QDN e-News 16 March 2023

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Welcome back to another edition of the QDN e-News.  

2023 survey on persons with disabilities and disasters 

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) is once again conducting a survey designed for people with disability or caregivers to share their experience of living in disaster-prone areas. The survey has been extended to Friday, March 31, 2023.  

This is a 10-year follow-up to a 2013 survey done by UNDRR to ascertain the needs of people with disabilities during disasters. Those survey results are still cited today. 

Access the survey here

COVID-19 Disability Deep Dive Report  

In 2022, QDN, Health Consumers Queensland, and Queensland Health partnered to bring together disability and key government and non-government stakeholders for a Deep Dive into the COVID-19 response for Queenslanders with disability.  

The Deep Dive considered COVID-19 measures for Queenslanders with disability since the beginning of the pandemic, and especially through the Omicron wave in Queensland. More than 63 people participated in the Deep Dive. 

This COVID-19 Disability Deep Dive Report provides feedback to inform planning and considerations for future actions to deliver change and outcomes for people with disability.

Read the report here

Download the Microsoft Word version here

Black and White Cabs cyberattack

Black & White Cabs was recently the target of a CryptoLocker Ransomware attack. As a result, Black & White Cabs has been locked out of their systems. These systems include their dispatch software, call centre equipment, and staff computers. Their financial and accounting systems, CRM and email was protected by their security measures.  

It means that they are unable to computer dispatch bookings. They have taken all of their booking portals down in the interest of protecting passengers, drivers and staff. Drivers are still completing street work (hail & rank) and private bookings. 

NDIS customers are encouraged to get in touch with Black & White Cabs via ndis@blackandwhitecabs.com.au and reference your account number.  

Perspectives on Functional Neurological Disorder – free panel discussion  

Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) is a neurological disorder affecting motor, movement and sensory functions of the body. Sharing similar symptoms with other better-known conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, surprisingly little is known about FND. 

Founder of FND Living with lived experience of FND, Nerine Williams is hosting this event with two guest speakers:  

  • Dr Hui Quek - a Clinical Psychologist with a clinical interest in FND 
  • Dr David Palmer - a Movement Disorders Neurologist with a clinical and research interest in FND 

Perspectives on FND is free, and people can attend either in person at Chermside Library or online from anywhere in Australia.  

When: Thursday 23rd March at 11:00am 

Where: Chermside Library, 375 Hamilton Road, Chermside, QLD, 4032 or online 

Register here

This event is open to anyone wishing to understand more about Functional Neurological Disorder. Medical and allied health professionals and students, people within the disability sector, government agencies and anyone in the FND community are encouraged to attend. 

Understanding the experience of people with disability participating in sport and exercise

Researchers from the University of Queensland (UQ) are looking for adults with disability or

someone supporting an adult with disability to participate in their survey. The survey is focused on the experience of people with disability participating in sport and exercise. People not currently participating in sport or exercise are still eligible to complete the survey.

The researches are also interested in speaking to people with disability or people who support people with disability to explore your daily routines and how they influence your participation in sport and/or exercise.

If you are interested in participating in this project, please contact Dr Jess Hill on jessica.hill@uq.edu.au or take part in the online survey here

Queensland Care Consortium

On 9 March the Queensland Care Consortium (QCC) was officially launched. The QCC is a partnership between Jobs Queensland, CheckUP Australia, Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS), Community Services Industry Alliance (CSIA) and The Services Union to support the development of the Health and Community Services sectors workforce. QDN CEO Michelle Moss attended the launch.

It is important that Queenslanders with disability have a strong workforce to support them across the disability, community, and health industries.

Adult Safeguarding Forum

The Public Advocate recently hosted the Adult Safeguarding forum in Brisbane. The forum provided the 120 attendees with the opportunity to continue discussions around critical issues like; the prevalence of elder abuse, the abuse of enduring documents like powers of attorney, and the critical gaps that exist for adults at risk in the current system.

The forum provided a valuable opportunity to hear more about the Public Advocate’s Adult Safeguarding Project. The project resulted in two key reform proposals for Queensland – the appointment of an independent Adult Safeguarding Commissioner and the creation of regionally-organised Adult Safeguarding Networks across Queensland.

QDN CEO Michelle Moss and Senior Policy and Research Officer Nick Collyer attended the forum with members Alison McLean who MCd the event and Uncle Willie Prince who did the acknowledgement of country. We would like to thank the Queensland Public Advocate John Chesterman for hosting the forum and for producing the two-volume report on this important issue which includes 17 reform recommendations to government.

Brisbane Disability Connection expo

Thank you so much to all our members, staff, supporters and new members who joined us recently at the Brisbane Disability Connection expo. Our team was busy both days speaking to expo attendees about what QDN is, the great work we do, and how we can support Queenslanders with disability. This was a great opportunity to showcase QDN and grow our membership.

