QDN e-News Video Update - June 2022 Week 3

2032 Games Visioning Forum

On Monday we held the Brisbane 2032 Games Visioning Forum. With over 70 participants the Forum was opened by the Hon Stirling Hinchliffe MP, Minister for Tourism, Innovation and Sport and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics and Paralympics Sport and Engagement.

Three speakers, including two former Paralympians Geoff Trappett and Karni Liddell and Dr Sharon Boyce set the scene for how we can work together to create an inclusive, accessible games and ensure the legacy we leave after the Games ensures positive outcomes for Queenslanders with disability in terms of more accessible housing, transport and infrastructure. Participants then spent time in breakout rooms sharing ideas. QDN aims to develop a blueprint for government where people with disability are actively contributing to the work ahead in terms of planning for the Games.


Online Visioning forum: For Queenslanders with disability. Creating a legacy for all Queenslanders. Monday 13 June 2022, 3:00pm to 5:00pm. QDN, Queenslanders with disability network, Nothing about us without us.

Keeping well during flu season

Coming into the flu season the Queensland Health have developed fact sheets in response to Queensland’s free flu vaccination to all Queenslanders.

Why is it important to get a flu vaccination?

  • Annual flu vaccination is recommended for everyone over 6 months of age.
  • Vaccination is the best way to reduce the risk of getting flu.
  • You can’t hide from flu. Both the flu virus and COVID-19 are circulating in our community.
  • The flu virus has the potential to make people very sick, requiring hospitalisation and in some cases can cause death.
  • Your best protection against flu is to get vaccinated; and remember to stay home when you are sick.
  • The flu vaccine is safe and effective.

When can I get a free flu vaccine?

From 24 May 2022 until 30 June 2022, the Queensland Government will be offering free influenza vaccinations to all Queenslanders over 6 months of age who are not already eligible for free vaccination under the National Immunisation Program.

Those eligible under the National Immunisation Program include:

  • children aged between 6 months to under 5 years of age
  • people aged 65 years and over
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and older
  • pregnant women
  • people over 6 months with a medical condition that can lead to complications from the flu.
  • If you are eligible under the National Immunisation Program you should access your vaccination through your local General Practitioner or community health provider.

Below are the links to the influenza fact sheets:

What is influenza


Stay safe from the flu


Symptoms of the flu, cold and COVID-19

The flu vaccine is free to all Queenslanders aged 6 months and over until 30 June 2022. Get your flu vaccinations now! Talk to your GP or immunisation provider now. Queensland Government. There is a graphic of three people, a man standing next to a woman in a wheel chair and then another man who looks like a doctor holding a injection.

Upcoming Peer Support Group meetings

Looking for a place to connect, meet new people, find out more about topics of interest like National Disability Insurance Scheme, navigating hospitals and healthcare or housing. Come along to one of QDN’s Peer Support Groups which are run by people with disability, for people with disability.

QDN has a new Peer Support Group for parents with an intellectual disability. If you are a parent with an intellectual disability an are interested in joining this group they meet both in the QDN office and online on the third Thursday of the month.

QDN also has an online peer support group for people with disability looking to connect online once a month. This group meet on the third Monday of the month.

New members are welcome, and the groups meet monthly both face to face and online. Upcoming meetings include:

  • Monday, 20 June – QDN Online
  • Friday, 24 June – Brisbane Hot Topics for people with an intellectual (online and face to face)
  • Saturday, 25 June – Caboolture (face to face)
  • Wednesday, 29 June – GRAD – Griffith University (online and face to face)
  • Wednesday, 29 June – Self-management for people with disability who self-manage, plan-manage, or are interested in self-managing their NDIS packages (online)
  • Thursday, 30 June – Rockhampton (face to face)
  • Friday, 1 July – Gold Coast Hot Topics for people with an intellectual (face to face)

QDN has groups in locations around Queensland.  To find out more you can email peersupport@qdn.org.au or phone 1300 363 783.

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

QDeNgage – it has been a big year

QDeNgage has had it’s most successful year to date, with over 70 engagements completed with over 36 different stakeholders that have involved engaging the QDeNgage consultants over 1000 times.

