QDN e-Bulletin Update November 2021

A note from Des

Des Ryan, Chairperson of the Board

A photo of QDN board member Des Ryan in a dark grey jacket and white shirt with red and blue stripes and wearing glasses and smiling at the camera.

As 2021 draws to a close I want to thank QDN members, peer leaders, staff, Board and our supporters for all your work and efforts during the year. It has been a very busy year for QDN and there has been a range of significant issues that Queenslanders with disability have been actively engaged in across NDIS, housing, health, transport, disaster and emergency preparedness and of course COVID-19.

The NDIS has been high on the agenda this year for people with disability, families, disability providers and workers. The NDIA and the Commonwealth Government have tried to bring in a range of reforms this year without real engagement with people with disability and the broader sector. We were able to hold the NDIS Reforms: Pause, Reset, Co-design forum with allies and had over 200 people attend. Our feedback that the proposed independent assessments were not welcome and one size does not fit all was echoed by colleagues and people with disability across the country. The NDIA and Commonwealth Government have given a commitment to co-design solutions going forward with people with disability. We believe it is really important that this is meaningful and authentic co-design that people with disability have an equal seat at the table.

QDN is currently engaging with members around key issues and priorities for the upcoming Federal Election that will be held by May 2022. Queensland will be an important state with a number of marginal seats so I encourage members to get involved. QDN will be developing an election platform document so I encourage you to give feedback, come along to forums and workshops and engage with local candidates around key issues for Queenslanders with disability. Our first forum is the NDIS Online forum on 13 December so please check out the information at the end of the newsletter and register for the event.

Our 2021 Annual General Meeting is on 19 February 2022 and the notice of meeting will be sent out to members in the coming weeks. On the day before the AGM we are holding a workshop with our peer leaders from across the state. We look forward to coming together as leaders with disability and our work to inform, connect, lead and influence change in our communities for an inclusive Queensland.

Finally I was pleased to be able to attend the launch by Minister Enoch and Minister Crawford in October of the new resources and tools for disability inclusive disaster planning and preparedness. Over the last 3 years, QDN is a proud partner working with University of Sydney, Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy and Community Services Industry Alliance on the Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Project in Queensland. QDN members as our peer leaders with disability have been instrumental in this project, co-designing and undertaking this nationally leading work. The Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness (PCEP) workbook has helped lots of people with disability develop their own indivdiual plans for a disaster or emergency. Queensland as a state experiences the most natural disasters anywhere in the country. As we move into the season, I encourage you to jump online and check out the resources or connect with QDN.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish our members, allies and supporters all the best for the festive season and I look forward to working with you all in 2022.

Des Ryan Chairperson  

QDN Board of Directors 

An update from Paige

Paige Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer

Photo of a woman with shoulder length light brown hair, wearing a deep blue shirt is smiling towards the camera.

2021 has been a big year and we have continued to live with the pressures and impact of COVID-19. I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank all of our members, peer leaders, Board and staff for all your work this year. I know that people have gone above and beyond to support each other, to ensure people have access to the services and supports they need, and that we continue to be able to raise the key issues to amplify the voice of Queenslanders with disability.

Our motto ‘nothing about us without us’ is key to all our work and ensuring that the authentic voice of people with disability is at every table informing, leading and influencing change. It has been a big year and QDN has been engaged in a range of work across COVID-19, NDIS, health, housing, transport, employment, human rights, domestic and family violence, women’s policy, disaster preparedness and digital inclusion.

QDN’s inaugural Emerging Leaders Program concluded in November and I would like to congratulate the 20 people who took part in the program. It has been a wonderful opportunity for people to share their leadership learning journey with each other as a dynamic group and being able to access a stellar group of state and national leaders with disability and sector leaders as speakers. QDN peer mentors have also worked with the Emerging Leaders throughout the program to support their learning journey. We look forward to launching the program for 2022 on 3 December – International Day of People with Disability and encourage people to find out more about it and think about putting in an expression of interest.

