QDN e-Bulletin Update July 2021

A NOTE FROM DES

Des Ryan, Chairperson of the Board

A man in a sitting position with a grey jacket and a blue and green striped button up shirt, wearing glasses.

With this emerging COVID situation and the challenges this can bring for everyone, we encourage members and supporters to stay updated with information, get tested if have symptoms and get vaccinated if you can. Please check our Covid-19 update in this newsletter for more information.

“Nothing about us without us” is QDN’s motto. It has been great to see this in action over the past two months around some of the key issue’s members have been raising like the NDIS reforms, Making Rent Fair for Queenslanders, and getting access to the COVID-19 vaccination.

I would like to thank all QDN members, Board Directors, Peer Leaders and QDN’s staff for your efforts, dedication, and lobbying to raise the issues about independent assessments and the NDIS reforms.  The forums, which we co-hosted with 6 other organisations, were extremely well attended.  They provided an opportunity for Queenslanders with disability, family members, carers, advocates, and services to give feedback on the proposed reforms, in particular, the introduction of Independent Assessments.

QDN delivered the summary report from the forums to the Hon Craig Crawford MP Minister for Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and also met with other members of parliament to raise this as an important issue.  The report gave Minister Crawford important information and feedback from Queenslanders with disability and their supporters to take forward to his meeting at the Disability Reform Council.  It was great that QDN members were able to be part of the reforms and our voice was heard.  Minister for the NDIS, Senator, the Honourable Linda Reynolds, announced in early July that the plan to introduce Independent Assessments will “not proceed”.  You can read the press release here.   This is a major turnaround, and it is now important to watch the next steps of the reforms. The Queensland government needs the voice of those impacted by decisions at the discussion table and we are very pleased the Government have committed to consult on any future amendments.

The news that Brisbane won the right to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2032 was exciting as it opens up extensive opportunities over the next decade.  Long term benefits will be realised in employment, skills, education, health and wellbeing outcomes, higher sporting participation rates, community connection and importantly, raised awareness of disability issues.  This is a ten-year opportunity for us and you to engage and be involved in planning to help ensure Olympic events and venues are accessible to everyone.  The Paralympic movement can help raise awareness of disability and change the next generation of Australia.

We have been continuing to ensure that members can access the information they need to get the facts about COVID-19, to be able to make your own plan for COVID-19, and to be able to stay connected with family and friends.  You can find covid-19 information here. Our Peer Support Groups are actively meeting across the state, either online or face-to-face, so I encourage you to reach out to your local group or one of our on-line groups.  They are a great place to learn new things, meet people, share life experiences, and connect with the community. You can get information about the groups here.

I would also like to let members know that the Board of Directors have set the date of the 2021 Annual General Meeting, which will be held on Saturday 13 November, and we will update members shorty with further details and information.

AN UPDATE FROM PAIGE

Paige Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer

Photo of a woman shoulders up with a white background. The woman has brown shoulder length hair with a fringe and is wearing a royal blue shirt.

I know that this continues to be a challenging time for many of our members, their families, workers, our friends, and colleagues.  Please read the Covid-19 update later in this newsletter for important information.

We know that COVID-19 will continue to be with us and we live in uncertain times. However, we know that it is important for Queenslanders with disability to be getting the covid-19 vaccine.  We know many QDN members have had some barriers to getting the COVID-19 vaccine or are not clear on where to go or who to talk to to get the right information. QDN is going to hold another COVID Conversation online with a focus on the COVID vaccination. We will have some speakers who can give information about the vaccination and what is happening with rollout for people with disability, family and workers. It will also be a chance for people to talk about what is working and ideas for improving the process. I encourage you to join us and there is information about registering later in this edition of the ebulletin.

It is great to see our peer support groups growing and some of our new groups starting in different communities around the state.  Recently, I got to spend some time with the Cairns and Atherton groups.  It is great to see people with disability coming together in Far North Queensland and talking about important topics like getting prepared for an emergency. This week QDN held community conversations in Redcliffe to talk with people with disability about what a peer support group would look like in this area and we had a great turn out for the meetings.

