David Craig - The great debate, has life improved for people with a disability

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Presentation by David Craig – Executive Officer, Action for Community Living at field's 'The great debate - has life improved for people with a disability'.

Forum was held on Wednesday 23 September 2009,

Further information www.field.org.au

Published in: Education, Career
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David Craig - The great debate, has life improved for people with a disability

  1. 1. Has Life Improved for People with Disabilities? David Craig - 23 September 2009
  2. 2. <ul><li>“I like to think of myself as an optimist with a reality chaser. I know the glass is half full. I just want to know who the hell’s been drinking out of it and do I have to pay full price.” Bob Zany </li></ul>
  3. 3. Optimists and pessimists contribute to community…. <ul><li>The optimist invented the aeroplane…the pessimist invented the parachute. </li></ul><ul><li>- George Bernard Shaw </li></ul>
  4. 4. How do we test the success or failure of our efforts? <ul><li>Would I find it acceptable if I was on the receiving end? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it comply with equal opportunity and human rights available to other citizens? </li></ul><ul><li>Making the person whose support needs are the most challenging the test case for our program effectiveness. </li></ul><ul><li>How open are we to criticism and challenge? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there a sense of continuous struggle to find better outcomes and strategies or are we formula dependent? </li></ul><ul><li>Does our work support the human rights of people with disability and encourage responsibility & contribution? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Failures & Shortfalls <ul><li>Denial of basic citizenship rights </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of Leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Hearing the voice of people with disability </li></ul><ul><li>Short changing the adventure of living full lives </li></ul><ul><li>Unhealthy or non productivity of our communities </li></ul><ul><li>No passion for rights of vulnerable citizens </li></ul>
  6. 6. Denial of Citizenship Rights for People with Disabilities <ul><li>No entitlement to disability support </li></ul><ul><li>Freedom to live anywhere in Australia is denied by Commonwealth/State administration arrangements. </li></ul><ul><li>Exemptions from DDA for migration of emergency egress support. </li></ul><ul><li>No housing for many – inappropriate housing & support for many others. </li></ul><ul><li>Many other breaches of the UNCRPD. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Lack of leadership <ul><li>Knowledge about disability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People with disabilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Their families </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Their support agencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Their communities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Weakness of the change agency function of our “sector”. </li></ul><ul><li>We have been picked up cheap by government officers on shopping tours to provide services rather than supports. </li></ul><ul><li>We are too, keen to believe our own publicity materials rather than be honest about the challenges for change and reform. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Hearing the voiceless <ul><li>What do we really know about the aspirations and dreams of people who rely on disability support providers and funders? Too many tools and not enough quality time. </li></ul><ul><li>How do we give respect to these voices if we do hear them? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we stay true to rhetoric and keep on tune? </li></ul><ul><li>What would we want people to hear and respond to if placed in the shoes of those we are funded to support? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Avoiding the adventure of living <ul><li>Drowning in the sea of risk management, accountability requirements and quality assurance – Looking Good v.Doing Good </li></ul><ul><li>Death of recreation as a vehicle for getting a life worth living </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People that connect </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Passions that motivate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Places that create a sensory and stimulating enjoyment of the natural and constructed world </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Giving up on friendship, sexuality and spirituality </li></ul>
  10. 10. Inclusive Communities <ul><li>What do we know about the capacity of our communities to support people with disabilities? </li></ul><ul><li>What do we know about the capacity of people with disability to contribute to community building and strengthening? </li></ul><ul><li>How can we get out of the way of good things happening? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Undermining Communities <ul><li>Safety and risk management </li></ul><ul><li>From congregation to individualisation </li></ul><ul><li>Abuse of privacy principles </li></ul><ul><li>Dominance of activity & program over relationships and connections </li></ul><ul><li>Community tourism or community engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Agency competition or sector development as a community of common interest – is there depth and strength in our discourse on inclusive communities? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Final Thoughts <ul><li>Have we moved progressively forward or have we lost some good things along the way? </li></ul><ul><li>Have we secured our gains such that they won’t be lost in the next wave of change? </li></ul><ul><li>Do we have an agenda for the future that is shaped by the stories and aspirations of people with disabilities and their families and advocates? </li></ul><ul><li>Are we prepared to commit to full implementation of the UN Convention on Rights of People with Disability? </li></ul>

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