The Disability Royal Commission Public hearing 19 held this week continues the Royal Commission’s inquiries into the systemic barriers to open employment. The hearing has heard feedback about people’s challenges with getting employment and experiences of discrimination and trauma. Key data given shows that employment rates have not changed at all in 30 years.  Real work for real pay is important for Queenslanders with disability. Disability Action Week 2022 is from 6 to 10 December. This year’s theme is employment and QDN is holding an online forum from the voice, perspective and experiences of people with disability about diversity, innovation and inclusion in the workplace – nothing about us without us. Please join us for this important event.

The 3 December 2021 is International Day for People with Disability and QDN’s Brisbane and Gold Coast Hot Topics Groups are hosting an international event for people with intellectual disability. QDN’s Hot Topics members have been meeting monthly with group members from Canada to share information and peer support during COVID-19. They held a successful online event last year with people with intellectual disability from around Australia and Canada. This year they have self-advocates from New Zealand and Scotland joining as well as Canada and other States and Territories around Australia. I am sure it will be a great event about the leadership of people with intellectual disability during COVID and beyond.

My wishes to everyone for a happy and safe festive season.

Paige Armstrong  

Chief Executive Officer 

Annual General Meeting - Date Claimer

The 2021 Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday 19 February 2022. More details will be posted on our website in the coming weeks.

Get Ready For The Federal Election in 2022 – We Want To Hear From You!

QDN Member Federal Election Policy Platform Survey

The next federal election is due before May 2022 - that means it’s only a few months away.

There is a lot at stake for people with disability, their families and supporters at this election. It will decide the future of vital public services like the NDIS, housing, health, education and employment and we want to hear from you!

It’s important that QDN members can have a voice and say around what matters to Queenslanders with disability.

A key part of QDN's campaign will be the development of our Federal Election Policy Platform. QDN’s Policy Platform includes all the major policy commitments we want to see the political parties make before election day.

In order for QDN’s Policy Platform to reflect the views of Queenslanders with disability, we are asking you to tell us what you think in this short survey. There are just 8 questions, but your answers will help shape the future of disability policy for the next election.

If you need assistance to type up your answers, please call QDN's office on 1300 383 783.

By taking part in the survey, you’re making sure QDN can engage in federal election campaign and deliver real change for Queenslanders with disability. You can participate in the survey here.

COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 continues to bring changes and new information all the time:

COVID-19 restriction changes coming in Queensland

Restrictions in Queensland have been planned to change once 80% double dose vaccination is reached. Queensland Health have confirmed these changes will commence on 17 December 2021, regardless of when 80% of Queenslanders aged 16 years and over are fully vaccinated.

From this date you will need to show either evidence of vaccination or a valid exemption to access restaurants, clubs, sporting venues, shops etc.

There is an Easy Read document “How to get proof of your COVID-19 vaccinations” here

In home vaccinations

In-home vaccination is now available for people with access challenges by calling 134 COVID, speaking to your GP, or by contacting your local Primary Health Network here

There is also a fact sheet available here

Vaccinations continue to be available at clinics, GPs, pharmacies etc and you can find your nearest location here

Booster doses

COVID-19 booster doses to maintain a high level of immunity are now available if:

  • you are 18 years or older
  • you had your second original dose of COVID-19 vaccination at least 6 months ago

People with disability living in shared residential accommodation settings of two or more people who completed their course of two needles at least 6 months ago are now eligible for a booster dose. The Commonwealth Government will be doing in-reach vaccinations to disability accommodation again, or you can access a booster at all the usual vaccination sites.

Mandatory vaccinations for disability support workers

The Queensland Government recently announced mandatory vaccination requirements for disability workers. By 15 December, disability support workers need to have completed their full dose of COVID-19 vaccinations or they will not be able to work from 16 December onwards.

QDN will be producing fact sheets on this topic shortly for Queensland Health, and will share these as soon as they are available.

The direction is available here and you can read more about understanding the direction here


Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Resources launched

Being prepared for a disaster can save lives.