Our 21 Emerging Leaders from around the state are now at the half way mark of their leadership program and have had the opportunity to hear from a diverse range of incredible leaders and speakers so far. Our thanks to all of the speakers who have shared their time, wisdom and reflections and their own leadership journey. You can see more about the great speakers who have been part of the program here on the QDN website. https://qdn.org.au/our-work/emerging-leaders-program/key-note-speakers/are now half way through the program. I know that there is great leadership being shown by the members of the group and I look forward to seeing more about the work they are doing in how they can influence change in their communities.

We are grateful for the feedback and perspective that members continue to provide on many different systemic policy areas.  We have particular focus on issues around tenancy reforms as having a place to call home where people with disability have secure, accessible and affordable rental options is a key issue. QDN is a member of the Make Renting Fair Alliance which supports reform of our renting laws. The Parliamentary Community Support and Services Committee is currently reviewing submissions to the Housing Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 which was introduced to parliament on 18 June 2021. The Committee will report on the Bill on 6 August 2021 so we will keep members information. You can let your State Member of Parliament know about it being an important issue to you. You can add your voice to the campaign here.

The Queensland Parliament Community Support and Services Committee is also conducting an inquiry into social isolation and loneliness in Queensland.  We know that social isolation and loneliness can have significant impacts upon different members of our community. We know that it is important that Governments can understand what the impacts are for people, what is happening in the community and what things can be done to improve services, programs, policy and systems. We know during COVID-19 that access to the digital world has been particularly important as a way of helping people stay connected, but we know that many people with disability still need devices, data and support and training in how to use devices, be able to continue to access essential services and connect with others. QDN have prepared a survey to consult with our members for your feedback which will inform a submission that we will prepare.  More information about the link to the survey is below.

Please stay safe and stay connected.  We have listed important contact numbers in the Covid-19 update in this newsletter.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – DATE CLAIMER

The 2021 Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday 13 November 2021.  More details will be posted on our website in the coming weeks.

COVID UPDATE

This morning the Premier announced that the lockdown in parts of south-east Queensland will be extended for another 6 days.  The lockdown is now extended until Sunday 8 August at 4pm.

Local Government Areas affected

If you are in the local government areas of Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan City, Moreton Bay, Redlands, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Noosa, Somerset, Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim

Four reasons you are allowed to leave your home
  1. To buy essentials such as groceries or medications within 10km from your home.
  2. Work if you can’t work from home. No school, except for children of essential workers.
  3. Exercise within 10km from home with no more than one person from outside your household.
  4. Healthcare, including to get a COVID-19 vaccination or test, or to provide help, care or support to a vulnerable person.

If you leave home for one of these four reasons, you must wear a mask.

Mask wearing rules
  • You must carry a mask at all times when outside
  • You do NOT need to wear a mask in private vehicles, while outdoors at a safe distance from other people, or if you’re doing exercise
  • A person affected by a medical or mental health condition or disability may be exempt from wearing a mask under Queensland Health exemptions
  • You do NOT need to wear a mask inside your home, however, a carer or support worker must wear a mask when working in your home
  • You do NOT need to wear a mask when communicating with those who are deaf or where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication
Get tested

The Chief Health Officer, Deputy Premier and Heath Minister are asking anyone in Queensland who has symptoms to please get tested.  For information about where you can find the COVID testing clinics click here.

There are lots of new exposure sites that have been listed on the Queensland Health website that you can find here.

Rules about visitors

No visitors are allowed to your home, except to provide care for someone you really needs it.

Providing disability support to a person with disability is essential work and care so a support person is not considered a visitor.   They can work as usual, wearing personal protective equipment as required.

Visitors are restricted to hospitals, aged care, disability services and correctional centres. Part 3 of the Disability Accommodation Services Direction is in place. Further information and Q&As are available here.

PPE Guidance in disability accommodation

You can find the PPE guidance here.  All geographic areas will remain at the risk levels that they currently are. A further update will be circulated if this changes.
Home Quarantine directions
If you have been contacted by Queensland Health and told to quarantine because you are a close contact – this means that you need to stay at home and cannot leave for any reason.

If you have staff who support you who have been told to quarantine, they need to stay at home and it will be important to work with your support service to organise other workers.

