The following were d4d's policies at the time of the 2010 South Australian State election. These are now available online as a matter of historical interest.
Current Policy Platform Papers can be accessed on the dignity for disability Policy page.
One in five Australians has a disability. Once again. One in five Australians has a disability.
dignity for disability's Vision
dignity for disability (d4d) believes that people with disabilities should have the same opportunities and choices as non-disabled people to improve their quality of life and be respected and included as equal members of society
d4d Policy Protocols.rtf
Disability funding is at historical lows in South Australia. South Australians with a disability are among the worst funded in Australia, with SA coming last of all the mainland States, with only Tasmanians faring worse.
d4d believes that people with disabilities have an entitlement to services, accommodation, equipment, education and a wide range of other services (self or agency managed, by choice) to improve the quality of their lives. The Disability Act should reflect the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.
Attached to this document are the Principles and Objectives of the Disabilities Services Act from 1993. It is clear that not only is the Act ineffectual, but that it also needs a great deal of work to be brought into line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which was adopted on 13 December 2006, and which Australia ratified in July 2008. D4d is committed to that process and its timely completion.
There are around 240 people with disabilities on the Category One Crisis Accommodation waiting list. These are people who are considered homeless, or are an immediate threat of harming themselves or others. These people may have ageing, frail parents who are unable to continue caring for their adult child, homeless adults with disabilities, and those for whom family carers are simply no longer an option. These people are in crisis.
d4d estimates that $76M of funding will clear the current crisis list – providing accommodation and associated supports for one year. The funding is one number one priority for South Australians with a disability and their carers. This figure does not include the estimated $27M required to meet the current basic annual personal support needs of those with disabilities in South Australia.
(thanks to Disability Speaks for current statistics and information)
Currently, around 3,500 children diagnosed with Autism are in our State schools. While many of these children are in special classes or special schools, many are included in their local schools with supports. The supports for both the included children and those in special classes/schools are considered woefully inadequate by families and teachers alike.
With the ever-increasing numbers of children diagnosed with Autism, and their specialised needs, d4d supports the concept of three Autism Education Centres of Excellence (North, South and Central). These centres would aim to provide intensive therapy and teaching for students with Autism, with the goal of integrating them to their local schools wherever possible. The centre would also provide training and supports for Special Education teachers, regular mainstream teachers, School Support Officers and School Staff from across the State – with a strong focus on outreach services to country schools.
Funding for these centres would be based on similar models interstate ($20M), with a goal of community outreach to help support its goals.
d4d also supports a school voucher scheme, where families can take their State based funding to the school (public, private or homeschool) of their choice.
Self Managed Funding (SMF)
d4d is committed to enabling disabled people to have choice and control over the support they need to go about their daily lives. SMF is about shifting the balance of power from the state to the individual, acknowledging that disabled people (and often their families) are the experts in their own lives and enabling them to use available resources to achieve their aims and aspirations.
d4d has a vision for a care and support system that is fair, simple, transparent and affordable for everyone. Under d4d’s policy, Self Managed Funding would be one option in a suite of support offers for people with disabilities in South Australia.
Self Managed Funding is a funding neutral initiative.
Care Quality Commission and Community OUTreach program
d4d is committed to a Care Quality Commission (CQC) - an independent regulator and advocate for people with disabilities through all of their health and social care. It will ensure quality care is provided for everyone, whether in hospital, care homes or people’s own homes
A CQC would administer an Official Community Outreach Program (OCOP). The program aims to safeguard standards of treatment and care, and advocates for the rights and dignity of disabled people. The program is a voice for people in care, by providing them with access to an independent person to promote their well-being and circumstances. An OCOP operate in all states except SA.
We d4d support the implementation of such a programme and thank the SA Council Intellectual Disabilities (SACID) for their advocacy and promotion of this concept.
South Australians with a disability that affects their mobility are currently effectively imprisoned in their own homes, allowed out just 1.5 times per week.
The SA Transport Subsidy Scheme was introduced in 1985. The level of transport subsidy and number of allowable trips have been increased just once in the past 25 years. It is now woefully inadequate and no longer meets the transport needs of people with disabilities.
d4d commits to increasing the value and flexibility of individual vouchers, as well as the number of trips allowed.
d4d will also lobby federal government for disability-related vehicles and their modifications to be tax deductible. D4d commits to further explorations to support people with disabilities and their transportation needs.
