Disability groups granted temporary funding reprieve

Published: The Sydney Morning Herald – March 1st

The federal government has made a partial backflip on its cuts to disability groups, granting a reprieve to eight bodies whose funding was due to run out on Saturday.

Last month the Department of Social Services announced it would cut funding to the disability sector by 40 per cent and support an alliance of just five representative bodies. It left eight bodies representing 200,000 people with disabilities under threat and sparked allegations that the government was in breach of the United Nations Convention on the rights of disabled people.

But on Thursday the eight organisations – including the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations, Blind Citizens Australia, Brain Injury Australia and Inclusion Australia, representing people with an intellectual disability – were told they had secured “transition funding” of $450,000 until the end of June.

Assistant Social Services Minister Mitch Fifield said he decided to extend the groups’ funding and to “provide an additional payment to each of them to assist with a smooth transition”.

“I have also directed my department to explore other potential capacity-building projects and funding that may be suitable for organisations to apply for, such as NDIS preparedness activities,” he said.

The minister did not explain what prompted the change of heart, what “capacity-building” meant or how much extra funding would be available.

Australian Federation of Disability Organisations chief executive Matthew Wright welcomed the reprieve, saying the government had listened to the voice of people with disability. He said he had noticed a new willingness from the department to engage with the sector.

“That’s a positive and a very recent development,” he said.  “We’re looking forward to further negotiations on our long-term future.”

Greens Senator Rachel Siewert, who is leading a Senate inquiry into how the Department of Social Services awards funding, also applauded the funding extension but questioned the government’s plans beyond June. She said the new alliance model did not reflect the grassroots needs or views of people with disabilities and accusing the government of being “top-down in its approach: this is what we want, now do it”.

The funding cuts had attracted the ire of Ron McCallum, the former chairman of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Disabled Persons, and former disability commissioner, Graeme Innes.


Disability payment to be restricted in McClure welfare shake-up

Published in The Guardian, Feb 24, 2015 – Lenore Taylor

A new disability payment would be restricted to people unable to work more than eight hours a week because of an incapacity that is expected to last for at least five years, under the final recommendations of the sweeping review of Australia’s welfare system conducted by Patrick McClure.

The report, set to be released on Wednesday, recommends the current complicated system of government payments be collapsed into five types of assistance.

These would be the disability payment, now to be called a “supported living pension”; a means-tested payment for parents of children under 22; the aged pension; a special means-tested payment for carers; and a “working-age payment” that is “tiered” depending on a person’s work capacity.

It recommends young people should not be eligible for income support in their own right until they turn 22.

“Children and young people are expected to be engaged in education and so are not expected to support themselves through work below a certain age,” it says.

In an interim report, released last June, McClure recommended that carers should receive the regular working age payment. But in the final report the panel has been convinced that the challenges facing carers mean they should continue to receive a separate means-tested payment. It would be available to those providing constant care.

McClure recommends that no one would be worse off as the new streamlined system is introduced, and says the new system could mean that many people are now receiving Newstart – unemployment benefits – were better off.

The report says all payments should be adjusted in the same way to keep pace with the increasing cost of living and that “supplements” to the five main types of payment should also be reduced.

“People need a payment that enables them to have a basic, acceptable standard of living, and that allows them to meet their obligations to look for work, or to study, and to support children,” the report says.

The social services minister, Scott Morrison, will address the National Press Club on Wednesday to outline the government’s response to the report.

On disability payments, the report says the “supported living pension” should be a means-tested payment for people over 22 who are permanently and severely restricted in their capacity to work. This is defined as the capability to work “less than eight hours a week” with “a level of incapacity that must be expected to last for at least another five years”.

The report says income management should be used “judiciously” and its outcomes should be evaluated.

Morrison has said he wants to use a system of “carrots and sticks” to get three specific groups in particular back into the workforce – women with children, young men and older workers.

RBA to introduce tactile banknotes after 13yo blind boy Connor McLeod campaigns for change

A 13-year-old blind boy’s year-long campaign to ask the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to print tactile banknotes has finally paid off.

Connor McLeod’s idea was sparked when he was given money for Christmas, but could not tell the amount he had.

“I received some notes at Christmas time and I kept having to ask Mum what they had given me,” said Connor, who has been blind since birth due to a congenital disorder.