QDN partnered with University of Sydney, Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy and Community Services Industry Alliance to deliver the DIDRR project. In October, Minister Enoch and Minister Crawford launched new tools and resources to help people with disability prepare for disasters and guide the response of emergency services.

Studies have shown that people with disability face additional barriers and challenges during a disaster, including greater risk of injuries and social isolation.

These tools and materials are available now, to help people with disability start their own emergency preparedness planning.

For more information: To find out more about the resource click here.  To check out the video of the launch click here.

Have your say

Dark blue background with a white speech bubble and then the text in pink saying Have your sayAged Care and Support

The Australian Government is consulting in relation to the development of a code of conduct for the care and support sector (the draft Code) that will apply to providers and workers across aged care, veterans’ care and disability support sectors.

For more information: To be part of the consultation through a workshop or written submission click here.


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Restrictive Practices

Public consultation is now open as part of a review of Queensland’s positive behaviour support and restrictive practices authorisation framework. You are invited to have your say on reform of this important framework, to ensure people with disability who may experience behaviours that cause harm to themselves, or others are appropriately supported and safeguarded.

For more information: To register head here.


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Disability Employment Support Program

The Australian Government is designing the new disability employment support program and wants to hear from people with disability, their families and carers, and employers to make sure the program can help more people with disability find and maintain employment.

For more information: Find more information here.


Dark blue background with a white speech bubble and then the text in pink saying Have your say

Anti-Discrimination Act Review

Queensland Human Rights Commission is holding a range of community conversations and consultations in undertaking the Review of the Anti-Discrimination Act.

The Anti-Discrimination Act and its protections impact on many parts of public life, from work to school to buying your groceries, so whether you are a representative of your local community group, a small business owner or employer, a member of a faith congregation, part of a sporting team, or someone with an experience of discrimination or harassment.

For more information: For more information about community consultations or ways you can have a say click here.


Dark blue background with a white speech bubble and then the text in pink saying Have your say

Disability Doesn’t Discriminate Campaign

When you turn 65 and become disabled, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), that is meant to be your safety net, doesn’t cover you.

In 2013, the Federal Government amended the Age Discrimination Act allowing the NDIS to exclude people over the age of 65 from the NDIS. More than 4.4 million Australians – one in five – live with a disability. Almost half (44.5%) are over the age of 65.

Right now, people over 65 living with a disability are funded through the My Aged Care Scheme not NDIS. It means a person with a Spinal Cord Injury receives $52,000 a year instead of $165,600.

For more information: Sign the petition to show your support for change here.


Policy Updates

Policy Update, there is a image of a tick in a box with an arrow coming out the side of the box and circling around back to point at the box.


Disability Standards Accessibility Public Transport Reforms - Update on proposed stage 2 reform areas

There are 54 reform areas for Stage 2 of the reforms to the Transport Standards. The Commonwealth team have developed a factsheet, ‘54 opportunities for change’ that provides a short summary on each of the proposed reform areas. This factsheet is available on the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (the Department) website. The Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) will be published in early 2022.

For more information: The short summary on each proposed reform area can be found here.


Harmonisation with the Premises Standards

The Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards 2010 (Premises Standards), which provide accessibility requirements for public buildings, including public transport premises, have many intersections with the Transport Standards. The Department continues to work closely with the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, who administer the Premises Standards, to ensure consistency and alignment of requirements across both Standards.

The reform project has provided the opportunity to further harmonise and simplify the requirements of the Transport and Premises Standards. In addition, stakeholders have called for increased information sharing and transparency in the reform process (especially around the alignment with the Premises Standards).

For more information: There is a factsheet that provides an overview of the harmonisation process to date and is published on the Department’s website here.


Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) and the Transport Standards

Over the past year, the Australian Government has been working with LaTrobe University and the iMOVE Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) to investigate how Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) being introduced to the Australian market will be regulated under the Transport Standards and how to ensure CAVs are accessible to people with disability.

