News and resources

From our CEO

Ross Joyce

Photo of Ross JoyceWelcome to the latest edition of AFDO eNews.

I am happy to announce that the Disability Rights Now 2019: Shadow Report to the United Nations Committee on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has been released and is up on our website in English, Plain English, Spanish and French.

This Shadow Report to the CRPD has been written by a working group made up of disability organisations from around Australia that compiled the Report to provide the views of Australians with disability to the United Nations CRPD Committee.

The Shadow Report talks about the most important issues including the need to:

  • Make stronger anti-discrimination laws;
  • Make sure CRPD rights are part of legislation, policies and programs for children and young people;
  • Make accessibility mandatory in housing and transport;
  • Make Auslan a national language;
  • Bring in laws to make sure people with disability, including Deaf people can be part of juries; and
  • Change restrictions for the Disability Support Pension (DSP) and increase support payments (Newstart) to make sure everyone has a good standard of living.

You can access the Disability Rights Now 2019 Shadow Report on our website via the link below:

We are pleased to be part of the National Awards for Disability Leadership again this year. These Awards will be held on the International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) on Tuesday 3rd December 2019.

There are are seven award categories, reflecting what is important to disabled people. These Awards recognise the work of Australians with disability in advancing the status of disabled Australians. If you would like to nominate an Australian with disability for an award, please visit the link below:

Below is an overview of some of our policy and advocacy work, as well as other disability sector news. I hope you enjoy this edition of AFDO eNews.

Issues for Children with Disability in Out of Home Care

Over the past year, we have been working with colleagues in the advocacy sector, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), and government to resolve some of the issues for children with disability in out of home care.

We are pleased to report that in the last six months there has been positive movement by the NDIA and state and territory jurisdictions towards restabilising support and accommodation for this group of vulnerable children with disability and their families.

Last week, we put in a submission to the Department of Social Services (DSS) outlining a number of outstanding issues that still need to be addressed, including that it remains unclear what constitutes out of home care and respite under the NDIA, the critical situation in regional and remote areas where there is limited service delivery capacity in the areas of complex support which particularly affects Indigenous children with disability, and that roles and responsibilities of the state providers and the NDIS remain confused on the ground and difficult to navigate for families and providers alike.

You can read our submission on our website via the link provided below:

AFDO delegates with HE Gillian Bird, Australian Ambassador to the United Nations, and Ben Gauntlett, Disability Discrimination Commissioner






Conference of States Parties

We were pleased to participate again this year in the Conference of States Parties (CoSP) to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The annual conference is held each June at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York and brings together countries that have ratified the CRPD to discuss implementation of the CRPD.

The AFDO delegation this year consisted of:

  • Liz Reid, AFDO President and Chairperson
  • Trevor Carroll, AFDO Vice President and International Coordinator
  • Monique Blakemore, Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4)
  • Sam Drummond, Lawyer

Our President, Liz Reid and Vice President, Trevor Carroll met with many international delegates while at CoSP, and also worked closely with Australian Government representatives at CoSP, including:

  • George Sotiropoulos, Department of Social Services (DSS)
  • Mika Kontiainen, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
  • HE Gillian Bird, Australian Ambassador to the UN
  • Ben Gauntlett, Disability Discrimination Commissioner (AHRC)

AFDO side events

AFDO Vice President and International Coordinator, Trevor Carroll was a panelist at a side event that AFDO co-sponsored – Disabled People’s International (DPI) side event “Digital Accessibility: Strategies for Disability Inclusion in E-governance platforms (Best Practices from the Global North and Global South).”

AFDO also co-sponsored a side event with the Government of Malta, “Leave No Autistic Mother Behind: Autism and Motherhood – Experiences, Challenges and Positive Strategies” and Monique Blakemore from Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4) attended CoSP as an AFDO delegate to speak on the panel at this event.

We have put up a page on our website about Australia’s representation at CoSP this year. This page includes links to recordings of CoSP meetings, as well as a link to the Australian Government Statement to CoSP which was given by George Sotiropoulos, First Assistant Secretary, Department of Social Services (DSS) on Monday.

The link to the webpage is below:

Group photo of Australian delegates at the UN Headquarters, New York.

Disability Royal Commission

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability is now accepting public submissions, and they want to hear from all Australians with disability about their experiences of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Please be aware that any submissions made now will be treated as public documents and will form part of Commission records. This means that the Royal Commission may use information you have provided in its reports and other publications, but they will not publish any of your personal information.

If you wish to make a private submission, then you may want to wait until later. We will let you know when the Royal Commission is taking private submissions.

We have set up a page about the Disability Royal Commission on our website which you can visit for more information via the link below:

Would you like to be a part of the Disability Australia Hub? Let us know.

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