Physical Disability Australia's Guiding Philosophies
Physical Disability Australia Ltd believes strongly in the overriding statement 'Nothing about us without us' and applies these Guiding Philosophies, encompassing each of the position statements.
Everyone is born equal and people with disability are people, first and foremost.
We believe for Attitudes:
- People with disabilities can and do take up the same range of opportunities as anyone else. We work, play and contribute to our community. We are parents, sons or daughters, but mostly we are individuals.
- Like others, people with disabilities are sexual beings and have the right to enjoy sexual relationships and express their sexuality in the same way as other people.
- Patronising or avoidance behaviour can occur when people do not understand people with disabilities. Active listening, asking the person with the disability, and awareness training can help in these instances.
We believe that disability is normal and difference is human.
Access is everyone's right! Access means physical, environmental, communication, service delivery and anything else that enables full participation, fairness and equal opportunities to any Australian regardless of race, religion, age or ability.
Physical Disability Australia believes for Access:
- Physical Disability Australia supports any legislation that is fair and seeks to uphold Federal, State, Territory legislation around Access and Building Codes and Standards, and Discrimination legislation.
- Physical Disability Australia expects that legislation designed to protect the rights of people with disability will be enforced and monitored by the relevant authorities.
- All legislation must be reviewed regularly to improve, uphold and educate, and that affirmative action is taken on any breaches of legislation.
Physical Disability Australia believes access means inclusion for everyone.
Abuse and Neglect
People with physical disability are often vulnerable to physical, emotional and sexual abuse, and to neglect and abandonment.
Physical Disability Australia believes for Abuse and Neglect:
- Physical Disability Australia is committed to advocating for the prevention of all forms of abuse and neglect against people with disabilities.
- Physical Disability Australia encourages any person experiencing any form of abuse or neglect, or suspecting another person is experiencing or committing abuse or neglect, to report the situation to the relevant authorities or to seek help to do so.
Physical Disability Australia believes that abuse and neglect of people with disability is unacceptable in any situation.
Accommodation, Supported Accommodation, Housing
All persons with disability are entitled to affordable, appropriate housing or accommodation in the community of their choice.
Physical Disability Australia believes for Housing / Accommodation:
- Every person with a disability, who requires support to live independently in the housing or accommodation of their choice, should have the opportunity to be supported to do so.
- All housing options should be developed in consultation with people with disability as well as appropriate professionals to ensure consistency and continuity to a National Standard.
- All Housing / Accommodation options should be developed in the wider community with inclusion and access to all areas of the community being the first principle.
- Young persons with disabilities should never be placed in Nursing Homes or other institutional settings, in lieu of their own home.
Physical Disability Australia believes that all accommodation should be affordable and accessible to the wider community, including people with disability, ageing communities, young people, single people and those with families.
The rights of people with physical disability as members of the Australian community must be respected and upheld.
Physical Disability Australia believes for Advocacy:
- We should promote and encourage self-determination by people with physical disability, empowering them to make their own choices and decisions, particularly where the outcomes directly affect their lives.
- That advocacy is facilitated by Physical Disability Australia, with and on behalf of Australians with a physical disability, on matters that have implications of a national systemic nature.
- That Physical Disability Australia raises awareness about systemic issues impacting and affecting people with a physical disability, in a responsive and timely manner, promoting outcomes and actions.
- Members can trust Physical Disability Australia to keep them informed, and communicate with them in a responsive and timely manner on systemic issues.
Physical Disability Australia believes that advocacy is the right of all Australians, and must be independent and client centred.
CAAS - Continence Aids Assistance Scheme
People with physical disability who require continence assistance require specific supplies to be allocated according to individual need, rather than an allocated allowance.
Physical Disability Australia believes for the CAAS:
- That the CAAS scheme should be reviewed and updated based on need.
- More funding to be allocated to the scheme based on these needs.
- CAAS should be equitable across Australia.
- A national system should be developed with Quality Assurance as a basis for service.
Physical Disability Australia believes that people with disabilities should be treated with respect and dignity, not as a client or a number by CAAS staff.
Education is central to the life, potential and potency of people with physical disabilities to be part of the community.
Physical Disability Australia believes for Education:
- An inclusive education is the right of all Australians, including those with disabilities.
- Inclusive education includes personal support, note takers, peer support and mentors, modifications and equipment resources, as well as full environmental access and accommodations provided by the educational facility.
- Equitable education provides opportunities for personal, social and academic growth and development, and sets the stage for later life experiences, most especially in employment.
Physical Disability Australia encourages the development by all education providers of "Affirmative Action Strategies" that enable the full and inclusive education of people with physical disability.
