PDA’s Vice President/QLD Director, Sharon Boyce, was interviewed by the ABC around the need for greater public awareness of COVID-19 antiviral medications and their accessibility and eligibility.

“When academic, author and disability advocate Sharon Boyce contracted COVID-19 in April, she and her doctor were scared about what might happen.

“I do have lots of issues with breathing, lots of issues with my health and [an] auto immune [condition], and I’m on high level cortisone and have diabetes,” she said.

The Toowoomba resident was being monitored in a virtual hospital ward and had antiviral medication delivered to her door by paramedics.

“It was very scary about the what if [of having COVID-19], but once I got the antivirals and started them, I didn’t have major problems,” she said.

“I did have issues with breathing and coughing, especially, which was very difficult for me with my neck, but the antivirals seemed to stop and calm that down and maybe not get as bad as what it may have done.”

Dr Boyce said more awareness was needed about the potential benefits of the medications.

“I think there really needs to be a lot more information out there about what antivirals are, what they do, how good they can be and what they can do for people to break down those barriers of fear.” “

To read the full article go to:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-08-02/qld-covid-coronavirus-antiviral-medication-who-is-eligible/101288840

The wonderful Fran Vicary (Director Engagement at the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission and PDA Member), recently spoke at the National Press Club of Australia’s Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand’s ACT Public Sector Forum.

It’s a great watch.

Enjoy hearing from Fran and her fellow panelists (Angie Ballard and Cain Beckett) by going to:

https://players.brightcove.net/6015111615001/nTwZ5mi4b_default/index.html?videoId=6309652466112

Go in the draw for a trip to the cinema, learn and help PDA at the same time.

PDA can earn $2,500 per webinar for 20 or more survey responses from each webinar. If all 5 webinars get 20+ survey responses that equates to $12,500 which will go a long way to help PDA continue its work standing up for all Australian living with physical disability.

You can help PDA and go in our Hoyts’ draw by simply watching a recording of one (or more) of our informative and though-provoking webinars and then completing a survey.

Simply head across to the Physical Disability Australia YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMyTzhTbs2oLH-WZR18zX2Q/videos?view=0&sort=p&flow=grid) and click on one of the webinars we have posted there:

When you have watched one, complete the short survey linked in the description notes under each webinar’s description.

Feel free to complete a survey for each webinar that you watch.

We also encourage you to subscribe to our YouTube channel whilst you’re there.

Entries for our Hoyt’s gift cards close at 5pm on Friday 5th August 2022, with winners chosen by random generator and announced and notified on Monday 8th August.

This competition is only open to Australian residents.

PDA, in response to the search for a new NDIA CEO, calls for this appointment to be filled by a person with actual lived experience of disability and practical understanding of the NDIS National Disability Insurance Scheme. 

You can read PDA’s Position Statement below:

“The National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (NDIS Act) is the legislation which establishes the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

It also sets out, amongst other things, the objectives, and principles as to how the NDIS will operate, how an individual can access the NDIS and become a participant, how the participants plan will be developed and processes for internal and external review.

The NDIS Act also sets out the governance arrangements for the NDIA including its CEO, Board, Independent Advisory Council (IAC) and Actuaries.

The NDIS has been operating Australia wide for the past 9 years supporting people with disabilities to live ordinary lives, supporting people to access services and supports, supporting people to gain meaningful employment and generally increasing quality of life.

The NDIS is, essentially, a scheme for people with disabilities, but we have yet to see people with disabilities gain Senior Management positions within the NDIA. We have seen people with disabilities positioned on the NDIS Board and the IAC, but not into those senior roles.

PDA believes that the NDIS should have people with disabilities in those roles, to not only increase the representation, but to bring real life experience and understanding of being a person with a disability into the Agency that is supporting us.

We encourage the Government to do their due diligence in recruiting a new CEO for the Agency and make a positive step to rebuilding the trust of people with disabilities by actively seeking out a person with a disability for the role of CEO.

PDA invites other Australian disability organisations, NDIS participants, disability supporters and providers to join in this call for improved NDIA CEO and Board representation, participation, inclusion and input from people with disability.

For more information or to show your organisation’s support in this campaign, please contact Simon Burchill (PDA’s General Manager) via manager@pda.org.au.”

Join us for our next Webinar “Acquiring Disability Later In Life”.

Tuesday 9th August at 6:30pm AEST

There are an estimated 4.4 million Australians living with disability, and approximately 93.1% (or 4.1 million) of these were acquired sometime after birth.

Whether acquiring lifelong disability as the result of an injury, developing health or genetic condition, due to illness or medical complication, this move to a new way of life can be challenging and uncertain.

Finding information, support and ways to best live a new way of life can seem overwhelming.

From understanding your rights and entitlements, accessing resources and tools, and self acceptance, this webinar will  give you an insight into the disability journey of three people who acquired disability later in life and continue to ensure that they live their best lives.

On Tuesday 9th August at 6:30pm AEST, PDA will be running a webinar to provide you with information, advice and personal stories around successfully transitioning to this new chapter of life.

