e-Blast: QDN’s Final Policy Update for 2020

It’s almost time to close our doors for 2020 –  but there are a few last things that we want to remind you about as we come to this year’s end.

1. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Public Health Direction Update

Queensland has responded to the increase in number of cases of COVID-19 in New South Wales with changes to the Queensland Public Health Directions. It is important that you are aware of these changes and how they may affect you. You will find all the information here on the QDN website. Click here to read about the changes.

2. The QDN member’s Survey

Your feedback is very important to us. Your responses will help us to understand our priority work areas for 2021. We ask that you please take the survey. The survey closes on the 8 January 2021. In completing the survey, you may also win a prize.

Click here to take the survey.

3. Be prepared

It’s holiday season, but it is also a time of year when Queenslanders experience cyclones, fire and flood. This means that is extremely important that you plan for Disasters.

Making sure that the needs and voices of people with disability are included in emergency management and disaster planning has been a work priority for us this year.

To prepare for the summer season ahead, use our Person-Centred emergency Preparedness Workbook to develop an emergency preparedness plan that is tailored to your individual support needs. You can find the workbook on our website under our Disability Inclusive and Disaster Resilient Queensland project page.

Click here to use the workbook.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. A first for the Queensland Human Rights Commission.

The Queensland Human Rights Commissioner has released the first Annual Report on the operation of the Act 2019; Putting people first. The report shows the work done across Queensland’s public sector to carry out the Act over the 2019-20 financial year and talks about how we can measure growth in Queensland’s human rights culture.

The report was tabled in Queensland Parliament on 9 December 2020.

Click here to find the PDF and Word version of the Queensland Human Rights Commissions Annual Report

7. Locking of gates, doors, and windows – COVID-19 emergency provisions ends on 31 December 2020.

During the COVID-19 emergency earlier this year, the Queensland Government introduced legislation that included provisions for disability service providers to lock the gates, doors, or windows of their premises.

This legislation was introduced to make sure that adults with an intellectual or cognitive disability, who are unable to follow public health directions, weren’t exposed to COVID-19 in our community. QDN strongly advocated for the human rights of people living with disability, their families, carers, and providers at this time.

It important to note that the provisions under this Act were time-limited and connected with the emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are pleased to communicate that the provisions in this policy will expire on 31 December 2020.

8. NDIA plans to use a new digital approach to provide a smoother and quicker experience for participants and providers processing claims.

Processing claims for participants and providers can be challenging and complicated. The NDIA has asked for input and information on ways to improve how participants make claims and providers get paid.

To do this, a Request for Information (RFI) has been lodged with the Australian Government’s Procurement Information System, AusTender. The NDIA are seeking information on potential Claim at Point Of Support (C-POS) solutions that will make payment processing simple and fast for NDIS participants and providers.

The RFI will ask for responses on design, cost estimates and payment options, to help find a preferred digital, design solution.

Further information about the RFI process, including how to ask questions, can be found at the AusTender website.

Click here to read about the digital payment solutions.

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