Physical Disability Australia supports the employment of people with physical disability in open employment.
Physical Disability Australia believes for Employment:
- All people with physical disability have the right to award-based wages and conditions consistent with Australian work practices.
- Physical Disability Australia does not support people with physical disability being employed in Business Services (Sheltered Workshops).
Physical Disability Australia believes that people with disability have the right to work in the same way and in the same conditions as all other Australians.
Equipment / Aids / Supplies
People with physical disability require appropriate and affordable equipment and aids to enable full participation in Australian society, in accordance with self determination.
Physical Disability Australia believes for Equipment:
- More funds are needed for the purchase of disability equipment.
- Equipment should be managed and/or allocated under a national system.
- There is a need for more research on the latest equipment and what is available to people with disability.
Physical Disability Australia believes that there is a need for equity across the system nationally, in addition to more choice rather than random distribution of disability equipment.
Every Australian has the right to choose affordable and appropriate healthcare.
Physical Disability Australia believes for Healthcare:
- People with disability have the right to access all information relevant to their condition, including treatment and any further implications that may arise.
- People have the right to consider all aspects of their healthcare and decide for themselves which avenue to pursue for treatment after receiving all the facts.
- People have the right at all times to be treated with dignity, respect and understanding by all healthcare professionals, and to be listened to when asking for assistance.
- All professionals in healthcare and related fields should undergo Disability Awareness Education as part of their training.
Physical Disability Australia believes that appropriate healthcare is the right of all Australians.
People with disability have the right to appropriate income support which meets the needs of the most basic requirements, in order to live a life of quality that is equal to the lives of all Australians.
- Physical Disability Australia promotes immediate introduction of a Disability Allowance to meet the additional Cost of Disability over and above daily living costs.
Physical Disability Australia believes that people with disabilities should be treated with respect and dignity, not as a client or a number by Centrelink staff.
Legislation is needed to protect those most vulnerable from discrimination and harm, and to ensure that all dealings, including rights and responsibilities to those with a disability, are upheld.
Physical Disability Australia believes for Legislation:
- Legislation should be monitored to ensure its purpose is upheld.
- Legislation should be written to ensure inclusion not separateness.
- Legislation should be reviewed regularly in consultation with people with disability.
It is the right of people with disabilities to be consulted in the development and review of all relevant legislation.
People with physical disability may have mental health conditions which may or may not be related to their disability, and be a temporary or lifelong condition.
Physical Disability Australia believes for Mental Health:
- We have the right to equitable access, flexible support, information and treatment.
- Flexible support includes longer appointments with counsellors, in-home support, and appointments where supporters and/or advocates are welcomed.
- Health Professionals must be educated regarding the mixing and side effects of medications in relationship to a person's disability.
Physical Disability Australia believes that access to Mental Health Care should be appropriate, affordable, confidential and be client centred, for all Australians.
People with physical disability have the right to support that enables and encourages a "good life".
- Adequate funding.
- Support that is responsive to a person's needs.
- Having consistent protocols, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Respect and dignity - "my body, my rules" and/or "my house, your workplace".
- Safety as an employer and an employee.
- Adequate training for the person with the disability as an employer of support people, and training for their employees.
- Uphold rights and choices of the person.
Physical Disability Australia believes that without these things, some people will not survive.
Equitable access to higher education and post school training can enable a successful transition to the labour force.
Physical Disability Australia believes for Training:
- Training opportunities should be encouraged that promote the rights, interests and empowerment of, by and for people with physical disability in preparedness for employment, including apprenticeships, cadetships and other work related training.
- Development of opportunities for training and/or raising awareness about needs, rights and issues facing people with disabilities in Australia.
Any such training should, wherever possible, be delivered by people with disabilities as paid trainers.
All public transport, including rail, road, air and water, should be accessible to allow people with physical disability to travel as all other passengers: anywhere, at any time, and without restrictions.
Physical Disability Australia believes for Transport:
- All fares and charges, conditions and services should be equitable to all passengers.
- Future design changes should be done in consultation with Disability Advisory Committees to enable more transparent and accessible passenger services, including:
- Visible meters in taxi vehicles;
- Travel facing in the direction of the vehicle, not sideways or back to front;
- A view for passengers in wheelchairs to enable sightseeing and way finding;
- Safety Design Standards, including tie downs and seat belts;
- Booking services online for people with disability as well as the general public, which are efficient and responsive to requests.
- Information on rights and responsibilities is made available to all passengers.
- People with disability requiring attendant support when travelling should not be charged an additional fare for their support person and a National Companion Card Scheme should be in place.
Physical Disability Australia believes that public transport is for all Australians, and should meet the needs of all Australians.