e-Blast: ‘My Disability Matters’ QDN 2020 State Election Platform and Advocacy Kit now available

The 2020 State Election has been called for 31 October 2020, so we need to act fast to make sure our voices and disability issues are put firmly on the agenda this election campaign.

QDN has developed a Queensland State election platform called My Disability Matters, and an advocacy kit for members. The platform outlines ten key areas that we are asking political parties to consider as their disability policy, representing the important issues for members. The advocacy kit has fact sheets and information on how members can visit candidates and post on social media in the lead up to the election. We encourage members to actively use this platform and the tool kit resources to visit local candidates.

To view or download QDN’s 2020 Queensland State Election platform, advocacy kit, and other resources, including a sample letter template to contact your local candidates and images to post on social media, visit our QLD Election policy platform page on the QDN Website.

Media Release:  Minister launches initiative in new regions, helping more Queenslanders with disability join the NDIS

15 September 2020, Townsville: Today, during Disability Action Week, the Hon. Coralee O’Rourke, Minister for Communities, Disability Services and Seniors, launched the Targeted Outreach project in four new regions.

The partnership between Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN), Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS), Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia (ADA Australia) and the Queensland Government’s Disability Connect and Outreach Program’s Assessment and Referral Team (ART) means we are working together to help more Queenslanders join the NDIS.

QDN Chief Executive Officer, Paige Armstrong said the Queensland Government initiative will provide free services to help people gain access to the NDIS.

“The initiative will specifically target potential NDIS participants who are in priority cohorts such as those living in rural and remote regions, as well as the vulnerable members of our community,” Ms Armstrong said “The important program of work highlights the importance of people with disability accessing supports they need through the NDIS.

“Queenslanders have been telling us for some time how they have felt overwhelmed and are experiencing barriers in apply for the NDIS.  To help address this we have a targeted outreach team and local champions who have lived experience of disability, providing invaluable insights, who are on the ground connecting with organisations and people in their communities.”

QDN commends the Government on the partnership, which addresses some of the key barriers to accessing the NDIS that people have raised.

“We want to build on the strength of local community and volunteer organisations who are already working with people with disability who may be eligible, but who need more support,” Ms Armstrong said.

Individuals identified by the partnership will then be connected to the Queensland Government’s Assessment and Referral Team (ART) for further end-to-end support in developing their NDIS application.

The Targeted Outreach Project and ART have now rolled out in Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Townsville and Toowoomba and have been made available through a collaboration with the Commonwealth Government.

The NDIS helps communities to grow and thrive through increased social and economic participation and this initiative shows the Government are listening.




Media Contacts:

Paige Armstrong, QDN CEO (07) 3252 8566

Background information:

QDN is an organisation of, for, and with people with disability with over 2000 members and supporters, providing information, feedback and views from the lived experience of people with disability.

QCOSS is Queensland’s peak body for the social service sector. For 60 years, we have been a leading force for social change. We believe that every person in Queensland – regardless of where they come from, who they pray to, their gender, who they love, how or where they live – deserves to live a life of equality, opportunity and wellbeing.

ADA Australia is a not-for-profit, independent, community-based advocacy and education service with more than 25 years’ experience in supporting and improving the wellbeing of older people and people with disability. ADA hosts the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Disability Network of Qld (ATSIDNQ)

e-Blast: People with disability can now have support person visit or attend hospital with them

Queensland Health has provided clarification on managing visitor access to restricted hospitals in the Hospital Visitors Direction No 6, which came into effect on 22 August 2020.

Queensland Health acknowledge the vital role of a support person if you need to go to hospital to ensure your needs are effectively communicated and managed throughout the COVID-19 period, and you can now have someone go to hospital with you or visit while you’re there.

This includes allowing the support person access if they arrive at hospital separately to you, for example, if you arrive in an ambulance and they need to meet you at the Emergency Department.

Support people can visit at any time and should not time limited – they should be able to stay to support you during the time you need support.

QDN’s Know Your Rights has been developed to support you within a hospital setting, and provide information on how you and your family member or support person can advocate for your healthcare needs. There are also some checklists that are helpful when planning a trip to hospital, so you’re prepared and know what to expect.

If you need more information, please contact QDN on 3252 8566 or local call 1300 696 783.

e-Blast: Programme released – Join with us virtually on 18 September for Disability Action Week

To celebrate Disability Action Week next week, QDN and Community Services Industry Alliance (CSIA) invites you to a digital forum on digital access – Mind the Gap: Bridging the Disability Digital Divide.

This timely event is for everyone interested in how we can work together to champion online access and find innovative ways to close the digital divide for people with disability across all areas of their lives. COVID-19 has taught us that there are some incredible advances in accessing services digitally, and other examples of where people with disability are being left behind. We aim to examine the issues and solutions to digital access, affordability, and skills around navigating websites, online content, devices, data usage and digital literacy.

