Ways to stay in touch with QDN

QDN’s Facebook page has been impacted by Facebook Australia’s news ban, along with many other community organisations.  We are working with Facebook to have this problem fixed.

This Facebook issue means important information we have shared with members on issues like COVID-19 and disability worker screening is currently not available on QDN’s Facebook page.  There is good news though…..if you are a QDN Peer Support Group member, you can still access your local Peer Support Group closed Facebook page, to keep up-to-date and chat with members.  If you are not currently a member but would like to join a closed Facebook peer support group you can click here to ask to join or if you need help to join you can email the Peer Support team at peersupport@qdn.org.au.

There are many other ways you can get up to date information from QDN and stay connected.  We will continue to update our members through Facebook groups, the QDN website, Twitter account, Instagram and our usual email communications.

QDN Website

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QDN on Instagram

Click here to go to our twitter account. Blue rectangle with white silhouette of side image of a bird. This is the logo for Twitter.

QDN on Twitter

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QDN on Facebook (groups on-line now)

If you are having trouble accessing news, emergency, health or other information you can go directly to Government and news websites and their other social media channels.

Below is a list of some key information sources for you.

Government information

Bureau of Meteorology (BOM)

Web: www.bom.gov.au 
Twitter: @BOM_au

Queensland Health

Web: health.qld.gov.au 
Twitter: @qldhealthnews

Media and News

7 News

Web: 7news.com.au 
Twitter: @7NewsAustralia

9 News

Web: 9news.com.au 
Twitter: @9NewsAUS

10 News

Web: 10play.com.au/news/national
Twitter: @10NewsFirst

Sky News Australia

Web: skynews.com.au 
Twitter: @SkyNewsAust

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)

Web: abc.net.au/news 
Twitter: @abcnews

Special Broadcasting Service (SBS)

Web: sbs.com.au/news 
Twitter: @SBSNews

Guardian Australia

Web: theguardian.com/australia-news/all
Twitter: @GuardianAus

The Australian

Web: theaustralian.com.au 
Twitter: @australian

News Corporation

Web: news.com.au 
Twitter: @newscomauHQ
 
 
 

QDN’s @Facebook page has been impacted by #FacebookAustralia’s news ban, along with many other community organisations. This means critical information we have shared to inform people with disability on issues like COVID-19 and disability worker screening is currently not available.

As a state-wide network for people with disability, sharing accessible information and online advocacy is a big part of the work that we do. Our members rely on this accessible info, so we look forward to this issue being rectified urgently.

We will continue to update our members through our website, Twitter account, Instagram and our usual email communications. To receive our emails, you can become a member or supporter of QDN for free.

Pink button with white words Become a member

Click here to go to our twitter account. Blue rectangle with white silhouette of side image of a bird. This is the logo for Twitter.
QDN on Twitter
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QDN on Instagram

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Greater Melbourne Region Lockdown: 12 February 2021

Greater Melbourne has been declared a COVID-19 hot spot. The declared hot spot includes 36 local government areas.

This means that from 1am Saturday 13 February anyone who enters Queensland and has been in the declared hot spot since Tuesday 9 February will have to quarantine in government arranged accommodation for 14 days.

Anyone who has been in Greater Melbourne on or after 29 January 2021 cannot enter a disability accommodation service or aged care facility unless they obtain a negative COVID-19 test and meet other requirements regarding entry. You can find the latest public health directions here: https://www.health.qld.gov.au/system-governance/legislation/cho-public-health-directions-under-expanded-public-health-act-powers

For a list of the local government areas that are affected by the hot spot declaration and for the latest information from Queensland Health on COVID-19 restrictions visit: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/urgent-covid-19-update

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR WORKER SCREENING WEBINAR

New ‘Yellow Card’ disability worker screening process  

From 1 February 2021, a new worker screening process commenced in Queensland for workers that provide supports and services to people with disability. It replaces the existing ‘yellow card’ screening. 

