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APRIL 2012

LISTEN UP! MAGAZINE

EDUCATION & DISABILITY –NEW FRONTIERS P14

JACINTA COLLINS INTERVIEW P20

CDA

CELEBRATES PRINT POST APPROVED 353280/00006

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CHILDREN WITH DISABILITY AUSTRALIA (CDA) BOARD AND STAFF: Tom Byrne (SA) Melinda Ewin (QLD) Chair Heike Fabig (NSW) Secretary Con Fourkiotis (QLD) Liz Kelly (VIC) Cheryl Pattrick (ACT) Bruce Young-Smith (NT) Stephanie Gotlib Executive Officer Alan Blackwood Policy Officer Anne Murphy Information & Policy Support Officer Robyn Dowling Office & Executive Assistant Winnie Bridie Membership Officer Darrell Harding Financial Manager Melanie Yalpur Student Danny Dickson Volunteer

CDA MEMBERSHIP IS FREE FOR FAMILIES! Service providers, organisations and other interested persons are welcome to join and enjoy the benefits of CDA associate membership for an annual fee of $55 (GST inc). For more information visit www.cda.org.au or phone 03 9482 1130 or 1800 222 660. Children with Disability Australia Suite 1, 179 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill, VIC 3068 Phone (03) 9482 1130 or 1800 222 660 (regional or interstate callers) Fax 03 9481 7833 Email info@cda.org.au Web www.cda.org.au Listen Up! magazine is published by Children with Disability Australia. The opinions expressed in Listen Up! are not necessarily those of CDA staff or Board. Articles in Listen Up! may be reproduced in other forums but we ask that you include written acknowledgement of the source and obtain permission beforehand. Listen Up! is available in rich text format on request. Website links to more information are noted throughout the magazine but if you don’t have access to the internet, contact the CDA office and we can send you a print copy.

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Children with Disability Australia (CDA) is a not for profit national organisation representing children and young people with disability aged 0–25 years and their families. A crucial part of our role is to provide a link between the direct experiences of children and young people with disability and their families to federal government and other key stakeholders. This link is essential for the creation of a true appreciation of the experiences and challenges that make up the lives of children and young people with disability and their families. CDA believes that children and young people with disability should have the opportunity to live meaningful and fulfilling lives within safe, supportive and appropriate environments. CDA works to achieve these aims by: Educating national public policy-makers and the broader community about the needs of children and young people with disability. Advocating on behalf of children and young people with disability to ensure the best possible support and services are available from government and the community. Informing children and young people with disability, families and care givers about their rights and entitlements to services and support. Celebrating the successes and achievements of children and young people with disability. CDA membership includes copies of our Listen Up! magazine and strengthens the united voice of children and young people with disability and their families. Use the membership form on page 41 of this edition of Listen Up! to join.

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BOARD WELCOME and what you advocate for is an important step towards creating change.

Welcome to the first edition of ‘Listen Up!’ formerly Family Voices. Listening is a crucial part of advocacy. Thank you for advocating and getting people to ‘Listen Up!’ to what you have to say. Getting, teachers, doctors, therapists, your own family perhaps, to listen to you

Many of you know that being listened to may take some time, dedication and perseverance. Being listened to is the key to getting what you want. It also doesn’t just stop there, it has a ripple effect. Often the change you make for one will also create change for others. Congratulations on your efforts, no matter what stage of being listened to you are at, you are making a difference!

We welcome a new Board member, Con Fourkiotis after his nomination was unanimously accepted at the Annual General Meeting in 2011. Con is a father of four and brings to CDA his professional knowledge of risk management and occupational health and safety. Con’s enthusiasm and desire for systemic change compliments our board team perfectly!

MELINDA EWIN Chairperson

WE HAVE MOVED Since our last edition CDA has continued to grow and we have moved office. Previously we were co-located with the Association for Children with a Disability in Victoria (ACD). Many of you would be aware that CDA has a long and close history with ACD. In departing we give thanks to ACD for their ongoing support. We look forward to a close working relationship in the future.

CONTACT US AT Suite 1, 179 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill, VIC 3068 Phone (03) 9482 1130 or 1800 222 660 (regional or interstate callers) Fax 03 9481 7833 Email info@cda.org.au

TH E CDA TEAM GROWS

I Image Left–Right: L f Ri h S Stephanie h i G Gotlib, lib Winnie Bridie, Anne Murphy, Robyn Dowling

CDA has this year recently welcomed Robyn Dowling as our Office and Executive Assistant. We are also very pleased to announce Alan Blackwood is working with the CDA team as a part time policy officer for education issues for students with disability. Alan has significant experience in the disability sector. His considerable knowledge will greatly assist CDA’s advocacy for children and young people with disability.

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EXECUTIVE OFFICER WELCOME Welcome to the 2012 edition of our newly renamed national publication Listen Up! We have changed the name in recognition of the importance of the voice of our members in the major reforms that will dominate the disability landscape for years to come: namely the establishment of a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the reform of funding for education in Australia coming out of the recent Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling. The Australian Government has put disability high on the list of important issues, and after many years we are now seeing some positive movement on a number of fronts, but there is much yet to do. The campaign for a NDIS has had a high profile, and it is being talked about in the halls of every level of government. However CDA is hearing that families across the country have varying levels of knowledge about what the NDIS is about. While many members have been active campaigners in the very successful Every Australian Counts campaign for a NDIS (www.everyaustraliancounts.com.au), others have little or no idea what the NDIS is. The recommendation for the establishment of a NDIS came about after the Commonwealth Government requested in 2010 that the Productivity Commission inquire into the feasibility of an insurance based system for providing disability care and support. In August 2011, the Productivity Commission released an extensive report on its inquiry in which it found that the present disability service system is “underfunded, unfair, fragmented and inefficient� and that significant reform is required (see http://www. pc.gov.au/projects/inquiry/disability-support). Since then the Australian Government has been working towards establishing a NDIS. So how will this change our lives? Basically, it is proposed that there needs to be a new national disability service system that would enable people

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with disability, including children, to not only receive adequate levels of service and support but be afforded real choice in what and how the services and supports required are accessed. Fundamental to a new scheme is the need for services to be targeted to the specific needs and situation of the person concerned, and to enable lifelong planning and support. Presently, there is limited opportunity to do this, and navigating the service system maze makes accessing even basic services difficult. Typically it is a tireless search for services and information when you have a child with a disability, and there is very little security that you can continue to get what you need as your child develops. The reform of the system we are pushing for would ultimately create greater opportunity, inclusion in community life and a person centred approach for children and young people with a disability. Additionally, the new service system will have a streamlined eligibility assessment processes. There will be a clear entry point to the system. It will be nationally consistent, so if you move interstate you can still access the same level of support and not have to reapply. So basically our disability services system needs to be completely redesigned and transformed. This is a huge task. CDA has been close to the NDIS campaign and is maintaining an active role in promoting the needs of children and young people in the scheme design. We have included an update

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on the NDIS in this edition of Listen Up! Further updates on the progress of the NDIS will also be posted on the CDA website. It’s important that needs and expectations that families have in regard to the NDIS proposal are canvassed and fed into the process. The many stories and personal experiences that members contributed to the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into the NDIS and the campaign for a NDIS have been extremely powerful and have made a big impact in gaining political commitments for a NDIS. These stories have underpinned the movement towards a NDIS, but our most constructive role is to deliver detailed feedback about how a NDIS can be best designed to provide support packages to enable children and their families to live their lives well. CDA’s role in providing this detail to governments is critical and we will put a lot of work into this in the next year. The other big reform area is education. This remains one of the most significant areas of concern for our members. Whilst the reform of our disability service system is absolutely imperative, so are essential improvements to the education system to ensure children with disability have the same opportunities to obtain a quality education as other children. All children need to be able to acquire knowledge and skills to the best of their ability so they are best placed to participate in life as adults. It is very pleasing that the Australian Government has recognised that students with disability must be a significant focus in the education reforms. This is reflected in a number of significant initiatives including the allocation of an additional $200 million for students with disability, projects aiming to establish a national definition of students with disability, the introduction of National Professional Standards for Teachers and Principals and the establishment of the Schools Disability Advisory Council to advise the Minister. CDA is represented on this Council. Students

with disability are also a key focus of the recently released report on the national Review of Funding for Schooling (the Gonski review). We have a large section on education in this edition. I think we all have a really vital role to play in progressing reform of these initiatives. I know it can be incredibly time consuming either having a disability or being a parent of a child with a disability, but it’s important that we are active in creating change. We do this by being informed about what is happening or being proposed for children and young people with disability and contributing to the discussions. This can occur in many ways. It may be advocating for your child at school, participating in Facebook discussions, ringing up the radio, going to see your State or Federal Member of Parliament or adding strength to our voice by joining CDA. We all have considerable knowledge and expertise regarding our experiences of disability, which we need to share in order to get a better deal for kids with disability. We cannot be passive recipients of an inadequate system. We need to continue to speak up and contribute to the change process.

