WhatsUp in Disability May/June 2020 Magazine

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Disability Information Services by People with Disability Toowoomba and Southern Queensland

Volume 3, Issue 94

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Proudly supported and printed by ToowoombaWhatsUp Region in Disability

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Highlights May/June 2020

03 09 10 14 17 28


At home with Technology

NDIS Updates

COVID-19 Disability Response Plan

Fashioning Masks for Charity

My Community

Cover Page Brad Manuel is one of the most exciting and amazing entertainers in magic today. He is renowned for his award winning comedy magic

Liz Schneidewin Editor

Steven Paull JP (Qual) President Page 2

Coronavirus What is Coronavirus?

• those who have been in close contact with

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections. These can range from the common cold to more serious diseases.

someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19

• people






COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new form of coronavirus. It was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan City in China.

• people in group residential settings

Other coronaviruses include Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

• People

Symptoms Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild illness to pneumonia. Some people will recover easily, and others may get very sick very quickly. People with coronavirus may experience:

• fever

• Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people systems




At this stage the risk to children and babies, and the role children play in the transmission of COVID-19, is not clear. However, there has so far been a low rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases among children, relative to the broader population. There is limited evidence at this regarding the risk in pregnant women.


• symptoms such as coughing, a sore throat and fatigue

• shortness of breath How it spreads The virus can spread from person to person through:

• close contact with an infectious person (including in the 24 hours before they had symptoms)

• contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze

• touching

objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables) that have droplets from an infected person, and then touching your mouth or face

COVID-19 is a new disease, so there is no existing immunity in our community. This means that COVID-19 could spread widely and quickly. Who is most at risk? In Australia, the people most at risk of getting the virus are:

• travellers who overseas


• People 70 years or older



Did you know...

The Queenslanders with Disability Network has important COVID-19 resources for people with disability, including: Easy English fact sheets, latest updates, important numbers and contacts, what to do if you get sick. For more information visit: https://qdn.org.au/home/covid-19/ WhatsUp in Disability

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WhatsUp By Steven Paull I first met Brad Manuel at a business networking event on the Sunshine Coast. Being the new guy from Toowoomba in a room of local business people, I was the obvious choice to be the Magician’s stooge to be dazzled by some sleight-of-hand magic, and the crowd jockeyed for the best position to watch me be fooled. Brad asked me to give him a credit card from my wallet and I handed him my business issued card. To my absolute horror he reached behind the bar and produced a blender into which he placed the card, closed the lid and turned the machine on, reducing the card to a shredded mess. Brad thanked me and said that I could rejoin my friends while he continued with his show. Aghast at losing my credit card I demanded that he return it from wherever he had hidden it.

Brad handed me a pair of surgical gloves and a tissue and asked me to reach behind the bar and find a can of baked beans. I did so and pulled the ring top to open the can and heard the sound of sealed air being released. It was a real can of baked beans, never opened and I reached in to search through the baked beans to find my credit card, undamaged but covered in sauce.


At age 17, Brad dreamt of becoming a pilot. That was until a workplace accident left him blind in one eye. While changing a truck tyre with his father, a steel bar Brad was holding slipped and went through the side of his left eye splitting it open.

“I had emergency surgery to save the eye tissue and as it turned out, my right eye was going blind as well due to the impact,” Brad said, “the retinas had detached.” “When that accident happened, there was a long period when I was actually blind.” “By the time the surgeries were finished, it took a few months to actually get something resembling some sight back.” During his recovery in hospital, Brad’s father gave him playing cards and coins to keep his mind of the pain. Brad taught himself sleight -of-hand magic tricks. When Brad moved to the Sunshine Coast 2 years later at 19, he turned his hobby into a career, taking his unique blend of comedy and magic shows around the region. “I started working at some restaurants and pubs doing magic for them,” he said.

Brad’s skills extended far beyond the usual card or coin tricks. He has an incredible ability to combine genuine comedy with amazing magic tricks (or real as I will attest to).

But everything changed for Brad again one night in 2009 when he was performing a show. All of a sudden, inexplicability, he couldn’t move the fingers on one of his hands.

We met up again after he had finished his show and shared a conversation full of laughter and shared interests.

He saw doctors, physios, naturopaths and other specialists who all said it was due to a pinched nerve.

Later that year I invited Brad to come to Toowoomba to perform at our yearly event to celebrate International Day of People with Disability and to tell his inspirational story of loss, setbacks, overcoming barriers, finding love, discovering magic and sharing his special brand of humour with others.

But within a month the symptoms progressed to his other arm and left leg.

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“I then got a referral to a neurologist who did all this testing, came back and said, “Do you know what motor neurone disease is?” Brad and his wife Bryony sought second

magical rebound in life opinions from neurologists who also suspected he had the disease. Brad deteriorated rapidly and within 3 months, Brad couldn’t hold a toothbrush or open a car door. Finally, Brad had an appointment with a leading neurologist in Brisbane, who ordered an MRI scan of his brain which would provide a definitive answer. It was at this time he narrowly being blinded a second time. “When you have an MRI, you fill out a form that asks, “Have you ever had any metal in your body?” Bryony wrote that Brad may still have remnants of steel in his eye from the accident he had as a teenager, but they didn’t know for sure. “They put me on the table and said “Lie down so that we can get an accurate reading,” and turned on the machine for about 10 seconds. The images showed there was dense metal in Brad’s eyes, there were titanium clips holding his eyes together. Brad has performed his magic around the world and even performed in Las Vegas.

