National Inquiry into Violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability in institutional and residential settings

You can find out more about the Inquiry at this link

WWDWA Inc spoke at the inquiry here in Perth at the beginning of April. We will also be preparing a written submission. If you would like to have your experiences with violence and abuse heard, you can write your own submission and send it to the Senate. If you are unable to do this and would still like your experiences heard by the Senate, WWDWA Inc is happy to include them in our report in your own words. You don’t have to use your name and your submissions can be as short or as long as you want. Please email or call 9244 7463. Submissions are due by the end of June, but we will be asking to have ours due by late August.

What WWDWA Inc Has Been Doing

You may notice that there were no April or May forums. The WWDWA Inc Coordinator and Management Committee have been very busy over the last few months behind the scenes – but the monthly forums are still a very important part of our work and will start again in August.

You may notice that there were no April or May forums. The WWDWA Inc Coordinator and Management Committee have been very busy over the last few months behind the scenes in working on some important administrative tasks to make the organisation run more smoothly.

We have also been busy planning for our big project, funded by the DSC, about telling the stories of our members. We will have more information about how you can be a part of this very soon.

We have also been contributing to the National Inquiry into Abuse and Neglect of People With Disabilities.

But the monthly forums are still a very important part of our work and will start again in August.

Welcome starecase – the new magazine for people with disabilities by people with disabilities

Earlier this month a new magazine for people with disabilities started – `starecase’

“In Australia, we do a lot of talking about disability.
But we don’t always talk about the important things.
What it’s like to live our lives.
What its like when people do things ‘for’ and ‘to’ us, not ‘with’ us.
What its like to have ‘special’ things for ‘special people’, instead of being part of the rest of Australia.
We want to talk about the things that matter. To us, not them.
We want to say it out loud.
And if they’re not listening, we will say it louder.”

You can find copies of starecase on the starecase website

They want to hear from all people with disabilities. If you have something to say about living with a disability, they want to publish it!

People With Disabilities Australia Access to Voting Survey

PWDA Access to Voting Survey

Following the recent Federal Election, we want to hear from people with disability across Australia about your experience of voting.

People with disability have the right to accessible voting to ensure that OUR VOICE and OUR CHOICES are heard by government. Accessible voting requires polling places that are accessible, voting methods that are secret, and information about elections in accessible formats.

PWDA has put together this short survey so that YOU can tell us about your experience, positive or negative, of voting in the 2013 Federal Election. Access To Voting Survey

The survey will be open for 2 weeks until midnight Sunday 29 September.

Using the results of the survey we will write to the Australian Election Commission to tell them what they are doing well, what needs improvement, and to make recommendations about what should change. We will also write to the Election Commission in YOUR State or Territory to help them make local and State elections more accessible for people with disability.

Please pass on the survey to other people with disability and help us to reach 500 responses! People with disability have the right to full political participation, the more responses we get the louder your call for voting equality!

For more information about voting and elections or if you have any questions please contact Ngila Bevan or call 02 9370 3100

Women With Disabilities Access to the Criminal Justice System – Have Your Say!

Women With Disabilities WA Inc will be making a submission to the Human Rights Commission about Access to Justice in the Criminal Justice System for People With Disabilities. If you would like to have your experiences and thoughts on this important issue included in our submission, please contact us via email, Facebook message or phone by Tuesday 20 August.

We apologise for the short time frame, but this is an important issue for so many women with disabilities and it is important that we have our say. For more information please go to

The Australian Human Rights Commission is concerned that many people with disability who need communication supports or who have complex and multiple support needs are not having their rights protected, and are not being treated equally, in the criminal justice system. This is happening to children, young people and adults with disability. It is happening to people with disability who are victims of crime, accused of crimes, witnesses, defendants and offenders. It is happening in police stations, courts, prisons and juvenile institutions, and other corrective services across Australia.

Questions from discussion paper:

What are the biggest barriers for you or other people with disability in the criminal justice system?

What could be done to remove these barriers and help people with disability in the criminal justice system?

Can you provide information about support that has helped you or other people with disability to participate in the criminal justice system?

Please tell us about any time that you or another person with disability experienced barriers to justice.

Do you have any other thoughts, ideas or comments you would like to make about people with disability and the criminal justice system?

National Inquiry Announced: Reducing Legal Barriers For People With Disabilities

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus QC announced today that he is asking the Australian Law Reform Commission to inquire into how to reduce legal barriers to people with disabilities.

“I want to make sure that existing Commonwealth laws and legal frameworks do not create barriers to people with disability exercising their rights and legal capacity,” Mr Dreyfus said.

“Most of us take for granted the independent decisions we make about our lives. People with disability deserve the same opportunity.

“This inquiry is about maximising choice and autonomy for Australians with disability.”

Minister for Disability Reform Jenny Macklin said that people with disability are entitled to the dignity that comes from being able to make choices over their own lives.

“Ensuring that people with disability have access to the same rights and opportunities as Australians without disability is a hallmark of a just society,” Ms Macklin said.

“As we celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act, it is fitting that we consider whether our laws are adequately supporting people with disability.

“The announcement of this inquiry coincides with the upcoming launch of DisabilityCare Australia, the national disability insurance scheme, a significant reform that will transform the way people with disability are supported and put choice and control in the hands of people with disability.”

Consultation on draft terms of reference for ALRC inquiry into equal recognition before the law and legal capacity for people with disability

The consultation seeks stakeholder views on draft terms of reference for an Australian Law Reform Commission inquiry into equal recognition before the law and legal capacity for people with disability. The inquiry will consider:
• Commonwealth laws and legal frameworks that deny or diminish the rights of people with disa bility to make their own decisions, and
• act on their own behalf, and what, if any, changes could be made.