In Queensland, under the new system, plan and self-managed NDIS participants can choose whether they require their non-registered workers to get a clearance. However, all workers employed through registered NDIS providers will be required to get a clearance.

Key changes under the new worker screening process include:  

  • “No card, no start” – meaning worker cannot start working with people with disability until they get the clearance. 
  • It is the responsibility of the worker to apply and pay for the clearance. This is in comparison with the old yellow card process, which required the employer to apply and pay for the clearance.  

QDN, in partnership with ADA Australia, ATSIDNQ, and CRU, will be hosting an online forum on 18 February 2021 about how these changes will impact NDIS participants who self-manage and plan-manage. To find out more and register for the event at: qldworkerscreening.eventbrite.com.au

You can find more information on the new worker screening clearance here: workerscreening.communities.qld.gov.au  

February 2021 QDN e-bulletin


A note from Des

Des Ryan, Chairperson of the Board

Welcome to 2021 and to your new look e-Bulletin.  It has a new layout and hopefully offers a more user-friendly way of navigating your way through content.

Man sitting in wheelchair. He is bald and wears glasses. He has a blue, red and white check shirt on. I hope that QDN members, our supporters and allies were able to enjoy the holiday season.  We know that 2020 has been a challenging year for people with disability, their families, carers and the broader disability sector. As we move into 2021 we know that the pandemic and impacts of COVID-19 are still with us.

The COVID-19 vaccination roll-out is currently being planned by the Commonwealth Government and they are working with each state. The joint advocacy of QDN and all our allies across Australia has ensured that people with disability, their workers, their informal carers and family are identified as one of the key priority groups to get the vaccination first. The QDN team have been working hard at lots of meetings and on many committees at a State and National level to ensure that the needs, impacts and issues for the diversity of people with disability and their different living environments are considered in the planning of the roll out.

It is really important for people with disability to understand what is happening and what it will mean for them so they can make an informed decision about the vaccination. QDN is going to hold an online COVID-19 Conversation and bring together some key speakers with the most up to date information so you can hear about the vaccine, how it works with the 2 doses, their plans for the roll out, how, where and when you can get it. I invite you all to join us and more information is later in this e-Bulletin.

As mentioned in the November e-Bulletin, QDN is going to commence contacting QDN members, local support group members and supporters to check in with you on your current membership status and your details that we have on our records. You will receive an email, or a letter if that is how you currently get mail outs from us with your information. We would like to ask you to either email, call QDN or send the reply paid envelope back to us to confirm if the details are correct or let us know any changes needed. If we don’t hear back from you via email or mail, we will also try to follow up with you on the phone. We thank you for your time in working with us to ensure that we have your information and membership status correct in our database.

Going into 2021 it is important that we can make sure the voice of people with disability is strong and we are at the table. Independent, citizen and systemic advocacy are fundamental to ensuring that the rights and needs of people with disability are upheld and actioned and we need to ensure that going forward advocacy remains a core part of the disability sector landscape both here in Queensland and nationally.

We look forward to working with you all in this coming year and continuing to deliver on our work and projects.


An update from Paige  

Paige Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer

Paige wearing a blue shirt, smiling at the cameraA warm welcome to all members, supporters, allies and our partners to 2021. The year has started as last year finished.  Very busy with lots of different things happening that have an impact upon people with disability, policy and the services received from disability, community and mainstream services.

Thank you to all the members who took part in our Member Survey 2020 and for your feedback, insights, and suggestions about how we can continue to do our work and improvements we can make. The new look newsletter is one of these improvements, and we are also going to move to a “What’s New” update once every two weeks.  This will be a wrap up of the important things that have happened in the past 2 weeks.  We will  continue to send out emergency updates if there are COVID changes to restrictions via email and on Facebook, so you can get up to date information that we have received from the Queensland Government.

