QDN e-News 19 May 2023

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Vale Bill Garsden.

We have lost another great leader in disability advocacy with Bill's passing on 15 May 2023. We acknowledge his incredible advocacy, his humour and his humility. Bill was an integral part of QDN's beginnings and made significant contributions to leadership in QDN's early days; he was both the Chair of QDN's Interim Steering Committee and the first President once QDN achieved incorporation status and was a QDN life member.

Bill’s contributions to the disability community over decades will be remembered including the advocacy he led successfully for accessible taxis, and the taxi subsidy scheme.

His wisdom, gentleness and stewardship of not only QDN as an organisation but of people with disability at the start of their leadership journey was unparalleled. Our thoughts are with Lee, family and friends.

Watch a message from QDN Board Director Des Ryan here.

Disability Inclusive Procurement campaign

Leading on from our work to develop QDN’s Vision for 2032 and beyond: Working together to create an inclusive games and legacy for all, QDN wants to see disability inclusive procurement included as part of the 2032 Legacy Plan. We see this as an opportunity to stimulate disability entrepreneurship and business development, improve employment outcomes for people with disability as well as deliver industry, business and community change.

Disability inclusive procurement would include requiring Queensland businesses and organisations to demonstrate how they are increasing and improving knowledge, awareness and understanding of disability through tenders, proposals and contracts part of the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brisbane. This will contribute to shifting attitudes and behaviours for inclusion and deliver economic, social, and community benefits for Queensland for the next 20 years.

More information about QDN’s actions to get Disability Inclusive Procurement included in 2032 Legacy Plan can be found here.

We are encouraging members and supporters to send a letter to your local council, State and Federal member of parliament to let them know why it is crucial disability inclusive procurement be included in the 2032 Legacy Plan.

  • Download the letter template here.
  • Find your electorate here.
  • Find your local council here.
  • Find your local member here.

If you have any questions, or would like to talk about why we are asking you to send a letter, please contact QDN at qdn@qdn.org.au or by calling 1300 363 783.

Opportunity to share your experiences of navigating NDIS reviews and appeals

Researchers at Griffith University in Brisbane are looking at the decisions and decision-making processes that determine reasonable and necessary NDIS funded supports. The project is called Adjudicating NDIS Rights.

If you’re 18 years or over with a NDIS funded support package and live in Greater Brisbane or North Queensland, we want to hear your experiences of requesting and undergoing a review or appeal of your funded supports.

The research team would like to learn about what’s working well for you and where challenges are by engaging with you in an interview (in-person, via phone or online). This project has ethical approval by Griffith University (2020/137). All information provided by you to help inform this project will be confidential.

To find out more please contact:

Eloise Hummell

Email: e.hummell@griffith.edu.au

Phone: 0404 458 894

Regional Disability Expos across Queensland

Regional Disability Expos are happening across Queensland in May and August. Exhibitions will have on offer a range of services, equipment, networks and specialists, giving you the ability to find everything you need in one easy to find location.

  • Mackay – Tuesday 23 May 2023
  • Capricorn Coast – Friday 26 May 2023
  • Fraser Coast – Friday 18 August 2023
  • Toowoomba – Friday 6 October 2023
  • Sunshine Coast – Thursday 19 October 2023

More information here: https://disabilityexposc.com.au/

Stage 2 Rental Reforms announced

The Queensland Government has recently announced Stage 2 Rental Law Reforms, with the focus minor modifications, bond returns, and fairer fees. The government is seeking feedback from Queenslanders, and we strongly encourage you to have your say on the options proposed. You can provide feedback to the questions raised in the options paper by completing an online survey, emailing your submission, or mailing your submissions.

QDN is encouraging members to have their say on the Options Paper via an online survey or by providing a written submission.

You can provide feedback to the questions raised in the options paper by:

Renting in Queensland

Housing and Homelessness Services

Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy

PO Box 690

Brisbane QLD 4001

For more information visit www.qld.gov.au/rentinginqld or call 13 74 68. Submissions close 5pm, Monday 29 May 2023.