STEPHANIE GOTLIB Executive Officer

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OUR VOICE — NATHAN

Q

CAN YOU TELL ME A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF?

My name is Nathan. I am 22 years old and I live at home with my mum and dad. I like to catch the bus and go for coffee. I enjoy using my iPad.

Q

WHAT’S IT LIKE HAVING A DISABILITY?

I am a very happy person because even though my body might not do as it is told my mind works very well. I am happy because I have all my mental capacities.

Q

HOW DOES YOUR DISABILITY IMPACT ON THE THINGS YOU DO EACH DAY? I need two carers to get me out of bed in the morning. They shower, dress, assist me with personal care and get me into my wheelchair. They also feed me. I have high care needs and require someone with me at all times.

Q

DOES YOUR DISABILITY HAVE A NAME?

Spastic quadriplegia with cerebral palsy.

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HOW HAS HAVING A DISABILITY INFLUENCED YOUR SCHOOL AND WORK LIFE? I went to a special school and I learnt a lot. I now volunteer with meals on wheels. The disability has stopped me from getting a full time job and it has restricted me from doing further schooling as I have little speech. I communicate through a board or my iPad or with help from my carers. For up to date news and views on issues regarding children and young people with disability follow us on facebook www.facebook/CDISAUS

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IF YOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO TALK TO THE PRIME MINISTER ABOUT DISABILITY WHAT WOULD YOU SAY? I would like more access to sporting facilities so that I can have a go at different sports and have the same opportunities as a person without a disability. I think there should be more community awareness about disability so that everyone has more understanding about people with a disability.

Do you know a child or young person with disability who would be interested in sharing their views in upcoming issues of Listen Up!? Please phone or email CDA for further information.

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YOUR VIEWS ON THE WORK OF CDA CDA is extremely passionate about providing a bigger voice for children and young people with disability in the Australian community. We provide a link between the direct experiences of our members to federal government and other key stakeholders. This link is viewed as essential for the creation of a true appreciation of the experiences and challenges that make up the lives of children and young people with disability and their families. Input and feedback from our members about the value of our work is crucial. It would be greatly appreciated if you could provide us with your feedback by answering the questions below. Thank you for your assistance.

HOW WOULD YOU RATE YOUR LEVEL OF SATISFACTION WITH CDA’S: Consultation on key issues? Low

Average

High

Very High

Information provided by CDA? Low

Average

High

Very High

Representation to government of your key issues? Low

Average

High

Very High

WHAT COULD CDA DO TO IMPROVE YOUR LEVEL OF SATISFACTION?

Please return your feedback by: Mail Children with Disability Australia Suite 1, 179 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill, Victoria 3068 Fax 03 9481 7833 Email info@cda.org.au

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CDA FUNDING CDA receives its core funding from the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA). CDA also received additional funding from the Department of Education Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) in 2012 to support advocacy work related to education policy. To continue to provide a strong national voice for children and young people with disability CDA is dependent on additional funding obtained through organisational membership fees and donations. All donations, no matter what size, greatly assist and strengthen the work of CDA. In addition, all donations over $2 are tax deductible.

DONATIONS ARE WELCOMED! PAYMENT ACCEPTED BY DIRECT DEPOSIT Children with Disability Australia BSB 633 000 Account 139676928

CREDIT CARD VISA A

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Amount $ Name on Card Credit Card No

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CHEQUE Payable to: Children with Disability Australia

PLEASE RETURN TO Children with Disability Australia Suite 1, 179 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill, Victoria 3068 Tel 03 9482 1130 Fax 03 9481 7833 Email info@cda.org.au ABN 42 140 529 273

ALL DONATIONS OVER $2.00 ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE

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CDA I N TH E N EWS NEWSPAPERS PUBLISHED LETTERS THE FORGOTTEN KIDS – 25/1/2012 IT IS refreshing to see such interest in student achievement. Education should be a national priority. But where is the report card on the progress of students with disability for whom the NAPLAN tests are an inappropriate measure? At best these students have an individual education plan with learning goals established, implemented and evaluated by the school. There is no national data on numeracy and literacy for them. So how do we track the performance of them and schools? Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal 29.6 per cent of people with reported disability between the ages of 15 and 64 completed year 12 compared to 49.3 per cent of people without a disability. It indicates that education for students with disability is not a pretty picture. It is imperative that these kids are not left off the education agenda.

THE RIGHT TO SCHOOLING – 24/12/2011 I READ with exasperation an advertisement in The Age this week requesting donations to a charity. The example given as to what donations fund was the provision of essential transport so students with disability could attend school in a chaperoned bus. Earlier this year you reported the appalling plight of Elia who was unable to attend a full day at primary school because of inadequate funding (The Age, 10/8). This situation was “resolved” by an anonymous donor. What a sad indictment on our society that students with disability have to be reliant on charity to be able to access an education even though it is a basic human right.

TOUGH FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES – 18/12/2011 SCHOOL funding, or lack of it, is a major factor contributing to many students with disabilities being denied educational opportunities. Students and families are often despondent, exhausted, exasperated and appalled by the struggle they experience in an attempt to access a quality education. Students with disabilities are often subjected to low expectations, limited opportunities, exclusion, bullying and discrimination. Statistics reveal that 63 per cent of students with disability had difficulties fitting in at school. Further only 29.6 per cent of people with disability complete year 12, compared with 49.3 per cent of people without disability. The present state of play is not only unfair but manifestly unjust. Their experience is out of line with the high value our community places on education and Australia’s mantra of a fair go for all. Fundamental reform is required which ensures not only an increase in quantum of funding but involves change which will mean the educational system will adequately identify and meet the diverse needs of students with disability. The provision of education is pivotal to any child’s future choices. The 7 per cent of Australia’s children with disability, arguably one of the most disadvantaged groups of students, certainly have a great deal at stake in this reform. We must get it right as their future depends on it.

Listen List Li sten en U Up! p! | A April prilil 2 pr 2012 01 12

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REVEALING ATTITUDES – 17/8/2011 LAST week we took a significant step towards social reform with the announcement of support to work towards a national disability insurance scheme. The proposed reform has bipartisan political support, which is no mean feat. This reform, however, must be accompanied by a re-evaluation of entrenched discriminatory attitudes held by too many in the community. Unfortunately, I was contacted, yet again, about another prominent media personality—Eddie McGuire—laughing and ridiculing children with disability on prime-time breakfast radio. In a conversation about sledging in sport, a joke was repeated that someone had said a cricketer’s child was a “retard”. McGuire and colleagues thought it hilarious. He obviously wasn’t paying attention when he was a member of the Australian Social Inclusion Board. Maybe Graeme Innes, the Disability Discrimination Commissioner, can refresh McGuire’s memory when he deals with this issue as a formal complaint.

ENSURE RIGHTS FOR DISABLED CHILDREN – 11/8/2011 AM I mistaken in presuming that it is a child’s right to education, not a privilege. Last week we heard that a student with a disability was too disabled to qualify for assistance (“Disabled teen in suit over dreams unfulfilled”, The Age, 2/8). This week, it is reported that someone is not disabled enough for assistance despite having to make the choice to either sit in faeces or attend primary school for the full day (“Elia can’t walk, can’t control his body - and can’t get an aide”), The Age, 10/8). These reports clearly indicate that our system is failing to meet the needs of students with disability.

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These experiences are not uncommon among members of our organisation. In these instances, students and their families are either forced to comply with this violation of their basic right to education or, increasingly, legal action is being taken on a case by case basis to address this intolerable situation. Systemic reform to ensure the rights of students with disabilities is well overdue.