For more information: The final report and supplementary documents, including a appendices on the barriers and opportunities for people with disability and a stakeholder engagement report are available on the Department’s website here.

If you have any queries on the information above, please contact the Commonwealth at DisabilityTransport@infrastructure.gov.au


Third Review of Transport Standards

The third five-year review of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 (Transport Standards) was undertaken by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, in consultation with the Attorney-General's Department. The final review report was publicly released on 2 December 2021.

Part 34 of the Transport Standards requires the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, in consultation with the Attorney-General to review the efficiency and effectiveness of the Transport Standards. The final report contains 24 findings and 9 recommendations that will be considered by the Australian Government in its response to the review which is proposed to be released in early 2022.

For more information: To read the third Review of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 (Transport Standards) click here or accessible version here.

To read the Review Issues Paper click here or accessible version here.

Policy Update, there is a image of a tick in a box with an arrow coming out the side of the box and circling around back to point at the box.


QDN held a QDN Member Forum in August 2021 around e-scooters with 30 participants with a broad range of disabilities, from across many parts of urban and regional Queensland.

QDN received a range of reports from members raising concerns about the impact of e-scooters and the way they are used. It is acknowledged that scooters enhance mobility for many, and concerns relate mainly to the adverse impacts felt by pedestrians, particularly those who are deaf or hard of hearing, blind or have low vision or use a wheelchair or other mobility device.

The purpose of the forum was to discuss people’s experiences with e-scooters, identify issues of concern, and to generate ideas to address how to enhance e-scooter safety for riders and pedestrians.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey has held a Roundtable on 24 November around Personal Mobility Devices with key representatives across share providers, scooter retailers and user groups, alongside Brisbane City Council, disability advocacy groups, and road safety organisations. Following the roundtable, Mr Bailey said key themes would be investigated by the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

For more information: To read the summary report from the QDN Member forum click here or the accessible version is here.

Policy Update, there is a image of a tick in a box with an arrow coming out the side of the box and circling around back to point at the box.

Disability Royal Commission 

The Disability Royal Commission (DRC) held public hearings from 22 November to 26 November around Employment and people’s experiences with employment. The Commission heard that employment rates of people with disability have not changed in 30 years.

DRC Reports:

  • To read the DRC report from Public Hearing 7 on the barriers experienced students with disability accessing and obtaining safe, quality and inclusive school education and life course impacts click here.
  • To read the research report around Police responses to people with disability click here.
  • To read the research report around Agents of our own destiny: Activism and the road to the Disability Royal Commission click here.
  • To read The Commissions latest edition of Connect 38 released on 26 October click here.

For more information: 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.  For more information click here.

Policy Update, there is a image of a tick in a box with an arrow coming out the side of the box and circling around back to point at the box.

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

NDIS Legislation

The National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Participant Service Guarantee and Other Measures) Bill 2021 (the bill) was referred to the Community Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and the report was delivered on 25 November 2021. The Committee recommended the Bill to pass and it is currently before the Commonwealth Parliament.

For more information: To read the NDIS Participant Service report head here.

QDN provided a response to the senate community affairs legislation committee's inquiry into the national disability insurance scheme amendment bill 2021 and it can be found here.

National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Improving Supports for At Risk Participants) Bill

The Australian Government passed legislation to better protect National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants from the risk of abuse, neglect or exploitation. The National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Improving Supports for At Risk Participants) Bill 2021 implements key recommendation following an independent review into the adequacy of the regulation of the supports provided to 54-year-old Adelaide woman Ann Marie Smith, who died last year.

For more information: To read the Ministers media release click here.

Queensland Productivity Commission Report – NDIS Market

Queensland Productivity Commission’s (QPC) final report for the Inquiry into the NDIS market in Queensland and the Queensland Government’s response has been released.