Assuming that Brad had MMN the neurologist recommended a drug treatment, administered by IV every 3 weeks for the rest of his life. Brad declined all medication. Every day Brad tried to push his body as much as possible to get some sort of movement.

Finally, after five-and-a-half months, Brad could move his index finger slightly—enough to flick a coin. Ten years later, and against all odds, Brad has improved his condition and is back doing what he loves: surfing every day, performing magic and sharing his story as a motivational speaker. “Every day is Groundhog Day for me. I basically reboot my system every morning.” Brad said that he realised just how strong and capable the human body is and he tries not to let negative thoughts get to him. “I’m a firm believer that’s actually what has kept me in the condition that I am in,” he said, “I meet a lot of people who say, ‘It’s amazing what you are able to do,” and I say ‘It’s not amazing, it’s just what I do and if I’m capable, then anyone’s capable of doing this.’” Now 49 Brad can lay claim to being an avid athlete and surfer, comedian, magician, a keynote speaker and small business owner. “I’ve done everything that I wanted to do in a career. I’ve got 3 great kids, a beautiful wife, and that wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t put that piece of steel through my eye when I was 17. As tragic as people might think that accident was, I wouldn’t change things for the world,” Brad said. But he added, laughing, “Would be nice to be able to see again properly, though.” Acknowledgement to Sunshine Coast Daily Maddie Manwaring February 22 2020

WhatsUp in Disability

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New Councillors First Meeting of Council At the Post-Election Meeting of Council we saw the announcement of a new Deputy Mayor, portfolio chairs and leaders. While social distancing guidelines kept Councillors spaced apart in the alternative venue, Mayor Paul Antonio ensured business was back on track with the unveiling of new portfolio chairs and leaders. “The community spoke at the polling booths and as a result I felt it was important to place the Councillors with the most votes in the positions of chairs,” Mayor Antonio said. “The portfolio structure will again align directly with the organisational structure. I will Chair the Economic Development Committee, assisted by the Deputy Mayor in my absence, or my colleagues from the relevant portfolio on a case by case basis,” Mayor Antonio said. “Further refinement on Councillor portfolios

may be made once discussions between these Councillors and relevant General Managers take place,” Mayor Antonio said. “As we begin this term of Council we have a number of challenges we need to address immediately and I believe we have the right people around the table to do this. “While we lost valuable experience with four Councillors stepping down from the previous term, it brings me a great deal of excitement to welcome in four new faces. “Each of the new Councillors bring their own set of skills and experience to their portfolio areas and I look forward to working with them all over the next four years. “It’s important to remember that being an elected member of this Region is an honour. The community has voted us in to look after their best interests and now that we’ve met for the first time, we can get on and do the job we’re expected to do.”

Centre: Paul Antonio (Mayor) Clockwise from top left: Mellissa Taylor, James O’Shea, Bill Cahill, Kerry Shine, Megan O’Hara Sullivan, Rebecca Vonhoff, Nancy Sommerfield, Geoff McDonald, Tim McMahon and Carol Taylor Page 6

New Deputy Mayor Geoff McDonald

Councillor Responsibilities

“I am both humbled and grateful to have been appointed the Deputy Mayor at today’s Council meeting.”

• Mayor Paul Antonio – Economic Develop-

“I thank Cr Megan O’Hara Sullivan for the confidence she showed in my experience and ability to fulfil the role by nominating me and Cr Melissa Taylor and Cr O’Hara Sullivan for moving and seconding the motion for my appointment.” “As I mentioned in the meeting today, the community have elected a strong council which I believe will bring collective wisdom, individual ideas and shared experience.“ “I leave my role as Committee Chair of the Environment and Community with a great sense of achievement by this Group over the last eight years and thank Ros Scotney, Sue Englart and Joe Ramia for sharing this responsibility over this time. “This term, I look forward to working alongside Cr Shine as we collectively follow the great work by Mike Williams and Cr O’Hara Sullivan leading the Finance and Business Strategy Group.” “It doesn’t matter what has been written in your story so far, it’s how you fill up the rest of the pages that counts”. “This is so true and I can assure the Community that your Council has a forward looking focus.” Next Wednesday at 10am a Special Meeting will be held for Council to consider local economic stimulus and relief options to support our community during the impacts of COVID -19 and everyone is invited. “Councillor McDonald is an experienced Councillor who will bring a lot of fresh ideas and enthusiasm to this position,” said Mayor Antonio “He’s passionate about the community and has a strong commitment to continually improve the lifestyle, economy and global standing of the Toowoomba Region.” “I would like to congratulate Cr McDonald and thanks all the Councillors who expressed an interest in the role.”