DEPARTMENT’S STANCE IS ALARMING – 3/8/2011 THE stance reportedly taken by the Department of Education that someone’s disability limits their potential to benefit from extra assistance is alarming (“Disabled teen in suit over dreams unfulfilled”, The Age, 2/8). Since when is it acceptable practice to classify students as not worthy of assistance because they apparently won’t attain some mythical desirable level of knowledge and skills? Students with disability have a right to learn. This is clearly defined in the Convention of the Rights of Persons with a Disability and the Convention of the Rights of a Child of which Australia is proudly a signatory. The Department of Education had until recently as its key branding, “providing for every child, every opportunity”. Perhaps if they are going to adopt the stance reported by Michelle Griffin, they should just use a new version with the addendum “except if they have a disability”. This couldn’t really occur, though, because that would be discriminatory.

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CDA I N TH E MEDIA

CDA ON THE RADIO CDA in collaboration with Southern Cross Austereo developed community service announcements aimed at raising awareness about discriminatory attitudes towards people with disability in the community. The announcements particularly asking people to rethink using the “r” word. The announcements were played throughout November 2011 on Southern Cross Austereo radio stations across Australia and can be heard on CDA’s website at www.cda.org au

ARTICLES QUOTING CDA “Too costly to aid all disabled kids” The Age, August 26, 2011

For up to date news and views on issues regarding children and young people with disability follow us on facebook www.facebook/CDISAUS

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OUR VOICE — WI LL AN D FI N

Q

CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF?

We are 13 year old twins—I’m William and I have dyslexia, and I am Finlay and I have autism. We have an older sister and two older brothers, so it is a big family. We also have a dog, a cat, and two rats. We are both in Year 7 at different schools. Will: My favourite pastime is playing on the Xbox and the computer Fin: I enjoy computer games and watching YouTube. We both avoid sport but Will is an amazingly fast runner.

Q

DOES YOUR DISABILITY HAVE A NAME?

Will: I was diagnosed with dyslexia a bit over a year ago. I never realised I had it, and it was kind of a relief to find out. I thought I just had difficulty with spelling and reading. I didn’t think I was

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different from other kids, I just thought it was harder for me. Sometimes the other kids would laugh when I asked them how to spell something. It was important for to me to find out that I wasn’t stupid after all, just different. Fin: I found out I had Autism when I turned six. I don’t think I really understood what it meant for years afterwards. Even now it is hard to describe what it is like to have Autism, because if it is the only way I have been. I do know that I also have OCD (that’s obsessive compulsive disorder) and anxiety.

Q

WHAT’S IT LIKE HAVING A DISABILITY?

Will: The thing is I don’t really know what it is like NOT to have a disability. When my friends ask me what it is like to have dyslexia I can’t really answer them. I find that it really affects me when I am in a large class and the teachers haven’t got time to

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help me. Sometimes I feel like my teachers don’t think dyslexia is a big enough problem to need help. Things like copying off the board, reading something, or writing is much harder, and it means that I take longer to get the work done. Fin: I find it too easy to have a ‘meltdown’ when things get to me. I think that other people don’t really understand how anxious I can get about doing work, especially if there is pressure to do it on time. I know I am different from most people, but sometimes they can’t see that because the difference is on the inside, in my head.

Q

IF YOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO TALK TO THE AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER ABOUT DISABILITY WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?

Will: I would say that a lot of disabilities go unnoticed or unrecognised, but they can affect people in social situations and at school. I think there is too much emphasis on physical disabilities, which you can see, and not enough on the ones you can’t see—like autism, dyslexia and mental illness. I think we need more help in schools through special programs that provide teacher’s aides, or extra help for the teachers—or even helping the teachers to understand disabilities and what can be done. Fin: That even with disabilities you can achieve a lot because you have your strengths like you have your weaknesses. You need to work a lot harder to succeed, but you can do this if you are given help. Getting help now will make sure that I can do the things I want to do, like study and work. The most important thing for me is to have people who understand me and can help me to achieve.

Do you know a child or young person with disability who would be interested in sharing their views in upcoming issues of Listen Up!? Please phone or email CDA for further information.

Q

WHAT ADVICE HAVE YOU GOT FOR THE AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY ABOUT KIDS WITH DISABILITY? Will: I have a disability which makes part of my life more difficult, but it isn’t who I am. The thing is, you wouldn’t know I had a disability to look at me. I bet there are billions of people who have disabilities which really affect part of their lives but you wouldn’t necessarily know it. So, it sounds weird, but treat everyone as if they had a disability. Be patient and understanding, give them help when they need it, and don’t make judgments and jump to conclusions. Fin: When you have autism it is really hard to understand what people expect of you sometimes. There are times when I don’t understand how to act, and I become anxious, and I look like I am being rude. But you can’t tell I have a disability just from looking at me. One thing that might make people think that there is something different about me is that I hate buttons and I never wear them. I also won’t go near anyone who is wearing them.

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EDUCATION & DISABI LITY N E W F RO N T I E R S Last month saw the release of the much anticipated Gonski Review into funding for schooling in Australia. The review is the largest of its kind in Australia for over 30 years, and has been the subject of a great deal of debate and speculation in recent times from across the education field. The chapter in the landmark Shut Out report dealing with education is called ’The Wasted Years’. Children with Disability Australia is acutely aware why this title was chosen. Education is a key component in enabling all children to achieve a lift in their life opportunities, and to date the system has failed many students with disability and their families.

Education is a key component in enabling all children to achieve a lift in their life opportunities The statistics about the process and outcomes in school education for students with disabilities are alarming: 63% experience difficulties

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fitting in at school, only 30% completed year 12 or equivalent (approximately half the rate of other students) and only 12% completed a bachelor level tertiary qualification. More telling is that while states and territories fund integration support to 5% of all students, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare estimate that around 15% of all students need additional support. Many children with real needs for assistance in school do not get funded supports due to the arbitrary eligibility criteria, resulting in schools not getting the resources needed to properly educate these students. This is a major inequity in the system, and needs to be fixed through reform of the funding system and the raising of expectations that schools WILL educate all students. It is unacceptable that students can be neglected by design, but it is a feature of our current system. Historically, the focus of attention in this area by the disability sector and governments has been about funding of individual support programs, and less about education itself. This must change if the educational

outcomes for students with disabilities are to improve. There is no doubt that additional support is an essential part of the mix, but not as a substitute for skilled teaching.

Historically, the focus of attention in this area by the disability sector and governments has been about funding of individual support programs, and less about education itself. The Gonski Review of funding for schooling in Australia recognises many of these shortfalls across the current funding system, and proposes a simplified funding model to encourage much-improved educational outcomes for all students. The centerpiece of the report is the creation of a core funding amount—the schooling resource standard, which would

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provide each student with a set funding amount, with additional funding for students with specific disadvantage (including disability, low English language proficiency, remoteness and aboriginal status). The Resource Standard and any additional loading would go with the student to any school, government, independent or Catholic. In all, it calls for an additional $5 billion to be invested in the education system to ensure these improved outcomes. This means that funding for disability support would go to independent and Catholic Schools, something that has been welcomed by these sectors, advocates and parents. For this additional funding to be effective however, much needs to be done to build in inclusive educational methodologies, capable teaching and school leadership in all schools.

In all, it calls for an additional $5 billion to be invested in the education system to ensure these improved outcomes. The Review looked for hard evidence for its recommendations and because there was not a lot

to be found in the disability area, they stopped short of recommending a finished product. The Report makes fairly detailed recommendations about the loadings for areas of disadvantage, but the disability loading is left mostly undefined, meaning that state, territory and Commonwealth Governments urgently need to get to work to develop the practicalities of the disability loadings in preparation for the 2013 school year. Whether this is realistic will depend on how the states and territories respond to the report. The other confounding element in this reform is the reliance on achieving a national definition of disability in education— something that is being worked on currently, but is far from complete.

...urgently need to get to work to develop the practicalities of the disability loadings in preparation for the 2013 school year. The recognition of the basic themes around disability and education in the report are encouraging, but we have such a long way to go in other areas of schooling and school communities to make it work well. Very few mainstream or specialist settings have fully inclusive education programs. The current system focuses on diagnostic categories rather

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than functional capacity to learn, and support funding goes to support services rather than specific educational programs.

Teachers get very little exposure to disability issues and inclusive education in their pre-service training The capacity and understanding of many schools to be fully inclusive is very patchy, and parents of students with disabilities have little professional guidance in choosing schools

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and negotiating educational programs. Good schools are that way generally because of personalities not standards, and choice of schools based on their demonstrated ability to be inclusive is rarely possible. Teachers get very little exposure to disability issues and inclusive education in their pre-service training and so are generally ill-equipped to deal with the range of issues presented by students.

Advisory Council which is being geared to assist with the reform process. There is much to be done in a relatively short space of time, but it is pleasing to see that the reform pathway has been carved out. Our task now is to ensure the areas of reform identified do really transform the educational experiences of students with disability.