A special shoutout to our team members Steve, Izzy, Amy, Kim, Troy and Gabi, and members Mark, Nigel, Elisha and Rob who helped to man the stall.


A photo of four people standing looking at the camera smiling. Two of the people are QDN staff members wearing QDN t shirts, the other two people are QDN members. They are standing in front of the QDN stall at the Brisbane Disability Connection expo. A photo of two people at the Brisbane Disability Connection. One person uses a wheelchair, the other person is standing, holding an Aboriginal musical instrument in is hands. Both people are looking at the camera smiling.

QDN staff members and QDN members at the Brisbane Disability Connection expo.

Policy update March 2023

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 update  

A Commissioner’s Report on Public Hearing 20 has been released. This report examines experiences of discrimination and abuse within group home settings through one provider, Life Without Barriers in Lismore and Melbourne.   

The report revealed there were proven instances of abuse and neglect from staff, other residents and people outside the houses.  The report also revealed that Life Without Barriers failed to follow-up in a timely, ethical and meaningful way in response to these experiences in group homes.   

The report has included messages for providers recommending not to only rely on the intentions of staff members and offer non-compulsory training, but to conduct audits and look at how and why deficiencies and failings occur, and to take action to prevent failings from occurring in the future. 

The Royal Commission has also made recommendations surrounding redress such as acknowledging abuse, holding institutions accountable for abuse, and offering support and a redress payment for people experiencing abuse. 

Read more here 

Access the report here 

Royal Commission hears one in four disability support workers leaving the sector 

Royal Commission public hearing 32 heard that people with disability aren’t receiving quality care from the sector, with a workforce that often is not accredited, with staff who are lacking experience, commitment to specialist needs and who are not well remunerated.

Within the hearing a variety of people with disability as well as service providers, advocates and workers were heard.

On day 2, the hearing revealed that one in four workers leave the sector every year, that most of the workforce is inexperienced, has a high turnover rate, works casually and are paid minimum wages.

A Disability Support Worker, Zelda Ridell living with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) discussed the issue of support workers being ‘devalued’ by society, there can be a hesitation on the part of support workers to make a complaint or raise concerns out of fear of losing their jobs and that a lot of organisations have had pressure to have a lot of staff hired due to there being so many more services now.

Read more here

Support for carers  

An extra $2.55 million has been announced to contribute to funding the Your Caring Way pilot program. The extension of the program will enable carers to continue to access training, educating and career coaching. You Caring Way is a new program of services that support carers with their goals, whether career or otherwise.   

Read more here 

Read about Your Caring Way here 

Australia’s Disability Strategy Outcomes Framework annual report   

An Outcomes Framework has been included as part of the Disability Strategy Framework to measure progress towards the seven outcome areas included in the strategy.   

The seven outcome areas under the strategy are:  

  • Employment and Financial Security  
  • Inclusive Homes and Communities   
  • Safety, Rights and Justice   
  • Personal and Community Support  
  • Education and Learning   
  • Health and Wellbeing   
  • Community Attitudes.  

The first annual report includes baseline data and will show where things were at the start of the strategy in December 2021. Future reports will compare baseline data which will show whether the strategy has made progress.   

There will be quarterly updates released on the Australian Disability Strategy Outcomes Framework webpages here. 

More information is available here 

Campaign to attract people to care and support sector  

A campaign called ‘A Life Changing Life campaign’ is encouraging students, job seekers and professionals to consider a career in aged care, disability support or veterans’ care.   

The campaign will be distributed digitally on multiple platforms including social media and will include materials adapted for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences.   

More information is available here 

Younger people need support leaving aged care  

The Australian recently published an article and reported that in the past decade more than 10,000 younger people have passed away in residential aged care. The article reported that most young people will stay in residential aged care until they reach 65 years old or until they pass away, and only one quarter of young people living in aged care have goals centred around moving into the community.   

The Summer Foundation has detailed what the Federal Government can do to get young people out of aged care.  

You can access the report here.  

Doubling on investment of systemic disability advocacy by Government  

The Federal Government has announced a doubling of funding towards systemic disability advocacy and an investment of $11.2 million to the Disability Representative Organisation program.  

This funding will give people with disability a place to have a say in policies and programs that affect their day-to-day lives. Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth stated that the aim of funding is to increase the diversity of voices reflected across government systems, policies, and practices. An additional $5.2 million in funding is going to be implemented over two years from 2022-23 to 2032-24.   