QDN supports the Making Renting Fair in Queensland campaign, find out more information here: https://makerentingfairqld.org.au/

Research project exploring the experiences of people with intellectual disability when having surgery

Have you had inpatient surgery under general anaesthetic within the last 6 months? Researchers from Western Sydney University would like to hear from people with intellectual disability about their experiences of meeting the surgeon, going to hospital and after coming home.

Anyone interested in the study can talk to the researcher and find out more. Please contact: Jennifer Bur on email 19900911@student.westernsydney.edu.au.

The information from this research may assist the researcher and broader community to understand people with intellectual disability experiences when having inpatient surgery under general anaesthetic.

My GP & me - understanding what it's like for people with intellectual disability when they go to their GP

Researchers from the University of Queensland want to talk to adults with intellectual disability and their support people.

They are looking to talk to people with intellectual disability about what happens when you went to the GP, things that need to change, what we need to teach GP staff about disability.

To find out more about this research project, please contact Katie Brooker:

Tel: 07 3163 1983

Email: k.brooker1@uq.edu.au

More information: https://qcidd.centre.uq.edu.au/research/my-gp-me

International ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

May 12 was International Awareness Day for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).

An estimated 500K people in Australia are now missing from school, work and play due to ME/CFS, at an economic cost of $30 billion per annum.

We recently spoke with Erica Eele, a QDN member with lived experience of ME/CFS.

Read the story below to hear from Erica about her experiences of living with an invisible disability, and her advice for others.

Read the story here: https://qdn.org.au/living-with-invisible-disability/

Free accessibility design forum

The State Library of Queensland is hosting a forum event on accessibility design featuring a diverse panel of experts and a facilitators who have lived experiences of accessibility challenges and solutions, including QDN members Uncle Willie Prince and Brendon Donohue.

You'll be able to ask the panellists straight-forward questions about their experiences, providing a chance to explore the barriers and opportunities that exist in creating inclusive environments. Then, pitch your big ideas on how to integrate accessibility into design from the start of the process to the panellists.

When: Tuesday 13 June, 2-4pm

Where: The Edge Auditorium, Brisbane State Library, 31 Cultural Centre Tunnel, South Brisbane

Afternoon tea and networking included.

Register here: www.slq.qld.gov.au/whats-on/accessibility-design-forum-you-can-ask

Digital Inclusion workshops have kicked off in Acacia Ridge and Deception Bay

Our Digital Inclusion workshops have kicked off in Deception Bay and Acacia Ridge! These workshops are a great opportunity to come along to get support and learn how to get online, use your device, and be safe doing so.

More about the upcoming workshops here.

Department of Health Disability Service Plan 2022-2024 webinar: Reasonable adjustment

Date and time: 22 May 2023, 12:00 – 1:30 PM

  • Ruth Hutchins and Renea Collins (12:00 – 12:30 PM) - former Program Director and Manager, Ruth and Renea will present on the COVID Vaccination Program for Metro South HHS, which focused on tailoring vaccination experiences for at-risk populations to ensure greater accessibility
  • Marianne Fenton and Luke Spencer (12:30 – 1:00 PM) - Marianne and Luke are registered nurses that are passionate about comprehensive care with backgrounds in oncology and general medicine. They will present on the comprehensive assessment of patients upon admission and the consequent care planning for meaningful care.
  • Dr Ellen Burkett (1:00 – 1:30 PM) - a senior staff specialist in Emergency Medicine, Dr Burkett will present on the development of clinical guidelines to improve processes of, and outcomes for, people with cognitive disability presenting to the Emergency Department.

Register for Webinar 3: Reasonable adjustment (open to the public)

The Disability and Multicultural Health Unit are coordinating the Disability 2023 webinar series. If you have any queries or feedback you can contact the team at disabilitypolicy@health.qld.gov.au

Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month

May is Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month in Queensland, an annual initiative to raise community awareness and understanding of domestic and family violence and coercive control.

We can all make a difference to end violence against women and their children in Queensland by challenging harmful attitudes and behaviours that promote disrespect towards women and gender inequality – working to change the culture that allows domestic and family violence to occur.

There is no place for any form of domestic and family violence in a healthy relationship. It’s in our control to end coercive control.