ALAN BLACKWOOD Policy Officer Children with Disability Australia

There is much to be done in a relatively short space of time The Minister for School Education, Peter Garrett recently convened the first meeting of his Schools Disability

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OTH ER EDUCATIONAL REFORMS We are currently in the midst of a significant period of very substantial educational reform. CDA continues to strongly advocate for a better deal for students with disability and has been working closely with Peter Garrett, Minister for School Education, Senator Jacinta Collins, Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations and the Department of Education, Employment Workplace Relations (DEEWR). CDA is very pleased that the Australian Government has recognised that students with disability must be a significant focus in the future. The major areas of reform are outlined here.

SCHOOLS DISABILITY ADVISORY COUNCIL This initiative was announced in September 2011. The Advisory Council provides ongoing expert and informed advice to the Government regarding the experiences and needs of students with disability. CDA is represented on the Schools Disability Advisory Council. The first meeting of the Council was held on 14 February, 2012.

the level of adjustment provided to students with disability. A nationally consistent model for the collection of information on the adjustments provided to students with disability is important because currently the information available varies across states and territories. This means that there is no consistent information collected on the adjustments provided to students with disability and there is currently no valid national measure of the number of students with disability in Australia. The established definition was trialled in 2012.

A copy of the report of the trial is available at http://www.deewr.gov.au/Schooling/Programs/ Documents/ReportontheTrial.rtf or a copy of the report can be obtained by contacting CDA on 03 9482 1130 or 1800 222 660 (regional or interstate callers only) or by email at info@cda.org.au

Further information regarding the Advisory Council is available at http://www.deewr.gov.au/schooling/programs/ pages/schoolsdisabilityadvisorycouncil.aspx or by contacting DEEWR on 1300 363 079.

NATIONAL DEFINITION OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITY In 2008, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to work towards a nationally consistent approach to the collection of information on students with disability. This definition was developed under the guidance of an expert advisory group which met in 2010. The national model was developed to gather comparable information about the numbers of students with disability and most importantly,

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ABOUT THE DISABILITY STANDARDS FOR EDUCATION

$200 MILLION MORE SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITY INITIATIVE In May 2011 Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the Minister for School Education Peter Garrett announced that an additional $200 million to support students with disability in Australian schools. Funding will be allocated to government and non-government education authorities for the 2012 and 2013 school years. Education authorities will be able to use the funding to increase support for students with disabilities by building the capacity of schools and teachers to better meet students’ individual needs. To date, announcement of $47.9 million to the NSW government has occurred in February 2012. Announcements regarding further allocation of funding d under this initiative are expected in the near future.

ed Further details can be obtained at the Department of Education,, Employment and Workplace 3 Relations by phone on 1300 363 079 or http://www.deewr.gov. au/schooling/programs/pages/ moresupportforswd.aspx

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The Standards cover the following areas:

REVIEW OF DISABILITY STANDARDS FOR EDUCATION The Disability Standards for Education (the Standards) were enacted in 2005 to provide information on the rights of students with disability to access and participate in education and training. The Standards also give education providers guidelines on how they can meet their obligations to students with disability under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. The Australian Government conducted a review of the Standards in 2011. The report is due for release in the near future.

• Enrolment • Participation • Curriculum development, accreditation and delivery • Student support services • Elimination of harassment and victimisation. Each part of the Standards sets out the: • Rights of students with disability in relation to education and training to help people understand what is fair and reasonable under the Standards • Legal obligations or responsibilities of education providers • Measures that may be implemented to comply with the requirements of the Standards. T The Standards are a available at the AttorneyG General’s Department w www.ag.gov.au or by c calling DEEWR on 1300 363 079.

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NATIONAL CURRICULUM The development of a national curriculum is a key priority of the Australian Government. The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is overseeing this work and is also responsible for the management of assessment and reporting at a national level. Considerable work has been done to date. After extensive consultation, in December 2010 all education ministers endorsed Australia’s first national curriculum from Foundation to Year 10 in the four key learning areas of English, mathematics, science and history. The Australian Curriculum can be viewed at www.australiancurriculum. edu.au A second phase of ACARA’s work involves the development of an Australian Curriculum in languages, geography and the arts. Future phases will focus on the learning areas of health and physical education, information and communication technology, design and technology, economics, business, and civics and citizenship. From 21 September 2011 to 1 November 2011 ACARA conducted online consultations focusing on the Australian Curriculum: English Progressing to Foundation and Mathematics Progressing to Foundation for students with disability.

Having received responses from a wide range of stakeholders including state and territory education authorities, teachers, principals, parents, academics and professional associations, ACARA has produced a Consultation Report that provides a summary of key consultation findings along with an overview of areas for further development in the Australian Curriculum for students with disability.

Further information can be obtained by contacting DEEWR http://www.deewr.gov. au/Schooling/Programs/Pages/ rnc.aspx or by phone on 1300 363 079. Information is also available from ACARA at http://www. acara.edu.au/default.asp or by phone on 1300 895 563.

NATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TEACHERS The National Professional Standards for teachers were released in February 2011 after an extensive consultation process. The key elements of quality teaching are described in the Standards. They articulate what teachers are expected to know and be able to do at four career stages: Gradate, Proficient, Highly Accomplished and Lead. Particular standards pertain to students with disability.

More information on the standards can be obtained from Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership at http:// www.teacherstandards. aitsl.edu.au/Overview/ ProfessionalStandards or by phone on 03 8330 9430.

NATIONAL STANDARDS FOR PRINCIPALS Australia’s first National Professional Standard for Principals was endorsed by Ministers at the Standing Council of Education and Early Childhood in July 2011. The Standard is a public statement which sets out what principals are expected to know, understand and do to achieve in their work. It sets out five key professional practices in leading teaching and learning, development of staff, leadership in innovation and change, school management, and engaging and working with the community.

Copies of the standard are available at www.aitsl.edu.au or by contacting AITSL by phone on 03 8330 9430.

Keep up to date with CDA by following us on or

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I NTE RV I E W WITH SENATOR JACI NTA COLLI NS Y PARLIAMENTAR

Q

SECRETARY FOR SCHOOL EDUCATION AND WORKPL ACE REL ATIONS

WHAT IS YOUR JOB?

I’m fortunate that my job involves a number of roles. I’m a Labor Senator for Victoria and Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations. I am also the Manager of Government Business in the Senate, which means I help the Senate decide what legislation to consider and when. As Parliamentary Secretary it is my job to work with Minister Peter Garrett and Minister Bill Shorten. Only a few weeks ago the Minister for School Education, Peter Garrett, asked me to lead the Australian Government’s work for students with disabilities. I am privileged to be doing this work and look forward to working with students with disability and organisations such as Children with Disability Australia. Whilst considerable progress has been made, we know that a lot more needs to be done to get a better deal for kids with disability. We know that children with disabilities face disadvantage in achieving education and employment outcomes. As a mother-of-

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three, I take a keen interest in working towards all children having quality educational and development opportunities.

Q

DO YOU KNOW ANY KIDS WITH DISABILITY? Yes, I know several children with disability amongst family and friends. Each has their own story with many different challenges to overcome. The experience of these kids is a constant reminder of why we need to do more to better support kids with disability.

They say one of the toughest decisions any parent will make is choosing which school to send their children. They say one of the toughest decisions any parent will make is choosing which school to send their children. I went through this process last year when choosing which secondary school to send my daughter. However, this

is nothing compared to some parents I’ve met, who are trying to find a school that will best support their child with a disability. Not only are they deciding whether they send their child to a government, Catholic or independent school, but which school is best equipped to support the individual needs of their child along with making them feel as included as possible. This is just one example of the challenges I’ve seen friends and family go through. As a Senator, I have also met with many people with concerns regarding disability services and prior to entering parliament I worked as

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a social worker where I worked in vocational rehabilitation services for people with a disability.

Q

WHAT’S BEING DONE TO INSPIRE KIDS WITH DISABILITY TO LEARN?

The Helping Children with Autism program will also help provide targeted support for children with an autism spectrum disorder, their families, carers, teachers

that there is much more to be done. We are consulting widely and will continue to work with stakeholders to improve the lives of children with disability.

and other professionals. We know that around one in 110 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and we know that this can lead to differences in their communication, social interaction and learning. It is the Government’s hope that this money will give these children the best chance for success by supporting them, their teachers and their families.

