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   An inclusive and equitable NDIS (DISABILITYCARE AUSTRALIA)    

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Interpreting & translations

People from Non-English Speaking Background and/or Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds living with disability have a right to free access to interpreting and translations; it must be guaranteed that there is no cost shifting of such costs onto individual support packages as part of the new DISABILITYCARE AUSTRALIA. The residential aged care and the health system already set the precedent of free interpreting and translations to their consumers.

Advocacy – independent & multicultural

Sustainable and adequate funding for advocacy organisations is a paramount need to guarantee systemic advocacy in support of identification and elimination of barriers and to participate in and contribute to monitoring of DisabilityCare Australia. Multicultural disability advocacy must be available to all people from NESB and/or CALD with disability as part of DISABILITYCARE AUSTRALIA, across all states and territories.

DATA- strategies, measures, reporting

Given that 1 in 4 people with disability is a person from non English speaking background (NESB), it is essential that the new DISABILITYCARE AUSTRALIA is able to develop a dedicated communication strategy with the multicultural community to ensure that the DISABILITYCARE AUSTRALIA is accessible and understood by all.

All data that informs and evaluates the DISABILITYCARE AUSTRALIA must be able to report on first and subsequent generations of people from NESB and/or CALD. Disaggregated data must be available to people with disability and their representative organisations to monitor DISABILITYCARE AUSTRALIA outcomes.

Dedicated strategies and measures must be put in place prior to the implementation of the DISABILITYCARE AUSTRALIA to address the current under-utilisation of disability services by people from NESB and/or CALD.

DISABILITYCARE AUSTRALIA has been launched in NSW, VIC and SA. For further details click here in yet to be identified geographical areas, these launch sites will inform any adjustments required to the DISABILITYCARE AUSTRALIA. It is essential that a quarter of people in the launch sites will be of NESB and/or CALD to provide evidence based intelligence towards the final DISABILITYCARE AUSTRALIA; aiming for an equitable and culturally accessible DISABILITYCARE AUSTRALIA.

Quality frameworks and standards developed for the DISABILITYCARE AUSTRALIA must be inclusive of cultural competence indicators that can be measured and monitored.

All children with disability must be eligible to the DISABILITYCARE AUSTRALIA regardless of their parents’ visa category, providing they are reside in Australia long term. Equally, workers on long term visas such as the 457 category must be eligible given their contributions to the Australian society and economy. Uncapping of Carer Visas will alleviate strains on the shortage of disability support workers, especially cultural competent staff.

 Background to DISABILITYCARE AUSTRALIA

On the 31 July 2011 the Productivity Commission (PC) released the final report of its Inquiry into Disability Care and Support. Since then the Council of Australian Governments welcomed the report and agreed on the need for major reform of disability services in Australia through a National Disability Insurance Scheme (DISABILITYCARE AUSTRALIA).

 The PC report is clear on its assessment of the current disability support system:

Current disability support arrangements are inequitable, underfunded, fragmented, and inefficient and give people with a disability little choice.

DISABILITYCARE AUSTRALIA is to be a three tiered system. The first tier includes all of the Australian population as it covers people against the cost of support in the event of disability. The second tier is proposed as an information, and referral service for people with disability and their families.

 The third tier is proposed for people with significant care and support needs which are described as permanent and irreversible, it is to include disability of chronic episodic nature such as significant and enduring psychiatric disability.

 It is estimated that the third tier covers around 470,000 people; NEDA suggests that approximately 120,000 of these will be people from NESB and/or CALD with disability.

The intention of the DISABILITYCARE AUSTRALIA is to increase choice and control to people with disability and ultimately enhance quality of life. This is to be facilitated through individual packages of support; these packages may be managed by a service provider, a broker, by the person with disability or any combination of the above.

 The National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) is the national peak organisation representing the rights and interests of people from non-English speaking background with disability, their families and carers throughout Australia.

 DISABILITYCARE AUSTRALIA in its aim is a great step forward for people with disability in Australia. NEDA believes that access and equity strategies for people from NESB and/or CALD with disability will only be adequate as part of the new DISABILITYCARE AUSTRALIA if there is a broad campaign with vocal support. We need you to join this campaign.

We encourage you to print this fact sheet and others on our website and take it to your local MP – ask them what they will do to ensure that the DISABILITYCARE AUSTRALIA will be culturally equitable and accessible.