A substantial article in today's Sydney Morning Herald by Adele Horin shines a searing spotlight on the slow progress several the NSW governments have made in fulfilling promises to people with disabilities dating back nearly thirty years. Adele Horin visited one very large institution with the CEO of Ageing Disability and Home Care (ADHC), Jim Moore, and spoke with past and present staff of others, and with families and advocates.
Read the article here, or better still, read the print edition (News Review section) that includes one family's perspective on the move to a community group home for their son who has a sever disability, Aaron's life is 'better now in every way' (they had been very sceptical about the proposed benefits).
It is not easy reading, but it is good to see the issues aired so publicly in the press.
The article includes this information published recently by the NSW Ombudsman, in a breakout box:
- In 1998 more than 2000 people with disabilities live in residential centres. NSW government says they will close by 2010.
- Now 1600 still live in those centres.
- There are 31 residential centres.
- The largest centre has more than 400 people.
- There are no plans for the redevelopment or closure of the remaining six ADHC centres, accommodating more than 900 people.
- Of the 22 non-government residential centres, public plans are in place for the redevelopment of two of them.