- Following QAI’s appearance at the public hearing on the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (Commonwealth Powers) Bill 2018 on 20/07/18, QAI made a written submission, to the Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee.
- QAI has prepared a submission for the Inquiry into wage theft in Queensland, due 30/07/18.
- We are following the announcement by Queensland Government that District Court Judge Michael Forde has been appointed to conduct an inquiry into the procurement of New Generation Rollingstock trains which do not comply with disability laws
- We are working on our upcoming forum “Violence against People with disabilities in their homes” on 24/09/18. Watch this space!
- QAI director Michelle O’Flynn and solicitor Niamh Fields are presenting at the Queensland Law Society’s Criminal Law Conference on “Communicating with cognitively impaired clients in criminal matters” on 3/08/18.
- QAI will be preparing a submission on the second consultation paper on the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT), due mid-September.
If you would like to comment on any of QAI’s work, please contact us on 07 3844 4200 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Absent without permission – This factsheet is about what happens if a patient runs away from mental health services within Queensland.
Call to action:
- Our NDIS Serco Call Centre survey is live: Soon after posting it, QAI got just less than a thousand responses to our petition (now closed) protesting the NDIS-involvement of Serco, a multinational company that runs prisons and 11 Australian immigration detention centres, and Queensland Advocacy Inc is concerned that Serco won’t support NDIS values and principles. QAI has released a survey to gauge people’s experiences with the NDIS call centre (1800800110). Please check it out if you have called that number recently.
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On 20/07/18, director Michelle O’Flynn appeared as first witness before the Queensland Parliament’s Health, Communities, Disability Services and Family Violence Prevention Committee in their public hearing on the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (Commonwealth Powers) Bill 2018.
To review the transcript of the hearing see:
Open Letter to Transport and Main Roads Minister Bailey
NB: We are frustrated. Minister Bailey has not responded to our request for a timetable for making the new NGR trains accessible. They need revised braile signage, grabrails, widened corridors, accessible toilets, middle-of-train-guards etc etc
16 May 2018
RE: Scheduling date for NGR access rectification
On 27 September 2017, Queensland Rail (‘QR’) and Transport and Main Roads (‘TMR’) made a joint application to the Australian Human Rights Commission for temporary exemptions under s 55 of the DDA and s 33A.1 of the Transport Standards in relation to the New Generation Rollingstock (‘NGR’) Train Project. In the application, QR/TMR included a detailed rectification timetable.
The rectification work proposed at page 6 of the Queensland/TMR exemption application includes:
(i) Reconfiguration of the unisex accessible toilet module to meet dimensions and improve functionality in line with DSAPT
(ii) (ii) Dividing the NGR fleet of 75 trains in two, including:
a. An Interurban fleet of 35 trains (two unisex accessible toilet modules per six-car train) – adding a second unisex accessible toilet module to the MA car, so that allocated spaces in both the MB and MA have a DSAPT-compliant access path to a toilet module
b. A suburban fleet of 40 trains (no toilets) – remove the unisex accessible toilet module from the MB car
(iii) Reconfigure seating and allocated spaces in both accessible cars to meet access path width requirements between the assisted boarding door and accessible facilities
(iv) Other changes, including:
a. additional priority seating in new locations,
b. revised train signage (wording and braille),
c. additional grab/handrails and
d. additional accessible buttons and controls where appropriate to maximise functionality.
I am writing to seek your commitment to a commencement date for the NGR rectification process. The Queensland Government’s decision to run non-compliant conveyances is a disappointment to people with disabilities and contrary to the intent of the Queensland Rail Accessibility Action Plan 2014. We ask you to restore the faith of people with disabilities by restating your commitment to accessibility and an NGR rectification timetable.
In addition, we have consulted with a number of people with disabilities about their NGR experiences, and give you the following NGR feedback:
• NGR trains lack an on-board guard stationed in the middle of the train.
A middle guard can better assist people who have mobility impairments (for example, people with vision impairment, using wheelchairs, the elderly, parents with prams) to board and alight. This is a particular necessity at platforms with no staff on duty. Employing on-platform help for the life of the trains is costly and less effective.
• Defective on-board technology limits communication between passengers at the emergency help-point and the on-board guard.
More than once, passengers attempting to use the help-point have been unable to communicate with the guard.
• Braille sign positioning
Designers have placed some of the braille signage awkwardly. For example, at the on-board help-point some of the braille is below adult waist height, and below where it is on the older trains. Consistency of position on all conveyances is critical for people with vision impairments.
• Console position
The microphone on the help-point console only works if the speaker’s mouth is directly adjacent to it; again, this is not vision-impairment friendly, and could have been avoided had TMR consulted with people who have a full range of relevant impairments.
• Not fully accessible stations
Almost half of Queensland Rail’s train stations are not fully accessible, leaving many people with mobility impairments, with prams or injured unable to travel by train.