The Queensland Government response to the QPC Inquiry sets out a framework for achieving a high performing scheme in Queensland in collaboration with NDIS governing partners across several priority areas:

  1. An equitable scheme—targeted outreach, access and planning processes that recognise diversity
  2. Employment outcomes—shifting the dial to improve employment outcomes for people with disability
  3. Future workforce—a high quality NDIS workforce that is resourced and skilled to deliver real change for participants
  4. Thin markets—targeted and timely interventions to ensure people with disability can access the supports they need
  5. Policy and regulatory environment— proportionate and balanced regulation that builds provider confidence and encourages market growth
  6. A financially sustainable scheme— a focus on improving participant outcomes as being central to scheme sustainability
  7. Person-centred supports—further work to ensure NDIS supports are integrated with other mainstream supports and services.

For more information: For more information about the Queensland Government response click here.  For the QPC Inquiry click here.

NDIS Quarterly Report

The NDIA released the Quarterly Report on Scheme performance from 1 July 2021 to 30 September 2022.

For more information: To read the report click here.

NDIS Workforce

The strengthening Queensland’s NDIS Workforce Report has been released. The state-wide NDIS workforce research report has been released in a joint project between WorkAbility Qld and Jobs Queensland.

For more information: To read the report click here.

Policy Update, there is a image of a tick in a box with an arrow coming out the side of the box and circling around back to point at the box.


Housing Legislation Amendment Bill

The Queensland Parliament passed the Housing Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 which introduced new renting laws for Queensland.

The Palaszczuk Government’s rental law reforms will:

  • introduce minimum standards for rental properties
  • end without-grounds evictions
  • make it easier for renters to keep a pet
  • continue protections for those experiencing domestic and family violence.

These changes are Stage 1 of renting reforms and the Government has outlined that they will be getting started on Stage 2 reforms in early 2022 and work on minor modification approvals will be part of that next stage.

Policy Update, there is a image of a tick in a box with an arrow coming out the side of the box and circling around back to point at the box.

Advocacy and Rights

Public Trustee Advisory and Monitoring Board

The Queensland Government has introduced legislation to establish a Public Trustee Advisory and Monitoring Board which would deliver on the Government’s commitments as part of the response to a report by the Public Advocate that reviewed the Public Trustee’s fees, charges and practices.

For more information: To seee Attorney-General’s announcement click here.

To read the Public Advocates Report that was tabled in Parliament on 10 March 2021, click here.

To read the Public Advocate Executive Summary, based on the report, click here.

To find a list of recommendations click here.

Policy Update, there is a image of a tick in a box with an arrow coming out the side of the box and circling around back to point at the box.

Domestic Violence

Women with disability are almost twice as likely to experience domestic and family violence compared to women without disability. This information is for workers and outlines signs of abuse against women with disability and how to offer support safely and appropriately. Domestic and family violence prevention is everyone’s responsibility.

For more information: To access resources, training and more information online click here.

Policy Update, there is a image of a tick in a box with an arrow coming out the side of the box and circling around back to point at the box.


QDN has made a range of submission over the past two months which have include:

The senate community affairs legislation committee's inquiry into the national disability insurance scheme amendment bill 2021 can be found here or accessible version here.

Home and Living Submission can be found here or accessible version here.

NDIS Support for Decision Making Submission can be found here or accessible version here.

NDIS Act can be found here or accessible version here.

Qld Womens Strategy can be found here or accessible version here.

The next National Plan to Reduce Violence against women and their children can be found here. or accessible version here.

Social isolation and Loneliness can be found here or accessible version here.

Project Work

Targeted Outreach Project, Helping more Queenslanders with Disability join the NDIS.

Targeted Outreach Project

QDN has been working with the Assessment and Referral Team (ART) on the Targeted Outreach Project to support more Queenslanders with disability to get on the NDIS.  The Hon. Craig Crawford, Minister for Seniors, Disability Services and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships launched the project in Ipswich, Somerset, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim, Beenleigh, Gold Coast and Brisbane over the past few weeks.

The aim of the project is to identify and engage more people with disability who may be eligible to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), particularly those who experience a range of additional barriers to accessing the scheme. The project partners work with local community groups, organisations, and leaders to identify and support vulnerable and ‘hard to reach’ people.