“I didn’t touch notes because it was really annoying and embarrassing that I couldn’t differentiate between them, but I could differentiate coins so I used to go around with only coins in my wallet getting stuff from the canteen with them.

“And then it just sort of hit me that my life isn’t going to be all coins, so I thought I’d better make things a little easier, and easier for others as well.”

The young New South Wales teenager – who has represented his school at state level athletics, rides a push bike, abseils, rock climbs, swims, and plays the drums and keyboard – started a petition to allow vision-impaired people to be able to tell the difference between denominations.

The Human Rights Commission and Vision Australia supported his campaign, and 57,000 people signed the petition.

Media player: “Space” to play, “M” to mute, “left” and “right” to seek.

The campaign culminated with a meeting last November with the RBA, where Connor lobbied the main decision makers for change.

“Words cannot explain how proud of my young man I am,” his mother Ally Lancaster said.

“He spoke intelligently and passionately and factually and Michele Bullock from the RBA, during our meeting, actually said that she was suitably impressed at how well that he had done and she certainly didn’t expect that from a young man of his age.”

Now the RBA has announced it will add a tactile feature to all bank notes.

In a statement, RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said the new tactile features of banknotes will help vision impaired people tell the difference between denominations of Australian bank notes, along with the bright colours, large and bold numbers, and different sizes for bank notes.

Vision Australia advocacy general manager Maryanne Diamond said Connor was not alone in his frustration with bank notes and he has achieved a great deal for the community.

“What we found in Vision Australia in a recent survey is that 50 percent of people who are totally blind are telling us that they feel that at times they have been short-changed, or given the wrong change when they’ve purchased something, simply because they can’t quickly and easily and effectively distinguish notes,” Ms Diamond said.

“So I think Connor should be really proud of himself because I think that’s kind of made a big difference in the Reserve Bank talking with us, working with us and trying to find a solution for the next generation of notes.”

Published: Wednesday, Feb 18, 2015. ABC News online PM – Nance Haxton


Project Independence disability housing model under construction in Harrison

An Australian-first housing model for people with a disability will be an invaluable Christmas gift for 20 people this year if progress remains on track.

The first sod was turned at Project Independence’s 10-place Harrison site on Friday to mark the beginning of construction, which should be completed in October.

Construction of the project’s Latham site, which will house 10 more residents, will begin in about four weeks.

Another perspective of the Project Independence development in Harrison

Another perspective of the Project Independence development in Harrison Photo: Supplied

Project director Glenn Keys expected both developments to open their doors to 20 people with a disability and two live-in co-ordinators, one for each site, by the festive period.

The ACT government has committed $3 million to the project, which was inspired by Mr Key’s son, Ehren, who has a disability and dreamt of owning his own home.

Additional social housing will also be built onsite.

A view from above  of the Project Independence development in Harrison.

A view from above of the Project Independence development in Harrison. Photo: Supplied

“We’re very, very excited how things are moving ahead,” Mr Keys said. “What we’ve really created here in Canberra is a first in Australia.”

Mr Keys, this year’s ACT Australian of the Year, said the Harrison site would consist of three houses containing four studio apartments, including one for the house co-ordinator and one spare room for guests.

A development application has been approved for the Latham development, made up of six townhouses with separate apartments housing the same number of people.

“We’re really excited, we’ve got a different design and structure there,” Mr Keys said.

“We’re all different, we all come to accommodation solutions on different paths. It’s about choice.”

A third site in Phillip is also on the horizon, with any funds remaining from the first two sites to trickle into its development.

“We’d like to make sure the money is secured this year so we can launch into the design and building in the new year,” Mr Keys said.

Demand for the model was strong, he said, with more than 70 expressions of interest for places at the first two sites and interstate interest as well.

Mr Keys praised the “innovative” business-government model and hoped the project might inspire the use of similar models elsewhere, as well as philanthropy among businesses of all sizes.

“I think we need to realise philanthropy in Australia is something every business can do,” he said. “There are whole pile of businesses and organisations in Canberra who are not of the Tuckwell or Twiggy Forrest size who have contributed to our success.”

Minister for Disability Joy Burch said the project would enable people, particularly with low support needs, to build economic independence.

Published in The Canberra Times: February 20, 2015  Emma Kelly


Is it OK to call disabled people ‘inspirational’?