Q

While I am only new to this job, I can already see how much work is being done by the sector to enable kids with disability to learn. From the Government’s perspective, we know that the sector needs more support and we are trying to provide real help to students with disability and their families through a number of initiatives. While it is important that we all work towards long term changes, as an immediate measure, the Government is providing $200 million to better support school students with disability. This money will help build the capacity of teachers and schools to better meet the individual learning needs of kids with disability, Education authorities could also use this money to purchase assistive technology like computer software, audio and visual tools and low vision aids for their schools.

We know that around one in 110 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder

We know that fundamental to getting a job and participating in community life is a good quality education. These are just some examples of what the Government is doing to help inspire kids with disability to learn, but we also know

WHAT’S BEING DONE TO ADDRESS THE BULLYING WHICH MANY KIDS WITH DISABILITY EXPERIENCE AT SCHOOL? As a Government, we take the issues of bullying and violence very seriously, and recognise that student wellbeing and safety are essential for kids to learn and develop in school. All students, including those with disability, should be able to learn and develop in inclusive, safe and supportive environments. For students with disability there are standards known as The Disability Standards

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for Education 2005 (formulated under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992), which clarify the obligations of education and training providers to ensure that students with disability are able to access and participate in education without experiencing discrimination in any form.

The Standards require that education providers develop and implement strategies and programs to prevent harassment The Standards require that education providers develop and implement strategies and programs to prevent harassment (behaviours that are reasonably likely to humiliate,

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offend intimidate or distress a person) and victimisation. It is important that the Standards are reviewed every five years to determine whether they continue to be effective and remain the most efficient mechanism for achieving the objectives of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. During 2011 the review included consultations with key disability stakeholders as well as a wide ranging submission process. People with disabilities, their families, carers, disability organisations, education providers and other interested parties were invited to make submissions. The report from this review is expected to be released shortly.

Q

WHAT IS THIS ‘GONSKI REVIEW’? WHAT WILL IT MEAN FOR KIDS WITH DISABILITY? The ‘Gonski Review’ is the Review of Funding for Schooling, chaired by David

Gonski which looked at school funding in Australia. The Review proposed a School Resource Standard which means that funding amounts per student should be based on a benchmark of what it costs to educate a student across Government, Catholic and Independent schools alike. On top of that, extra money would be available for students who need it most, including students with disability. That extra money would be called a ‘loading’.

We need a nationally consistent approach to identifying students with disability and their education support needs The proposals are designed to help ensure that funds go where they are most needed, while ensuring that no school in any sector is left out. While we have a good education system, we know that the current system for funding students with disability has developed over time and has become quite complex. We need a nationally consistent approach to identifying students with disability and their education support needs before we can settle any disability loading.

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We want to be confident that any new funding system will deliver the best result for all our schools. We have to answer what the best way to fund every child is, and how much is needed. The Government will work together with the whole community, including schools, state and territory governments, and education and disability stakeholders to examine what this loading might look like and how a new funding system could work.

Q

WHAT IS THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT GOING TO DO TO GET A BETTER DEAL FOR KIDS WITH DISABILITY AT SCHOOL?

The Australian Government has a number of initiatives to get a better deal for kids with disability, such as

the Helping Children with Autism program I mentioned earlier. The Government’s Better Start for Children with Disabilities program is also providing families with early intervention services, which will better prepare kids for school and help them achieve their potential. This program is making quality intervention services and therapies more accessible. Families can receive up to $12,000 for services such as speech pathology, audiology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, psychology and orthoptics.

The Government’s Better Start for Children with Disabilities program is also providing families with early intervention services, which will better prepare kids for school & help them achieve their potential

proposals that would get a better deal for kids with disability. To work through these reforms, we are talking with the community and schools about the proposals and recommendations outlined in the Gonski report. I’ll be listening to the newly established Schools Disability Advisory Council for views from the sector on all these issues. During April, I’ll be holding a Disability Forum on school funding in Melbourne, as part of the Government’s discussions with schools, communities and stakeholders. This forum is open to everyone and people will be able to participate live online or submit questions prior to the event. More details will become available; however I encourage everyone to have their say and discuss the review through their networks.

Interview by Danny Dickson (13 year old kid who proudly has a disability)

While these programs are important the Government also has some exciting reforms underway, such as the Gonski Review of School Funding, which contains substantial

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OTH ER AREAS OF CDA ADVOCACY Advocacy is a major component of the work of Children with Disability Australia (CDA). Our advocacy work involves developing and providing advice to the Australian Government and other key stakeholders with the aim of positively influencing policy, legislation or community attitudes for children and young people with disability and their families. CDA’s advocacy regarding a National Disability Insurance Scheme and education is discussed in other sections of ListenUp! Other key areas of advocacy work include:

CHILD ABUSE Children with disability are an extremely high risk group where child abuse and neglect is concerned. CDA is a member of the Coalition of Organisations Committed to the Safety and Wellbeing of Australia’s Children, The Coalition was established in November 2007. It played a leading role in advocating for, and negotiating, the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020, which was announced by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in April 2009. CDA has advocated strongly that children with disability should be a key focus of the next action plan. For more information on the Coalition of Organisations Committed to the Safety and Wellbeing of Australia’s Children please contact Families Australia at http://www.familiesaustralia. org.au/coalition/index.htm or by phone on 02 6273 4885. For more information about the work of CDA regarding this issue please contact the office on 03 9482 1130 or 1800 222 660 (regional and interstate callers) or by email info@cda.org.au

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DISABILITY VILIFICATION Throughout 2011, CDA received a number of complaints from members about incidents on various radio programs where language was used that was offensive and degrading towards people with disability. CDA lodged strong complaints after each reported incident as it is imperative that our community is aware that such language is unacceptable and only serves to perpetuate negative attitudes about people with disability. Following these complaints, Southern Cross Austereo offered to produce and run a community service announcement for CDA. These were played nationally for a two week period late last year. To listen to these powerful messages please visit the CDA website at www.cda.org.au

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A NATIONAL CHILDREN’S COMMISSIONER The Australian Government is considering the establishment of a Commonwealth Commissioner for Children to promote and protect the rights of children in Australia. CDA has provided submissions and advice to the Australian Government on this proposal. CDA supports the establishment of a National Children’s Commissioner. It is believed that this role would involve public education and promotion of awareness of children’s rights, wellbeing and development. This would include conducting research and inquiries on prevailing issues which affect the rights, well being and development of children. A National Children’s Commissioner could greatly contribute to creating awareness of the inequities of participation and opportunities which presently exist for children with disability in Australia. Copies of the CDA submissions on the establishment of a National Children’s Commissioner can be obtained by contacting the office on 03 9482 1130 or 1800 222 660 (regional and interstate callers) or by email info@cda.org.au

BUS TRANSPORT PROVIDED TO CHILDREN WHO ATTEND SPECIAL SCHOOLS CDA and the Disability Discrimination Legal Service in Victoria initially wrote to the Federal Attorney General in August 2010 outlining serious concerns our organisations held regarding bus transport of children to special schools. Our initial correspondence outlined what we perceived to be potential breaches of human rights legislation. The initial correspondence focused on transport provided in Victoria. Concerns initially stated were that utilisation of this bus service by students can result in travel time of up to 4 hours per day to access their education facility, in an environment that we perceive to be inappropriate, inhumane and degrading. Since our initial correspondence, significant public concerns have been raised regarding school transport of students with disability in South Australia. These were also reported on a Four Corners program last year. More recently extremely serious issues were reported in relation to school transport of students with disability in NSW on the 7.30 program. Although the provision of transport to school is the responsibility of the states and territories we have sought input from the Australian Government given the breadth of concerns and also as it is the Commonwealth who is responsible for compliance with international conventions. Recent correspondence was received from the Attorney General indicating she had written to Minister Macklin and Minister Garrett regarding CDA’s concerns. CDA would welcome feedback on experiences of transport to special schools. CDA can be contacted by phone on 03 9482 1130 or 1800 222 660 (regional and interstate callers) or email stephanieg@cda.org.au

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A NATIONAL DISABI LITY I NSURANCE SCH EME UPDATE Over the next 12 months, we are focused on designing the launch of a National Disability Insurance Scheme—a scheme that will be a fundamental change to how disability support is delivered to people with disability, their families and carers. We are working with our colleagues in the states and territory governments to lay the foundations of a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) one year ahead of schedule—by June 2013. For many this seems like a long way away, but the work that is required to lay the foundations for a scheme is enormous and we need to get this right—to put an end to what the Productivity Commission described as an ‘unfair, underfunded and fragmented’ system. In February, Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan, Minster for Disability Reform Jenny Macklin, Parliamentary Secretary Jan McLucas met with State Treasurers and Disability Ministers from across the country for the second meeting of the Select Council on Disability Reform. This is the group of ministers from all governments who are working on the recommendations of the Productivity Commission

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to progress an NDIS. At this meeting we progressed our work to deliver the foundation reforms we need to get NDISready, and we considered some of the key design issues for an NDIS, including eligibility for support under an NDIS and what a support package might look like. The Select Council is supported

For many this seems like a long way away, but the work that is required to lay the foundations for a scheme is enormous and we need to get this right by the NDIS Advisory Group made up of experts from the disability sector, which has met regularly and provided advice on foundation reform development. People with disability, their families and carers will be at the centre of this important reform and will help us build a system that will better support the needs of people with disability regardless

of where they live or how they acquired their disability— a scheme that is built to last.

