensland Advocacy Incorporated Inc. Love, Sex & Family: A Human Rights Forum and AGM

Join QAI for an interactive forum on the human rights of people with disability to express their sexuality and have a family, followed by food, drinks & QAI’s AGM.  The forum will cover topics related to Section 216 of the Qld. Criminal Code and its impact on the rights of people with disability to develop intimate relationships, rights to bodily integrity, sexual expression and raise family. The forum will include discussions with key QAI advocates about this outdated law, the intersection of the new Queensland Human Rights Act and how it may address these issues.  Click here for more information.

New Carers Queensland Enquiry Line Open for Business

The new Carers Queensland Enquiry Line for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Local Area Coordination Partners in the Community program (LAC PITC) is now open for business. The Enquiry Line provides a central point of contact for enquiries about the Carers Queensland NDIS Local Area Coordination program.  Carers Queensland’s new enquiry line aims to be the central point of contact for the wider community, creating an easier enquiry and referral path.  To find out more about how the NDIS Local Area Coordination program call the NDIS Enquiries Line on: 1300 999 636.

ADA Australia Supporting Financial Decisions

People living with intellectual disability can face barriers as consumers when wanting to improve their own money skills and make independent financial decisions.  Video resources have been developed by ADA Australia (supported by Ecstra Foundation) to address this issue. The short video resources, Supporting Financial Decisions, offer those living with intellectual disability and their supporters a way to help learn about rights and the responsibilities involved in supported decision-making processes.  Click here to view the videos.

Queensland Alliance for Mental Health: Altering States Evidence & Effect 2019 Conference

Queensland Alliance for Mental Health is holding a conference this November in Cairns, Far North Queensland.  There will be a great conference program which will focus on the overarching theme “Evidence & Effect”. Over the two days, speakers and panels will drill down on how the social services sector can successfully communicate for change, and campaign for reform.  The program will suit a broader audience, not necessarily limited to those operating in the mental health sector.  Click here for more information.

Taxi Council Queensland (TCQ) Industry Awards

Taxi Council Queensland (TCQ) Industry Awards recognise and celebrate people who make an outstanding contribution to the improvement of the industry.  Nominations for the 2019 TCQ Industry Awards are now open. Categories include; driver of the year, operator of the year, significant achievement award, women in taxis award, young achiever award and staff excellence award.  To nominate, click here.

Disability Support Pension Survey

Have you applied for the DSP? Are you receiving the DSP?  If so, you are invited to participate in a study looking at the experiences of people applying for the DSP and their interactions with Centrelink.  By participating, you may be eligible to enter a prize draw to receive a $50 shopping gift voucher.  Click here if you are interested in taking part.

Implementing and Reviewing your NDIS Plan Workshops

CRU is again offering two new half-day workshops for people with disability and their families with an NDIS plan to turn their vision of a good life into reality.  These workshops aim to address uncertainties around NDIS plans, how to best use funding and preparation for annual reviews.

The first workshop is “Implementing Your NDIS Plan – From Goals to Action”.  To register for this workshop please click here.

The second workshop is “Preparing for Your NDIS Review – Record, Reflect, Plan”.  To register for this workshop please click here.

Moreton Bay Able Anglers

Moreton Bay Able Anglers are a provider of fishing tuition and fishing charters in the Moreton Bay region with the primary focus on delivering a quality, enjoyable social experience for people living with a disability or mental health.  Click here to visit the website for more information or call Steve on 0484 555 029.

The INAS Global Games

The INAS Global Games is the world’s largest sporting event for elite athletes with an intellectual impairment. In Brisbane October 2019, over 1000 elite athletes will compete across nine sports in a captivating and inspirational celebration of sport, culture and ability.  Click here for more information.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October gives us all the opportunity to talk everything breast cancer and screening! BreastScreen Queensland offers support to women living with a disability.  If you are a woman over 50, or you know someone who is, call BreastScreen Queensland on 13 20 50 or click here to book an appointment. Early detection saves lives.

Easier Access at Brisbane Airport

For people with disabilities, navigating the airport is like navigating an obstacle course from start to finish.  Brisbane Airport is at the forefront of initiatives to make travelling easier for all passengers of all abilities and is focusing on an “access for all” approach and hosts guided ‘Travel Days’ in association with organisations such as Vision Australia and Deaf Services QLD.  The airport has built in elements in public areas such as bright colours, extra-large numbers and Braille in signage, installed ‘tactile ground surface indicators’ at escalators, travellators, lifts and stairs, and hearing augmented signage.  To enquire about tours or get more information, email

Brisbane CBD Accessible Streets and Footpaths

The Brisbane City Council has been working to ensure that all pedestrians with a mobility or vision impairment can walk or wheel safely around the city’s streets and footpaths.  The braille trail, running from Reddacliff Place, down Queen Street Mall and on to Anzac Square, is a major aid for people with visual impairment navigating the CBD.    The Council has also installed tactile street signs across Brisbane.  Click here for more information.

Woolies to Offer Quiet Hour in Three FNQ Stores

Three Woolworth’s stores in the Far North now offer customers a low-sensory Quiet Hour, designed to reduce anxiety and sensory stress for customers with specific needs, including autism.  Click here to read more.



Click here to catch up on the latest news from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Disability Network of Queensland.

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Phone: 3252 8566 or 1300 363 783