News/Announcements

letter: exclusion of autism from NDIS Independent Advisory Council

The Hon Christian Porter MP
Minister for Social Services
Parliament House
CANBERRA ACT 2600

cc: The Hon Jane Prentice MP, Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services; Mr Alastair McEwin, Disability Discrimination Commissioner; Mr David Bowen, NDIA CEO; Dr Helen Nugent AO, Chair of the NDIA Board.

 

Dear The Hon. C. Porter MP

Senator Hanson needs to go back to school

Media Release

The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations today condemned comments by Senator Pauline Hanson who suggested that children with disability should be removed from mainstream schools.

Senator Hanson told the Senate this morning that children with disability did not belong in mainstream classrooms because they were disruptive and, as a result, teachers spent too much time with them at the expense of other students.

Senator Hanson suggested that students with disability should instead be segregated in “special classrooms”. 

New approach for autism

The Hon Jane Prentice MP, Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services has announced a new way to help those with autism access the services they need.

Mrs Prentice said collaboration between the Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC) and National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) will help the autism community access more support.

FUNDING OF NDIS NOW SECURE

AFDO Budget Media Release

 The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) welcomes the Turnbull Government's commitment in tonight's budget to fully fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

"The Government's announcement tonight gives peace of mind to people with disability that funding for the scheme is secure and it will continue to be rolled out as planned," said AFDO CEO, Mr Ross Joyce.

autism/ASD and DSP eligibility

Government and Executive Services Branch
Department of Social Services

 

Dear sir/madam

Thank you for your letter/response (MC17-006035, 20/4/2017) to A4's letter (29/3/2017).

In the previous letter, Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (known as A4) expressed concern that "the wording that Government uses appears to exclude autistic people from the Disability Support Pension" and asked whether that was the Government's intent. 

ASD advocates in the ACT call to register behavioural clinicians

Speaking Out for Autism Spectrum Disorder (SOfASD), a local ASD advocacy group in the ACT, wrote to the ACT Minister for Education raising concerns about the lack if discernible progress with getting registered/certified behavioural service and support for autistic students in ACT schools. SOfASD asked for a meeting but the Minister's response ignored their request.

Submission on National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Costs

A4 made a submission to the Productivity Commission study of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Costs

The submission's conclusion says:

Previously, we said that the NDIS has substantial potential to improve the lives of autistic people. They may have access to more services and supports. They have more choice and control of the services and supports they access.

Disability Support Pension - are autistic people eligible?

Dear the Hon Jane Prentice MP

We thank you and Mr Russell de Burgh for your response (MC17-003466 on 28/3/2017) to A4's email, and especially for specifically answering the questions we asked.

The webpage your response refers to, https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/disability-support-pension, says (repeatedly) that people who are either "permanently blind" or " have a physical, intellectual or psychiatric condition" may be eligible for Disability Support Pension. We understand that people who to not satisfy this description are not eligible. This description of eligible people excludes most autistic people. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is not regarded as a "psychiatric condition" even though the diagnostic criteria are described in the DSM-5, a manual of mental disorders. Current estimates suggest under 50% of autistic people have "intellectual impairment". ASD is not physical impairment. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated that in 2012, 73% of autistic Australians have severe or profound disability (limitations on core activities), so it would seem that a high proportion of autistic adults should be eligible for DSP.

Calls for Royal Commission into Abuse of People with Disability

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4) supports AFDO and others in the disability sector ...

Media Release

The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) today joined calls from across the disability sector for a Royal Commission into the violence, abuse and neglect experienced by Australians with disability.

Follow-up with NDIA on Early Intervention (cont.)

Dear Mr Buckley,

Please find attached correspondence from William Garton.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions in regards to this correspondence.

Kind Regards

Executive Assistant to William Garton,
General Manager – Access and Operations Management,
Participants and Planning
National Disability Insurance Agency


Mr Bob Buckley
Convenor
Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4)

Dear Mr Buckley,

Thank you for your correspondence dated 2 February 2017.

Children with disabilities 3 times more likely to be maltreated but risk varies by disability type

A Telethon Kids Institute study has found children with disabilities are three times more likely to be maltreated compared to other children but that risk varies by type of disability.

Researchers analysed 524,534 children born in Western Australia between 1990-2010 for the study “Maltreatment Risk among Children with Disabilities”, published in the journal Pediatrics.

Overall, they found 4.6 per cent of all children had a maltreatment allegation.

Inquiry into the provision of services under the NDIS for people with psychosocial disabilities related to a mental health condition

A4's submission

A4 made a submission to the inquiry by the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS into the provision of services under the NDIS for people with psychosocial disabilities related to a mental health condition

information about Disability Support Pension

Dear the Hon Jane Prentice MP

A4 members have expressed concern about Centrelink’s Disability Support Pension (DSP) eligibility and processes. They commented that “the letter you get from Centrelink tells you nothing about where to find the criteria for how [Centrelink] judges in/out”.

A4 could not find clear descriptions on government websites (or elsewhere either) of:

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