QDN e-News 22 September 2023

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National COVID-19 Update

In September 2023, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) issued new COVID-19 vaccination guidelines, recommending a booster dose for eligible groups who have had their last vaccination six months ago. Specifically, adults aged 75 years or older are advised to receive the additional dose if it has been six months since their last COVID-19 vaccination.

ATAGI's advice also suggests that a booster vaccination should be considered for individuals at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. This includes people with disabilities and those with compromised immune systems, provided it has been six months since their previous vaccination.

More information is available here.

A glimpse behind the curtain: Patrick Heaton’s 2022 Nigel Webb Bursary trip

Pat Heaton was the recipient of the 2022 Nigel Webb Bursary 2022, and as part of the bursary, he recently travelled to Melbourne and country Victoria to meet with peers and professionals within the disability sector.

Patrick says his trip was eye opening – you can read about his trip and his learnings in the blog post below.

Read here: https://qdn.org.au/a-glimpse-behind-the-curtain-patrick-heatons-2022-nigel-webb-bursary-trip/

My CP Guide – Cerebral Palsy information and resources

The My CP Guide website houses the most current and credible information about Cerebral Palsy, including:

  • Diagnosis and assessments
  • Therapies and interventions
  • Independence and inclusion
  • Managing cerebral palsy throughout your life
  • Managing health and well being
  • School, education, work and leisure
  • Accessing the community

My CP Guide is led by a group of organisations, led by Cerebral Palsy Australia and including Ability First Australia, Cerebral Palsy Alliance and the Cerebral Palsy Support Network. The website is constantly updated.

Learn more here: https://www.mycpguide.org.au/about-us

End the Violence Campaign

A group of disability rights organisations have commenced a campaign to end violence against people with disability. The campaign has three key actions which include:

  1. A restructuring of systems to guarantee accessible, responsive, and transparent protocols for addressing incidents of violence, harassment, and abuse effectively.
  2. The provision of financial support to frontline services to ensure people with disability are informed about their rights and receive assistance in reporting such incidents.
  3. Development of initiatives to address the root causes of violence and combat practices that enable systemic violence to persist.

More information is available here.

Read the latest blogs from our QBloggers

Did you know QDN has its own blogging community? Being a QBlogger is a chance to grow and learn from one another's experiences and expertise and help generate ideas for future policy and advocacy work.

You can create a blog by filming a video, recording a podcast, or writing a post, with the QDN communications team available to support you if you need.

Read the latest posts here: https://qdn.org.au/membership/qbloggers/

The 6th Annual Bling Australian of the Year Awards in 2023!

These awards serve as a platform to showcase the remarkable possibilities in life, using blindness as a focal point. The aim is to challenge and reshape preconceived notions about disability while opening doors for individuals living with blindness, low vision, and other disabilities.

The objective of these awards is to actively recognize the invaluable contributions of over half a million Australians who face low vision and blindness. These individuals are making significant impacts across various sectors, including business, government, corporate, health, education, and the community.

You can find more detailed information about the Blind Australian of the Year and the nomination process here.

Nominations are currently open but closing soon.

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.

Royal Commission publishes over 1,500 narratives of people with disability

The Royal Commission has published 1586 de-identified narratives on their website representing the experiences of people with disability, their families and supporters. These narratives are from private sessions and submissions to the Royal Commission between 2019 to 2022.

More information is available here.

Access the narratives here.

Queensland Public Advocate releases Supported Accommodation report

The Queensland Public Advocate has released a report on supported accommodation, focused specifically on level 3 residential services in Queensland and the regulation of those services. The report also incorporates Level 1 and Level 2 residential services and other shared living arrangements.

The report has recommended a Parliamentary Inquiry into the providers and conditions of supported accommodation in Queensland and was tabled with the Queensland Parliament on the 12th of September. The Queensland Government accepted the Public Advocate's recommendation for a Parliamentary Inquiry, which will be referred to the Community Support and Services Committee.

More information is available here.

Read the report here.