If you are concerned about someone who cannot self-isolate because they are homeless.

Housing and Homelessness Services have activated the emergency response system and are working with Queensland Police Service and other key providers to address the immediate need for vulnerable people who are not able to safely isolate through the lockdown period.

The latest information is available by phoning the Homelessness Hotline on 1800 474 753.

Important numbers for Covid-19

If you are in a situation where you have no other means of getting food or essential items, you can contact the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.  The Community Recovery Hotline is also available to support vulnerable Queenslanders in home quarantine who have no other means of support.

Other important numbers for covid-19.

  • Queensland Health for health advice or information 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84)
  • Australian Government COVID-19 Disability Information Helpline 1800 643 787
  • COVID-19 National hotline for people with symptoms 1800 022 222
  • COVID-19 National hotline for non-medical information 1800 020 080

These restrictions are hard, but they are necessary to keep Queensland safe.

QDN office closure

A reminder that the QDN office in Spring Hill will remain closed until 9am Monday 9 August 2021. However, staff are working from home and you can still contact us by phone (1300 363 783) or by emailing qdn@qdn.org.au.

You can subscribe to Public Health Direction updates at the link here. If you are seeking clarification on a Direction or have any questions, please call 134 COVID (13 42 68).

COVID 19 VACCINATIONS

We know many QDN members have already gotten their COVID Vaccination, and other people are still experiencing some challenging in being able to access appointments, know where to go that is accessible venue/hub or still have some questions about it. Join us for the latest in QDN’s COVID Conversations Online meeting to hear directly from the health experts on the current plan, share experiences and discuss solutions to make the rollout easier and more accessible for all people with disability.

QDN are organising a COVID conversation for people with disability – COVID-19 Vaccination Forum.  It will be held on 19 August 2021.  We will email out more information and links to register shortly.

For information about getting vaccinated and how to book you can click here.

If you have any trouble with the online registration and bookings call the COVID line on 134 268 – it’s open 24 hours 7 days and can take some time on hold but is worth it. Let them know you have a disability or work in the sector as this will give you priority with booking – there is currently some wait time for bookings however this will be opening up in the coming weeks with increased Pfizer vaccine supply. Remember to make your second booking when you have your first vaccination and take your Medicare card and photo ID with you if you have it.

Current restrictions with wearing of masks, gatherings and visitors to disability accommodation services apply until 6am this Friday 6 August  – you can read more about these here.

NIGEL WEBB EMERGING LEADER BURSARY 2021 WINNER

a lady with blonde hair sitting in a chair. She has a pink dress on.QDN is pleased to announce the successful applicant for the Nigel Webb Emerging Leader Bursary 2021 is Jeni Lewington.

The Nigel Webb Bursary was established to acknowledge and recognise Nigel Webb’s contribution to QDN’s as a Board Director in 2010 and then elected as Chairperson in 2011. Nigel has made a significant contribution to the organisation, to the Board and more broadly to the disability sector and has a strong passion for supporting people with disability to build their leadership capacity.

Jeni will have the opportunity to travel to another state to meet with different organisations and leaders who can help support her on her leadership learning journey.  Congratulations Jeni and we look forward to hearing more about your interstate leadership journey later in the year.

NDIS REFORMS

Latest update: Timing of NDIS reforms

On Friday 30 July, the Federal Government released information on the timing of their NDIS changes.  The latest information from the Government says that public consultations on draft amendments to legislation are expected to occur from late August 2021 ahead of introduction to Parliament in October 2021.  They will publish further information about how people can participate in information sessions and consultations on the legislation soon.

The government recently announced that the changes will NOT include ‘Independent Assessments’. But there are likely to be some other big changes to the NDIS in the legislation. QDN will be looking closely at the details when they’re available, so we can let you know how they’ll impact you. We will also make sure our members know how to have your say when consultations open.

You can see the whole govt website on NDIS reforms, including the news from today, here: https://www.dss.gov.au/disabilit…/ndis-legislative-reforms

NDIS Reform Forums outcome

QDN is part of a coalition of seven organisations who hosted the online NDIS reform forums, and we thank members again for actively participating in these events.  There has been broad community feedback on the introduction of compulsory independent assessments for NDIS participants and the broader changes are not supported.

