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Submission on Draft National Standards for Disability Services

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4) provided a submission on the Draft National Standards for Disability Services. It says ...

The current National Standards for Disability Services (NSDS) came into effect in 1993. These Standards govern existing disability services nationally. Experience from the existing NSDS teaches crucial lessons.

The annual reports of government departments responsible for existing services and of government-funded service providers proclaim proudly their success, efficiency and compliance with these Standards.

Vic Education says too many donuts cause failure to learn

A court case is running in Victoria (see http://a4.org.au/a4/node/481) about education for a child with a disability. So far the department has said that the reason for the young man’s failure to learn is that, he ate too many donuts.

An expert witness for the Education Department told the court said standardised assessments are not as good as unwritten teacher observations because, teachers have a special gift.

The department lawyers and their expert witness said that people with an intellectual disability don’t learn, so no matter what you do with them they don’t improve.

Australian icon lights up blue for Autism


2nd April 2012

The Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House in Canberra will be one of the first landmarks in the world to Light it Up Blue on World Autism Awareness Day.

The United Nations General Assembly declared 2nd April as World Autism Awareness Day (A/RES/62/139) to help improve the lives of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) so they can lead full and meaningful lives.

Minister: gap, not just autism, for a whole range of disabilities?

The Hon. Ms Jenny Macklin MP
Minister for Disability Reform

Dear The Hon. Ms Macklin MP

I saw your short video on the episode of A Current Affair on 19/3/2012. Your message started “We do recognise that there is a real gap for not just children with autism but children with a whole range of disabilities … ”.

feedback on draft National Human Rights Action Plan

Dear sir/madam

Despite recent correspondence from Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4) to the Attorney General (see http://a4.org.au/a4/node/375, http://a4.org.au/a4/node/396 and http://a4.org.au/a4/node/438), I just found out today about your draft action plan (see http://www.ag.gov.au/Humanrightsandantidiscrimination/Australiashumanrig...).

Feedback on your draft action plan is due today. My organisation does not now have time nor the capacity to develop a comprehensive response.

Australian governments ignore bad outcomes for autism/ASD

As yet there is no sign that governments in Australia even recognise the particularly bad outcomes reported for people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). A4 says, so far the parts of governments in Australia that are responsible for treatment, rehabilitation, education, etc. just ignore reports from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) that people with ASD have especially poor education, employment and disability support outcomes.

first report on the National Disability Strategy

It seems the first report on the National Disability Strategy is out. It's the report that purports to 'lay the groundwork' for the Strategy, which covers every area of the lives of people with disability, from education to employment, justice and economic security.

The peaks - ONLY the peaks - have been charged with consulting with PwD and their families over the Christmas break - until Jan 30 - but the first report is 'highly confidential' because it is a 'living document' blah blah.

research into the experiences of students with disability in Victorian schools

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission is conducting research into the experiences of students with disability in Victorian schools.

This follows an increase in complaints to the Commission relating to disability discrimination in education, and concerns raised by parents of children with disability, disability advocacy groups and members of the Commission’s Disability Reference Group about the provision of education services to students with disability.

Is it OK for Public Servants to mislead a Minister and Senators about autism?

A4 received the letter (see below) from The Hon Mark Butler MP in response to our letter to the Prime Minister (see http://a4.org.au/a4/node/441). The response shows the Minister and his Department:

  • prefer to discuss/argue the semantics of terms/phases like "lead agency" and "the remit of" ... rather than address concerns over the mental health of people with autism spectrum disorders (PwASD) and their families/carers.

Attorney General reply to open letter

The Attorney-General replied (9/8/2011, download here) to A4's open letter (18/6/2011, see http://a4.org.au/a4/node/375).

Our letter clearly identified concern and disappointment "about the ongoing refusal of Governments in Australia to protect people with ASD and their associates from discrimination". The Attorney-General's response dismisses our concern and disappointment saying:

Productivity commission's final report into disability care and support

The Gillard Labor Government today announced that it will start work immediately with states and territories on measures that will build the foundations for a National Disability Insurance Scheme, following the release of the Productivity Commission's final report into the matter.

The Government asked the Productivity Commission to examine reform of disability support services because we believe that the system we have today is not delivering the kind of care and support Australians expect for people with disability.

The main recommendations of the Productivity Commission are:

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