SENATOR JAN MCLUCAS Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers

Visit www.ndis.gov.au to keep up to date and in touch with progress of transforming disability services in Australia.

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I NCLUSIVE PL AYGROUN DS FOR EVERY COMMUN ITY The Touched by Olivia Foundation is a small not for profit organisation which is based in Sydney. Don’t presume its small size translates to small impact. The vision of the Touched by Olivia Foundation is to provide an inclusive public playground in every community in Australia. It is indeed a bold vision. The playgrounds are to be available to everyone, regardless of age or ability. The uniqueness of these playgrounds is that they cater for neurological impairment as well as physical impairment, able bodied users and grown ups in a public environment. Touched by Olivia all began with a little girl named Olivia Perkins who was born in 2006. Little Olivia Perkins died in the last week of November 2006 when she was just a little over eight months old. She died from a rare condition called lymphangioma. It’s a big word for adults to pronounce let alone be the word which dictates the fate of a little girl. A medical dictionary will tell you that Olivia had a malformation of her lymphatic system. What this translates to is that Olivia’s airway was blocked and in the end she died from not being able to breathe.

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Touched by Olivia all began with a little girl named Olivia Perkins who was born in 2006. Till today the picture of John carrying his baby daughter’s casket down the aisle still haunts me. I will always remember his words at the funeral. “Today is the most painful and tough day of our lives. As painful as it is today, we’d do it all over again— a million times out of a million times.”

When I next saw John, Justine and Will, they bought with them a gift of hope. They planned to start a charity in Olivia’s honour. They didn’t want Olivia’s death to be in vain, and wanted to ensure her life would continue to touch the lives of others in a positive way for decades. The Perkins had a plan, the Touched By Olivia Foundation. Two key goals were quickly established. Firstly, Touched by Olivia Foundation would raise funds to purchase medical equipment and research a cure for lymphatic malformations The second initiative was to build a special place in the local community, a place where all kids could play together,

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regardless of their abilities. This was to be known as Livvi’s Place. In 2007, the Foundation’s first Livvi’s Place was completed —an indoor facility in Sydney. In 2009, another Livvi’s Place was completed. This one was special in a personal way. It was an outdoor playground in Olivia’s backyard, her local neighborhood of Five Dock. In 2010 Livvi’s Place was awarded the best playground in Australia, and with the support of local councils and their local communities, this led to the creation of Livvi’s Places in Dubbo, Brisbane and Ryde. The Foundation’s Inclusive Play Strategy has now developed to include 42 playgrounds across Australia. In 2011, this strategy was awarded the International Innovation Award.

A playground can connect people to their neighborhood. There are the children, of course, and their families. On the face of it, it may seem that the Foundation’s main focus is on playgrounds. In fact, their aim is much wider than a playground. The aim to help facilitate a Livvi’s Place inclusive playground in every Australian

community stems from the desire of wanting to rebuild communities, work with whole communities and work with people in those communities. A playground can connect people to their neighborhood. There are the children, of course, and their families.

Inclusive playgrounds form the foundations of a socially inclusive community A playground for a community also connects local council with local businesses, local clubs and associations and individuals of that community. The building of a Livvi’s Place brings together diverse networks of people and organisations in the one community to work together collaboratively. Research indicates that children who by the age of five play with children with disabilities grow up accepting their differences the same way one would those with blonde hair or hazel eyes. Inclusive playgrounds form the foundation of a socially inclusive community.

The logo of the Foundation, a hand print butterfly, is something of personal meaning. The wings of the butterfly are Olivia’s real handprints, symbolising the extension of Olivia’s touch.

ELAINE LEONG Founding Committee Member of TBOF www.touchedbyolivia.com.au The Touched by Olivia Foundation is currently in the planning phases to facilitate a National Inclusive Play Guideline workshop. Children with Disability Australia is on the advisory panel. The desired outcome is a national framework on the best practice to build a truly inclusive playspace for all.

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N E WS I N B R I E F OUT OF SCHOOL HOURS CARE PROGRAM FOR TEENAGERS WITH DISABILITY An Australian Government initiative that has provided out of school hours care programs for teenagers with disability across Australia since 2008 was recently evaluated and reported to be highly effective in achieving its intended outcomes. The programs which provide before and after school care and holidays programs were found to have provided quality care for teenagers with disability whilst enabling parents and carers to work or have a break from their caring role. Funding for this initiative is to continue until 2013. More information about this initiative can be found by contacting the Department of Families Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) at www.fahcsia.gov.au or by phone on 1300 653 227.

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SPECIAL OLYMPICS The 2012 Special Olympics Australia 3rd Junior National Games for children with an intellectual disability aged 7–15 will be held in Newcastle NSW from 6–10 December 2012. The event includes an opening ceremony and 3 full days of sport and will be supported by over 400 trained volunteers and officials. The games only happen once every 4 years and children with intellectual disabilities across Australia can still register expressions of interest for selection with their local Special Olympics office. For more information about the junior games visit the website at www.specialolympics.com.au or call 02 8116 9833.

AUSLAN TO BE INCLUDED IN THE AUSTRALIAN CURRICULUM Peter Garrett, Minister for School Education recently announced that Auslan, the first language of many Deaf Australians, is to be included as a subject in the national curriculum. The Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority are to start work soon on developing the content for the subject. The inclusion of Auslan in the curriculum will not only benefit Deaf students but will provide the opportunity for all students to study Auslan if they choose to do so. More information can be obtained by contacting the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) at www.deewr.gov.au or by phone on 1300 363 079.

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NATIONAL BROADBAND NETWORK TO DELIVER DISABILITY SERVICES IN REGIONAL AND REMOTE AUSTRALIA A new initiative announced by the Australian Government is to provide specialist services and therapies to children with hearing or vision impairment living in regional and remote Australia through the National Broadband Network (NBN). This will mean that in areas of Australia where specialist allied health and education services are not available or limited, children with hearing or vision impairment and their families will be able to access these services over the internet by real-time video conferencing. The Remote Hearing and Vision Services for Children Initiative is a welcome initiative as these children will have the opportunity to access the services they need regardless of where they live.

COMMUNITY SECTOR WORKERS TO GET EQUAL PAY In February 2012 Fair Work Australia ruled that non government community sector workers are to be provided pay rises of between 19% and up to 41% over the next 8 years to bring their pay more in line with public sector pay levels. This decision has been welcomed by disability service sector workers who are notoriously poorly paid for the work that they do. It is also hoped that the decision will help attract and retain more workers in the industry.

Keep up to date with CDA by following us on or

More information about the Fair Work Australia ruling can be obtained by contacting Fair Work Australia at www.fairwork.gov.au or by phone on 131394.

More information about this initiative can be found by contacting the Department of Families Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) at www.fahcsia.gov.au or by phone on 1300 653 227.

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I NTE RV I E W WITH JULIA FARR YOUTH 16–30 years) spend time with a younger person also living with disability (aged 11–16 years) in a mentoring role. Mentors are able to empower and assist mentees with everyday activities such as the transition from high school to higher education, linking young people in with their community, or just having a good chat about what was helpful for them when they were growing up.

Q Q

WHO ARE JULIA FARR YOUTH?

Julia Farr Youth was established in Adelaide in 2008 and is a group of young people aged 16–30 years who are living with disability. The group’s members are from diverse backgrounds but are all enthusiastic about disability youth issues. Julia Farr Youth meets monthly to discuss issues which are important to youth with disability and devise strategies to change thoughts and lives. Julia Farr Youth’s motto is ‘for young people, by young people with initiative’.