The clear message from this forum was those mandatory independent assessments and a one-size fits all approach was not supported. The message from people was that in their current form, these NDIS reforms will destroy the scheme’s fundamental foundation of support based on individual needs and choice and control around services and supports.

Ministers welcomed the NDIS Independent Advisory Council’s advice to the NDIS Board on strengthening the NDIS reforms to access and planning and noted the Council’s recommendations. Ministers agreed Independent Assessments would not proceed.

Ministers agreed to work in partnership with those with lived experience of disability through the Independent Advisory Council and disability representatives, on the co-design of a new person-centred model that delivers consistency and equity in access and planning outcomes, consistent with the legislative requirements for assessments as set out under the National Disability Insurance Scheme 2013 Act.

Disability Reform Ministers’ meeting communique is here.

The Summary Report can be accessed here. https://qdn.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/NDIS-Reforms-Forum-Report-Minister-Crawford-1.pdf

HAVE YOUR SAY – CONSULTATIONS

NDIS Home and Living consultation – An ordinary life at home

The NDIS is developing a new Home and Living policy to inform the way they support participants to pursue their home and living goals. The aim is to give participants more choice and control over where they live, who the live with and the support they use. They also want to support participants building more independent living skills. You can read the consultation paper, including an easy read version and access their online survey here.

We are also holding an online consultation on 12 August 2021 and invite QDN members or supporters to take part.  Click here to register.

You can see the NDIS consultation paper here.

NDIS Support for Decision Making consultation

The NDIS are developing a new Support for Decision Making Policy to maximise opportunities for participants to make decisions about how they live their lives and promote self-determination, control, and autonomy. You can read the papers here, including easy read versions, and there is an online survey here you can respond to.

QDN will be making submissions on these consultation papers, and we encourage people to read the papers and let us know if you have feedback.

We are holding an online consultation on 12 August and invite QDN members or supporters to take part.  You can register here.

You can see the NDIS consultation paper here.

A review of the Public Trustee’s fees, charges, and practices

The Public Advocate recently prepared a report, ‘Preserving the financial futures of vulnerable Queenslanders, A review of the Public Trustee’s fees, charges and practices. A copy of this report and executive summary is available to download here.

The report was undertaken in response to concerns expressed by people with impaired decision-making capacity under administration with the Public Trustee and their supporters about the negative impact of the Public Trustee’s fees and charges on their financial outcomes.

The Public Trustee is seeking feedback from Queensland residents regarding their experiences with the Public Trustee’s fees and charges regime.  We encourage everyone who wishes to have their say about the Public Trustee’s fees and charges, and particularly those that affect financial administration clients, to complete the Public Trustee’s survey or prepare a written submission.

The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete and can be accessed hereor email public.trustee@pt.qld.gov.au to find out other ways to have your say.  The closing date for submissions and to respond to the survey is Friday 13 August 2021.

CAMPAIGNS

Making Rent Fair

QDN is a partner in the Make Rent Fair Campaign.  If you are concerned about fair rent legislation, please consider using the link below to tell state politicians your views.  We have until Friday 6 August to email these MPs to reiterate that the community sector does want these changes.

The link here will go to the Committee MPs, local MP and Premier and an email outlining what needs changing.

It is the last few weeks of this campaign everyone! Let’s make sure our members of parliament know that make renting fair is important for Queenslanders with disability.

Disability doesn’t discriminate

QDN is a supporter of the Disability Doesn’t Discriminate campaign, which is an initiative of Spinal Life Australia.   You can go to the Disability Doesn’t Discriminate website here.

Disability Doesn’t Discriminate raises awareness of the issue that for people who get their disability after they turn 65 the NDIS doesn’t cover you. Also excluded, are Australians who were over 65 and living with a disability when the NDIS was rolled out.

What you can do

Clickhere to download the letter to send to your MP.

HOMELESSNESS WEEK 1-7 AUGUST

Homelessness Week is a timely reminder of both the great work happening in the sector and the need to continue our efforts to see every Queenslander with a home.

