ADVOCACY: Disability advocate and board member of Queensland Disability Network Des Ryan would like to see our politicians working together to deliver better outcomes for people needing support.
ADVOCACY: Disability advocate and board member of Queensland Disability Network Des Ryan would like to see our politicians working together to deliver better outcomes for people needing support. Leighton Smith

Disability advocate lays out his Capricornia wish list

WITH dozens of issues clamouring to be addressed, disability advocate and board member of QDN (Queensland Disability Network) Des Ryan has challenged Capricornia's candidates to look beyond the Nation Disability Insurance Scheme to address other pressing issues for people living with disabilities.

Mr Ryan has provided The Morning Bulletin with background explanations and his election wish list priorities as they relate to key Capricornia disability issues including the NDIS, housing, transport, health, employment and the National Disability Agreement and National Disability Strategy.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a critical investment in the support and needs of people with disability to live their day-to-day life in their communities, based upon principles of choice and control.

Recently the Joint Standing Committee reported on the progress of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in the Joint Standing Committee report on the National Disability Insurance Scheme's Progress.

The report covers issues impacting on the implementation and performance of the NDIS and includes 18 Progress Recommendations.

Implementation of these are key to improving the NDIS going forward.

Mr Ryan called for:

  • Urgent implementation of the 18 Progress Recommendations in the Joint Standing on the National Disability Insurance Scheme Progress Report.
  • Returning the national underspend into the NDIS and re-investing this funding into fixing the NDIS, including funding a range of approaches that deliver people 'hands-on' support to implement and manage their plans.
  • Urgent resolution of NDIS/mainstream issues in the areas of housing, health, mental health, the TSS and Community Transport.

Housing

The Australian government should ensure that home purchase assistance, including shared equity is available to all people with disability.

Mr Ryan called for:

  • Development and implementation of a national housing plan for people with disability, as part of a National Housing Strategy.
  • Mandating accessibility features in all new housing, through the National Construction Code, to a minimum of Liveable Housing Australia Gold Level Design.

Transport

Safe, accessible and affordable public and private transport options are essential for people with disability.

Mr Ryan called for:

  • Urgent resolution of NDIS/transport mainstream issues around essential transport services such as the TSS and community transport, to ensure people with disability receive these essential services in an integrated way that meets their life needs.

Health

People with disability often have more complex health needs and a higher mortality rate, and face many barriers accessing appropriate health care.

Mr Ryan called for:

  • Funding a specific program in Primary Health Networks to enhance the capacity of GPs and other primary health services to respond to the needs of people with intellectual disability and to link them to appropriate healthcare.
  • Urgent resolution of NDIS/health mainstream issues around essential health services such as community nursing, mental health, wound and catheter care and medical and continence aids subsidies, to ensure people with disability receive these essential services in an integrated way that meets their life needs.

Employment

People with disability experience significantly worse employment outcomes than others in their community.

In addition, people with disability need opportunities to develop skills, knowledge and confidence to influence their own lives and inclusion in communities.

Mr Ryan called for:

  • Adoption of disability action plans for all public entities, if currently not in place, including employment targets for people with disability and a commitment to inclusive workplaces.
  • Incentives (both financial and support services) for private workplaces to adopt employment targets for people with disability.
  • Offer skilling opportunities (including volunteering) that are well-resourced, inclusive of and focused on people's skills and abilities.

National Disability Agreement and National Disability Strategy

As stated in the Productivity Commission report, there is shared responsibility across all levels of government to deliver improved services.

Mr Ryan called for:

  • Commitment to inclusive consultation on the new NDA in which people with disability have their voices heard, and are active participants in the planning, design and implementation of the new agreement.


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