Housing was identified as one of the key priorities for members as part of the member survey along with health and the NDIS. As part of QDN’s housing work, we are a proud partner of the Building Better Homes Campaign to advocate for minimum accessibility standards to be included in the National Building Code, ensuring the Code meets the needs of all Australians. Housing Ministers from across Australia are meeting in early 2021 to consider whether to include minimum accessibility standards. It is important that we take action now to make sure Australians with disability can have access to housing that is appropriate to their needs.  It will make a difference for thousands of Australians. Please check out the campaign here https://www.buildingbetterhomes.org.au/index.html

The current reforms being progressed by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) are another key issue being raised by QDN members at the moment.  This includes the introduction of the Independent Assessments. QDN knows that change is needed as there are many things that need improvement to work better for people with disability, providers and the broader system. QDN also acknowledges that there are lots of people with disability who can’t afford the costs of assessments which acts as a barrier to their access to the NDIS and need assistance to do so. However, QDN members continue to raise the issues of compulsory assessments for existing NDIS participants, completed by someone who doesn’t know them, asking them to undertake tasks that don’t relate to their individual needs and that this will determine how much support they get. Some QDN members have participated in a range of consultations with the NDIA to give their feedback. QDN has started meeting with members of Parliament and working with members and our allies to provide a response to the changes, both for the NDIA Consultation and the NDIS Senate Standing Committee inquiry. It is important that we keep working to make sure the NDIS can deliver what people need.

We look forward to continuing to work with you all on progressing these important reforms.  


Remembering Madelyn

Madelyn smiling at the camera. She has short blond hair and is wearing a blue top.Madelyn Ehlers, QDN member and longtime Brisbane Hot Topics Peer Support Group member, sadly passed away on 29 December 2020.

Madelyn was a great friend and is remembered for her community work, cheeky sense of humour, and strength of character. Madelyn was a celebrated Paralympian, winning two silver medals at the Paralympics in Madrid, Spain. She won the medals for shot put and discus and represented Australia in javelin.

In 1993, she won the Brisbane Lord Mayor Australia Day award.

Following her career as an elite sportsperson, Madelyn became passionate about ten pin bowling. She looked forward to bowling with her team every week and spoke passionately about them and the competition.  Madelyn was a valued and loved member of Brisbane Hot Topics Peer Support Group. She made many friendships in the group and was always fun to have at the meetings. Her presence will be greatly missed.

The Brisbane Hot Topics Peer Support Group had a special meeting on the 29 January 2021 to celebrate Madelyn’s life.


What you told us in the member survey

Each year we ask our members to respond to a member survey to identify what our key focus areas are going forward.  The survey is an opportunity to provide your feedback and input around what is important to people with disability.  Thank you to the 132 members who completed the 2020 member survey.   The information that comes out of the survey helps to position QDN now and into the future.

The top priority issues identified by members are:

  • NDIS
  • health
  • housing
  • disability royal commission
  • employment
  • transport

Some members also gave feedback to ask that QDN looks for ways to share more information about what is happening in regards to mental health.

You asked that we increase focus on:

  • universal design campaign
  • recruitment and training of younger members
  • supporting members with digital literacy
  • ensuring members are informed of the issues and have the skills to share their concerns around NDIS Independent Assessments
  • informing people about QDeNgage
  • LGBTIQ+ specific events for members
  • changing our member communication strategy to reduce the number of emails or target emails to smaller groups of members
  • create more opportunities for members for workshops and ways of coming together and options for out of work hours.

 


Peer Support Groups

Get on Board.  Join a Peer Support Group

White speech bubble with Peer Support Group. Sketch of 8 people around the speech bubble.Welcome to 2021! Most of the Peer Support Groups will be starting to meet during February and we would love for you to get involved! Please see the website for dates and times. You can access the list by clicking here.

2021 looks to be an exciting year with new groups in Rockhampton and Gympie starting to meet regularly.  If you are in these areas and are keen to be part of one of these groups, contact QDN for more details.

QDNY is the youth support group, for people with disability aged 18-35 years. This group meets monthly online via zoom to discuss topics like the the NDIS.  Future topics are decided by the group so get involved to hear about topics that interest you. 