To acknowledge Homelessness Week, there are several events on across the state that you may wish to participate in across Brisbane, Townsville, Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay and Rockhampton and for more information you can go to the Q Shelter website here for more events.

AUSTRALIAN CENSUS NIGHT

The Australian Bureau of Statistics will be doing a census on Tuesday 10 August 2021.  They will count every person and household in Australia.  This census helps the government, business, and not-for-profit organisations to plan services in your area.  You can get more information here.

QDENGAGE UPDATE

QDeNgage continues to inform the future we all want to see; recognition that people with disability have lived experience that is invaluable in shaping a more inclusive future.

QDeNgage have current projects that range from working with Government and non-government organisations, Councils, Peak bodies, and businesses. For the people with disability who are involved, this involves sharing experiences and advice that helps to guide the policies, services and infrastructure that is inclusive for all Queenslanders. Our current consultations will shape the future of public transport, health services and services within the domestic violence services that we all use.

To find out more about the current projects, recommend future projects or to get involved click here.

POLICY UPDATES

Queensland Housing Strategy and Housing Investment Fund

The Housing and Homelessness Action Plan 2021-2025 was released recently.  You can go to the Action Plan here.  The plan has been developed in the context of current and anticipated housing market conditions and need.   The plan shows a commitment to the vision of the Queensland Housing Strategy—that every Queenslander has access to a safe, secure, and affordable home that meets their needs and enables participation in the social and economic life of our prosperous state.  The plan provides a framework for delivering housing with support that is integrated across government and the community sector which will take a step towards reducing homelessness in Queensland.

The action plan addresses the right to accessible housing options for people with disability.  QDN has been advocating for over ten years for the right to having choice and control in where you live and who you live with. It supports wellbeing and active participation in our community. The action plan commits to working more closely with people with disability and disability support services to improve access to and delivery of our products and services.

Under the Housing and Homelessness Action Plan 2021-2025 they are promoting rights, choice, control, accessibility, and inclusion in housing with support, including actions to:

  • co-design housing responses with people with disability and peak and expert organisations
  • work with National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to help Queenslanders to access and maximise National Disability Insurance Scheme packages and Specialist Disability Accommodation
  • work across government and the sector to deliver integrated responses that increase the diversity and supply of accessible housing.

There is information on housing principles for inclusive communities in the Queensland Housing Strategy 2017-2027.  The four principles, which are QDN developed principles that have been adopted by the Department of Communities, are; rights, control, choice, and inclusion.  You can go to the Queensland Housing Strategy here.

Housing Investment Fund

$1 billion will be allocated to establishing a new Housing Investment Fund to boost housing supply. The fund will deliver $160 million of returns over four years.  This will deliver more than 6365 new homes for Queenslanders, set to commence before 30 June 2025.

The Housing Investment Fund provides a vehicle for co-investment in development opportunities and maximise funding and financing opportunities.

Construction will begin on these homes before 30 June 2025, with a range of industry and non-government partners.

See more on Housing Investment Fund here.

The Housing Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 (Tenancy Laws Reform)

QDN made a submission to a Parliamentary Inquiry and presented at a Parliamentary Committee hearing on the Housing Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 (Tenancy Laws Reform Bill).

This legislation will regulate the rental market for the next 20 years in a climate where the rental market is under stress from interstate migration and high demand for scarce rental properties. A balance needs to be struck that will be sustainable.

QDN considers the capacity to make minor modifications critical for people with disabilities given the scarcity of accessible housing and the practical needs of people with disability. That the rental market be regulated so that it is fair and honest, and that end of tenancy provisions are fair on all parties, and that minimum standards incorporate basic to life options and are fundamental to looking forward and to safeguarding the future.

Register of Enduring Power of Attorney

QDN made a submission to the Attorney General’s Department about developing a Register of Enduring Power of Attorney.

The National Register of Enduring Powers of Attorney is intended to counter enduring documents being misused to facilitate financial abuse. QDN supports any measures that will deliver improved safeguards for people with disability regarding Power of Attorney arrangements.

