National Disability Insurance Scheme Rally – Time to Join Us
24 April 2012 at 9:27 am
It’s time for all Australians to get behind the introduction of a National Disability Insurance Scheme says President of the Victorian Disability Services Board and disability campaigner, Tricia Malowney who is set to speak at one of the nationwide NDIS rallies next week.
Across the country, Australians with disabilities, their families, friends and supporters are gathering at Rallies in support of the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme are being held on 30 April 2012 . I have been asked to speak at the Melbourne Rally which is being held at Federation Square in Melbourne at 12 noon.
Let me say at the outset, that I do not have special needs. I am an Australian with a disability, I have the same needs as everyone else – I may need assistance to attain my rights, but I am no different to other Australians, I have the same right to equal access to employment, health, and education, justice, housing and the same right to participate in the community.
I am a 20%er – in other words I am one of the approximately 20% of Australians who have a disability. The majority of us are underfunded for the supports we need to participate fully as Australian citizens. Australians with disabilities cross all demographics. We come from all socio economic sectors, we live in the city and we live in rural locations. We come from CALD backgrounds and we are Indigenous and refugees. We are married, we are single, we are parents and carers.
In Victoria, around 1,100,000 people have some form of disability. We may have a genetic disability which is diagnosed at birth, or which becomes evident later on. We may contract an illness in childhood which results in a disability, or we may develop a chronic illness as a teenager, or in our 20’s or 30’s. We may be injured in an accident as a child, teenager or adult.
How that accident occurs affects how we are funded. Around 10% of Victorians with a disability are funded by TAC no fault insurance or Workers compensation, and I do not dispute their right to access the services they need.
However, if I slip in the bath, or fall off the roof, and end up with a disability, and have the same or even greater level of disability as someone who has had a car accident or an accident at work, I do not get the same level of assistance – I join the other 1,000,000 Victorians with disabilities who are waiting for needed assistance.
The lack of necessary services – such as retraining, housing modifications and access to
Australians with disabilities want to work. But it is hard to hold down a job when your wheelchair is not appropriate and a replacement costs $12,000 and you have funding of $6,000. Or you have a support package, which only allows you to bathe three times a week.
I cannot count the number of times this is the case, and yet we are still at the bottom of the list when it comes to priorities. Oh yes, we know that all the political parties have said that a National Disability Insurance Scheme should be implemented – but it would be very easy to see the momentum slacken .
It is imperative that you join us at the rally – If you are not an Australian with a disability, you are probably related to one of us, or are one of our friends, or you work to make our lives better.
The rallies will be held across Australia. Here are the details for the other events.
In Sydney, AllPhones Arena
Sydney Olympic Park
In Hobart Parliament House lawns
In Adelaide Hindmarsh Square
Corner of Hindmarsh Square and Pirie Street
In Brisbane 11am: Meet at State Library Queensland
29 Stanley St, South Brisbane
12 noon: March to Reddacliff Place.
6 Queen St, Brisbane
1pm: Rally at Reddacliff Place
In Perth 11.40am: Meet in Hay Street Mall (William St End)
12.00pm: March down Mall & Barrack St to
Stirling Gardens, Council House
Corner of Barrack St and St Georges Terrace
12.30: Rally at Stirling Gardens, Council House