10 Major Reform Areas announced by Bruce Bonyhady

Professor Bruce Bonyhady, co-chair of the NDIS Review, recently delivered his second preview speech, this time in Geelong, a significant hub for the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). Building on his earlier address in August, Professor Bonyhady provided a glimpse into the 10 major reform areas that the Review will propose in its eagerly awaited report at the end of October. The 10 Major reforms that the report will concentrate on include:

  1. Foundational Supports for All: This entails creating new inter-governmental agreements to improve mainstream services, benefiting all Australians with disability.
  2. Person-Centred NDIS: The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will evolve to be more individual-focused, addressing intersectional identities, including improved outcomes for First Nations people, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, and individuals with complex support needs.
  3. Functional Impairment-Based Eligibility: Eligibility for disability support will be determined by functional impairment rather than medical diagnosis.
  4. Reasonable and Necessary Supports: The report will strive to establish a clear, equitable, and consistent definition of reasonable and necessary supports.
  5. Early Identification of Developmental Concerns: There will be a focus on recognizing developmental issues in children early and providing evidence-based support.
  6. Enhanced Home and Living Supports: This includes more consistent decision-making and a greater emphasis on personalized solutions.
  7. Clarification of Intermediary Roles: The roles of intermediaries like Support Coordinators, Plan Managers, and Local Area Coordinators will be clarified.
  8. Government Oversight of the Market: The government will play a more active role in guiding the market, and participants will have a greater say in its direction.
  9. Skilled Workforce Development: There will be an effort to expand and enhance the skilled workforce, although details were not provided in the speech.
  10. Regulation and Safeguards: The aim is to establish proportionate regulation systems and a more robust quality and safeguards framework.

More information is available here.

Redesigning the NDIS Report

The Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA) has released a report ‘Redesigning the NDIS.’ The report discusses the need for radical transformation of the NDIS and the importance of a sustainable and regenerative system of support offered to people with disability through the NDIS.

More information is available here.

Read the report here.

Walkable Brisbane Strategy

By creating well-designed, walkable neighbourhoods that connect a diverse mix of amenities and provide access to quality public transport, services and green spaces, Brisbane residents can enjoy a healthier, more vibrant and more sustainable Brisbane.

Walkable Brisbane is a key initiative of the Transport Plan for Brisbane - Implementation Plan 2018 and focuses on opportunities for Brisbane to be a city where more people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds can choose to walk more often and where that choice results in a safe, comfortable and enjoyable experience.

More information is available here.

National Autism Strategy Consultation

The Department of Social Services is developing the National Autism Strategy to help improve life outcomes for Autistic people across Australia. The Strategy will be for all Autistic Australians. It will cover key reform areas including access to services, healthcare, education and employment, and will help to guide a more coordinated, national approach supporting Autistic people at each stage of life.

Visit the Department of Social Services website for more information, including other ways to have your say and for more resources. There are consultations open now and expected to continue until the 30th of October.

More information is available here.

Own Motion Inquiry into Platform Providers places NDIS participant voices front and centre

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission has published the Insights Report on its Own Motion Inquiry into platform providers in the NDIS market. The report sheds light on the expanding market that links NDIS participants with disability support providers and workers through online platforms, websites, and apps.

More information is available here.

Read the report here.

Services Australia to visit rural and regional areas across Australia

From the 19th of September, the NDIS will be visiting rural and regional areas in Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania and Western Australia through the Services Australia Mobile Service Centre. Participants will be able to discuss topics such as understanding local area coordinators and the NDIS for adults and children, applying for the NDIS, using NDIS plans, understanding funding options.

More information is available here.


What's on

Peer Support Groups

  • Wednesday 27th September, 10:30am - 12:30pm - Sunshine Coast Peer Support Group @ Compass Connections Café
  • Wednesday 27th September, 1.30pm - 3.30pm - Toowoomba Peer Support Group @ Toowoomba City Library
  • Wednesday 27th September, 4:00pm - 5:30pm - Self Management Peer Support Group @ Online via Zoom
  • Thursday 28th September, 3.30pm - 5.30pm - Cairns Peer Support Group @ Rights in Action Cairns
  • Friday 28th September, 9am - 12pm - Hot Topics Brisbane, QDN Office or Zoom
  • Friday 28th September, 12pm – 2pm – Rockhampton Peer Support Group @ Rockhampton Regional Museum of Art
  • Friday 29th September, 4:30pm - 6:30pm - LGBTQIA+ Peer Support Group @ Online via Zoom
  • Saturday 30th September, 11am - 1pm - Caboolture Peer Support Group @ 19-27 Station Rd, Morayfield
  • Friday 6th October, 9.30am - 11.30am - Gympie Peer Support Group @ location TBA


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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