Published BBC online

Two big Super Bowl advertisements have touched off the latest debate about whether disabled people can be “inspirational” for doing everyday things – or if the tag is condescending.

During the American football festivities earlier this month, Paralympian Amy Purdy ran, snowboarded and danced for Toyota, while Microsoft showed off how its technology helps a six-year-old boy with prosthetic legs. And those certainly aren’t the only attention-grabbing videos featuring disabled people. BBC Trending recently covered the story of Madison Tevlin’s rendition of “All of Me” which has now been watched more than 6m times.

The term “inspiration porn” was brought to the mainstream by the late Australian comedian Stella Young, and Trending radio brought together two disabled bloggers to debate the adjective. Is it OK to be “inspired” by disabled people – and is the “inspiring” tag encouraging or offensive?

Charlie Swinbourne, blogger at limpingchicken.com: It’s wrong to use disabled people to provoke strong reactions

Charlie SwinbourneCharlie Swinbourne

The thing I feel troubled about is that words like “inspiring” are a product of low expectations of disabled people. And I think there’s a lot of positives within Madison Tevlin’s video. But often – and the Super Bowl adverts were an example of this – disability is used as a kind of hook to tell the story of achieving despite the odds, a Hollywood story. People aren’t looking at a more complex, nuanced picture of what disabled lives are like. It does make people look at disability in a positive way, but I think what I have a problem with is disability being used as a way to create a reaction in non-disabled people.

I’m partially deaf, and I object to formulaic use of disability to create a response. Often people look at disability as something to overcome, and if you overcome that, everything will be OK. I think that’s very concerning.

I think there’s an issue with the polarisation of how disabled people are seen – either you’ve got the highest achievers or you’re seen as a scrounger who’s taking something from society, and the reality is almost everybody is neither of those things.

Melissa Finefrock, blogger at hopeburnsblue: I now realise that everyone has their own reasons for being ‘inspired’

Melissa FinefrockMelissa Finefrock

Sometimes people would just walk up to me and just say “you’re inspiring”. I might be crossing a street and someone might walk up to me and say “you’re inspiring” – I’m blind. At the time I was busy being annoyed because that’s what I was taught to be.

But once I fell on train tracks and I almost died. I busted up my leg and I was depressed and I had to find inspiration anywhere I could. I realised that sometimes people have stories behind why they’re inspired that we couldn’t possibly guess at.

It’s language. Maybe people are impressed by how I navigate or they’re intrigued by the adaptive technology I use. I think people resort to this concept of “inspiration” to put one word on it. What they’re coming away with is still positive. And it’s good that people are seeing us in a positive light, because just decades ago nobody expected anything of us..

10,000 workers with disabilities paid below minimum wage: when will they get justice?

Josh Bornstein – The Guardian – Feb 4, 2015


In October 2014, David Freud, the British welfare minister, gave a speech in which he argued that some workers with intellectual disabilities should not be paid the UK minimum wage. In the furore that followed, disability groups and the Labor opposition called for Freud to be sacked. David Cameron ordered him to apologise and within 90 minutes of the order Freud offered a “full and unreserved apology”, stating:

To be clear, all disabled people should be paid at least the minimum wage, without exception, and I accept it is offensive to suggest anything else.

It is unimaginable that an Australian politician would say that employees with disabilities should be paid less than others. Yet some are paid as little as 9% of the minimum wage – or 99 cents/hour, $8/day, $40/week – including some who work for government-supported Australian disability enterprises.

Over the last five years, some 10,000 employees with intellectual disabilities have sought to be paid more by pursuing a class action lawsuit. According to the federal and high courts, these employees have been illegally underpaid in breach of the Disability Discrimination Act for more than a decade. They are entitled to be compensated by the federal government. Instead, the government has done everything it can to block that effort.

Just under half of Australians with disabilities live at or below the poverty line. For the 30% who can work, poverty wages are the norm. The quality of life of Australians with disabilities compares very badly with other developed countries; in fact, it ranks as one of the worst in the OECD. The platitudes about the Australian identity that invariably accompany each Australia Day – “generous”, “confident”, “assured of our place in the world” – are clearly not sourced from Australians with disabilities.