If you want more information or wish to find out about your closest QDN Peer Support Groups please call QDN on 1300 363 783 or email peersupport@qdn.org.au


International Day of People with Disability

A lady with glasses and a red dress is leaning on a fence. In the background is trees and a creek with water flowing through it.In 2020, the Brisbane and Gold Coast Hot Topics groups for people with an intellectual disability started regularly meeting online with self-advocacy groups for people with disability in Canada.  During these online meetings, the Hot Topics and Canada groups decided to plan and hold an event online on International Day of People with Disability on 3 December 2020.

To start this international online event QDN partnered with ASID, to host a 2 hour webinar bringing over 50 participants together to hear from people with an intellectual disability from all over Australia and Canada sharing their stories and concerns around keeping connected as a community during COVID-19.  The full webinar is available here.

Some of the positive outcomes from COVID shared by panel participants were:

  • Learning new technology like zoom to be able to connect with people locally and internationally.
  • Access to telehealth so people with disability could still get access to health care without leaving their homes.
  • Lots of people checked in on each other so it has brought a lot of people together.

Some of the concerns people with disability have during COVID are:

  • Not being able to access public transport.
  • Communication for people in group homes and housing accommodation during COVID restrictions was limited leading to people feeling socially isolated.
  • People with disability without computers or devices have trouble accessing services and the community during lockdown periods.

Emerging Leaders

Blue background. Word emerging leaders

QDN launched the Emerging Leaders Program on the 3 December 2020 on International Day of People with Disability. This exciting new program has attracted a lot of interest from all around Queensland. We were inundated with applications from people with disability expressing an interest in being part of this 10-month program. A selection panel has been established and is now in the process of reviewing the applications. Emerging Leaders will start on their leadership journey with a two-day workshop in March 2021. It will be great to watch this group of people with disability find their leadership style over 2021.


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

Independent Assessments  

The NDIA have released two consultation papers on the proposed introduction of Independent Assessments for the NDIS, so now is your time to have say! People with disability and their families have told us that theyre concerned about the new assessments, so we want to make sure that QDN’s submission reflects your thoughts, experiences and ideas. The easiest way to contribute to our submission is to fill in QDN’s Independent Assessment survey.  Click here to go to the survey. 

If you would like to send in your own submission to the NDIS, you can find out more information here. 

Building Better Homes  

Early in 2021, Building Ministers from across Australia will meet to consider whether to include mandatory minimum accessibility standards in the National Building Code. This will be a critical decision for the hundreds of thousands of Australians with disability who cannot get access to housing that meets their needs. 

A 2020 survey of people with mobility impairment found that 73.6% of respondents were living in housing that does not meet their needs. However, only 5% of new home builds comply with the voluntary Livable Housing Guidelines, which is why QDN has joined the campaign for mandatory standards. To add your name to the campaign and act for more accessible housing click here

Disability Royal Commission 
Issues Papers 

Disability Royal Commission Issues Paper on violence and abuse of people with disability at home: The Royal Commission has released an Issues Paper exploring violence and abuse against people with disability in all types of homes and accommodation settings. QDN is keen to hear from members about their experiences and what changes you would like to see to better respond and prevent violence against people with disability in our homes. Disability Royal Commission Issues Paper on violence and abuse of people with disability at home is here.

Disability Royal Commission Issues Paper on promoting inclusion: The Royal Commission has released an Issues Paper on promoting an inclusive society. QDN would like to hear from members on what barriers you experience from fully participating economically, socially and politically, and any ideas you have on how to remove those barriers. Disability Royal Commission Issues Paper on promoting inclusion is here. 

If you would like to share your story with us on either of the above issues papers, please email qdn@qdn.org.au with the subject line: DRC policy feedback. 

Have your say 

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

Public Hearings

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

Important Commission Links  

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

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

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

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

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


Policy Updates

New worker screening process  

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

Key changes under the new worker screening process include:  

  • “No card, no start” – meaning worker cannot start working with people with disability until they get the clearance. 
  • It is the responsibility of the worker to apply and pay for the clearance. This is in comparison with the old yellow card process, which required the employer to apply and pay for the clearance.  