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Q

WHY DOES JULIA FARR YOUTH EXIST?

The group exists so that youth living with disability can voice their concerns about their lives and take action to change themselves and others.

Q

WHAT DOES JULIA FARR YOUTH DO?

The group has been involved in some pretty cool initiatives, including the introduction and leadership of the JFY Mentoring Program. Under this initiative young people living with disability (aged

SO WHAT ELSE DOES THE GROUP DO?

Julia Farr Youth is available for consultation on matters relevant to youth with disability and has provided submissions to government on initiatives such as the Higher Education Base Fund Review and Inclusion for People with Disability through Sustainable Employment. Currently, the group is working towards filming a documentary to amplify issues of concern for young people. If they are successful in securing funding, the documentary will be an opportunity for Julia Farr Youth to advocate for changes which are important to them. Examples of these changes include; strengthened

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professional development for teachers and youth workers, improved transition from high school to higher education, reductions in long waiting lists for equipment, and highlighting the impact of young people living in nursing homes.

Q

WHAT ARE THE GROUP’S AIMS FOR THE FUTURE?

The list is endless! Julia Farr Youth plan to explore e-mentoring as a way to complement their peer-to-peer mentoring program, establish connections with schools, conduct educational talks with school children and teachers, and consult with councils on improved access.

Q

HOW CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS GROUP?

For further information about Julia Farr Youth contact Georgina Edwards on (08) 8373 8313 or by email at georginae@juliafarr.org.au

Julia Farr Youth is supported by staff from Purple Orange. Purple Orange is the shopfront of the Julia Farr Association, a social profit, non-government organisation. Our aim is to ensure that people living with disability get a fair go at everything life has to offer. An orange is named for its colour —what you see is what you get. But what if the orange wasn’t orange, but a different colour, say, purple? It would make you pause, take a deeper look. It’s the same with people living with disability—you need to look beyond what you think you see. We use the Purple Orange Brand to promote our work in research, policy, consultation and evaluation. Just like a shop has a front window to show its work, we have Purple Orange.

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CDA CELEBRATES INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY The months leading up to International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) in December 2011 were exceptionally busy for CDA as the team was involved in organising four separate events to celebrate the day. IDPwD is a United Nations sanctioned day that aims to promote an understanding of people with disability and encourage support for their dignity, rights and well-being.

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CDA took up this opportunity by organising these events to celebrate the contribution that children and young people with disability make to the community.

WTF? THE EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE OF TOO MANY STUDENTS WITH DISABILITY In December 2011 CDA hosted an education forum in Sydney on the challenges faced by students with disability. The event was a lively and informative panel discussion

about the significant issues confronting students with disability, education providers, governments and the wider community. The event had an impressive line up of speakers including Danny Dickson (student with disability and community leader for International Day of People with Disability), Mary Bluett (Australian Education Union), Geoffrey Warren (Principal), Stephanie Gotlib (Children with Disability Australia), Julie Phillips (Disability Advocate), Marianella Torres Benites (early childhood education) and Minister Garrett.

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PLAYABILITY CDA together with the Touched by Olivia Foundation, hosted Playability a free family fun day at Livvi’s Place, an award winning inclusive playground at Timbrell Park in FiveDock in Sydney. The event was an opportunity to celebrate disability in a community which typifies what inclusion is all about. From animal petting zoos to the circus, Lego workshops and craft there was an activity for everyone. Entertainment included the superhero stage show and special Olympic dancers. Playability was the national event for International Day of People with Disability with the Hon Jan McLucas, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, attending the event. City of Canada Bay Mayor and ongoing supporter of inclusive play, Angelo Tsikeras also joined the celebration. MC for the day was IDPwD Community Leader, Danny Dickson. Approximately 3000 people attended throughout the day. It was a magnificent celebration.

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AN INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY —CLIFTON HILL IDPWD EVENT On 5 December 2011 an all day event was held in the local community of Clifton Hill an inner city suburb of Melbourne. This event is a unique opportunity to experience how our community can promote and celebrate a society which is inclusive with it being the second year the celebration has taken place. Clifton Hill Primary School, local businesses and retailers along

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the Queens Parade shopping precinct in Clifton Hill took part by wearing promotional t-shirts and displaying balloons. A number of disability awareness raising activities were held in the community and within the school on the day. In the afternoon a community assembly was held at Clifton Hill Primary School. This was addressed by Martin Dixon, Victorian Minister for Education, Senator Mitch Fifield, Shadow Minister for Disabilities, Carers and the Voluntary Sector and Stephanie Gotlib, Executive Officer of CDA. Students at the

school also spoke about their experience of having a disability or about having friends and classmates at school with disability. It was a wonderful day that provided a significant opportunity to celebrate a community that is inclusive. Thanks to all our wonderful volunteers who assisted us on the day. Particular thanks to Melanie Yalpur who worked above and beyond to help organise the event whilst on student placement with CDA.

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VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITES AT CDA

GARRAN PRIMARY SCHOOL CDA also co-hosted an afternoon tea at Garran Primary School in Canberra with Peter Garrett, Minister for Education as the special guest. Garran Primary School offers an inclusive school community which welcomes, educates and greatly enriches a diverse group of students, including those with disability. It was an ideal setting for IDPwD celebrations. CDA members and parents at Garran Primary were invited to join Minister Garret for a tour of the school and an informal chat over afternoon tea. Everyone who attended enjoyed the

opportunity to spend time with the Minister and discuss education issues. With the great success of all of these events CDA is already starting to plan events to celebrate IDPwD 2012. Our aim is to have similar celebrations held in communities all over Australia in the years to come. If you are interested in hosting an event to celebrate International Day of People with Disability in your community on behalf of CDA please contact us to discuss your ideas. CDA can be contacted on 03 9482 1130 or 1800 222 660 (regional or interstate callers) or by email info@cda.org.au

CDA highly values the contribution that volunteers can make to the work that we do. CDA is currently seeking volunteers to assist our administration team. We also need volunteers to assist CDA with the many events we hold. The events are typically held to celebrate International Day of People with Disability in December so assistance is required around this time. If you have any time to spare, be it just a ‘one off’ couple of hours or have some time on a more regular basis, please contact CDA. CDA can be contacted by phone on 03 9482 1130 or by email info@cda.org.au

Keep up to date with CDA by following us on or

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MYTIME A PL ACE TO DISCUSS AN D REL AX When you’re caring for a child with complex needs, it’s important to take some time to look after yourself—but that can be one of the hardest things to do. It can also be really hard to keep up your friendships and find a supportive network. MyTime is there to help you out. MyTime groups run nationwide, in cities and in regional areas, and provide space for mums, dads, grandparents, or any family member caring for a child with a disability, developmental delay, or chronic medical condition. At MyTime, you can socialise and share ideas and information with people who really understand the rewards and challenges of caring for a child with special needs.

MyTime is coordinated nationally by the Parenting Research Centre. We provide upto-date research, resources, and support for groups, facilitators, and play helpers. We work in partnership with a national network of organisations with expertise in parenting young children with complex needs. MyTime is funded by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

GINA-MAREE SARTORE Mytime Program Manager

MyTime groups have a facilitator to support members and a play helper to keep children engaged and occupied. Groups meet over a coffee and talk about whatever interests them: we can provide reliable, evidence-based information on many topics, but sometimes members just want to get together and chat socially or organise a fun activity. We have 262 MyTime Groups running across Australia: to find a group near you, visit www.mytime.net.au or call 1800 889 997. If you are eligible for Carer (Child) Allowance you are eligible for MyTime. Play helpers are only available for children under school age, but if your child is older you are still very welcome to attend.

