Australia: Were disability advocacy groups too successful? It may explain their funding cuts

Added Date: 16th January 2015
Australia: Were disability advocacy groups too successful? It may explain their funding cuts

In the final days of 2014, the meagre funding granted to disability advocacy groups was cut. It ended an annus horribilis for the sector

When there’s cricket on the radio, the sun is shining, and boats and beaches beckon, it’s easy to forget how tough last year was for Australians with disabilities. The final blow from the government, in typical Christmas Grinch style, was the defunding of the peak representative bodies of people with disabilities.

2014 was our annus horribilis.

In May, the Daily Telegraph painted people with disabilities as “shirkers” and “slackers”, and this was reinforced by the “lifter” and “leaner” mentality of federal government commentary. The story was about how some us are “existing” on the disability support pension of less than $20,000 a year.

We lost the position of disability discrimination commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission following the politically motivated appointment of a “freedom commissioner” early in the year. In contrast, both the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander commissioner and the sex discrimination commissioner were re­appointed – very appropriate appointments, but demonstrating the relative disregard for the disability sector.

Our voice on the ABC, through the disability portal Rampup, lost its funding.

The Medicare co-­payment, in whatever form it may finally take, will hurt people with disability more because more of us need to attend the doctor more often.

While there was a welfare plan – to move many of us off welfare – there was no jobs plan for people with disabilities, in contrast to the much­-needed initiatives to ensure that older Australians are employed.

The Australian Law Reform Commission’s report on decision ­making for people with disabilities, which sets a new paradigm in this area, was virtually ignored by the attorney-general. There was no government representative at the report launch.

Find out more by clicking the website link.

You may also like...

No silence please – Call to end the stigma of having a brain disorder

11th Jul 2016

No silence please – Call to ...
We fell in love': relationships and people with learning disabilities – in pictures

5th Jul 2016

We fell in love': relationship...
Disability rights around the world: from 1944 to the present day

3rd Jul 2016

Disability rights around the w...
Mexico City from a wheelchair: 'There's no second chance on these streets'

1st Jul 2016

Mexico City from a wheelchair:...
The disability benefit cuts you haven't heard about

30th Jun 2016

The disability benefit cuts yo...
As learning disability institutions close, care in the community must improve

18th Jan 2016

As learning disability institu...
Child protection cases have rocketed – Cameron's only answer is privatisation

15th Jan 2016

Child protection cases have ro...
Southampton Council considers capping personal budgets for homecare

15th Jan 2016

Southampton Council considers ...
Hidden cameras, wills and cutting nails: what I've learned working on a care helpline

14th Jan 2016

Hidden cameras, wills and cutt...
The young mothers trapped in a cycle of having babies removed

12th Jan 2016

The young mothers trapped in a...
Social work in 2016 must be service user led

11th Jan 2016

Social work in 2016 must be se...
Bionic eye helps woman see for first time in six years

10th Jan 2016

Bionic eye helps woman see for...
Hillary Clinton's autism platform is transformational and empowering

8th Jan 2016

Hillary Clinton's autism platf...
How ‘pay to stay’ housing will penalise disabled people like my daughter

2nd Jan 2016

How ‘pay to stay’ housing ...
Young care workers are great at uni – unless they take advantage

1st Jan 2016

Young care workers are great a...
Last NHS hospital in England for people with learning disabilities to close

31st Dec 2015

Last NHS hospital in England f...

See All Articles