The Draft Terms of Reference can be downloaded in PDF or Word at:

The Australian Government invites stakeholders to make submissions outlining their views on the draft Terms of Refer ence. If you would like to make a submission, send it:

by email to:

by mail to:
Submission – legal capacity
Human Rights Policy Branch
International Law & Human Rights Division
3-5 National Circuit
Barton ACT 2600

Electronic submissions are preferred where possible.

The closing date for submissions is 28 June 2013.

If you cannot make a submission in either of the above ways and would like to express your views by another method, you can contact the Human Rights Policy Branch on 02 6141 6666 or

Dealing with an ongoing health condition or caring for some who does? Have your say

A group of researchers at Griffith University in Brisbane are looking to engage more participants (aged 16yrs and over) who live in the greater Perth area in Western Australia to participate in a phone survey later in 2013.

They would like to recruit 150 people who have one or more ongoing health (chronic and long term) condition/s or carers and 50 health care professionals (including Pharmacists, GPs, and other healthcare professionals) who work throughout this region.

Please visit the project website to find out more about this exciting project and the opportunity it is offering people to have their say in future pharmacy services in Australia.

If you are interested or know someone who may be interested (neighbours, family, friends or members of your networks) or if you would like to mention this project to your GP or any other healthcare professional, they would be greatly appreciative.

Eligible participants will be offered a Coles Group and Myers voucher as a token of appreciation of your time, to the value of $50.

Please register your interest in participating NOW. Go to the Chronic Illness Project Website or free call 1800 600 687.

This Project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing as part of the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement Research and Development Program managed by The Pharmacy Guild of Australia.

Stop the Violence Project: Improving Service Delivery for Women and Girls with Disabilities

A national research project is looking at ways to improve service delivery for women and girls with disabilities who experience or are at risk of violence. The Stop the Violence Project headed by Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) is undertaking research to build the evidence base to support future reform of the service system to better respond to the needs of women and girls with disabilities. The project is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) as part of the multi-layered approach to assisting women and girls with disabilities under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children.

The research seeks information from mainstream and specialist prevention and response policy making, representative and service provider organisations across domestic violence/sexual assault, disability services and other relevant service sectors including the criminal justice and victims support sectors in all states and territories, particularly in regards to their views and experience of policy and practice relevant to violence prevention and response for women and girls with disabilities. For more information or to participate in the project, please visit Stop The Violence Survey

Leadership Program for People With Disabilities

 Applications are now open for the last  intake of  the Leaders for Tomorrow Program.


Leaders for Tomorrow is an individual leadership development program which has been funded by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs to develop the leadership capacity of people with disability.


The program is targeted at people who aspire to be leaders or further develop their current leadership capacity.  At the end of the program it is expected that participants will be more skilled, more confident and more active in leadership roles in business, community, government or their chosen area of interest.


Participants will have up to 12 months access to training, coaching, mentoring and other leadership development opportunities based on their individual needs.


People with a broad range of skill levels and leadership interests are encouraged to apply.   The program is committed to including a variety of participants reflecting the diversity of the Australian community.


The Leaders for Tomorrow program is delivered nationally by NSW Consumer Support and Training Project (Hunter TAFE) and E-QUAL (Enhancing Quality).


Visit for further information or an application form or call:


·       In NSW, ACT, Vic and Tas 1800 887 624 or,

·       In WA, SA, NT and Qld 1800 648 021.


Applications for this final intake commencing May 2013 close on 29th March 2013.



Sterilisation and People With Disabilities – Senate Inquiry

From Women With Disabilities Australia:


The Senate Inquiry into sterilisation is a critical inquiry for all people with disabilities. It is so important that the voices of people with disabilities are heard in this Inquiry – in whatever way works for the individual and/or organisation concerned. The Terms of reference are very broad and are not just about surgical sterilisation. Among other things, the Inquiry will look into the choices people with disabilities have about:

• contraception
• whether or not to have a baby

It will also look at things like:
• What sort of information people with disabilities have access to about sexuality, relationships, their bodies;
• Whether doctors and other professionals need more training about the rights of people with disabilities to make their own decisions;
• How people with disabilities are treated differently when it comes to their reproductive rights;
• What sort of assistance people with disabilities might need to be able to manage their own reproductive health care;

It is really important that people with disabilities tell the Senate Inquiry their views on some of these issues. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy document or a formal submission. You can just send an email if you want. Or you can ring them up, or ask them to ring you up. Or you can tell WWDA what you think and we can tell the Inquiry on your behalf.

WWDA is helping the Senate Inquiry to speak directly to some groups of people with disabilities. Today some of the Senate Committee members have gone to Brisbane to meet with a group of women with disabilities to hear the women’s views. They are also going to Adelaide soon to meet with another group of women with disabilities. People With Disability Australia (PWD) are also helping to organise a meeting in Sydney. The Senate Committee members have agreed to go out and talk directly to groups of people with disabilities so that our voices and views are heard.

WWDA would strongly encourage everyone to contribute to the Inquiry in some way. The Committee has developed a Plain English version of the Terms of Reference which is available on WWDA’s website at:

If you would like to share your ideas, views, thoughts, experiences etc with the Inquiry, you can do so in the following ways:

Phone: (02) 6277 3515
TTY: (02) 6277 7799

Or by post to:

Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600 Australia

You can submit your views anonymously if you wish.