ment Committee Chair

• Cr Carol Taylor – Infrastructure Committee Chair

• Cr Melissa Taylor – Infrastructure Committee Portfolio Leader

• Cr Rebecca Vonhoff – Water and Waste Committee Chair

• Cr Nancy Sommerfield – Water and Waste Committee Portfolio Leader

• Cr James O’Shea – Environment and Community Committee Chair

• Cr Tim McMahon – Environment and Community Portfolio Leader

• Cr Geoff McDonald – Finance and Business Strategy Committee Chair

• Cr Kerry Shine – Finance and Business Strategy Portfolio Leader

• Cr Megan O’Hara-Sullivan – Planning and Development Committee Chair

• Cr Bill Cahill – Planning and Development Portfolio Leader

For more information about Council visit www.tr.qld.gov.au. Congratulations to our new Toowoomba Region Council representatives. We at WhatsUp in Disability look forward to working with you to make our community an inclusive, supportive and prosperous region for all members. We thank all the other nominees for their efforts during the election campaign and wish them all the best. Most of all we are pleased that all of those election signs that were in front of our Administration Office have gone. Steven

WhatsUp in Disability

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WhatsUp in Disability

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At home with Technology By Aidan Wilcock Social interaction is an essential part of life, and a lack of it can cause feelings of isolation and loneliness which can lead to mental health problems. With the current Coronavirus pandemic a lot of people are socially distancing which makes these risks greater than ever. Thankfully technology can help in these difficult times by giving us the social experience we all need.

Staying Connected With the introduction of smartphones, instant messaging services have become one of the most frequent ways we communicate with the most popular service (WhatsApp) having 1.6 billion active monthly users as of 20th October 2019. Instant messaging allows us to send text messages to each other which is great, but doesn’t provide the same comfort that hearing someone else's voice or seeing a face will. This is where video calls come in. There are many services for both phones and computers that offer video calling so we’ve gone ahead and made a list to compare the features of the most popular services for you. WhatsApp WhatsApp is the most popular instant messaging service on the market, but that’s not all it can be used for. With WhatsApp you are able to have group conversations with up to 256 people at once. WhatsApp also offers voice and video calling through your phone’s internet connection. What’s great about WhatsApp is it is available on both your smartphone and your computer, while keeping your messages in sync.

your conversation on top of other apps, which makes the experience more convenient. Connecting Entertainment Being able to communicate with each other thanks to technology is great, but that’s not the only benefit that technology has provided us with in this crisis. Thanks to the rise of streaming services, people have found ways to watch the shows they love together with friends and family, but remotely. Netflix Party If you use the Google Chrome web browser on your computer, you can freely download the Netflix Party extension from the Chrome Web Store. Netflix Party synchronizes the video and adds a group chat to the show you're watching. Netflix Party also makes it so that if anyone who’s watching presses the pause button the show will pause for everyone. Watch2Gether Watch2Gether is a website that allows you to, in their own words, “enjoy the internet in sync with your friends”. Watch2Gether allows you to enjoy content with friends and family from Youtube, Vimeo, Dailymotion and SoundCloud by synchronizing video and audio and integrating a chat room. It also allows you to browse and shop together from Amazon. Watch2Gether is free to use, and you don’t even have to register an account.

Facebook Messenger Facebook Messenger is the second most popular service. Its features are very similar to WhatsApp, however it does have some benefits that may make it a better choice. Due to the fact that Messenger is connected to Facebook, you don’t need to make a new account if you already have a Facebook account. Also, its integration with Facebook makes it easier to share photos and videos. Facebook messenger also has the “chat heads” facility which allows you to open WhatsUp in Disability

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NDIS Updates

Advance Payment

COVID-19 Price Increases

The advance payment is part of the NDIS Pandemic Plan to ensure continuity of support to NDIS participants and the sustainability of disability service providers.

The increase in price limits is applicable to price controlled support items only. Support items with price limits listed under the following categories, with some exclusions, will have the 10% increase applied to their price limits, from 25th March 2020:

This one-off payment is an advance (or prepayment) on payments for disability services which must be provided to NDIS participants to deliver reasonable and necessary supports approved in their plans. The advance payment has been calculated as approximately one-third of a provider’s cumulative payment claims processed via the NDIS myplace portal in the past three months (December 2019 – February 2020).

Assistance with Daily Life

Assistance with Social and Community Participation

Improved Health and Wellbeing

Improved Daily Living Skills

This excludes a small percentage of claims, for example, plan management fees.

The price limit increases are being applied to existing support line items.

The advance payment does not include:

The new price schedule also included:

Plan managers

Unregistered providers

Changes to the cancellation rules extending the period to 10 days

The automatic advance payment will be made to certain registered NDIS providers.

For more: https://bit.ly/3drK04V

Introducing three new support coordination items under Core Supports.

For more: https://bit.ly/2xssYmr

Join the Paul Myatt Community Centre 11-15 Alexander St Toowoomba Ph: 4632 9559 Page 10

and responses to COVID-19 Plan Review Changes

NDIS Data and Insights

If a participant has a scheduled plan review, the NDIA will contact them by phone or email to undertake their review and discuss having a plan of up to 24 months.

The latest NDIS data is now available on the new-look NDIS Data and Insights website.