In the interest of knowing how we have done this year, we’ve requested feedback from our customers we have interacted with this year. More importantly we’ve also asked the QDeNgage consultants how they feel we’ve gone and what service systems they feel need some help to be more accessible and inclusive. This information will be used to consider both how we operate but also which services or businesses we target in the new financial year. For the QDeNgage consultants, we thank you for your involvement this year. We feel privileged to work alongside you and learn from you everyday.

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

Policy updates

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Quality and Safeguards Commission

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission has released its latest Activity Report: 1 January 2022 to 31 March 2022. At the time of the report there were a total of 518,668 NDIS participants and 19,015 registered providers across Australia.

In the last three months:

  • 8,453 providers claimed an NDIS payment
  • 2,473 providers made COVID-related notifications of support change, with just under half of those notifications related to daily tasks and shared living
  • Providers lodged 2,904 behaviour support plans containing a regulated restrictive practice
  • Providers reported 4,188 Reportable Incidents (which may include multiple reports for the same matter) and indicated that Police were informed in relation to 713 incidents

As at 31 March 2022

  • Over 365,000 staff have been granted a worker clearance
  • 1,336 behaviour support practitioners have been identified as suitable, and 8,027 practitioners remain provisionally suitable
  • Worker vaccination rate across Australia was at 94.4 per cent
  • A cumulative total of 58 applicants for NDIS registration have been refused since 1 July 2021
  • 2,739 providers have been subject to a compliance order and or investigation activity since 1 July 2021

Visit Activity Report: 1 January 2022 to 31 March 2022 for the full report.

Read the Activity report here



Low staff turnover, high loyalty and productivity gains: the business benefits of hiring people with intellectual disability – summary of article in online publication “The Conversation”

There are many reasons to employ people with intellectual disability. Most obvious is that it’s the right thing to do – it helps promote social justice, diversity, corporate social responsibility, and equal opportunity. People with intellectual disability who want to work face barriers such as:

  • employer attitudes
  • stigma
  • preconceived beliefs
  • discriminatory work practices and
  • a limited knowledge of their capabilities.

Research shows the profound benefits of hiring people living with intellectual disabilities include:

Read the full article here



Evaluating the discharge planning process: Barriers, challenges, and facilitators of timely and effective discharge for people with disability and complex needs

This research from La Trobe University and Summer Foundation looked at the issue of hospital discharge for people with disability by conducting 3 studies:

  • Examining data on hospital discharge
  • Surveying clinicians' perspectives on arranging NDIS supports
  • Collecting routine service data from the Housing Brokerage Service

Lengthy and unpredictable timeframes associated with the approval of NDIS funding for supports and housing contributed significantly to discharge delays. Without the timely allocation of funding, clinicians were unable to facilitate efficient discharge planning for participants. Additionally, despite timeframes decreasing, the identification of NDIS participants and submission of Access Request Forms (ARF) by hospital clinicians remained lengthy. Finally, clinicians described thin housing markets, a lack of specialised support providers and challenging stakeholder interfaces to affect the achievement of timely discharge. Securing housing and supports that met the participant’s needs and preferences frequently contributed to discharge delays across all studies.

Recommendations include:

  1. Hospitals should implement early alert systems for people who are either NDIS participants or likely to be eligible for NDIS. This would allow an early Access Request Form to be submitted, and for early assessment of likely housing needs and preferences to be undertaken. Early NDIS access and assessment of needs and preferences may facilitate more timely housing searches and implementation of required supports when the person becomes medically ready for discharge.
  2. NDIA should provide timely and flexible funding for people with disability and complex needs who are in hospital. Currently, people requiring permanent housing in a Residential Aged Care facility can have funding and support decisions made within 3 days; however, the funding and support decisions for people under 65 with disability can take weeks to months. Further, there is little guidance or feedback on funding decisions that have been made, meaning that appeals and plan reviews add to these delays. Faster and more transparent funding decisions would allow timelier purchasing of equipment and home modifications needed for discharge, earlier housing searches if new housing is needed and the ability to recruit and train support workers needed to leave hospital once medically ready for discharge.
  3. NDIA personnel (e.g., planners, local area coordinators) supporting people with disability and complex needs who are in hospital require a working knowledge of the specific needs and preferences of this cohort. For example, people with acquired brain injury who are stuck in hospital often have co-morbid psychosocial disability and behaviours of concern. People with neurodegenerative disorders will likely have fluctuating needs over time, requiring flexible and responsive funding decisions from the NDIA to proactively plan for changing needs as well as prevent re-hospitalisation and admission to RAC as the disease progresses. A flexible and responsive system with dedicated staff with expertise would likely reduce hospital discharge delays and result in more effective hospital discharges