There are risks inherent in how the Register is proposed to operate. The Inactive status of a registered Enduring Power of Attorney presents risk for fraudulent activity. Clarity is needed around what problem the Register is addressing, what risks are inherent in the current design and how these can be mitigated.

Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD)

QDN presented at the hearing of a Parliamentary Inquiry into Voluntary Assisted Dying Legislation. This is a very personal issue for people and it is important that there are safeguards in place for people with disability and that Queenslanders have access to a range of well-resourced end of life care options and choice about their end of life.

Disability Support Pension

QDN made a submission to the Senate Inquiry on the Disability Support Pension.

The DSP Program has evolved into a system and process that is not workable for most people with disability. It is time to review this program and bring its intent to align with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and the National Disability Strategy. Not doing this risk bringing more hardship on more people under the current system.

Disability Royal Commission Work Ahead

This is Disability Royal Commission Calendar for the next few months. The calendar schedule is subject to change for several reasons including COVID-19 restrictions. It does not necessarily contain all activities, hearings, and engagements that the Royal Commission will undertake. The calendar is updated as more information becomes available. See updates at Disability Royal Commission.gov.au

August 2021

  • 12 – 13 August 2021: Public hearing 15, Brisbane – Satellite hearing: Criminal justice and the NDIS
  • 23 – 27 August: Public hearing 16, Melbourne – Measures taken by employers and regulators to respond to the systemic barriers to open employment for people with disability

September 2021

  • 10 September 2021: Public hearing 13, Sydney (virtual hearing) – Preventing and responding to violence, abuse, neglect, and exploitation in disability services (a Case Study) – Oral submissions
  • 17 – 24 September: Public hearing 17, location TBC – First Nations children with disability in out-of-home care
  • 30 September 2021: Public hearing 14, Sydney (virtual hearing) – Preventing and responding to violence, abuse, neglect, and exploitation in disability services (South Australia) – Oral submissions

October 2021

  • 13 – 19 October: Public hearing 18, Hobart – The health and safety of women and girls with disability
Stay in Touch with the Disability Royal Commission

There are several ways you can get involved and stay up to date with the work of the Disability Royal Commission. They publish a fortnightly eNewsletter Connect, and provide information about their activities via social media channels and media announcements here.

They also conduct community forums (click here) and meetings where we can hear first-hand from people with disability and their families, friends and supporters about their experiences and views. These provide valuable information and guide the Royal Commission’s investigative and policy work.

The engagement activities are underpinned by consultative mechanisms such as the First Nations Peoples Strategic Advisory Group and the Community Engagement Strategy.

Please subscribe to the mailing list to receive updates from the Royal Commission via the Disability Royal Commission website here.

Younger people in Residential Aged care update

The Australian Government is working to reduce the number of younger people, under the age of 65 going into residential aged care, and to help younger people who are already in residential aged care to move into age-appropriate accommodation with the supports they need. The Younger People in Residential Aged Care dashboard tracks the progress being made towards these targets, using the most recent data available.

You will be able to find more information on phase 2 here from 30 July 2021. Forthcoming releases – Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (aihw.gov.au) can be found here.

PROJECT WORK

Emerging Leaders update

The Emerging Leaders met for their fifth workshop on 14 July 2021.  At this workshop the Emerging Leaders built on the learnings and knowledge from the previous workshops which included Dr Ben Gauntlett, Australian Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Lisa Stafford a social scientist, social planner and human geographer and Donna Best, QDN life member and advocate for people with intellectual disability were recent the speakers. They each talked about the importance of embracing diversity no matter what form it takes and how everyone has a name.

The focus of the July session hosted by Valmae Rose was to further develop the Emerging Leader’s projects and to work collaboratively across common themes like inclusive tourism, accessibility in the community and equal employment opportunities.  The Emerging Leaders broke into small groups to brainstorm ideas, organisations, and people to connect with about their project as well as opportunities to influence change in these areas. The Emerging Leaders are halfway through the program and are building not only their leadership skills but also their capacity to influence change in their own lives and their communities.

21 people sitting and standing. They are looking at the camera. They are outside and there are trees around them.