To ensure participant plans don’t end, on the day a plan is due to expire, it will be automatically be extended by 365 days. Participants who have plans that expire soon, do not need to do anything to have their plans automatically extended by 365 days. In addition, the NDIA will be making changes to NDIS systems over the weekend to make sure participants have the funding they need during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more: https://bit.ly/2xssYmr

Since July 2019, the NDIA has released a range of valuable data for public information and use. This data is part of the Government’s commitment to demonstrate full data transparency of the NDIS with the Australian community. This latest release includes new and refreshed data including four detailed reports:

• Analysis of participants by gender • People with an intellectual disability • Participant goals • An update to the NDIS market report using 31st December 2019 data which now includes 76 service districts compared with 64 at 30th June 2019

Information for providers on market opportunities now includes new interactive geographic maps that show the market concentration of participants and active providers within respective service districts. Participant numbers are also available in the form of count by diagnosis type. The data gives a picture of the needs, successes and challenges for Australians who live with a disability, those who support them, and those who work within the sector. Further data releases are scheduled for June 2020 and you can register to be alerted when new NDIS data is released. For more: https://data.ndis.gov.au/ WhatsUp in Disability

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Queensland Government COVID-19 Supporting Queenslanders $1.2 billion to expand fever clinics, emergency department capacity, acute care services and regional aeromedical services for remote communities. $300 million in cost-of-living relief for households, including a $200 credit for all 2.1 million households to offset the cost of water and electricity. $24.7 million housing and homelessness plan $500 million Jobs Support loan facility interest free

My Health for Life is still operating The Queensland Health operated program My health for life will continue to operate through the COVID-19 pandemic. The team have been busy adapting their model so that they can maintain support and services to their participants under the new guidelines. As a result, My health for life has implemented a transition from group sessions and face-to-face meetings to Zoom and telephone health coaching. Online health checks continue to operate as normal, accessed at myhealthforlife.com.au The current situation with COVID-19 is a reminder of the importance of good health. If you have not yet done a health check, now is a great time to assess your current wellbeing and get involved with the free program.

Care Army to assist Queenslander's during the pandemic The Queensland Government has rallied a 'Care Army' of professionals and volunteers to assist Queensland seniors and those most at risk during the current Coronavirus pandemic. The initiative enables these people to receive assistance with obtaining food and medical supplies as well as keeping them socially connected. If you’re a senior or vulnerable person and need community support, there are many Queenslander's who’d love to help. To have a chat over the phone, or to help you with groceries and medications. Call your Care Army on 1800 173 349 For more: https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/carearmy

WhatsUp in Disability

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WhatsUp Cabinet Ministers have approved a COVID-19 response plan that takes into account the unique health needs of people with disability. The development and execution of a Management and Operational Plan for People with Disability is part of the Government’s response to the outbreak of the coronavirus known as COVID-19. The response plan will help to ensure that the health care needs of people with disability, their families and carers can be met during the pandemic, including access to coronavirus screening, prevention and health care. Measures introduced to help support people with a disability through COVID-19 in the new response plan include:

• Allowing disability carers and people with disability access to the national stockpile of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to help slow the spread of the virus and protect both carers and people with a disability.

COVID-19 related conditions. The plan will give priority to people whose disability and current health status places them at the greatest risk from COVID-19. This includes people with intellectual disability and people who have complex support needs. The Disability Royal Commission has previously raised concerns about the response to COVID-19, emergency planning, and the issues being faced by people with a disability. Chair of the Commission Ronald Sackville AO QC says all Australian Governments have a responsibility to uphold the rights of people with disability during emergencies. “We already know that people with disability can be severely affected by emergencies and may be at a higher risk of experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation at these times.

• Improving

“Our recent Statement of Concern about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with disability has been strongly endorsed by more than 70 Disability People’s and Disability Representative Organisations across Australia in an Open Letter to the National Cabinet.”

• Establishing

Disability advocates say that the plan is a step in the right direction to protecting people with a disability during the outbreak of COVID-19.

information and communications about COVID-19 to be inclusive for all people with disability, and people providing informal and formal support. guidelines to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 within shared residential and activity settings.

• Collecting and sharing data and evidence about the spread of COVID-19 and its health impacts on people with disability.

• Maintaining and preparing clinical care and public health management so that people with disability continue to have access to essential health care for non-COVID-19

Jeff Smith, Chief Executive Officer of People With Disability Australia (PWDA) and member of the Government Advisory Group, says, “We are pleased to see safeguards being put in place for people with disability. In this regard, the response plan is an important “first step” in what was needed. “It is of critical importance to take a national Winton Queensland

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Disability Response Plan response to ensure people with disability across the country have equal access to healthcare and avoid a ‘patchwork quilt of approaches’.” A number of measures have already been put in place by the Federal Government to support people with disabilities during COVID -19 as a result of the plan. Measures already in place include:

• Training to help people caring for people with disability protect themselves and the people they are caring for from infection.

• Improved communication for people with disability, their families, carers and support workers about the coronavirus outbreak.

• Mobilising expertise to help health care workers provide better care for people with disability. The response plan was drafted by an Advisory Group commissioned on 2nd April 2020 by Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy.

Tom and Jerry Director Gene Deitch has passed at the age of 95. He won the Academy Award in 1960 for his animated short film Munro.

The advisory group is chaired by a senior official from the Department of Health and includes experts from the disability sector, academia, clinical practice, nursing, Australian Government officials, as well as State and Territory Government representatives.