Disability Support Workers

NDIS Support Worker Professional Network – a useful resource you may wish to pass on to your support workers

The NDIS Support Worker Professional Network offers disability support workers the opportunity to connect and join tailored community groups including:

  • A National community group, of disability support workers
  • A CALD community group, specifically for disability support workers who support participants from the CALD community
  • A lone worker community group, for disability support workers who are sole traders or the only type of practitioner in their organisation

These community groups will provide Disability Support Workers an opportunity to network and connect with other disability support workers.

To register to join the NDIS Support Worker Professional Network, your eligible staff must submit a registration form. Eligible Disability Support Workers will receive an invitation to join the platform within two days from registration.

Find the registration form here


Assistive Technology

From glasses to mobility scooters, ‘assistive technology’ isn’t always high-tech. A WHO roadmap could help 2 million Australians get theirs – summary of article in online publication “The Conversation”, 26 May 2022.

This month, the first ever World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF Global Report on Assistive Technology was released.

The WHO estimates one in three of us will need assistive technology, ranging from glasses to mobility scooters, in our lifetimes.

The return on investment for assistive technology is around nine times what is spent, because it enables people to work and study, worship and play, control their homes and move around their communities.

The WHO/UNICEF report provides a range of recommendations for policy action that Australia’s new government should consider and learn from, including:

  1. Improve access to safe, effective and affordable assistive technology.
  2. Invest in research data, evidence-based policy, and innovation.
  3. Enlarge, diversify and improve workforce capacity
  4. Develop and invest in enabling environments
  5. Include assistive technology in humanitarian responses

Read the full article here


Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announces his government’s first new Ministry

On Tuesday 31 May, 2022, the Prime Minister the Hon Anthony Albanese announced his first Ministry. QDN is pleased to see Bill Shorten as the new Minister for the NDIS, however notes that there is no specific Minister for disability.

At a glance:

The Hon. Dr Jim Chalmers MP - Treasurer

The Hon. Mark Butler MP - Minister for Health and Aged Care

The Hon. Linda Burney MP - Minister for Indigenous Australians

The Hon. Bill Shorten MP - Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme

The Hon. Mark Dreyfus QC MP - Attorney-General

The Hon. Julie Collins MP - Minister for Housing

Senator Murray Watt - Minister for Emergency Management

Anne Aly MP - Minister for Youth

The Hon. Catherine King MP - Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government

The Hon. Amanda Rishworth MP - Minister for Social Services

QDN has sent letters to several incoming Ministers to congratulate them on their appointments and reinforce key asks in QDN’s Election Platform. QDN looks forward to working with new Ministers to ensure the voice of Queenslanders with Disability is heard at the National level.

For more information click here


National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

Hon Bill Shorten MP announced as new NDIS Minister.

QDN congratulates Bill Shorten on the announcement that he will be sworn in as the new Minister for the NDIS. He has been shadow Minister for the NDIS since 2019 and was also influential in the formation of the Scheme way back in 2013.

At the recent election, Labor announced its 6-point agenda to fix the NDIS, which in brief, included:

Revitalising the NDIA- with a commitment to lift the staffing cap and review labour hire arrangements.

  • Stopping the waste- including cracking down on provider fraud and reviewing the Agency’s use of external law firms.
  • Boosting efficiency- by improving the planning and appeals processes.
  • Stopping unfair plan cuts.
  • Fixing regional access- particularly by looking at thin markets in regional areas.
  • Putting people back into the NDIS- through co-design and having more people with disability on the board.
  • Additional to NDIS reforms, Labor has also promised to invest in advocacy, explore more flexible housing options, boost employment of people with disability and support Australians with a disability who are not on the NDIS.