Peer Support Groups

Gold Coast Peer Support Group

The QDN’s Gold Coast Peer Support Group for people with disability, held their first meeting on Friday 11 June 2021 at the Southport Community Centre. The meeting was well attended with 16 people with disability joining the meeting both face to face and online.

Mandie Baker, Disability and Inclusion Officer from the Gold Coast City Council was the guest speaker and spoke about accessibility initiatives on the Gold Coast including beach access mats and Changing Places toilets. Mandie explained how you could get a Master Locksmiths Access Key (MLAK) to be able to use the Changing Place toilets which are in Gold Coast public spaces such as parks, beaches, and shopping centres. It was great to have the opportunity to talk with Mandie and ask questions around what is happening on the Gold Coast.

This group is gaining momentum with people with disability on the Gold Coast keen to continue meeting. The group plans to meet on the second Friday of the month.

For more information: If you would like to know more about joining this group contact QDN on 1300 363 783 or peersupport@qdn.org.

Two ladies and a man smiling at the camera. They are inside.

 

Far North QLD Peer Support Group

In July 2021, the Tablelands and Cairns Peer Support Groups ran Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness workshops. The groups invited local council representatives Sarah Dean, Senior Advisor Emergency Management from Tablelands Regional Council and Sioux Campbell Disaster Management Resilience Officer from Cairns Regional Council’s Disaster Management Resilience Officer to provide invaluable local information around the Council’s disaster and emergency planning and preparation, along with key resources that are available to the community.

The Councils have a Dashboard available on their websites which provide up to date information on local situations that impact the community such as road closures, weather events, power outages, emergency situations and evacuation centres to help people with disability to stay informed.

Building on the information from the Councils the group then started to focus on their individual emergency planning needs. Using the Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness (P-CEP) workbook, the groups moved through the sections of the book, discussing areas like communication needs and medications requirements in an emergency.

If you are interested in finding out more about how you can be more prepared for an emergency go to Disability Inclusive and Disaster Resilient Queensland – Queenslanders with Disability Network (qdn.org.au) or talk to your local peer support group about holding an emergency preparedness session.

The Tablelands and Cairns Peer Support Groups will meet again in September and welcomes new members.

For more information: Contact QDN at phone 3252 8566 or email peersupport@qdn.org.au

6 people in a room in chairs. They are all looking at a video screen. A lady in a red dress is at the front.

Sunnybank Peer Support Group return to face-to-face meetings

QDN is excited to announce that the Sunnybank Peer Support Group convened by Mike Fisher will return to face-to-face meetings on Saturday 11 August. This is great news for those who have not been able to join the online meetings.

Due to the success of the online meetings these will continue the 2nd Thursday evening of the month.

QDN and Mike look forward to welcoming people with disability in the Sunnybank area to the meeting at the Coopers Plains Library on Saturday, 11 August from 10:30am to 12:30pm.

Please contact QDN on 1300 363 783 or email peersupport@qdn.org.au for more details.

a man in a wheelchair and a man standing with a cane. They are smiling at each other.

Hot Topics groups partnering with their peers in Canada the New Vision Advocates

On Friday 26 June Brisbane and Gold Coast Hot Topics peer support groups for people with an intellectual disability met with their peers from Canada, the New Vision Advocates. It was an exciting occasion as Hot Topics were presenting the New Vision Advocates with certificates to thank them for their participation in the online event celebrating International Day for People with Disability 2020.

Morrie O’Connor the Queensland Chair of the Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability (ASID) joined the meeting to formerly present the certificates. Hot Topics did a beautiful job designing the certificates which included many different Australian animals – a favourite discussion topic at meetings!

The New Vision Advocates were really thrilled to receive their certificates as were Hot Topics to give them. QDN cannot wait to see the next piece of work Hot Topics and New Vision Advocates collaborate on.

A piece of paper with the words certificate of appreciation on it.

Disability Inclusive and Disaster Resilient Queensland

Disability Inclusive and Disaster Resilient Queensland is a project in partnership with Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN), the Centre for Disability Research and Policy at the University of Sydney, Community Services Industry Alliance (CSIA), and the Queensland Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors (DCDSS).

