letter/email

NCID open letter to Assistant Minister for Social Services


An open letter to Senator The Hon Mitch Fifield, Assistant Minister for Social Services

Dear Minister Fifield

With respect, you cannot go on national radio (AM, Radio National 7 May 2014) and say to people with intellectual disability and their families that people with significant intellectual disability are unable to work in the open labour market (open employment).

This is factually wrong.

    Minister's letter announces research into diagnostic practice for autism

    Back in November 2013, Peter Hill wrote (see link below) to Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services, asking about:

    • a meeting
    • the number of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnoses (which are increasing significantly)
    • the cost of ASD to the community and steps that could/should be taken to minimise the burden on the community

    letter to Senator Fifield, Assistant Minister responsible for disability services and supports

    Dear Senator Fifield

    The following raises concerns about the likely and imminent demise of crucial services for children with autism. I understand that the contracts for the Autism Advisers (funded as part of the Commonwealth Government's Helping Children with Autism package) in South Australia and in the Australian Capital Territory have not been renewed. As a result of the NDIS, the Autism Adviser service in these regions will cease soon unless those contracts are renewed.

    letter to Senator Abetz

    A4's Convenor posted a letter to Senator Abetz this morning. The letter requested a meeting to discuss matters arising from things he said on the ABC's Q&A program first broadcast on 17/2/2014.

    The letter contains links to the video of the show ... and our transcript of the section of concern of the show.

    It also gives detailed reason for our concerns ... and evidence to support our case.

    A4 is concerned that Minister Abetz and the Government:

    • misunderstand and misrepresent people who receive a Disability Support Pension ... often portraying them as welfare bludgers

    Abbott Government ignores completely stakeholder advice on disability employment

    Following misinformation in the media (see http://a4.org.au/a4/node/742), A4 wrote to the newly elected Prime Minister warning about policy that vilifies people with severe and profound disability for being unemployed.

    This information is essential for the Treasurer and the Finance Minister ... but the Prime Minister's office chose to not send the letter to most of the key agencies and Ministers. Apparently, they sent it only to the Department of Social Services. The Social Services Department's response (download below) shows little or no recognition of the letter's content.

    Meeting request - Senator Fifield about the NDIS

    A4 requested a meeting with Senator Fifield, Assistant Minister for Social Services (responsible for Disability Services), to discuss how to improve the NDIS for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    A4 shares some of the concerns raised in The Australian (see http://a4.org.au/a4/node/756) relating to people with Intellectual Disability; at least 30% of people with autism, often severe autism, also have an intellectual disability so we can expect to have some common concerns/issues. A4 and also has concerns that specifically relate to autism.

    to the Prime Minister: please avoid the usual Government vilification of people with disability

    A4 sent the following message to the Prime Minister in response to the usual media attacks on people with disability.


    Dear Prime Minister Abbott

    I write hoping to head off yet another round of Government vilifying people with disability.

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