QDN will be hosting an online forum on Thursday 18 February 2021 about how these changes will impact NDIS participants who self-manage and plan-manage. To find out more and register for the event click here. 

You can find more information on the new worker screening clearance here.

Draft National Safety and Quality Primary Health Care Standards consultation

QDN recently responded to a request for feedback on the National Safety and Quality Primary Health Care Standards to ensure they meet the needs and expectations of the sector and the community. We reinforced the need for partnership with people with disability as health consumers, for health literacy to be supported in the standards, and for the health literacy environment in terms of systems, policies and processes to reflect the input and experience of the broad range of health consumers, including people with disability.

QDN continues to represent feedback from members in relation to health, including unaffordable health care, complex health needs, a health workforce with perceived limited knowledge of disability and inadequate systems, inaccessible health services and limited personal knowledge of how to access and navigate the health system. We continue to advocate for the need to offer a patient centred focus and improve health outcomes for people with disability, in particular intellectual disability.

Queensland Productivity Commission – Draft Report into NDIS Market consultation

QDN has just made a submission to provide feedback on the draft report recommendations from the perspective of people with disability, to share learnings, insights and recommendations to help shape the way forward and comment on the important role of the Queensland Government as partner and investor in the NDIS to ensure it delivers for Queenslanders with disability.

Queensland Health covid-19 online booking and triage system – frequently asked questions

Queensland Health have been trialing an online covid-19 test booking and triage system.  During the trial participants have raised a number of questions.  Below is a link to frequently asked questions.  They have been developed by Health Consumers Queensland (HCQ) with support from QDN, Palliative Care Queensland, Council on the Ageing and Carers Queensland.

Click here to read the frequently asked questions

Covid-19 Vaccinations

The Commonwealth and state governments are working together to plan the roll-out of approved COVID-19 vaccines.

The vaccine roll-out will be done in stages. Identified priority groups will get the first available doses that are scientifically proven to be safe and effective. More people will have access to a vaccine as more doses become available.

The first priority group to receive the vaccine includes disability care residents and staff and is called 1a. This means people with disability living in with two or more people with disability in a group, the staff who support them, carers and family who provide regular and ongoing support. This vaccination of the first phase is expected to start in late February with the psfizer vaccine. Because of the way they are going to roll out, the different phases may end up crossing over so you don’t have to wait for 1a to finish for 1b to start.    The timing for the different phases will depend on when other vaccines become approved for use in Australia. The next phase after 1a is 1b and this group includes adults with an underlying medical condition, including those with a disability

Over coming weeks, QDN will host a virtual COVID conversation on vaccination. Keep an eye on your emails over the coming days for all the information.

You are read more here on the government website.


QDeNgage 

Blue speech bubble, white speech bubble. QDN engageQDeNgage offers a range of disability, accessibility, culture and inclusion solutions by harnessing the real life experiences and practical advice of people with disability – from consumer focus groups, disability awareness training, public speaking to policy feedback. All our consultants have lived experience of disability, and have the first-hand knowledge to provide practical advice that achieves tangible results. Find out more about what QDeNgage can offer, or how to become a QDeNgage consultant here.


COVID-19 information for people with disability

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

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


Targeted Outreach Project

help to access to NDIS. Learn, decide, connect. national disability insurance scheme (NDIS)Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) and our project partners QCOSS and ADA Australia are helping more eligible Queenslanders with disability join the NDIS and experience the benefits of the scheme through the Targeted Outreach Project.  The Targeted Outreach Project is now rolled out in a number of new locations:

  • Townsville (Local Government Area only)
  • Bundaberg (Local Government Area only)
  • Central Queensland, from Rockhampton to the borders (including Banana, Barcaldine, Barcoo, Blackall-Tambo, Central Highlands, Diamantina, Gladstone, Livingstone, Longreach, Winton and Woorabinda)
  • South West region, from Toowoomba to the borders (including Balonne, Bulloo, Goondiwindi, Maranoa, Murweh, Paroo, Quilpie, Southern and Western Downs).