The organisations that this funding will go towards are:  

  • Children and Young People with Disability Australia  
  • First Peoples Disability Network Australia  
  • Inclusion Australia  
  • National Ethnic Disability Alliance  
  • People with Disability Australia  
  • Women with Disabilities Australia  
  • Disability Advocacy Network Australia, as the National Coordination Function  
  • Disability Australia Consortium, which is made up of:  
  • Australian Federation of Disability Organisations  
  • Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia  
  • Blind Citizens Australia  
  • Brain Injury Australia  
  • Deaf Australia  
  • Deafblind Australia  
  • Deafness Forum of Australia  
  • Disability Advocacy Network Australia  
  • Down Syndrome Australia  
  • The National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum  
  • Physical Disability Australia  

More information is available here 

Maltreatment of people with disability costs $46 billion annually  

A report has been published by the Disability Royal Commission in February 2023 that explores ‘The economic costs of violence, abuse, neglect and the exploitation of people with disability.’ The report reveals the violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability is costing $46 billion annually, and that if more information was available, this figure would increase.

Economic costs include systemic failures and neglect including from government, business, and other systems in not providing equal working opportunities,  access to quality services and accessible housing - amounting to $27.7 billion, as well as maltreatment perpetrated from individuals, including additional hospital stays and reduced quality of life, amounting to $18.3 billion.

The report found the cost of violence, abuse and neglect for First Nations people with disability is double that of people with disability who are not First Nations. It also found that 60% of people with disability had experiences of maltreatment that was perpetrated by an adult as well as that 28% of children with disability had experienced bullying from peers.

More information here

Access the report here

Changes to disability support pension impairment tables   

The Australian Government has announced changes to the impairment tables which address recommendations made in the Senate Inquiry into the Purpose, Intent and Adequacy of the Disability Support Pension. The Government consulted with a wide range of stakeholders such as disability peak bodies, people with disability and medical professionals.  

The tables are used to assess a person’s disability and its impact on their capacity to work, in relation to the Disability Support Pension.  

Read more here 

Find the updated impairment table here 

Case numbers for NDIS slashed  

Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme of Australia Bill Shorten has stated that the NDIS is now providing faster and fairer access to disability supports. He also said that there has been a large reduction in the number of cases presented before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal as an alternate dispute resolution process to address NDIS appeals has been established.   

Some of the data released concludes that:  

  • 4,401 NDIS cases have been resolved at the AAT since 1 June 2022  
  • A 27% reduction in overall caseload since May 2022 (to 3,280)  
  • 70% of the 4,501 legacy cases active in May 2022 have now been resolved.  

An Independent External Review (IER) is also being trialed, whereby a disability expert independent of the NDIA will assess cases and give recommendations to the NDIA. This trial is being monitored by an Oversight Committee made up of people from a range of disability and advocacy sectors.   

More information is available here and here 


What's on

Digital Inclusion  

Friday 17 March - Gympie Digital Inclusion – in person workshops Modules 1 & 2 - Register here

Friday 17 March - New Farm Digital Inclusion – in person workshops Module 1 – Register here 

Monday 20 March - Digital Inclusion Masterclasses – Navigating Disaster Dashboard – Register here 

Tuesday 21 March - Caboolture Digital Inclusion – in person workshops Module 2: Being online and staying connected – Register here

Wednesday 22 March - Digital Inclusion Workshop - Module 4: Accessing essential services – Register here  

Friday 24 March - Gympie Digital Inclusion – in person workshops Modules 3 & 4 – Register here

Friday 24 March - New Farm Digital Inclusion – in person workshops Module 2 – Register here

Monday 27 March - Digital Inclusion Masterclasses – Digital scams - how to spot and report them – Register here

Tuesday 28 March - Caboolture Digital Inclusion – in person workshops Module 3: Staying informed online - Register here    

Wednesday 29 March - Digital Inclusion Workshop - Module 5: Staying safe online  – Register here  

Friday 31 March - Gympie Digital Inclusion – in person workshops Modules 5 & 6  – Register here

Friday 31 March - New Farm Digital Inclusion – in person workshops Module 3 – Register here


Peer support groups 

Friday, 17 March Cairns Yarning Circle – 12pm – Maraway Community Hub 

Saturday, 18 March Ipswich – 10am – Coffee Club Riverlink 

Monday, 20 March QDN Online – 5:30pm – online 

Saturday, 25 March Caboolture – 11am – Caboolture Sports Club 

Tuesday, 28 March QDN Peer Leaders – 4pm – online 

Wednesday, 29 March GrADS – 1:30pm – Griffith Uni, Nathan Campus 

Wednesday, 29 March Self-management – 4pm – online 

Wednesday, 29 March Toowoomba – 1pm – 2:30pm Toowoomba City Library 

Wednesday, 29 March Sunshine Coast – 10am – 12pm Online 

Thursday, 30 March Rockhampton – 12pm – CoCoBrew 

Friday, 31 March Brisbane Hot Topics – 9am – QDN Office and online 

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