letter/email

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.

DisabilityCare (NDIS) start: with serious initial concerns relating to people with autism/ASD

DisabilityCare, the renamed and emerging NDIS, "launched" in a number of locations (states?). Now we start to see how it is being implemented. Our hope is that the scheme will be genuinely person-centred: that is, it will focus on identifying and meeting the needs of each person (individual) with a disability. Our particular concerns relate to people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Attorney-General "file and ignore" on disability issues

Previously, Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4) wrote to Attorneys-General about the rights of people with a disability (see http://a4.org.au/a4/node/438). The letter was emailed twice (once each on 4/1/2012 and 5/1/2012) and there was no indication that it did not arrive at its destination.

There was absolutely no response to the letter, so we put in a request using the Freedom of Information process. The response says:

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