Find more information and support, via www.qld.gov.au/domesticviolence

Find ways to get involved this month, via www.qld.gov.au/dfvpmonth

50% off 2023 Wheelchair Rugby National Championships for QDN members

Wheelchair Rugby Australia is running our National Championship on the Gold Coast, with a host of teams and leading athletes across the country, New Zealand, and America competing for the title of National Champions. We have secured a major broadcast deal with Foxtel and Kayo for the event and are really hoping to engage with leading local community groups to drive good attendance.

We would like to extend a discounted ticket offer to you and your community to attend our event held over the course of the championship weekend.

Wheelchair Rugby National Championship event details are below:
Dates: Friday 2 – Sunday 4 June 2023

Ticket Discount: Receive 50% discount code on tickets for SUNDAY 4 June (Finals Days)

Discount Code: COMMUNITY20

Link: https://events.humanitix.com/2023-santos-wheelchair-rugby-national-championship

Venue: Gold Coast Sports & Leisure Centre, 296 Nerang-Broadbeach Road

Times: Sessions start from 9:30am – 6pm daily. Gold Medal Final on Sunday 26 June at 2pm

Policy update 

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.

Federal Budget for 2023 – key points

On Tuesday 9 May 2023, Treasurer Jim Chalmers handed down the Federal Budget for 2023 with a range of key elements affecting people with disability. We’ve summarised some of the key information.

Read more here: https://qdn.org.au/federal-budget-2023-key-points/

New Quarterly Activity Report and URP Report released by NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission

The fourth NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission Activity quarterly report was released on 13 February and provides an overview of NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission activities, such as complaints, registrations, reportable incidents, behaviour support, compliance as well as engagement for all stakeholders and in particular participants.

Tracy Mackey, NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner stated that there was a combination of information collected through complaints and incident reports received by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission as well as activity reports used to identify target areas for compliance and education activities.

The activity report during 1 October 2022 to 31 December 2022 shows:

  • The number of complaints lodged nationally was steady, with a 1% increase from 1,976 last quarter to 2,001 this quarter.
  • The total number of registered providers remained stable at 19,315 in this quarter, compared to 19,536 last quarter.
  • 7% increase in reportable incidents (excluding unauthorised restrictive practices) in this quarter.
  • The number of NDIS behaviour support practitioners considered by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission to be suitable to deliver behaviour support services increased 40%, from 3,252 last quarter to 4,544 this quarter.
  • 13% increase in NDIS Worker Screening clearances granted nationwide this quarter compared with last quarter.
  • As at 31 December 2022, there were 449 NDIS Worker Screening exclusions in place, compared to 329 last quarter.

More information and reports available here.

Supported decision making policy

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants will have greater support to make their own decisions about their NDIS journey, with the release of the new Supported Decision Making Policy. This Policy will support and empower participants to take control over this part of their lives.

It was developed in close collaboration with people with disability who will benefit most from supported decision making, including those with complex communication access needs, from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people with an intellectual or psychosocial disability, or who identify as LGBTQIA+ and First Nations peoples.

Supported decision making is the process of providing support to people to make decisions to remain in control of their lives. The implementation plan has five key themes for the NDIA to action, these are:

  • Increase opportunities for participants to make decisions,
  • Support participants to develop skills and knowledge,
  • Build skills and knowledge of decision supporters,
  • Build skills and knowledge of NDIA staff and partners,
  • Strengthen the supported decision making approach in the appointment, operation and review of nominees.

More information here.

Own Motion Inquiry into Aspects of Supported Accommodation in the NDIS

The NDIS commenced an inquiry in 2021 exploring supported accommodation in the NDIS to highlight the trends in issues occurring in supported accommodation, the causation of these issues and the best ways to address and eliminate these issues, including best models of practice.

The inquiry was completed in December 2022.

More information and the report available to download here (includes video and audio options – the NDIS are still developing Easy Read resources and will be published on the website asap).

Disability Royal Commission Updates:

Royal Commission to hold final substantive public hearing

Public hearing 33 is being held from Monday 8 May in Brisbane. The hearing is a case study of two people with disability who were subject to neglect, abuse and violence and will run for three days.