QDN has been working with Minister Shorten over the last few months up in Cairns and also on our online election forum, we look forward to working even closer with Minister Shorten and his team to improve the NDIS and ensure the voices of Queenslanders with disability are heard.

Disability Royal Commission

The Disability Royal Commission (DRC) is an independent investigation into violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability, and it will use evidence and research to develop recommendations on how to make Australia a more inclusive society that is safer for people with disability. You can also follow the Disability Royal Commission’s work. The DRC is publishing research on a lot of important topics, and live streams its public hearings.

Have you thought about sharing your story with the DRC? There are some important deadlines to consider:

  • The DRC must provide its final report and recommendations to the federal government by September 2023.
  • The deadline to make a submission is 31 December 2022. By making a submission in writing, by video or audio recording or over the phone.
  • The deadline to apply for a private session is 30 June 2022. If privacy and confidentiality are important for you to safely talk about your experiences, you may be able to meet with a DRC Commissioner in a private session. You can request a private session online and the DRC website has information about the different ways you can share your story.

Other support:

Advocacy: If you would like support or advice or to help you prepare your submission, you can access free advocacy services. Advocates can help you work out if you should get legal advice. Your Story Disability Legal Support is funded by the federal government and is delivered by National Legal Aid and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services.

Counselling: Whether you are making a submission or not, you may need some emotional support. Hearing stories from the Royal Commission in the news can be upsetting, even getting emails like this can bring up feelings and memories that can cause distress. If you are affected by the DRC, there is counselling support available through Blue Knot Foundation’s National Counselling and Referral Service. You can contact them on 1800 421 468, 9am – 6pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 5pm on weekends and public holidays.

Criminal Justice

VALID - Justice Project Film - They Will Use My First Name

The Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability (VALID) recently launched the virtual reality documentary “[They will use] My First Name” a short film exploring the experiences of people with intellectual disability in Australia’s criminal justice systems. You can see the film online for yourself here  (Its 17 minutes – please wear headphones and watch in 4k if possible).

You can also watch the entire Launch event here which includes informative, robust panel discussion and Q & A with lived experience consultants

People with intellectual disability, especially First Nations people, are overrepresented across all areas of Australia’s criminal justice systems. This is often a result of trauma and lifelong disadvantage. Yet this is a problem that successive governments have so far been unable to solve.

VALID and its self-advocates with lived experience of the criminal justice system chose to make this film which you can read more about on the project website and listen to some audio stories from individual participants here.

The film accompanies a year-long participatory research project by VALID, the Justice For All Report, outlining recommendations to the government to improve the support and treatment of people with intellectual disability in the system.

Mental Health

Inquiry into the opportunities to improve mental health outcomes for Queenslanders Report No. 1, 57th Parliament Mental Health Select Committee June 2022

The Mental Health Select Committee released this report with 57 recommendations to improve mental health for Queenslanders. Recommendations including key recommendations about ensuring the voices of people with lived experience of mental health issues are heard in mental health reform and enhancing mental health services for people with intellectual and developmental disability.

Read the full report here



Stage 2 Reforms of the Transport Standards – have your say at a public consultation event

Registrations for upcoming public consultations events for Stage 2 Reforms of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 are now open. People with disability, their families and carers, advocacy groups, the transport industry and government are invited to provide feedback on the proposed Stage 2 Reform options through upcoming public consultation events held from 17 June to mid-July 2022.

There are several opportunities to get involved, including in webinars, online community workshops and online written discussion boards. Further information about the events including registration details can be viewed on the Stage 2 Reforms – Public Consultations webpage: www.infrastructure.gov.au/transport-accessibility-consultations.

You can also respond to the Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) and share your experiences any time until 9 August:

QDN will be making a submission to the Consultation RIS. If you would like to provide feedback to inform our response please email: qdn@qdn.org.au

Find out more, including other ways to get involved, at www.infrastructure.gov.au/TransportAccessibility or by phoning (free call) to 1800 621 372.