The group held its first meeting on Friday, 3 April and delivered a draft plan to the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) on Thursday, 9 April. A spokesperson for the Department of Health says that the plan is aligned to the Australian Health Sector Emergency Response Plan for Coronavirus which was activated by the Prime Minister on 27th February 2020.

WhatsUp in Disability

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Flexible Respite Options * Breakaway Guesthouse- Highfields. Offers short term respite to children and adults with a disability in a comfortable and relaxed environment which is fully staffed. * In-home and/or Community Access Support that is flexible and focused on meeting individual family needs. * Rural and Remote Offers respite support to people with disabilities and their families in rural and remote South West Queensland. * Vacation Care Respite support for children with disabilities and their families during school holidays.

27 Mort Street Toowoomba Telephone: (07) 4639 5100 Fax: (07) 4639 5079 Email: info@breakawaytmba.org



South & Greenwattle Toowoomba

10.00 am every Saturday $18 per session 3 games Sports Registration $50 (membership) Glenda (07) 4614 1136 Kathy (07) 4630 5221 Page 16

Fashioning Masks for Charity For nearly 35 years local disability support services charity Breakaway Toowoomba has been providing vital assistance to those who need it most in Toowoomba and the Darling Downs. The outbreak of the current COVID19 pandemic has meant some changes to operations however the not-for-profit is still working hard to service the local community, and one employee in particular has gone above and beyond drawing on their experience in both support services and fashion design. Julianna Grace is employed by Breakaway Toowoomba as a Support Worker, a career she always knew would be a meaningful way to be involved in and to give back to the local community. “My father had been a support worker for over 20 years and I had always heard from others in the industry how rewarding it was. I love it.”

of support and incredible personal generosity is something positive that can come from this devastating global pandemic. That is what Breakaway Toowoomba have always sought and will continue to do, even during these uncertain times. Support for those most vulnerable in our community is so important at the best of times and absolutely essential at the worst. We hold the spirit of this at the heart of everything we do here at Breakaway and couldn’t be prouder of Julianna’s efforts and selfless attitude towards our clients and the local community at large.” For further information and to find out more about Julianna’s masks and Breakaway Toowoomba and the services they provide please visit their website www.breakawaytmba.org

When the COVID-19 crisis hit Toowoomba, Julianna knew she wanted to help those most vulnerable.

“I wanted to be of use and help my community to stay safe and be a part in helping to stop the spread of this virus. Making masks is my way of helping the community, even if it’s only one person – that could potentially help one hundred not getting sick.” The masks contain 2 layers of non-woven material, an adjustable nose bridge and are designed to be machine-washed after every use. Julianna has worked as both a fashion designer and a seamstress and was able to put these skills to good use by making the masks. “I did a lot of research and finally came across a basic template online which I modified myself to sit snug on the face. I chose interesting prints to make them a little more ‘Couture’,” she laughs, “I wanted them to be pretty too!” Breakaway Toowoomba’s CEO Carolina Williams is thrilled at the initiative taken by Julianna but not surprised by the Support Worker’s dedication to care. “Julianna’s amazing efforts to keep the Breakaway community safe and healthy is the perfect example of how the provision WhatsUp in Disability

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Changes to the Yellow Card System

WhatsUp In Disability (the Magazine) First published in 1994 to give local people with disabilities and carers, information on a growing multitude of local disability services, local news and issues, with the purpose of not only supplying information to people with disabilities, but of giving choices to people and to give local services a specialist media outlet where they could give information on their services. To obtain a copy of WhatsUp in Disability magazine or to be an advertiser, please call in and see us at the WhatsUp in Disability office at the Paul Myatt Community Centre 11-15 Alexander Street Toowoomba or call us on 4632 6678.

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Down Syndrome Support Group Inc. (Toowoomba & District)

Offers people with Down Syndrome and their families an opportunity to make contact with, and to meet other people in a friendly and inviting environment. Contact: President Kara Wren Mobile: 0439 661 349

Services Australia $750 Economic Support Payment

$550 Coronavirus Supplement

This payment is not taxable

This temporary payment is taxable

This means you don’t include it:

This means you:

when you report your fortnightly income to receive your Centrelink payment

in your family income estimate for FTB/CCS

don’t need to report it as your fortnightly income as it’s part of your Centrelink payment

as income in your tax return for 2019-20 financial year

need to include it in your family income estimate for FTB/CCS

need to declare it as income in your tax return for 2019-20 financial year

JobSeeker Payment

$1,500 JobKeeper Payment

This payment is taxable

This payment is taxable

This means you:

This means you need to include it:

don’t need to report it as your fortnightly income as it’s part of your Centrelink payment

when you report your fortnightly income to receive your Centrelink payment

need to include it in your family income estimate for FTB/CCS

in your family income estimate for FTB/CCS

as income in your tax return for 2019-20

as income in your tax return for 2019-20 financial year

Services Australia (formally the Department of Human Services) includes Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support. There are lots of people asking if certain payments are taxable and what is required for tax purposes or income estimates. Hopefully these information blocks to help you understand some of the available payments. There is a temporarily increase the JobSeeker Payment partner income test. From 27th April your partner can earn up to $3,068 per fortnight before their income stops your payment.

