Media Release: Women With Disabilities WA says Let’s Keep it Real

Media Release – 3 September 2015

Women With Disabilities WA Inc (WWDWA Inc) joins with other disability advocacy organisations in WA in being deeply concerned about the article in 2 September’s edition of The West ‘WA’s own services best for disabled’.
The organisation believes that it is counter to the original principle of self management to have able-bodied professionals and politicians who don’t personally use the services under trial speaking on behalf of people with disabilities.
There is little evidence in any of the articles that promote the WA My Way scheme that the real experts were interviewed – people with disabilities who are actually using the My Way scheme.
Chair of WWDWA Inc, Ms Zeliha Iscel, said: “One of the central tenets of the disability rights movement is “nothing about us without us”. The current WA My Way and National NDIS schemes both fail to embody this principle and therefore are at risk of failing people with disabilities and our families.”
Ms Iscel stressed that the reality of the My Way and NDIS trials is a lot more complex than the current media reports and government spokespeople have made it out to be. She further emphasised, “It is far too early to be making definite statements about which trial is the best for Western Australia.”
Coordinator of WWDWA Inc, Ms Rayna Lamb, says there is a risk of people with disabilities being steamrolled into the NDIS My Way scheme because of the WA government’s insistence on WA exceptionalism, regardless of what is actually best for people with disabilities.
Women With Disabilities WA Inc strongly urges the media and government spokespeople to go directly to the people with disabilities and those who support us to get real experience and knowledge on how both trials are running so far. Ms Iscel said: “To do anything less is to treat people with disabilities as perpetual children who are not permitted a voice in our own lives. In 2015, this is unacceptable”.
WWDWA Inc is run by women with disabilities and provides systemic advocacy and peer support for women with disabilities.
Media Contact – Rayna Lamb, WWDWA Inc Coordinator, 9244 7463 or 0413 857 953