Graeme Innes, the recently-sacked disability discrimination commissioner, described 2014 as an “annus horribilis”. Yooralla, the iconic disability services provider, was exposed for its elaborate attempts to hide and minimise the sexual abuse of its employees and clients. Stella Young, a fearless, outspoken advocate for Australians with disabilities and self-described “crip” died at age 32. A few days before Christmas, the federal government cut funding to disability advocacy groups including Blind Citizens of Australia and the Down Syndrome Association, hoping that no one would notice. It did so shortly after reneging on its commitment to reform multinational corporate tax avoidance, a multi-billion dollar industry.

In November, the federal government brought a bill before the Senate, designed to thwart the employees’ class action to recover their back pay. It was unprecedented; under the proposed law employees could accept half of their back pay in exchange for giving up their right to recover the other half. If they didn’t accept the offer, the government made it clear that it would continue to resist and delay the back pay claim in the courts for years.

The carrot and the stick was being applied to those with intellectual disabilities. So in the lead-up to the Senate vote, my colleague Emeline Gaske and I joined with a band of small, under-resourced disability advocacy groups and tried our hand at political lobbying.

Employees with disabilities don’t have a union of their own. Their pitifully low wages wouldn’t permit them to pay much in the way of dues, anyway. They are invisible to most and vulnerable to government mistreatment. Our coalition of would–be lobbyists sought to counter this dynamic by telling as many people as loudly as we could about the employees’ situation.

The ALP supported the government’s bill until it came before the Senate, at which point our lobbying efforts thankfully bore fruit – they dropped their backing. The Greens staunchly opposed it too.

We quickly realised that crossbench senators are routinely overwhelmed by the volume of proposed legislation foisted on them. They are susceptible to misinformation as they try to consider the merits of multiple proposals under time pressure. In order to counter the propaganda deployed by the government to sway their vote, we were forced to publicly issue a FAQ document.

Long after we did so, Clive Palmer continued to repeat the government’s misinformation, claiming the employees would only recover half of their back pay in court after deductions for legal fees (false: it’s a pro bono case) and income tax (false: mostly the employees come under the income tax threshold). Jacqui Lambie, then still a PUP senator, parted ways with her colleagues and together with John Madigan and Nick Xenophon voted against the bill, which was defeated by one vote.

Amid all of this grotesque hostility, the Senate vote was a small but significant victory. Regrettably, that is not the end of the matter. Within hours of the vote, Mitch Fifield resumed his lobbying of the crossbench senators, advising them that he would reintroduce the government bill in February 2015. And so once again, we await the government’s next move against Australians with disability..

Former commissioner says disability cuts breach UN convention

The Federal Government’s cuts to the disability sector are a “catastrophic” blow and breach the United Nations Convention on the rights of disabled people, advocacy groups and one of the architects of the convention says.

The Department of Social Services announced yesterday it would fund an alliance of six groups representing disabled people by demographic rather than specific need. This threatens eight peak bodies with 200,000 members with intellectual disabilities – autism, brain injuries and physical disabilities including blindness and deafness.

The Assistant Social Services Minister, Mitch Fifield, said up to $3.6 million would be allocated over two years to the National Cross-Disability Alliance, comprising representatives of disabled children, women, Indigenous people, ethnic minorities and service providers. This is a 40 per cent cut on the previous funding arrangement that spanned three years rather than two. Mr Fifield said the alliance would be the primary source of grass-roots advice on issues of national policy advice for people with disability.

Graeme Innes is the former federal disability commissioner, who co-authored the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to which Australia is a signatory. Legally blind, he said the move breaches Article 33 of the convention. “If you don’t adequately resource the national peak organisations to represent the voices [of disabled people] you effectively stop that voice and therefore, can’t monitor and implement the convention,” he said. “We have chosen the organisations who we want to speak for us. It’s inappropriate for the government to make a unilateral decision not to fund these disability groups.”

Inclusion Australia, the peak body for intellectually disabled people, was among those to lose funding. Its president, Kevin Stone, said the cuts have “silenced the collective voice of people with intellectual disability – those most in need of representation at the highest level given their historical marginalisation”.

The cuts form part of a $240 million departmental savings drive. Dr Stone said they would further inhibit intellectually disabled people from shaping the design of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which campaigners say is already fatally flawed due to a lack of consultation. Intellectually disabled people will represent two-thirds of future users of the scheme but have not been formally consulted on its design.