Address: 108 Mort Street Toowoomba Telephone: (07) 4659 5476 Email: admin@qualitylifestylesupport.com Respite care, Community Access and In Home Care are provided to people in innovative and flexible ways working within the principles and guidelines of the Disability Services Act and NDIS guidelines Director: John Hart ABN: 43 092 474 872

We encourage client input and control over the service they request.

WhatsUp in Disability

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Warrina Services is a specialist support agency that has been providing individual support to people of the Darling Downs since 1986. We support people with a diverse range of needs and also provide mental health services to assist personal recovery. We can help you to achieve positive outcomes in your life. These may be related to choice and independence, education or training, attending social activities, increasing skills, getting a job or contributing to your community. If you would like further information please visit our website

www.warrinaservices.org.au Or contact us Phone: 07-46 380 399 Email: warrinas@warrinas.com.au or visit our office at

172 Bridge Street Toowoomba Office hours Mon-Fri 9-5pm

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Martin Hoffman NDIS CEO What’s changed and what still needs changing? An Interview with the NDIA CEO Martin Hoffman Kirsten Deane—Every Australian Counts

The statement on the NDIS website changed three times in two days. We were reassured that the policy wasn’t changing – they just wanted the info to be clearer. And then a “stay tuned” message appeared.

We put the call out to everyone in the EAC community to see what you most wanted to ask the guy in charge of the NDIS – and we were flooded with questions.

Martin admitted that they were still working on the policy to make sure the do and don’ts were clear – and that info would be up on the NDIS website this week.

So many that we could not possibly ask them all.

So for everyone who is still wondering what is and isn’t allowed the answer is – if you don’t already have one and you need it for your disability support then the answer is generally yes. But the fine print of exactly what is and what isn’t allowed – well you will have to stay tuned.

But we did manage to cover the big questions you have been asking us about changes to the NDIS as a result of the Coronavirus. Or just as important what changes haven’t been made – and what still needs to be done. So what did Mr Hoffman have to say? Smart devices and iPads – can we or can’t we?

Given that we are all living day-to-day at the moment, that’s a pretty frustrating answer. Price increases and cancellation policies

There’s been plenty of confusion about the whole iPad thing. First Scott McNaughton in our Zoom forum said we could. Yay! Then the info on the NDIS website confirmed what he said. All good.

We have been contacted by so many people frustrated by the 10% increase to some NDIS prices. Peeps are frustrated because plans have NOT been increased to cover this amount.

And then …

People are also wondering why the NDIA changed the cancellation policy. (In case you missed it providers can now charge 100 per cent the cost of a service if a participant cancels a service up to 10 days in advance – instead of the usual two days)

Every Australian Counts is the original grassroots campaign responsible for bringing the dream of the NDIS to life. They fought to get the scheme started and they are continuing the fight to get it working the way it was intended. www.everyaustraliancounts.com.au/

Martin says both of these changes have been introduced to try and make sure providers can keep their doors open during this crisis. And that they are definitely temporary – both will be reviewed as we go along and removed when this is all over. But for people who have their plans very carefully budgeted, these two changes have a BIG impact. It means you need to ask for a review at an already stressful time. And that’s a stress no one needs.

WhatsUp in Disability

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8am to 1pm 3rd Sunday every month

Top Oval Lindsay Street Toowoomba Supporting WhatsUp in Disability

Employment Services Supporting people with a disability to gain and maintain employment that is valued by the client, the employer and the community. 3 Finchley Street PO Box 1715 Toowoomba QLD 4350 P: (07) 4688 3900 F: (07) 4688 3911 employment.toowoomba@uccommunity.org.au www.uccommunity.org.au/employmentservices

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Support Local Stallholders Queens Park Market

BT Garden Planters

We are not sure how long it will be until we will be returning with our market to Queens Park. The next few months are going to be really hard on all of us... so we need to stick together! If you know someone with a small business check out their website and shop online with them. The only hope we have of surviving this and not falling into a recession is to support each other.

Rustic garden planters created from recycled wood pallets, palings and timber.

If you have a small local business or market stall please tag and share your business details with our Facebook page so that shoppers can find you but don’t forget in order for this to work You Must Share this post on your page and groups as well.

https://www.facebook.com/ btgardenplanters/ Sweet n Salty Yumdiddlyicious Gourmet Popcorn

https://www.sweetnsalty.com.au/shoponline GFree Donuts Taste so much better than regular donuts! https://www.facebook.com/gfreedonuts/

If you’re a shopper please share our Online Market because even though we can’t go to events, we can still shop online! So grab a cuppa or glass of wine and let’s see if we can hook you up with some fabulous Australian Made goodies.

Pawfect Paws

Addicted to Buttons

ERS Creations and Designs

www.madeit.com.au/addictedtobuttons Old Style Russian Fudge

Handmade items for young children, teachers, for gifts and the home.