QDN looks forward to working with Local Champions across south-east Queensland, Peter Tully (with Linda and Nick), Uncle Willie Prince, Alison MacLean and Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM. The Local Champions will be able to bring their lived experiences of disability to the project.

QDN and our project partners QCOSS and ADA Australia are continuing to help more eligible Queenslanders with disability join the NDIS and experience the benefits of the scheme through the Targeted Outreach Project. This project is helping people with disability to:

  • understand how the NDIS can provide access to the supports they need
  • access free and practical individual support to apply for and access the NDIS through dedicated regional Assessment and Referral (ART) teams

The work is made available through a collaboration between the Queensland and Commonwealth Governments.

If you have contact with someone who is experience additional barriers to accessing the NDIS who may benefit from the support of ART, contact QDN on 1300 363 783 or targetedoutreach@qdn.org.au

For more information: To find out more about the project, visit https://qdn.org.au/our-work/ndis-targeted-outreach/

There is a blue and an orange speach bubble above the text QDENGAGE and then an orange line under ENGAGE


QDeNgage continues to work with organisations to help make services, products and workplaces more accessible and inclusive for everyone. Many businesses and government entities want to know how to be more inclusive of customers and employees with disability so they can deliver quality, accessible services and products. QDeNgage connects organisations with specialist consultants who bring professional expertise and lived experience of disability to provide practical business solutions. Our consultants are QDN members who are engaged by organisations to develop strategies and implement plans to create a culture of inclusivity.

In the last quarter of 2021, we have been working on:

  • transport matters across Queensland
  • assisting a government department build a new suite of ‘easy read guidelines’, tools and resources
  • assisting a government department to build a more inclusive suite of communication and marketing tools
  • informing policy for improving liveability for vision impaired people on the Gold Coast
  • supporting training and education for people working in domestic violence sector when working with people with disability
  • educating health providers through interactive on-line learning
  • Informing a federal government department about Covid-19 vaccines for PwD
  • informing the state government about the proposed changes to the Restrictive Practices framework in Queensland (feedback from a participant in italics below)
  • speaking to a host of industry leaders about the importance of employment for people with disability (feedback from a participant attached).

We would like to share with you some of the feedback from some of our participants from our focus groups.

 “Whenever we are provided opportunities to participate in providing feedback on policy that will impact our children. I absolutely feel it is in our children, our families, and our communities' best interests to have our voices in the discussion”.

 “A huge thank you for supporting our voices, and bringing us to the table....and providing that microphone”.

 “Can I also say a huge thank you to you for your approach, heartfelt interest in our feedback and the way in which you facilitated the session....capturing everyone's voice.

Very grateful”.

 We look forward to 2022 as we continue to grow in helping even more services, products and workplaces more accessible and inclusive for everyone!

For more information: To find out more about the project click here.

Emerging Leaders There are two arrows pointing up, one purple and one orange.

Emerging Leaders

In 2021 QDN ran our first Emerging Leaders Program for people with disability. The program had a lot of interest with 20 people with disability from across Queensland being selected to be involved and coming to Brisbane in March 2021 for the first workshop. Over the next nine months the emerging leaders met online and heard from community and disability leaders who shared their experience, industry knowledge and leadership tips. Speakers included Bruce Bonyhady talking about his experience with the National Disability Insurance Agency Board, Dr Chris Sarra, Director-General, Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships talking about state services, Margaret Ward talking about housing, Betty Taylor, Red Rose Foundation talking about domestic and family violence and QDN members Des Ryan, Donna Best, Nigel Webb and Alex Baker all sharing their personal leadership journeys.

For the full list of speakers click here.

As part of the program emerging leaders identified a project of change they would like to progress. Projects ranged from inclusive travel, employment, social inclusion, animal welfare and accessible tourism. To support the emerging leaders between workshops explore leadership topics in more detail and guide their projects, QDN linked the emerging leaders with a peer mentor.  Peer mentors played an important role in shaping the emerging leaders learning and direction with their individual projects.