The International Psychiatric Association recommends a ratio of 50 beds per 100,000 capita in order to provide effective acute psychiatric care in the community. South Australia has seen that ratio decline over the past decades and the recent announcements and degradation of the Glenside hospital site highlights the current decline in services.
d4d wants an ongoing commitment to provide a total of 1000 acute psychiatric beds across the SA community (metro, regional and rural).
Housing for those with Mental Health issues is a major problem in South Australia. D4d will implement a long term plan to provide housing and support in the community. A community visitors program is also essential to monitor for abuse and neglect, as is a targeted community awareness program.
D4d also demands increased support in the community. Many people with disabilities have a co-morbid (secondary) diagnosis of a mental health condition and lack the ability to access immediate services to manage their mental health.
Families who care for children with disabilities have a higher incidence of marriage breakdown with 80-90% of families failing to sustain a solid family unit. Depression and anxiety is common amongst Carers and d4d supports increased funding and services for the mental health sector, and respite.
An additional $85M is required to support these policy initiatives.
Whole family diagnosis Services
When a child or adult is diagnosed with a disability, they often hear about it in the doctor’s office. They might be given a brochure about the condition (if they are lucky) and possibly the suggestion of contacting Disability SA for further information.
Disability SA do not provide appropriate, timely information to these families in crisis. There is no visit from a social worker, no friendly face to let them know where their journey might lead, nor indeed, what paths they might travel.
D4d supports the establishment of a range of options and home or centre based visits (at the family’s discretion) for families with a new disability diagnosis. We support the establishment of regular metro, regional and rural parent led support groups.
Groups will be led by trained local parents who provide current local resources, services and education options. These quarterly short term monthly groups will lead to independent friendship groups who will help relieve and share the stresses of caring for a family member with a disability.
For families with a Newborn diagnosed with a Disability, the community nurse visit program will be expanded to include several visits, from a trained volunteer parent who has a child with a similar disability, and a social worker. These visits will provide support, referrals, relevant information and the opportunity to identify families in crisis who might need further supports.
d4d believes that the better a family (including siblings) caring a person with a disability is supported after initial diagnosis, the stronger their resilience, the better their quality of care, and the better the outcome for the person with a disability.
Carers SA estimates that there are more than 220,000 unpaid family/friend Carers in South Australia. Carers have many needs, and d4d acknowledges that a lack of respite is a major barrier to Carer health, stable family relationships and entire quality of life. Carers Australia recently reported that increasing investment in respite gave a return of seven to one to governments by reducing numbers in institutions.
Respite must be made available on an ongoing regular basis for all Carers. Family Carers and the person they care for must be able to chose their own respite workers if they like (see Self Managed Funding for more info). For those on a Carer Payment, respite should be equivalent to the paid time off (six weeks per annum) that all full time Australian workers enjoy. d4d also supports that carers are able to access respite during times of ill health and bereavement as “emergency” respite.
They key here is that regular ongoing reliable respite must be available for all Carers. d4d acknowledges and thanks Carers SA for the work they do in our community and for many of the statistics we have used to formulate our policies around Carer supports.
We estimate State funding of $22M will need to be allocated, and d4d will lobby Federal Government for further respite support for families in need.
d4d supports a community awareness program aimed at various employment groups and disability organisations to raise opportunities for employment for people with disabilities, through training and employment supports. d4d recognizes the right to employment according to new legislation incorporating the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.
ICAC and Social inclusion board
We support the introduction of an ICAC scheme in South Australia.
While d4d supports the concept of a Social Inclusion Board, we believe the current model is ineffectual and ill-representative of the South Australian community. d4d will work toward the inclusion of “everyday” South Australians with a range of people from varying backgrounds.
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
d4d supports the initiative of a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). We anticipate that this initiative will benefit the many South Australians who have a disability. d4d also acknowledges that there are varying degrees of disability and that such a scheme ought to be weighted with a methodology that allows people with the greatest need to benefit the most.
Our candidates, by standing for election with Dignity for Disability, are seeking increased, transparent and better managed Disability funding, and for South Australia to adopt and embrace the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.