As part of the Targeted Outreach Project, our Local Champions are working in their communities to help more people join the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Our Local Champions help people with disability to:

  • Learn more about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
  • Decide if the NDIS is for them and how it can support them
  • Connect with the Targeted Outreach Project team, who can link them to free assistance to access the NDIS through the Assessment and Referral Team (ART).

Find out more about our Local Champions here.


Making your own individual plan for an emergency or disaster

4 pictures of people talking, words person ventred emergnecy preparedness planning for COVID 19Everyone has a role to play in planning for how they can stay safe in a disaster. People with disability may also have additional support needs to consider when making an emergency preparedness plan. The Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness workbook is a conversation guide to help people with disability for people with disability in developing a preparedness plan for their individual needs in an emergency together with their support network. Find out more about the workbook, and the work of the Disability Inclusive Disaster Resilient Queensland project here.


Meet your new board members 

Peter Tully – Board member

Peter sitting in a wheelchair with a blue QDN short on. He is smiling. Peter Tully grew up attending CPL Queensland (previously Cerebral Palsy League) in New Farm and was involved in all areas of the centre into his early adult life.

After starting a computer business in Brisbane, Peter moved to Ipswich in 1997. In 2002, Peter joined the staff at Catalyst Church Ipswich as a volunteer, providing IT support, which he is still doing today.

Peter joined QDN in late 2006 and in April 2009 became the QDN Ipswich Regional Facilitator. In 2017 Peter received QDN life membership.

Peter brings to the Board valuable lived experience, skills gained through past volunteer and contractor roles within QDN, and expertise in community engagement.

He is a valued member of the Ipswich community, striving to make Ipswich a welcoming city for people living with disability.

Jane Britt – Board member

Lady with long blond hair and glasses. She has bright red lipstick. She is walking down stairs.Jane has a unique blend of personal experience with disability; expertise in the disability sector; a reputation for high-quality performance; a passion for advocacy and is a human rights expert.

Jane is the National Policy Officer at Blind Citizens Australia, a disability-led organisation, where over 75% of the staff and 100% of the board have lived experience of vision impairment or blindness. Jane is a graduate of Vision Australia’s Graduate Start program in Service Innovation and Design. She has worked with the Disability Leadership Institute as an Engagement Guru and as a freelance writer for the Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training (ADCET) and Eureka Street.

As an integral member of QDeNgage, Jane has provided advice and feedback on disability for government consultations with QDeNgage.
She has been a member of the Reference Group for Deafblind Australia and is a Founder of Achilles Brisbane, a not-for-profit organisation assisting people with disabilities to lead an active lifestyle.

Jane brings to the Board considerable experience from across the disability sector. She is an active member of Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) and a member of the Expert Advisory and Quality Review Panel for Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA). Jane has recently been awarded a 2020 Vision Australia Award for her commitment to advocacy. The awards acknowledge people and organisations who contribute time and resources to support the work of Vision Australia and the wider blind and low vision community.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Disability Network Queensland

Brown dots in a circle. Inside blue dots in a circle, white dots, green dots and orange dots.ATSIDNQ is a network of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability, their families and carers. It was established to raise awareness of need; provide connection and enable a collective voice for members on the issues important to them. Read more here


An opportunity to share your experiences of managing NDIS funded supports

Researchers at Griffith University in Brisbane are looking at how NDIS funded supports are managed and coordinated. The project is called Making Complex Interfaces work for the NDIS.

If you’re 18 years or over with a NDIS funded support package and live in South East Queensland, we want to hear your experiences of setting up and receiving supports from various providers, services and systems. Your NDIS plan can be self-managed, plan-managed or NDIA managed.

The research team would like to learn about what’s working well for you and where challenges are by engaging with you in an interview (via phone or online). This project has ethics approval by Griffith University (2019/406). All information provided by you to help inform this project will be confidential.