Spoil mum with a Fudge Gift Pack or Jar on the 10th May!

http://www.etsy.com/au/shop/ ERSCreationsDesigns


We are dedicated, compassionate and committed animal lovers and pet services https://pawfectpawsau.com/

Once upon a Daxxie I hand make pet bandannas for dogs and cats of all sizes https://onceuponadaxxie.square.site/ Fluff Bums and Mums Reusable cloth nappies, pads and other eco products.

https://fluffbumsandmums.com/ Earth Wrapping We sell stainless steel pegs, bowel cover, zippy bags, toothpaste, soaps, just to name a few. www.earthwrapping.com.au Pure Essential Living Hand crafted bath and body products www.pureessentialliving.net WhatsUp in Disability

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Supporting Sport How sports are handling COVID-19 If your club is looking for ways to keep your members engaged, check out VicSport’s list on how sports are handling COVID-19! From TikTok and online challenges, to skills hubs and training courses at home, and live Facebook sport-inspired workouts, there are many ways to keep engaged with your members during the pandemic. For more: https://vicsport.com.au/ blog/3530/how-sports-are-handling-covid-19

Support for COVID-19




The Australian Sports Foundation (ASF) has some support mechanisms which have been made available to sports clubs during the COVID-19 situation. Sporting clubs can register a sports development project with ASF, and donors will receive a tax-deductible receipt for any donations over $2 that they make to your club. You will also get customised support to run your project and get tips for fundraising. The ASF can also look at converting memberships/sponsorships to tax-deductible donations if they are in a position where they aren’t being fulfilled. For more: https://asf.org.au/

PATHWAYS Program The PATHWAYS Program is now open. This program aims to further the sporting journeys of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people through assistance with the costs of competing in competitive sport. For more: http://www.swin.org.au/





Whilst people are finding they cannot do the activities they usually would to keep active, it is important to find new ways to keep moving during these unprecedented times. Being active during the pandemic is critical for maintaining both physical and mental health. It can boost immune function, improve sleep, and help to manage the stress experienced by many in this uncertain time. In the long term it can also reduce the risk of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, which have been shown to impact recovery from Coronavirus. The Australian Physical Activity Guidelines remain unchanged, recommending 150 minutes of moderate (e.g. brisk walk) to vigorous (e.g. jogging/running) intensity exercise each week, and muscle-strengthening activities on at least 2 days of each week. Note: Please consider your readiness to exercise before starting any new exercise regime. If you have any medical conditions or musculoskeletal injuries, then please discuss this with your doctor. It is recommended to increase your exercise volume and intensity slowly overtime. WhatsUp in Disability

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3rd Sunday of the Month 8:00 am—1:00 pm Frog’s Hollow Queens Park All proceeds support WhatsUp in Disability

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So I said to Arnie, “Where did you get those toilet rolls?” He said “Aisle B, back”.

To spread the word about your next event contact WhatsUp on (07) 4632 9559 or email admin@whatsupindisability.org WhatsUp in Disability

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mycommunity www.mycommunitydirectory.com.au

Closures due to COVID-19 The following facilities have been closed in line with the latest federal government health advice:

• • • • • • •

playgrounds outdoor gyms barbecue facilities skate parks Stenner St Skills Park BMX track at Captain Cook Reserve sporting facilities (only closed to clubbased/formal sporting groups) • campgrounds • community halls These closures are required to safeguard public health by preventing / reducing the spread of the Coronavirus. Many facilities where community members undertake recreational pursuits (ie, dog-off leash parks, walk and cycle paths, recreational trails in bushland parks, multipurpose/basketball courts), and play sport (ie, sports fields and tennis/netball/croquet/ lawn courts) remain open for public use if social distancing restrictions are adhered to. These restrictions include keeping 1.5m away from others, avoiding physical greetings/contact, and restricting gatherings to 2 people only. Page 28

Dogs to stay on leash whilst outdoors Whilst it is fine to take your dog for a walk, it is now a Council requirement for dogs to stay on leash at all times, including when in a dog off-leash park. There have been recent incidents that have seen loose dogs approach other patrons, testing the ability of their owners to adhere to social distancing requirements to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

Council automates pedestrian crossings

Toowoomba Regional Council has begun automating CBD pedestrian crossings to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Traffic lights will become automated at key CBD locations and pedestrian crossing buttons will not need to be pressed between 6am and 6pm. These changes will help minimise unnecessary surface contact at pedestrian crossings. In total, all 19 signalised intersections in the area bounded by Clifford, Herries, Neil and Russell Streets and the signals on Anzac Avenue at Clifford Gardens will be automated. Outside these hours and at other pedestrian crossings, please use your elbow to press the buttons.



New to disability?

First Points of Contact Centrelink Payments and Services

132 468


132 717

Disability Support Pension

132 717

Health Care Card

132 490

Family Assistance

136 150

Indigenous Call Centre

1800 136 380

Emergency Crisis Payment

132 850

NDIS General Enquiries

1800 800 110

NDIA Toowoomba Office

07 4592 4057

Local Area Coordinator

07 4646 2800

Medicare General Enquiries

132 011

Pharmaceutical Benefits

132 290

MyGov Help Desk

132 307

Queensland Government

Toowoomba Disability Information Office

Child Safety

07 4699 4255

Disability Services

07 4615 3900

Toowoomba Hospital

07 4616 6000

Department Housing

07 4699 4400

Community Groups Carer Advisory Service

1800 242 636

Carer Respite

1800 059 059

Open Monday to Friday

Lifeline Darling Downs

1300 991 443

(core times 9:00am to 3.00pm)

