In May and June 2016, the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPAC) held community consultations with people with disability, their carers and family members, and with community organisations to find out what they wanted included in the third DFA.
Speak Out Tasmania assisted with organising and hosting the consultations, and DPAC conducted a short online survey. DPAC also held targeted consultations with PDAC, the Tasmanian Women’s Council and Disability Working Groups in State Government agencies. Three written submissions were received.
The consultations and survey highlighted a strong sense of the day-to-day experiences of people with disability, their carers and their families.
Participants told us that people with disability want:
- to work;
- housing and to have the option to live independently;
- affordable transport – there is strong support for the adoption of a whole-of-journey approach;
- more responsive mainstream services;
- to feel respected and included in the community; and
- to see independent advocacy services retained and be supported to access complaints mechanisms – ‘We need to remember that good support grows strong self-advocates’.
Consultations across the State demonstrated consistent views and concerns:
- The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a positive development. However, some people who are yet to enter the Scheme are apprehensive about what it will mean for them. Older Tasmanians are concerned about how their transition from the NDIS to aged care will be managed.
- There is a lot of change happening in the sector in response to the NDIS. Some people find this confusing.
- The Tasmanian Government should lead by example in achieving better outcomes for people with disability.
- More support is needed for people with disability who are from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
- Access to services in regional and remote areas can be a problem.
- There is concern that young women with disability may be vulnerable in a care setting and may need to be supported to ensure their personal safety.
- Group housing is not suitable for everyone.
- More needs to be done to ensure people with disability are able to contribute to decision-making processes and to the development of policy and legislation.
- Accessibility continues to be a major concern – taxis, public transport, schools, buildings, street and road infrastructure were raised.
- More disability parking spaces are needed.
- Universal design should be at the forefront of new developments.
- Access to all forms of information is crucial. More formats need to be used – plain English and Easy English; videos; and in-person. Website accessibility remains a concern.
- More audio loops are needed in government buildings.
- Cost of living issues continue to be a concern for many participants. Being dependant on income support means many people struggle with high private rentals, restricted access to bulk billing, taxi fares and the cost of day placements.
- Services for visitors with disability can be limited. Some airlines have a policy restricting the number of passengers in wheelchairs or with mobility issues to two per flight. There are no hand controlled vehicles available from any hire car company in Tasmania. These matters were also raised in ParaQuad Tasmania’s submission to the Senate Inquiry into the delivery of outcomes under the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 (April 2017)