In November 2021 the Emerging Leader came back to Brisbane for their final workshop and graduation. The final workshop was an opportunity for the Emerging Leaders to reconnect with other leaders, present their project outcomes and share their experiences and knowledge about their leadership journey.

QDN would like to thank all the speakers, peer mentors, support staff and emerging leaders for making this inaugural program such a success.

QDN will be looking for expressions of interest from the 3 December for the next Emerging Leaders program starting March 2022.

For more information: To find out more about the project head here.

Large group of QDN Emerging Leaders sat in a circle on the last day of the program. Group picture of the QDN Emerging Leaders with their graduation certificates. Celebrating by clapping and waving their arms. Everyone is smiling in the picture.

Peer Support Groups written inside a speech bubble with drawings of multicoloured people around the edge. Below it says Connecting people with disaibility

Peer Support Groups

QDN’s Peer Support Groups continued to grow in 2021 with new groups Rockhampton, Gympie, Redcliffe and Atherton meeting regularly this year.  Online groups included QDNy for younger people with disability, self-management for people wanting to self or plan manage their NDIS plans, MAC for people with disability over 65 as well as a new state-wide online group. QDN has also been working with supported accommodation sites to form groups in Nambour and Brisbane.

Cairns and Maryborough have welcomed new Yarning Circles giving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability a space to talk about disability, access, and services in their communities.

This year QDN also worked with Positive Powerful Parents (PPP) Victoria holding an information session for parents with intellectual disability. The group will be meeting regularly in 2022 to explore topics including parental access during Covid-19 lockdowns, understanding rights and systems and creating resources for parents with intellectual disability.

Peer Support Groups in 2021 have invited guest speakers for people with disability to have an opportunity to ask questions and find out more information on topics including National Disability Insurance Scheme, housing options, consumer rights, access and inclusion and COVID vaccinations to name a few.

Peer Support Groups also took time to learn more about digital technology and how to make a plan for an emergency or disaster.  Peer Support Groups ran workshops on these topics for members to have a better understanding of how to use technology and be prepared for an emergency.

In June 2021 Group Convenors from across Queensland came to Brisbane for two days of training. With a focus on leadership and how to promote peer support groups Group Convenors had the opportunity to network with each other and build their capacity as peer leaders.

QDN would like to thank Group Convenors and members for being part of peer support groups in 2021 and we look forward to building groups further in 2022.

For more information: To find out more about joining a peer support group click here.

Text says Get ready, Plan Ahead. It is written on top of two circles and there are small images of people getting assictance, a bus and a building.

Disability inclusive and disaster resilient Queensland project

Gold Coast – Get Ready, Plan Ahead workshops

QDN has been working with the University of Sydney and City of Gold Coast Council to run workshops for people with disability to be more prepared for an emergency or disaster. People with disability from across the Gold Coast have taken part in two workshops to learn more about inclusive disaster emergency planning. The codesigned workshops have been delivered by QDN’s peer leaders who have experience developing their own emergency and disaster plans as well as helping other people with disability to get prepared. The workshops had presentations from City of Gold Coast Council and State Emergency Services giving participants information on what do to do in an emergency and what are the local supports. At the second workshops one lucky person at each workshop won their own emergency kit which included torches, tarps, first aid kits and lots more to get them started on being more prepared for an emergency or disaster. This project will continue next year with QDN working with the City of Gold Coast and other stakeholders to have the needs of people with disability further represented in disaster management on the Gold Coast.

Mater Maters – Mater EASY Health

QDN, alongside the Mater Intellectual Disability and Autism Service (MIDAS), are currently working on a project called ‘EASY Health’.

The project is about making attending hospital as a person with disability easier.  Be it staying overnight in hospital, going to emergency or seeing a doctor as part of a hospital appointment.

MIDAS wants to talk to people with intellectual disability and people on the autism spectrum to find out what it’s like to go to hospital. They want to know what went well and what did not go well with your hospital visit, and what hospitals can do better.