But Craig Wallace, president of People With Disabilities Australia, which received funding, said the alliance represents a “modern, coherent and more comprehensive national voice for people with disability. This means that people with any disability can directly join, elect and hold accountable the peaks which represent them to Government”.

Robbi Williams, chief executive of disability policy research agency JFA Purple Orange, gave warning that some peak bodies, which have decades of experience representing people with complex and specific needs, could fold within weeks, and that their work cannot be replicated by other organisations.  “It is unrealistic to assume other funded agencies will somehow be able to routinely pick up this momentum,” he said. “The decision is catastrophic because it undermines the diverse voices within the disability community at a time when those voices need to be heard the most.”


Hidden crisis of long term joblessness worsens

Australia’s welfare rolls continue to swell with the number of people on the main payment for more than a year reaching its highest level on record.

At the end of last year, 527,318 had been receiving the Newstart Allowance for more than 12 months, an increase of 12.6 per cent from a year earlier, Department of Social Services figures show. The numbers of long term Newstart recipients has more than doubled since the global financial crisis.

While many of the people receiving the Newstart payment for more than a year are job seekers, they also include people moved on to the payment by changes to government policy, through measures such as tightening the eligibility for disability support pensions.

Labour market and welfare experts say that being unemployed for extended periods can have a deleterious effect on mental health and can lead to problems such as poor health or depression. They say the rise in long term unemployment also points to changes in the labour market, with a loss of low-skilled work.

Other statistical measures also point to the growing problem of long term unemployment. Recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that the number of people unemployed for more than a year has risen 135 per cent since 2008, when the financial crisis first hit.

Minister for Social Services Scott Morrison said more than 200,000 jobs were created in 2014 and job advertisements were at their highest level in two years.

“While it is encouraging that employment has increased over the last year, most of the growth has occurred over the last three months, so it is too early for it to have had a positive impact on the number of long-term unemployment benefit recipients,” he said.

Mr Morrison said changes to Newstart meant more people with disabilities or parental responsibilities had been moved onto the payment and had increased participation requirements. He said government programs were providing incentives to move people away from welfare and into work.

ACTU president Ged Kearney said there needed to be a greater focus on skills and training. She said the Abbott government had overseen the loss of the car industry and cut training programs and public sector jobs.

“Tony Abbott’s strategy to address long term unemployment is Work for the Dole, which has been proven to be ineffective. Unemployed people who are placed into work experience must be paid the legal minimum wage or these programs end up taking real jobs.”

According to  Department of Social Services data, the number of job seekers on welfare for more than a year in Victoria has risen  9.9 per cent to 62,084 people from a year earlier. Before Christmas, the Andrews government tabled its Back to Work Act as its first bill which offers employers tax breaks and other incentives to hire the long-term unemployed, retrenched workers and young people.

In Australia’s biggest state, New South Wales, the number of job seekers on welfare for more than a year has risen  10.4 per cent for the same period to 83,081 people.

 Senior writer for The Age.  Appeared in The Age, February 1st, 2014


Disability support system helping just a quarter of those in need

THE last snapshot of the fragmented support system in place before the National Disability Insurance Scheme was introduced shows less than one-quarter of ­eligible people were being helped with accommodation, employment services and community ­access.

The 2015 Report on Government Services, released in part by the Productivity Commission today, shows governments spent $7.5 billion on specialist disability services in 2013-14, up from $7.2bn the year before. Crucially, 70.2 per cent of this was provided by state and territory governments. Under the first full year of the NDIS, the commonwealth will pay for 53 per cent of the scheme, which will cost $22bn in total.

Agreements on precisely how the states and territories will begin the transition from 30,000 NDIS clients to more than 400,000 in the three years to 2019 have begun and will be formalised this year.

There is no agreement yet as to whether Western Australia will sign on to the full national project. The state is trialling its own similar scheme, My Way, alongside the NDIS.

Luther Frost-Barnes feels liberated from the tight purse strings of an outmoded  disability funding system. As he dangles from ropes at his local rock-climbing gym near Busselton, south of Perth, he says he feels grateful for the $40,000 package he  receives via the WA My Way trial.

Unlike the NDIS trial, he is paired up with a personal co-­ordinator to work  regularly with him and help map out his planned  activities and aims.