Relationships Australia

1300 364 277

A question on disability or a service you require? Try us, most of our volunteers have a disability themselves and will be glad to assist you. If we can’t help, we will refer you elsewhere. JP services are also available 11-15 Alexander Street Toowoomba

There are a number of support groups for most disabilities available in this region. Contact WhatsUp in Disability on: Phone: 07 4632 9559 Email: admin@whatsupindisability.org

(07) 4632 6678 A volunteer disability service organisation run by people with disabilities

WhatsUp in Disability

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WhatsUp Executive Team

PUBLISHER: Disability Media Association Inc (Australia) (DMAA) TELEPHONE: (07) 4632 9559 OFFICE:

Paul Myatt Community Centre 11-15 Alexander Street Toowoomba (open Monday to Friday 9:00am-3:00 pm)

POSTAL ADDRESS: PO Box 3621 Toowoomba Qld 4350 E-MAIL: admin@whatsupindisability.org MANAGEMENT BOARD: Steven Paull (President) Liz Schneidewin (Editor) Tasha Grundon (Secretary) Ann Paull (Treasurer) ADMINISTRATION: Tasha Grundon, Alyssa Storm and Bec McDermott CONTRIBUTORS: Liz Schneidewin, Bronwyn Herbertson, Sharon Boyce, Aidan Wilcock , Steven Paull and many more. PUBLISHED January/March/May/July/September/November ABN: 72 821 350 911


PRINT POST APPROVED: PP 424022/ 1811 DISCLAIMER/INDEMNITY Articles and adverts reproduced on these pages are accepted and published in good faith. It is a condition of acceptance that advertisers and article writers accept full responsibility for their advertisements and articles, and will fully indemnify the producers in the event of any claims or legal proceedings against them. Articles published are not necessarily the view of the publishers. Advertisements are also accepted on the basis that they do not conflict with any discrimination laws or other laws currently in force. ADVERTISING


Although we are a volunteer and non profit organisation, we are not funded in any way, and have to cover costs of this publication by charging for advertising. WWhatsUp reserves the right to adjust, resize or move advertisements when necessary to allow for editing

WhatsUp IS AVAILABLE FROM: 1) SUBSCRIPTION (In advance) $18 per year (includes postage). 2) A single edition of WhatsUp can be bought at the office and selected outlets. You may also subscribe by using the form on the outside cover. 3) Reference copies are held in the Tourist Office and Toowoomba Library. COPYRIGHT


Copyright Protected. All pages are subject to copyright law and may be copied only with the permission of DMAA. Copies are not to be used commercially or for profit or for personal financial gain. Permission may be granted to copy only if the purpose is to give it away to others for their personal interest but not to any other organisation or service. DISCLAIMER

All articles are accepted in good faith and are not necessarily the view of the Editorial team or Management. Articles are accepted on the understanding that in the event of any claims against WhatsUp, the writer of the article will take full responsibility and indemnify WhatsUp in the event of legislation against it. Articles are also accepted on the understanding that the contents do not breach any Disability laws or other legislation currently in use. ENVIRONMENTAL FRIENDLY/ COPYING

ANN PAULL Treasurer

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WhatsUp In Disability is provided as a Master Copy to individuals and organisations. We are environmental friendly, we do not print any more copies than is absolutely necessary. We prefer and encourage the practice of passing the magazine from person to person or copying the whole magazine to pass on to others. Permission is needed to copy (see Copyright above) When copying the magazine we require that the pages be marked ‘copy’.


WhatsUp Accommodation / Respite

Information Services


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Commonwealth Carer Respite

Annie’s House



Down Syndrome Support Group

Breakaway Toowoomba



(Toowoomba and District)



Epilepsy Queensland Inc.



Support Services Anne’s Angels



Every Australian Counts



Anuha Services (Gatton)



TASC National



BigDog Support Services



Toowoomba Disability Information



Breakaway Toowoomba




CPL (Choice Passion Life)



Slow Starters Ten Pin Bowling



David Wallis



Toowoomba Sunset Superbowl



Employee ME



Toowoomba Region



Quality Lifestyle Support



Other Services

Wagtail Services



Warrina Services



BigDog Cleaning Services



Yellow Bridge QLD



BigDog Lawn Mowing Services



IMPACT Career Counselling





Queens Park Market



Snap Printing



Think Mobility



Tony Wigan Show 102.7 FM



Reben Mobility



Toowoomba Clubhouse



Employment Uniting Care Community

Mobility Equipment

www.whatsupindisability.org To contribute to the next edition please send your article to

WhatsUp In Disability


is proudly printed by the Community Development and Facilities Branch of the Toowoomba Regional Council

by the 20th February/April/June/August/October/December or reserve your advertising or story

WhatsUp in Disability

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WhatsUp In Disability PO Box 3621 Toowoomba Qld 4350 Phone: (07) 4632 6678 Email: admin@whatsupindisability.org

Thank you

For your support of WhatsUp in Disability WhatsUp In Disability APPLICATION FOR SUBSCRIPTION 2020 ($18 per year including postage) NAME ADDRESS

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Please cut out / scan and post to: PO Box 3621, Toowoomba 4350 with your cheque