To register for this FREE Webinar, go to:

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_FxEVffunR3-ROuTqEfYYaw

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

We look forward to you joining this important and informative event.

As COVID-19 restrictions and public emergency declarations ease, life doesn’t go back to normal for everyone.

Written by Tammy Milne (PDA TAS Associate Director) and published by ABC News.

When Tammy Milne contracted COVID-19, she said she was “shaken to the core”.

Ms Milne has arthrogrophosis multiplex congenita, which affects her legs. She also has issues with breathing and swallowing.

She uses a wheelchair and has a support worker for several hours a day and overnight.

She is one of many Tasmanians for whom life will not return to “normal” when the state’s public health emergency declaration ends on Thursday night.

Three months ago, Ms Milne was in Hobart visiting her daughter when she contracted COVID-19.

She was staying in a hotel, and, once she tested positive, was unable to receive room service.

Her support worker was unable to help her, and with her daughter also COVID positive, Ms Milne said she was “trapped in a room by myself without any support”.

“It was very traumatic … I was isolated and pretty much in despair,” she said.

Ms Milne organised through the disability COVID hotline to be transported back home to Devonport in the state’s north-west where a support worker stayed with her through her seven days of isolation.

Three months on, Ms Milne said she has also contracted two other viruses, one of which required hospital treatment.

“I think if I got COVID again, I’d be really lucky to survive, and it’s a reality that it will come back again,” she said.

To read the complete article, go to:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-06-30/covid-still-a-problem-for-immunocompromised/101194310?utm_campaign=abc_news_web&utm_content=link&utm_medium=content_shared&utm_source=abc_news_web

Lived Disability Experience vs Disability Sector Experience

Following its election win, the Australian Labor Party has reiterated its commitment “to ensuring that no Australian with a disability is left behind”.

The Hon. Bill Shorten MP’s assigned portfolio as Minister for the NDIS National Disability Insurance Scheme has been widely applauded and appears to be a significant move in the right direction for an Australia working to look after its disabled population.

This overhaul includes review of the NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency), steps being taken to get the NDIS working properly and ensuring that disability is “no longer an afterthought”. Reassuringly too, steps are seemingly being put in place for policy to be evidence based and those actually reliant on the NDIS being given a place at the co-design table.

However, whilst the NDIA has certainly been a hive of promising activity since our new government took office, there is still a glaringly incongruous demographic in the way that the scheme is being run and managed.

With 1 in 6 Australians living with disability and with rates of disability being shown to be on a rising trajectory, it is crucial that the NDIS addresses the need for representation and inclusion of scheme participants and those with lived disability experience on its Board, Executive and in the role of NDIA CEO.

In the same way that senior roles within indigenous organisations are reserved for applicants of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent, policy must be put in place to ensure that “the NDIS puts people with disability at the centre of the Scheme and includes families, carers, service providers and workers” (wording taken from the ALP’s own website).

But this should just be the beginning of necessary reform in our country.

In an SBS News article, it was highlighted that, of the total 227 parliamentarians today, only one person (or less than half a percent) presents a visible disability – in the form of WA Greens Senator Jordon Steele-John.

Whilst our new parliament embraces the diversity and beauty of our country, this representation of disability is certainly not something to be celebrated.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/australias-next-parliament-has-been-declared-theres-only-one-politician-with-a-visible-disability/a24jj4fow

Our Popular ”EmployABLE” Webinar is now available on the PDA YouTube channel.

Did you miss our recent “EmployABLE” Webinar?

It was a really popular presentation. However, we had a lot of emails and calls from many of you were not able to watch it live, and many who did, asking for it to go up on on PDA’s YouTube channel.

Great news!

Now you can watch this incredibly informative and helpful webinar online and learn about the support and opportunities available to assist PWD step onto and advance up the employment ladder.

So, whether you’re looking to enter mainstream employment, thinking of starting up your own small business or just wanting to have a better understanding of employer obligations in employee recruitment and reasonable workplace adjustments- this webinar is a must view.

PDA’s incredibly knowledgeable panel has many years of lived experience between them and present a valuable tool for anyone with an interest or need to better understand Australia’s employment sector and the issues particularly relevant to people with disability.

Paul Williamson – Researcher
Mark Pietsch – CEO of Ability Links and Disability Advocate
Tammy Milne – Journalist and Disability Advocate
Sarah Styles – Owner of Wheelie Good Productions
Sharon Boyce – Disability Advocate, University Lecturer, Author and Education Consultant

You can view it by going to:

https://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=crxJTZjOkU4

Whilst you’re there please make sure that you subscribe to our YouTube channel.

After you have watched this webinar we also ask you to take part in out short survey by going to:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2JV7MFB

Feedback from this survey will enable PDA to present future webinars of interest and importance to our Members and Australia’s disability community.

If you would like to become a part of the PDA community and be kept up to date with future events, news and opportunities please sign up for FREE PDA MEMBERSHIP by going to:

www.pda.org.au/membership/