Frost-Barnes has no doubt about the success of the local trial after only three  months. “It helps me get my dreams,” he says.

The $40,000-a-year package of care is used to purchase hours of carer attendance each week to help Frost-Barnes continue his studies, attend a public speaking course and even go on holiday with a support carer.

“Under previous funding schemes, you couldn’t have control over the funds and you never actually saw the money,” his mother, Lorraine, said. “We were given a list of places he could ­attend to work or do activities, but My Way has given  him the ability to customise, to pick and choose who he wants.”

Her son, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, was a junior Paralympian at 18, and won 11 records in his category.

In 2012-13, according to the ­Report on Government Services, just 6.5 per cent of all eligible ­people were receiving accommodation support, 25.3 per cent were receiving community support, 8.7 per cent community access and 16.4 per cent of carers were able to use respite services. Just 7.3 per cent of people aged 15-64 years with disability were ­accessing employment support services. The federal government spent a total of $23.2bn on welfare payments to people with disabilities and their carers in 2013-14.

This included $16.1bn for the Disability Support Pension, $4.2bn for carer payments, $2bn for the carer allowance and almost another billion for supplements and other allowances.

The report does not cover the introduction of the NDIS in detail, although data will be made available next year on how it is meeting its targets. The report does mention that 2 per cent of NDIS clients are indigenous and 3 per cent from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, but cautions against the data collected by the NDIS agency: “Indigenous status is not known for 58 per cent of participants (and) CALD status is known for most participants, with 13 per cent of records not stated.”

Rick Morton – The Australian – Jan 28, 2014


Disability advocates say Federal Government employment policies not working

Advocates say despite years of Federal Government policies designed to boost employment, it is as hard as ever for people with a disability to enter the workforce.

The number of people living with a disability working for the Australian Public Service fell from 5 per cent in 1999 to just 3 per cent last year.

The latest figure puts Australia behind countries such as Canada, with 5.8 per cent of its public service identifying as living with a disability, and the UK, where the figure is 8.8 per cent.

Both countries have strong employment equity laws which have the effect of encouraging employers to take active steps to hire more people with a disability, and there have been calls from some advocates for Australia to consider similar legislation.

Assistant Minister for Social Services Senator Mitch Fifield said he would like to see employment numbers for people with a disability improve, but that laws that would compel employers to take action were the wrong approach.

“I’m uncomfortable with quotas, but I’m very relaxed with individual organisations setting targets for themselves,” he said.

Senator Fifield said that a better method would be more transparency and employer peer pressure, which would produce results.

“One organisation looks to another, they’re having good results, why shouldn’t we take advantage of the full talent pool as well?” he said.

But disability coordinator Gary Kerridge, and many of those on the front lines of the battle to improve employment prospects for people with disabilities, said that kind of thinking was naive.

Mr Kerridge is deaf, and uses a combination of email and texting to communicate on the job.

He also often turns to Skype to have conversations on screen using Auslan sign language.

Mr Kerridge said nothing less than a wholesale attitude shift by employers was needed, one that considers people with disability not as an employment obligation, but as a resource.

“I don’t think they understand that sort of relationship where it’s reciprocal,” he said.

“Where I have something to offer. They think they’re doing me a favour by employing me.”

Many people with a disability said that concept – that somehow employers are doing them a favour – was perhaps the most annoying issue they encounter as they search for a job.

In Greenvale, in Melbourne’s north, Riki Domagalski said she did not want any favours, just a chance.

The 36 year-old was born with low vision and a slight cognitive impairment, but Ms Domagalski can work, and wants to.

Ms Domagalski estimates she has applied for more than 3,000 jobs in 14 years. That search has brought just two short term contracts, working in administration.

“It’s demoralising, it really, really is,” she said. “I’ve had roughly 6 months paid work in my entire life.”

She said that brief period of employment only made her realise what she was missing.

“To have the taster, it was so liberating. I felt so empowered having that job.”

Ms Domagalski said she was desperate to move out of her parents’ home to get her own apartment and enough money to live independently.

She said the current measures to promote disability employment were not working.

“What employers and the public in general need to realise is that people with a disability are people first,” she said.

“We want the same quality of life anybody else not just wants, but is entitled to.”


Article taken from ABC NEWS on Jan 17, 2014: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-17/disability-advocates-say-job-hunting-more-difficult/6022558