38 www.cda.org.au

A big ger voice for kids


CDA TSH I RTS STI LL AVAI L ABLE Selected sizes of CDA’s new t-shirts are available for pick up from CDA offices in Clifton Hill for FREE or by mail for $5 postage and handling per t-shirt ordered. The t-shirts were used as part of CDA’s celebrations of International Day of People with Disability in 2011 and they come in both adults and children’s sizes. Both men’s and women’s versions are available in the adult sizes. Orders can be made using the form below or by contacting CDA directly. Name: Address: Telephone number: Email:

T-SHIRTS REQUIRED: FREE plus $5 postage and handling per shirt. Size

Quantity

SIZING INFORMATION Sizes 2

CHILDREN MENS LADIES

XS

4

6

8

10

12

14

S

M

L

XL

2XL

3XL

S

M

L

XL

16

PAYMENT Direct Deposit: Children with Disability Australia. BSB 633 000 Account 139676928 Credit Card:

VISA A

Mastercard Amount $

Name on Card Credit Card No

Expiry Date

/

CVV

PLEASE RETURN TO Children with Disability Australia, Suite 1, 179 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill, VIC 3068 Tel 03 9482 1130 Fax 03 9481 7833 Email info@cda.org.au ABN 42 140 529 273

Listen Up! | April 2012

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MEMBERSH I P I N FORMATION Children with Disability Australia (CDA) is the national peak body which represents children and young people (aged 0–25) with disability and their families. CDA is a not for profit, community organisation that was officially incorporated as a company limited by guarantee in November 2009. The organisation was initially established in 2002 as the Australian Association for Children with Disability. CDA receives its core funding under the Commonwealth Department for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) national secretariat program. We provide a link between the direct experiences of children and young people with disability and their families to federal government and other key stakeholders. This link is essential for the creation of a true appreciation of the experiences of and challenges for children with disability and their families. The work of CDA is guided by the following principles: Children first: the rights and interests of children and young people with disability are CDA’s highest priority consistent with Australia’s obligations under the UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child and the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Right to childhood: children and young people with disability

40 www.cda.org.au

are children first and foremost and have a right to all aspects of childhood that children without disability are afforded. Right to participation: children and young people with disability have the right to participate, in whatever capacity, in decisions that impact on their lives. Inclusion: children and young people with all types of disability, from all cultural and religious backgrounds and all geographic locations are supported by the work of CDA. Recognition: for the contributions made by families and care givers to support the rights and interests of children and young people with disability. Partnerships: CDA works collaboratively with relevant government, non-government and private sector agencies to promote the rights and interests of children and young people with disability. Transparency: CDA is accountable, effective and ethical as the national peak body charged with the mandate of advocating for children and young people with disability Our members include an amazing range of people and families. Every new member adds strength to our efforts to advocate for improvements to services and supports for young people with disability and families of children with disability.

People wishing to support CDA can apply for full or associate membership. See membership application for further details. Membership is FREE for all young people with disability (18–25yrs) and for all families of children with disability across Australia.

MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS • Full members are entitled to vote at general meetings and can nominate for a CDA Board position. • Receive our Listen Up! magazine which includes family stories and analysis of policy and advocacy issues. • Strengthen the voice of families of children with disability in the media and to government policy makers.

DONATIONS The generosity of our members and community supporters in providing donations is a key factor in the strength of our organisation. If you, or others you know, are in a position to make a donation, it will be greatly appreciated. All donations over $2 are tax deductible. Please contact CDA if you wish to make a donation. Phone (03) 9482 1130 or 1800 222 660 (regional and interstate callers) Email info@cda.org.au

A big ger voice for kids


MEMBERSH I P FORM/TAX I NVOICE ABN 42 140 529 273 All donations over $2 are tax deductible Name Address Suburb/town State

Postcode

Phone (

)

Fax (

)

Mobile

Email (Optional) Child’s name, date of birth and disability

I WISH TO APPLY FOR (PLEASE SELECT A CATEGORY) FULL MEMBERSHIP — FREE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY AND FAMILIES parent/carer of a child aged under 26 years with disability sibling person with disability between the ages of 18 and 25 grandparent/foster parent

ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP — $55 (GST INC) PER YEAR — FULL FEE $11 (GST INC) PER YEAR — STUDENTS & UN-WAGED extended family of a child/young person with disability professional service organisation other (please specify) I would like to make a donation of $

Payment enclosed or I would like to pay by:

DIRECT DEPOSIT Acc Name: Children with Disability Australia BSB 633 000 Account 1396 76928 CREDIT CARD D

VISA orr

Credit Card No Expiry Date

Mastercard Cardholders Name

/

CVV

Contact Phone

CHEQUE Payable to: Children with Disability Australia DECLARATION I hereby apply for membership of CDA. I am over 18 years. If accepted as a member I agree to be bound by the rules of the CDA Constitution*. Signature

Date

Send to CDA, Suite 1, 179 Queens Pde, Clifton Hill VIC 3068 Your personal information is collected only for the use of CDA for the purposes of disseminating support and information to our members.

Listen Up! | April 2012

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THAN K YOU Children with Disability Australia has Deductible Gift Recipient status from the Australian Tax Office. This means that all donations of over two dollars are tax deductible. We sincerely thank those who have provided donations. If you, or others you know, are in a position to make a donation, it will be greatly appreciated. All donations over $2 are tax deductible. The generosity of our members and community supporters in providing donations and pro bono support is a key factor in the strength of our organisation. We sincerely thank the following people and organisations for the support provided to us over the past twelve months:

Australian Education Union, Bakers Delight, Barbara McMillan, Bristol Paints, City of Yarra, Clifton Hill Chiropractic, Clifton Hill/ North Fitzroy Community Bank, Collins Simms, Commonwealth Bank Clifton Hill, Degani; Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Endeavour Foundation, Independent Health Care Services, Jellis Craig, Joan Jenkins, Jostyn Mortimer, Ka-Kit Chi, Laissez Faire Catering, Louise Walters, Maritime Union, Nelson Alexander Charitable Foundation; Niche Logistics, Plumbing Trades Employees Union, Regent Thai, Southern Cross Austereo, Thanyanat Rattanaphet, United Voice, Victorian Government Department of Health Services.

E M A I L A D D R E SS DO WE HAVE YOUR CURRENT EMAIL ADDRESS? CDA is currently in the process of updating our records. Could all members please contact us and inform us of your current email address. members@cda.org.au

SPONSORSH I P EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST SOUGHT We sincerely hope all our members and friends enjoy our Listen Up! magazine. You can also get up to date information about the work we are involved in and on news and events relevant to children and young people with disability all over Australia through our website at www.cda.org.au or by following us on facebook at www.facebook. com/CDISAUS or on twitter at @CDA39.

42 www.cda.org.au

Our magazine is enjoyed by a readership of approximately 15,000 families and disability sector organisations throughout Australia. We welcome those interested in sponsoring Listen Up! to contact Children with Disability Australia. Contact Stephanie Gotlib at stephanieg@cda.org.au

A big ger voice for kids


?

At CDA we work in close co-operation with a range of other national organisations, including disability peak bodies.

Deafness Forum of Australia Phone 02 6262 7808 TTY 02 6262 7809 Web www.deafnessforum.org.au

We encourage better working partnerships between groups and individuals working from a disability rights perspective.

Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA) Phone 02 6154 1983 Web www.dana.org.au

Young people with disability and families are also encouraged to get involved with other organisations and support groups relevant to their child and family.

First Peoples Disability Network (Australia) Phone 02 0519 0019 Email damiang@adnnsw.org.au

NATIONAL DISABILITY PEAK BODIES Australian Federation of Disability Organisations Phone 03 9662 3324 TTY 03 9662 3724 Web www.afdo.org.au Blind Citizens Australia Phone 03 9654 1400 Freecall 1800 033 660 TTY 03 9639 1728 Web www.bca.org.au Brain Injury Australia Phone 02 9808 9390 Freecall 1800 272 461 Web www.bia.net.au Deaf Australia Inc Phone 07 3357 8266 TTY 07 3357 8277 Web www.deafau.org.au

National Council on Intellectual Disability Phone 02 6296 4400 Web www.ncid.org.au National Disability Services Phone 02 6283 3200 Web www.nds.org.au National Ethnic Disability Alliance Freecall 1300 486 038 Web www.neda.org.au Physical Disability Australia Phone 02 6567 1500 Web www.pda.org.au

OTHER NATIONAL PEAK BODIES Australian Council of Social Service Phone 02 9310 6200 Web www.acoss.org.au Carers Australia Phone 02 6122 9900 Web www.carersaustralia.com.au

CDA MEMBERSHIP IS FREE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY AND FAMILIES! CDA Membership includes free copies of our Listen Up! magazine. Use the membership form on page 41 of this edition of Listen Up! and post it to us. Alternatively you can fill out an application form on our website www.cda.org.au

Women With Disabilities Australia Phone 03 6244 8288 Web www.wwda.org.au

Listen Up! | April 2012

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BACK COVER

Suite 1, 179 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill, VIC 3068 Phone (03) 9482 1130 or 1800 222 660 (regional or interstate) Fax 03 9481 7833 Email info@cda.org.au ABN 42 140 529 273

Listen Up! April 2012  

CDA's April issue of Listen Up!

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