The hearing will explore:

  • The responsibilities of Queensland departments and agencies,
  • How the incidents of neglect, abuse and violence could or should have been prevented,
  • The role of the NDIA in this case and whether they could or should have facilitated access to NDIS funding and supports,
  • What both the government departments and the NDIS did or didn’t do to prevent these incidents of abuse and what can be improved for the future.

More information here.

Reaching people who are isolated

The Disability Royal Commission reached out through its Community Engagement teams to prisons, youth detention centres, forensic mental health and forensic disability facilities in Queensland in 2021 to hear from people with disability who are isolated. Over 450 submissions were received by the DRC from people with disability living in various ‘closed’ environments such as Brisbane Youth Detention Centre, the men’s and women’s prisons at Townsville Correctional Centre and a forensic mental health facility in Wacol.

More information here

Funding boost for carer’s to continue education

The Australian Government has announced funding of almost $10 million to increase the financial assistance to young carers to be able to continue their education whilst caring for a loved one.

Bursaries are available to provide financial assistance to young carers aged 12-25 taking on extra caring responsibilities and are intended to reduce the need to work whilst studying for carers.

The number of bursaries offered from 2023-2025 will increase to approximately 1600 per year.

More information here.

Services Australia Mobile Service Centres

NDIA staff and partners are visiting rural and regional areas across New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia. They will be on board the Services Australia Mobile Service Centre either in person or online and can discuss a range of topics including understanding the NDIS, including early childhood and local areas coordination services, applying for the NDIS, using your NDIS plan, and understanding funding options.

You can find a location close to you by visiting the Services Australia Website here.

More information here.

Consultations open to new healthcare standard for psychotropic medications

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACQSHC) is seeking feedback on the Psychotropic Medicines in Cognitive Disability or Impairment Clinical Care Standard.

It has been acknowledged in the Disability Royal Commission and Aged Care Royal Commission that there is a serious safety and quality issue with the use of psychotropic medicines in healthcare. The use of psychotropic medicines has been present often in an attempt to manage behaviours of “concern” and this is a strong theme in the Draft Clinical Standards.

The draft includes quality Clinical Care Standard includes eight quality statements which sets out policies and procedures for quality care. The eight quality statements include:

  1. Person- and family-centered care
  2. Informed consent for psychotropic medicine
  3. Assessing a person with behaviours of concern
  4. Non-drug strategies
  5. Behaviour support plans, including ‘Healthcare workers should read a person’s behaviour support plan when they check the person’s medicines’
  6. Appropriate reasons for prescribing psychotropic medicine
  7. Monitoring, review and deprescribing of psychotropic medicine
  8. Information sharing and communication at transfers of care.

More information here.

You can read the draft standard and consultation materials here (Easy Read copy available).

Draft NDIA Participant Safeguarding Policy

A new Safeguarding Policy has been released to assist with guiding NDIA staff and partner staff such as Local Area Coordinators and Early childhood partner organisations in identifying and managing risks as well as developing safeguards. The Safeguarding Policy was co-designed with people with disability and includes four focus areas detailed below:

  • Focus Area 1: a proactive and individualized approach to identifying, assessing, and managing risks.
  • Focus Area 2: the development of the workforce and capability of people with disability.
  • Focus Area 3: working with people with disability to develop safeguards.
  • Focus Area 4: effective corrective measures in response to incidents.

More information here.

Access to policy here (Easy Read copy available).

Disability Reform Ministerial Council Meeting

On the 21st of April 2023, Commonwealth, State and Territory Disability Ministers met in Brisbane.

Some key issues discussed included the:

  • NDIS Review Panel’s initial findings in relation to pricing and payments and participant safety,
  • Australia’s Disability Strategy – Safety Targeted Action Plan Forward Work Plan,
  • National Disability Advocacy Framework 2023-2025,
  • Supply of safe, affordable and accessible housing for people with disability,
  • Plan to enact the guiding principles for supported employment,
  • Measures in place to maintain an effective COVID-19 response for people with disability, ahead of an expected increase in cases over the winter months.

