Senate Inquiry into Special Disability Trusts - final report

The Senate Inquiry into Special Disability Trusts published its report entitled Building trust: Supporting families through Disability Trusts (see http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/clac_ctte/disability_trusts/repor...). The report is quite short (56 pages). It provides 14 recommendations.

A4 made a submission (Submission No. 2 on http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/clac_ctte/disability_trusts/submissions/sublist.htm or http://a4.org.au/a4/node/27) that you can download from their website if you are interested (see http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/clac_ctte/disability_trusts/submi...).

There are several references to our submission in the final report. For example, the report says

Several submissions noted that families of a person with a disability frequently have very limited to capacity to contribute to SDTs. (page 12)

and cites A4's submission. We are also cited saying ...

3.70 Mr Buckley, Convenor of Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia, noted in particular that SDTs seemed 'utterly remote' to carers of people with autism spectrum disorders. Other issues were a much higher priority for them. Some of these issues included:
• the need for early intervention services for people with autism spectrum disorders;
• exclusion of people with autism from services for treatment and rehabilitation;
• lack of education and employment for people with autism; and
• lack of funding for autism advocacy and support groups.

You may be interested in other submissions, such as Submission No. 20 (see http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/clac_ctte/disability_trusts/submi...) ... some of you may recognise its author.

One remarkable item appears on page 7 of the Report where it quotes from FaHCSIA's Submission No. 13 (see http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/clac_ctte/disability_trusts/submi...) that says ...

Many people with disability, such as those with mental illness or impairment (for example autism, schizophrenia, bipolar or obsessive compulsive disorders) may not require care on a daily basis yet they may require ongoing care and supervision in relation to their financial and administrative affairs. At present, people in these categories may not pass the level of care criterion and therefore may not be eligible to be a beneficiary of a Special Disability Trust.

This information differs from AIHW reports that show people with ASD have especially high levels of severe and profound disability. The category "severe and profound disability" means many people with "autism" do need "care on a daily basis" yet FaHCSIA and the Senate Committee apparently disagree without providing evidence to support their position. This shows the challenge we have correcting prejudice and getting government to accept the most basic evidence about autism.