MIDAS will use the things people tell them to work out what training they will give hospital staff and doctors.  You will get a $100 gift card for your time.

Please email MIDAS on midas@mater.org.au or call 07 3163 2412 if you are interested. By taking part you can help make hospitals a better place for people with intellectual disability and people on the autism spectrum.

For more information: To find out more about the project, click here.



Disability Matters, Transport matters, Advocacy and Inclusion, 6 December 2021QDN Member Event - Transport Matters - Advocacy and Inclusion

QDN is hosting a series of online workshops for QDN members on key issues that matter to people with disability.

This workshop is for QDN members who want to learn more about the legislation and standards that govern and guide our transport accessibility and inclusion.

Geoff Trappett from Inclusion Moves will deliver a two-hour workshop for members interested in getting more information and growing their knowledge, skills and advocacy in this space.

When: Monday 6 December 2021
Time: 3.30pm to 5.30pm

To register head here.


Disability Action Week Event 2021, Driving workforce diversity, inclusion and innovation. There is a picture of two rises to the right then an arrow to three circles with images representing transport, communication universal and building design, lifelong learningDisability Action Week Event 2021 

Disability Action Week is held annually and raises awareness of how Queenslanders can play their own role in creating an all abilities Queensland.

This year’s theme ‘Workforce diversity – open up to opportunity’, focuses on employment opportunities for people with disability and benefits of an inclusive workforce. The week runs from 5 to 11 December 2021.

QDN will be hosting an event to celebrate this week about how people with disability are driving workforce diversity, inclusion and innovation.

The online forum will discuss topics on employment opportunities by and for people with disability.  Dr Dinesh Palipana is one of our key speakers. We will also have a panel of speakers and four breakout rooms – Entrepreneurs, Workplace Inclusion, Workforce Diversity and Innovation and changing the systems.

When: Friday 10 December
Time: 10am to 12pm

For more information: To register for the event head here.


QDN Member event, The NDIS: 2021 in Review and the way forward to improve in 2022. 13 December 2021, 4pm to 6pm. Want to be a QDN Member? Join QDN for free now! www.qdn.org.au. There are two circles with photos of people inside.
Picture with QDN Member Event The NDIS 2021 in review and the way forward to improve in 2022

QDN Member Event - The NDIS: 2021 in review and the way forward to improve in 2022

It’s been a big year for the NDIS. From independent assessments to increased powers for the Federal Government. There have been a lot of changes to the scheme talked about in just 12 months. So, at the end of a very busy year, where did the NDIS end up? And most importantly, where do we want to see the NDIS go in 2022?

This is an online forum for QDN members and supporters to wrap up the year that’s been in NDIS reforms and look forward with a wide-ranging discussion on where we want to take the scheme next year. We will give you an update on the changes that you’re likely to see in the new year and hear directly from you about areas of the NDIS that you want to see changed over the next 12 months.

When: Monday 13 December 2021
Time: 4pm to 6pm

For more information: To register for the event head here.

From Our Friends

Documentary - Life Is A Battlefield

Premiering on SBS & SBS On Demand – December 4th 2021 at 3:40pm

In partnership with industry professionals, Life is a Battlefield shines a light on warriors battling to have a normal life. Lived experience is a powerful tool in public awareness & advocacy. We are on a mission to bring a voice to real stories of survival.

Filmed over five years, ‘Life is a Battlefield’ shares the real story of feisty young adult Uli Kaplan, who faces everyday struggles with chronic illness, mental health issues and a disability.

Watch him find acceptance, purpose and success through this two hour insight into his life, which will be premiering on Australian broadcaster SBS on Saturday December 4th 2021 at 3:40pm.

For more information:  You can also read more at Uli's website www.lifeisabattlefield.org


Covid-19 MythBusters

Council for Intellectual Disability have created a Covid-19 MythBusters video. There is lots of information about COVID that is not true. These are called myths. In this video they bust some of these myths.

For more information:  To watch the video click here.