Day: Friday 18 September

Time: 10am – 12noon

Link To register: https://qdn.org.au/home/whats-on/mind-the-gap-event/

Our keynote speakers Gisele Mesnage from Digital Gap Initiative and Laila Coulton from Coles Supermarkets will address the impact of web accessibility in online shopping, and online influencer Marlena Katene will tell us just how having a digital voice changes lives.

In the Digital Age, digital access is everyone’s responsibility as we make online content, engage in social media, create websites for our services and businesses. But what do we need to consider when we do this? Our break out sessions on connecting with community, entrepreneurism, health, the arts and digital literacy are an opportunity to hear from experts and people with lived experience abut just how beneficial and tricky the online space can be for people with disability.

We hear from Respecting Rights and New Vision Advocates in Canada and Hot Topics group in Brisbane about online peer connection for people with intellectual disability. Simon Darcy from UTS and entrepreneurs with disability in Queensland talk about the research and practice in the field of working in the digital space. The Hopkins Centre and Dr Dinesh Palipana lead a conversation around online access in health services, and artists with disability talk about how the digital space has been an enabler during COVID, and how captions, audio description and Auslan must be a part of our new everyday for digital audiences. In our digital literacy session, we hear from Brian ‘Binna’ Swindley, owner of Janbal Gallery in Mossman, and Jessica Wilson from the Good Things Foundation about what it has been like for Community and people with disability in Far North Queensland to get online as a result of COVID, and what it takes to really connect to the digital world.

Mind the Gap is an exciting program of speakers and discussions, and is organised in partnership with Community Services Industry Alliance and the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors.

We look forward to seeing you there!

For link to program click here

e-Blast: Save the Date – Fri 18 Sep 2020 – Mind the Gap

Save the Date!

To celebrate Disability Action Week, Queenslanders with Disability Network invites you to

Mind the Gap

Bridging the Disability Digital Divide

A virtual event

Friday 18 September

10am – 12 noon

This forum is in partnership with Community Services Industry Alliance and the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors.

We hope that you can attend. Registrations will open soon!

Click here to view our flyer

e-Blast: New Targeted Outreach Project Local Champions video launched

QDN is delighted to launch videos from two of our Targeted Outreach Project Local Champions and QDN members, Matt and Michael. In the videos, Matt and Michael share their own experiences of being on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and how they are using their roles as Local Champions to help others in their community join the scheme.

The Local Champions are working closely with the Targeted Outreach Project team and the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors’ Assessment and Referral Teams (ART) to help people with disability to apply for the NDIS and access the supports they need. ART has been made available through a collaboration with the Commonwealth Government.

Click here to go the videos.

e-Blast: Federal Government responds to Tune Review and plans for independent assessments

Late last week, the Minister for the NDIS, Stuart Robert, announced the Commonwealth Government’s response to the Tune review and plans for new independent assessments.

The Tune Report was released earlier this year and included over 30 recommendation to improve the NDIS. Minister Robert has confirmed the government will accept all but two recommendations (these two recommendations have been accepted ‘in principle’). Some of the report’s key recommendations include:

  • Clarifying the definition of ‘reasonable and necessary’, including publishing information in accessible formats
  • Upgrading IT systems so that NDIS Participants can track the progress of their applications/request for reviews online
  • Reviewing operational guidelines when funding Supported Independent Living
  • Outlining who is eligible for support coordination and who can provide it to avoid potential conflicts of interest

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e-Blast: COVID Conversations: Free webinars for Queenslanders with disability and their supporters

COVID-19 has meant lots of changes and it’s important that everyone can get the information they need about what we can do to be prepared, slow the spread of COVID-19 and get essential services and support.

Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN), in partnership with Health Consumers Queensland (HCQ), are holding a series of free webinars for people with disability and their supporters. We have organised a range of speakers including people with disability, families and carers, colleagues from Victoria, Queensland Department of Health, Queensland Department Communities, Disability Services and Seniors,  Australian Human Rights Commission,  NDIA, NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, and Every Australian Counts.

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Media Release: New resources for Queenslanders with disability to assist them during COVID to get the hospital care they need

Know your rights: Getting the hospital care you need during COVID-19 – for people with disability and their supporters

Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) and Health Consumers Queensland (HCQ) are pleased to announce the release of a new resource for people with disability to assist them during COVID-19 with getting the hospital care they need.

The resources, “Know your rights: Getting the hospital care you need during COVID-19” is a nation first. QDN and HCQ have worked together with people living with disability and family and carers with lived experience of Queensland’s health system to co-design this resource. This guide is funded by Queensland Department of Health through the COVID-19 Grant Fund: Immediate Support Measures.

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e-Blast: Virtual Forum Series for people with disability: COVID Conversations #2

Getting the healthcare you need during COVID-19: Being prepared and knowing your rights

Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN), in partnership with Health Consumers Queensland (HCQ), is holding a series of 3 COVID Conversations for people with disability and their supporters.

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