National Disability Strategy – QAI Submission to DSS

Last month, the Department of Social Services commenced the second phase of consultations seeking feedback on a Position Paper to develop a new National Disability Strategy.

QAI made several recommendations:
QAI recommends: 1. The addition of the word ‘all’ before ‘people with disability’ in the proposed vision for the Strategy, so that it aims to achieve ‘An inclusive Australian society that enables all people with disability to fulfil their potential as equal members of the community’.

2. The inclusion of a person-centred approach to the ‘Involve and engage’ guiding principle, where policy processes engage with and listen to people with disability at all stages, people with disability are provided accessible information and opportunities for feedback and where implementation is person-centred and takes into account the needs and wishes of individuals.

3. The removal of ‘where possible’ in relation to the ‘Design universally’ guiding principle, removing any ambiguity and ensuring it is a minimum standard of practice.

4. The return to the previous Strategy’s order of outcome areas, with ‘economic security’ listed as the third not first policy domain.

5. Accept and adopt proposals for a federal Human Rights Act to extend the human rights protections now afforded to all Queenslanders to every single Australian, removing disparities in access to justice between state and territory jurisdictions and ensuring a coherent approach to implementation of the Strategy and Australia’s obligations under the CRPD.

6. Adoption of the Senate Committee’s recommendation that the government develop best practice guidelines for consultation with people with disability.

7. The development of a multi-layered plan to address community attitudes at the personal, organisation and government levels.

8. The development of mandatory disability action plans in all jurisdictions.
9. The creation of an Office of Disability Strategy to act as a coordinating agency for the Strategy under the auspice of the Disability Reform Council. Ensure the Office of Disability Strategy can integrate the key findings from the Disability Royal Commission into the Strategy over the coming years.

10. Further clarification regarding the interface between the NDIS and mainstream services. Update the current publicly available information to ensure the content is easy to understand, including the development of Easy Read versions.

11. Widening the scope of the Strategy to encompass non-government entities. For example, place greater emphasis on addressing media bias toward people with disability, seek to remove barriers to employment created by employers, continued and increased funding for individual disability advocacy services and community legal services, and working to ensure the dominance of the social model of disability and the supported decision-making model in the health setting. 12. Biannual, mandatory reporting by all levels of governments regarding progress against an outcomes framework to be developed in consultation with people with disability. QAI considers the International Day of People with Disability a suitable milestone on which to report progress. QAI further recommends that governments be required to issue ‘statements of compatibility’ when creating new policies, to signify compliance with the Strategy’s vision and guidance principles.

13. Consultation of people with disability on the development of all Targeted Action Plans, with clarification as to whether state and territory jurisdictions will have tailored targets under the outcomes framework to reflect varying levels of progress under the six domains. Regular program evaluations to become mandatory for states and territories. Collaboration with non-government entities to develop industry specific Targeted Action Plans is also recommended.

14. The employment of people with disability at all levels of government decision-making to ensure people with disability are actively involved in the delivery of the Strategy. A well-funded and

image of Senator Ann Ruston on tv screen
The current National Disability Strategy was the first ever commitment by all Australian governments

well-resourced disability advocacy sector is integral to this.

Read all the submission here