Phase Two where QDN peer leaders worked with their local networks to increase people with disability awareness of emergency preparedness was completed in June 2021.   As part of this phase QDN supported the development of peer-to-peer approaches to help increase emergency preparedness for people with disability through person-centred planning conversations.  QDN’s Peer Leaders were trained in how to support people with disability to develop their own plans using the person-centred emergency preparedness workshop.

QDN Peer Leaders invited emergency services and local councils to be part of these planning conversations to provide people with disability with local information on services, supports and information on local hazard risks and warning mechanisms during an emergency.  Several peer leaders have experienced disasters in their own communities and were able to use this experience to inform their own plans as well as providing insight to support other people with disability to make emergency preparedness plans.  Overall, learnings from phase two is that emergency planning is a process and talking with others about emergency planning helps inform people with disability individual plans.

For more information: Its important to get ready for an emergency by making a plan.  Find out more about how you can make your own emergency plan at Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness | Collaborating 4 Inclusion here or Disability Inclusive and Disaster Resilient Queensland – Queenslanders with Disability Network (qdn.org.au) here.

We invite you to click here watch this video to hear from leaders in local communities across Queensland about their own emergency planning.

TARGETED OUTREACH PROJECT

In September 2020 the Disability Connect and Outreach Program launched Phase 2 of the Assessment and Referral Team (ART) and the Targeted Outreach Project to help people with disability from the Darling Downs Southwest and Central Queensland regions to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). This work has been made possible by time limited Commonwealth Government funding.

Delivered by the Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships together with Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN), the program has achieved considerable success in the Phase 2 locations of Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Bundaberg and west to the borders.

ART has supported 317 residents from these communities to successfully access the NDIS. This is thanks largely to your involvement in connecting people across these regions to ART and the Targeted Outreach Project.

The Disability Connect and Outreach Program is a time limited project and to support the delivery and expansion into further locations across the state, ART and QDN will no longer be accepting referrals from the above locations from Friday 6 August 2021. In consideration of this, we encourage you to submit any referrals for your clients directly to the Target Outreach Project as soon as possible.

QDN are a systemic advocacy organisation and as such will continue to gather feedback around people’s NDIS access needs.  Where there continues to be people who are particularly vulnerable and in critical need of NDIS access support please still contact us.

For more information: If you have any questions, please contact the Targeted Outreach Team at targetedoutreach@qdn.org.au or call 1300 363 783.

a lady and a man standing beside a red door. There are outside holding signs that say QDN.

4 people standing around a white van. The van has wheels of wellness mobile clinic written on it.

EVENTS

E-scooter forum

Tuesday, 17 August 2021, 4.00-5.30pm.  Register here.

NDIS consultations

Home and Living Consultation

12 August 2021, 10.00-12.00pm  Register here.

Supported decision making consultation

12 August 2021, 2.00-4.00pm.  Register here.

Covid Conversations

19 August 2021

QDN are holding a COVID conversation: making the vaccine accessible to people with disability.

Join us for the latest in QDN’s COVID Conversations Online meeting to hear directly from the health experts on the current plan, share experiences and discuss solutions to make the rollout easier and more accessible for all people with disability.  We will email out more information and links to register shortly

FROM OUR FRIENDS

The ABC is looking for storytellers with disability to pitch ideas for international day of people with disability 2021

Are you an aspiring storyteller with disability? For International Day of People with Disability, the ABC is looking to commission a series of factual stories to be published and broadcast across ABC platforms.

They want you to pitch a non-fiction, original story idea. It could be your lived experience, an issue you see affecting your community, a stereotype you want to dispel or a celebration of life as a person with disability.  ABC will pay you for your work.

This opportunity closes 5pm Thursday, 19 August 2021.  Click here for information.

Skilling Queenslanders for Work funding 2021-22

Skilling Queenslanders for Work funds training and support for unemployed or underemployed people, with a focus on young people (including those in and transitioned from out-of-home care), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disability, mature-age jobseekers, women re-entering the workforce, veterans and ex-service personnel, and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

For more information on the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative, including information on the funding round please visit the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training website here Department of Employment, Small Business and Training website.

 

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