To find out more please contact:

Eloise Hummell

Project Manager

Email: e.hummell@griffith.edu.au

Phone: 0404 458 894


QDN Events Coming Up

Peer Support Groups

To stay connected, QDN groups are meeting in different ways including face-to-face and on-line.  Find out more here.

Work Screening

QDN will be hosting an online forum on Thursday 18 February 2021 about how these changes will impact NDIS participants who self-manage and plan-manage. To find out more and register for the event click here.

Person Centred Emergency Preparedness

Planning for people with disability.  Find out more about how you can make a plan and stay safe in a disaster.  Events in Mackay and Ipswich soon.

Ipswich

Read the flyer here.  Register to attend: http://bit.ly/3tl2Hz8

Mackay

Read more here. Register to attend: http://bit.ly/3ai9roR

Take action and support the Building Better Homes campaign

QDN is proud to be a partner supporting the Building Better Homes campaign to have accessibility standards included in the National Building Code.

The Code needs to meet the needs of all Australians, and is especially critical for people with disability who have mobility issues, given the shortage of accessible housing.

Building Ministers are meeting early in 2021 to consider including accessibility standards in the Code, so we encourage QDN members to take action and support this campaign.  The quickest and easiest way to do this is to sign the online petition.  Click here to go straight to the petition.

There are other ways of supporting the campaign and you can see them here.

Restrictions eased in Greater Brisbane

Following the three day Greater Brisbane lockdown and ten days of additional measures, restrictions will start to lift from 1am this Friday (22 January 2021)  morning.

From 1am, Friday 22 January:

  • Masks will no longer be mandatory, except in airports and on airplanes – masks are encouraged to be carried and worn when social distancing is not possible
  • Indoor venues such as cafes and restaurants are able to return to one customer per 2m2
  • The Disability Accommodation Services Direction (No. 13) has been updated to remove restrictions on visitors who have been in Greater Brisbane. Similar changes have been made in the Aged Care Direction (No. 22) and Hospital Visitors Direction (No. 16).
  • Weddings are able to have up to 200 guests (and dancing)
  • Gatherings of up to 50 people are permitted
  • Seated, ticketed venues like cinemas, theatres and stadium will have their capacity returned to 100%

Peer Support Group Updates

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.

Elisha Matthews, Donna Best and Wendy Lovelace in group discussions Photo left: Elisha Matthews, Donna Best and Wendy Lovelace in group discussions

 

 

Picture : Normanton group convenor Tony Melksham in deep conversation with QDN board member Gary Matthews

 

 

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

MAC Group for Over 65s convenor, Rachel Mathews.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:

  • NDIS Self-management
  • COVID-19
  • The NBN+
  • 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.

Two women sitting at a table laughing. One of the women is holding a judges gavel. The women are Eileen and Rebecca.

Deception Bay

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.

A person is smiling on a Zoom meeting. There are decorations behind them. It is Nadia.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

A group of 7 people sitting at a table connecting with people on a Zoom meeting.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 Picture of Self-Management Peer Support Group member using computer and Zoom to join the online meeting

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

Picture is of Group Convenor, Matt McCracken welcoming the Caboolture Peer Support Group back to face to face meetingsOn 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.

Picture: Sunshine Coast group convenor Will Proctor shares a laugh at the convenor training daySunshine 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.

The Building Better Homes Campaign is a coalition of peak bodies and agencies working to secure mandatory accessibility standards within the National Building Code.

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.

To sign the petition and/or email the Building Ministers click here.

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

– any other related matters.

Click here to find more information about submissions can be found online.

You must provide your submission by 31 March 2021.

QDN will also be providing a submission if you want to contribute to this. Please contact QDN by email at qdn@qdn.org.au or by phone on 1300 363 783.

If you need more time, you should contact the Joint Standing  Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme. You will find the contact details below:

Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Phone: +61 2 6277 3083
Fax: +61 2 6277 5829
email: ndis.sen@aph.gov.au

Click here for more information about the inquiry into Independent Assessment.