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Friday, 30 May 2014

News from NSW Ageing, Disability and Home Care

NSW Government introduces Disability Inclusion Bill
Media Release, John Ajaka, (NSW) Minister for Ageing and Minister for Disability Services, 28 May 2014
Minister for Disability Services John Ajaka today introduced the landmark Disability Inclusion Bill 2014 into the Legislative Council, which will improve the lives of people with disability, their families and carers.

The main purpose of the Bill is to enhance protections and enshrine the rights of people with disability into NSW law during implementation and following full transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

“The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is transforming disability services in NSW and the Disability Inclusion Bill is a cornerstone of that,” Mr Ajaka said.

“People with disability are now shaping disability services, rather than being passive recipients of services from governments and other providers.

“The development of the Bill was shaped by feedback that was received during an extensive consultation process in the past few years which involved thousands of people across NSW.

“The feedback indicated a strong need for change and I thank those who took the time to share their opinions, thoughts, hopes, suggestions, stories and concerns.

“We have listened carefully to the legitimate concerns and expectations of individuals and organisations and, as a result, have delivered a Bill that is both responsive and supportive.

“The public told us they wanted the new disability law to promote human rights, give people with disability greater choice and control over their lives, clarify the role of the NSW government before and after the introduction of the NDIS, provide safeguards to protect the rights of people with disability and help make communities more inclusive.

“I am extremely proud of this Bill – it represents the NSW Government’s commitment to support and protect people with disability so they can live their lives free from abuse, neglect and exploitation.”

The Bill establishes a strong, outcomes-focused approach to whole of government strategies which aim to make communities more accessible and inclusive for people with disability.

When the Bill is enacted, the new legislation will replace the Disability Services Act 1993 which, for the last 21 years, has provided the main legal foundation in NSW for regulating supports, services and funding for people with disability.

Although progressive when introduced, the Disability Services Act, does not sit comfortably with the present day approach to disability which focuses on empowering people with disability to have greater choice and control so they can live more independently.

New University Chair for Intellectual Disability

Minister for Disability Services John Ajaka has announced Associate Professor Leanne Dowse as the newly appointed Chair in Intellectual Disability and Behaviour Support at the University of New South Wales (UNSW).

“The NSW Government established this new role as part of its commitment to improve services for people with intellectual disability,” Mr Ajaka said.

“Associate Professor Dowse brings a wealth of experience to the position, having worked as a practitioner and passionate advocate for intellectual disability since the 1980s.

“She is a leading member of UNSW’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and has been a researcher since 1995 and an academic since 2008.

“Associate Professor Dowse has developed and promoted disability studies in Australia and has taught social policy, social research methods, disability studies, human behaviour and criminology ... read more here and here

NSW Carer Awards 2014 - nominations open

Nominations are now open for the 2014 NSW Carers Awards and encouraged the community to nominate someone they know.

NSW Carers Awards are an opportunity for the community to acknowledge and celebrate the outstanding contributions being made by unpaid carers.

Nominations can be made in the following categories:
Carers Award – IndividualFor individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to caring. 
Carers Award – OrganisationFor community groups, schools, workplaces or other organisations which provide exceptional support to carers.
Up to 60 individual carers and 20 organisations will be honoured with an award during NSW Carers Week which runs from Sunday 12 - Saturday 18 October 2014.

The 2014 NSW Carer of the Year will be announced at a ceremony at Parliament House on Monday 13 October.

Nominations can be made online at until Monday 30 June 2014.

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