Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Lobbying for NDIS Board members with lived experience of disability

Lobbying for the continued inclusion of people with lived experience of disability on the board of the National Disability Insurance Scheme continues, with South Australian MO Kelly Vincent, who has a disability, speaking out (below), and Every Australian Counts proposing a social media campaign directed at relevant politicians, via simple online tool to make it easy to locate them :
Speculation continues that a new board for the NDIA, the agency delivering the NDIS, will soon be announced and there’s been no confirmation that the new members will include anyone with a lived experience of disability or service expertise.
Delivering massive disability reform without without those directly involved represented in its governance flies in the face of the whole philosophy of the NDIS. Anything about us, must include us. 
The NDIS agreements signed by states and territories and the Commonwealth allow state disability ministers a say in who makes up the NDIA Board. The Board needs members with sound financial and corporate skills and it needs people who directly represent the disability community. Let’s send a social media message to every state disability minister to tell them lived experience matters ...

Disability voice must be heard on NDIS Board: Dignity for Disability
Dignity for Disability MLC (South Australia) Kelly Vincent – media release, 20 October 2016

Dignity for Disability has joined the growing chorus of people with lived experience of disability calling on Federal Social Services Minister, Hon Christian Porter MP, to ensure better disability community representation on the National Disability Insurance Agency Board.

“It’s an absolute outrage that the Government is looking to appoint an eight person NDIA Board without consideration of, nor a majority of, members with a lived experience of disability personally, or understanding as a family carer,” says Kelly Vincent.

“This is the most important Board in Australia to the disability community, so excluding us is just plain wrong. Last year we expressed concern about advertising for Board members and now we uncover the real agenda – the exclusion of people with lived experience from the NDIS Board.

“The disability community is totally fed up with being told what to do by people with no life experience of the daily barriers we face. There is a saying: nothing about us without us, and without a voice on the NDIS Board, it seems there will be a hell of a lot about us – without us.

“Confidence in the Scheme has already been dented due to the complete fiasco caused by the MyPlace website upgrade crash, so we don’t need further wavering over the government’s commitment to the Scheme.

“Not a moment passes without a person with disability somewhere in Australia being abused, excluded or locked out of the community.

“Whether it’s waiting for support to shower or go to the toilet, or being denied the basic human rights the rest of the community enjoy, this is a continual daily experience for people with disability.

“I acknowledge the extraordinary contribution Mr Bruce Bonyhady AM has made in lobbying for, and establishing, the once-in-a-generation reform that the NDIS represents. Without his commitment and energy, I doubt we would have the NDIS.

“The loss of disability representation is surely in breach of the intent of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013, and I call on Minister Porter to reconsider his Board nominations,” said Ms Vincent. 

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