More information here.

Full communiqué available here (audio option available).

National Cabinet commits to a sustainable NDIS

The Australian Government has committed to efforts to reboot the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The scheme will remain demand-driven, however the NDIS Financial Sustainability Framework that National Cabinet have agreed upon has provided an annual growth target of 8% in the total costs of the scheme by July 2026. The NDIA’s capability, capacity and systems developed by the NDIA Board in consultation have received more than $720 million of investment and include 10 key initiatives.

More information here

Government invests in fighting against fraud in the NDIS

The Australian Government has announced an investment of $48.3 million to fight against fraud in the NDIS, which will be used to crack down on fraud and non-compliant payments. The funding is meant to prevent the targeting of vulnerable people with disability and the scheme taking unnecessary funds from people with disability and their plans. The Australian Government is funding 200 NDIA staff and IT systems to detect, prevent and reduce non-compliant payments.

More information here.

Independent Expert Review Oversight Committee

There have been some changes to the Oversight Committee; the Committee is now meeting monthly, and two members have left the Committee. A list of current members of the Oversight Committee is available here. The Committee has made a recommendation that two more Independent Experts are appointed to the Committee including an Independent Expert with First Nations experience.

The Committee has discussed the status of the Independent Expert Review (IER) Program, such as the lower than expected trial volumes of the Independent Expert Review program. The Independent Expert Review Program is a program piloting a voluntary and confidential Independent Expert Review (IER) program for participants to resolve their matter prior to an Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) hearing, and includes a free national legal advice service that can support people with disability and their families and carers participating in the IER program. Data is being collected from the IER including through statistical data collection, surveys and feedback. The first IER Evaluation report his expected to be due in May 2023.

The Committee have also acknowledged the Attorney General’s Department announcement that the AAT will be abolished and replaced with a new federal administrative review body and a Discussion Paper about the NDIS and changing AAT arrangements is expected to be shared with the Committee for input in May 2023. Another report has been prepared by the Committee in collaborations with the Department of Social Services titled ‘The Interim Report on Long Term Options for Dispute Resolution under the National Disability Insurance Scheme’ and is available here (audio options available).

More information here.


What's on

Digital Inclusion

Online workshops

Online masterclasses

Acacia Ridge workshops

Deception Bay workshops

  • 23 May: Module 3: Staying informed online
  • 30 May: Module 4: Accessing essential services - Register here
  • 6 June: Module 5: Staying safe online - Register here
  • 13 June: Module 6: Data and affordability - Register here

New Farm workshops

Peer support groups

  • 20 May, 10am to 12pm - Ipswich Peer Support Group, Coffee Club Riverlink
  • 25 May, 12pm to 2pm – Rockhampton Peer Support Group, CocoBrew
  • 25 May, 10-12pm - Cairns Peer Support Group, Location: ARC Disability Services Inc, 51 Louie Piccone Way, Edmonton and online with Zoom

Zoom link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82563758327

  • 26 May, 9am to 12pm – Brisbane Hot Topics, QDN office and online via Zoom
  • 26 May, 10am-12pm - Townsville Peer Support Group, Headspace Townsville, 14 Sporting Drive, Thuringowa Cental, online via Zoom: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87309832555
  • 27 May, 11am-1pm - Caboolture Peer Support Group Caboolture Sports Club, 19-27 Station Rd, Morayfield
  • 30 May 1pm-3pm - Toowoomba Peer Support Group, Toowoomba City Library, Level 3. 155 Herries St, Toowoomba
  • 31 May, 1:30pm to 3:30pm – GrADS (Griffith Uni) Peer Support Group, Griffith Uni Nathan Campus
  • 31 May, 4pm to 5:30pm – Self-management Peer Support Group, online via Zoom


  • Friday 9 June, Beaudesert Get Ready Plan Ahead workshop - register here
  • Tuesday 4 July, Boonah Get Ready Plan Ahead workshop - register here


QDN Membership

If you or someone you know would like to be a QDN member apply here:  https://qdn.org.au/membership/qdn-member-application/

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