Tag Archives: disability

a picture of carebears

Hashtag #Blessed

a picture of carebears

Scott’s right. He and Jen are blessed to not have to negotiate the life of a disabled Australian, adult or child, parent or carer. He’s blessed instead with the opportunity to make that system better for all involved.

Such as for

  • the parents of a child with some delays looking to engage with early intervention services, not knowing where to start.
  • Kids entering the education system and still facing the assumption that segregated settings are a beneficial option
  • Young adults trying to move into the workforce and having to fight for specialised support to find and keep open employment, or fumbled into sheltered workshops where $2.50 an hour is legal and seen as benevolent
  • Older adults struggling to survive on the criminally low JobSeeker payment despite having reduced capacity in the eyes of the government. But not being allowed onto the more suitable disability pension as the assessments needed to prove your disability are financially and or geographically inaccessible

But Scott has wasted his chances to make life easier for disabled people across the age span. His government has cut and cut and cut funding available to public schools who educate the majority of disabled kids, overseen the slashing of NDIS plans, defunding of advocacy services, and the continued exclusion of disabled people from leadership and board roles. Scott’s been blessed with the results of various enquiries and royal commissions that recommend centring those with lived experience of whatever it is that needs fixing, from disability care and support, to aged care, to the experience of women employed in the same building as him.

They like to say Autistic people lack empathy, but aside from that not being true and us merely needing to figure out how the neurotypical world would like us to demonstrate it, at least we’ve learned from our supports, unlike Scott from his empathy consultants.

My Election Wishlist

scene from animal crossing

Welfare payments above the poverty line – I think we were all more than a little distressed to say the least when Labor revealed they had no plans to promise any rise in JobSeeker or other Centrelink-administered payments this election. It’s even worse seeing them fall back on the small raise the libs granted us when the covid supplement was removed and try to take some sort of credit for it. I did some maths, including the rent assistance, I’ll be getting $63 a day on the Disability Support Pension when it switches over (yes, my partner finally did his paperwork for it to show he’s not my financial keeper) when my application finally gets properly approved. Living it up. I mean it’s better than the $42 a day ($52/day or $733.70 fn, including $137.40 rent assistance for the $790 rent we pay) I’m getting currently, and there won’t be mutual obligations, but this is the pension that acknowledges that I’m not really capable of regular paid employment and it kinds should be at a rate that at least lets us scrape by, and not continuously fall behind?

Some actual steps towards slowing climate change. Like not opening new coal and gas projects or subsidising the old ones. Putting money into renewable tech and jobs and batteries. Something about realising that the extreme weather events are caused by our love of destroying the planet, and perhaps we should do something about it? I mean it’s not too late, despite how depressing it gets. But we do have to act soon. And stop making things worse :/

Something to be done about the huge out of pocket costs that stop people from accessing the healthcare they need. It’s all well and good to say there’s Medicare rebates for healthcare, but what’s the point if the waitlists are excessively long or you can’t afford the upfront amount? The rebates need to be more too, because even if we do find a way to get the upfront payments for out of pocket up front costs, there’s only so long that can be sustained for.

To be more specific – You can currently access 20 rebateable psychology (or mental health OT/social work) through the “Better Access” program. That might go back to ten soon, it might not. But it’s so hard to firstly find a clinician to see you, and they you’re up for $200+ per session before the rebate that’s about half that. We’re currently trying to find someone for my niece to see, but it’s even harder to find someone for kids, especially outside the NDIS. Before I went into the current public program I’m doing DBT through, I was seeing a mental health Occupational Therapist under the scheme after finding most psychologists to have at least a 6 month wait. And this is in Newcastle, good luck if you’re in a smaller centre.

Access to free assessments in order to access NDIS and DSP and any other gatekept government program. It’s wrong that you have to be able to afford the assessments in order to get into these programs that should be available to all who need them. Also, a return to needs-based rather than diagnosis based access. Back to looking at a person’s needs and goals and working to support them with that. Disabled people have goals you know, and don’t just want to subsist.

Housing. The rental market is fucked in this country. We need a huge spend on PUBLIC housing, that’s owned by the government and leased to anyone who needs it. Guess what, that provides jobs too! Rental assistance is bullshit, and the quality of housing is slipping towards being unsafe for tenants as it’s not safe to complain or ask for repairs as there’s someone else waiting if they kick you out. I don’t know the answers. But housing is a mess.

I’m tired, and there’s still a month to go.

What’s on your Wishlist this election?